The Burren Ecotourism Network
B.E.N. is a network of tourism enterprises with the objective of establishing the Burren as a premier internationally-recognised sustainable tourism region ensuring the future economic and social growth and sustainable development of its communities, environment and heritage. It seeks to support continued training, mentoring and accreditation in sustainable tourism for its members and for businesses interested in joining the Network. Because our Aran Island Ferries from Doolin operate in this region we have become proud member of this organisation.
The Network aims to be a recognisable network of enterprises in the Burren, who have achieved independent accreditation, demonstrate ecotourism ‘best practice’, positively discriminate in each other’s favour, provide ‘one voice’ representation on issues impacting the Burren (where appropriate), and inspire conservation activism.
The Burren Ecotourism Network and the Geopark have enjoyed a special relationship since 2008, when the Burren Connect Project first instigated the establishment of the Network. The two organisations now work in partnership, having agreed in late 2012 to pool their resources in pursuit of their common objective. Both organisations are committed to the promotion of responsible tourism that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people. They work together to promote ‘The Burren & Cliffs of Moher Geopark’ as a leading sustainable visitor destination, celebrated for high standards in visitor experience, conservation and learning. You also be interested in our article on what’s happening in the Burren in May.
In 2011 the Burren and the Cliffs of Moher gained Global Geopark status, already spectacular neighbours, their coming together formed a destination of natural wonders. Making up over 530 square kilometres the Burren and Cliffs of Moher Geopark offers diversity that is second to none. This rich and alluring landscape of staggering sea cliffs, limestone karst terraces, fertile valleys, vibrant villages and welcoming communities offers some truly inspiring experiences.
The Burren and Cliffs of Moher Geopark not only has outstanding natural and culture heritage but a management organisation that supports its people and organisations to work together to ensure a cared-for landscape, a better-understood heritage, more sustainable tourism, a vibrant community and strengthened livelihoods.
Leave No Trace Ireland
Leave No Trace Ireland is a network of organisations and individuals with an interest in promoting the responsible recreational use of the outdoors. As increasing numbers of people seek the beauty and exhilaration of outdoor recreation, our collective mark on the environment and its natural processes, increases. Litter, disturbance to vegetation, water pollution, wildlife, livestock and other people are all indicators of the need to develop a national ethic that protects both natural and cultural heritage. Techniques designed to minimise the social and environmental impacts to these areas are incorporated into the Leave No Trace Outdoor Ethics Education Programme.
Leave No Trace Ireland promotes and inspires responsible outdoor recreation through education, research and partnerships. The programme strives to build awareness, appreciation and respect for Ireland’s natural and cultural heritage and is dedicated to creating a nationally recognised and accepted outdoor ethic that promotes personal responsibility.
It encourages all outdoor enthusiasts (e.g. walkers, mountain bikers, canoeists, orienteerers, horse riders) to do their part to maintain those lands used by the public for the benefit of the environment and for future generations. Practising a Leave No Trace ethic is simple. Make it hard for others to see or hear you and LEAVE NO TRACE of your visit.
The Seven Principles of Leave No Trace:
At the heart of Leave No Trace are seven principles for reducing the damage caused by outdoor activities. These are:
- Plan Ahead and Prepare
- Be Considerate of Others
- Respect Farm Animals and Wildlife
- Travel and Camp on Durable Ground
- Leave What You Find
- Dispose of Waste Properly
- Minimise the Effects of Fire