Rotokas Ecotourism has been born out of a desire to create opportunities for our people, while ensuring the tourism industry operates in an environmentally and socially responsible manner. Consequently, the following core values influence our current processes and future planning.
• Environment “Vegoara Ora Ukoara” – We are building native tree nurseries, conducting workshops on sustainable land management and conservation principles, and revitalising traditional methods of pollution and waste control. We believe that protecting the environment is not only essential for our business model, but essential for our people’s wellbeing.
• Human Rights “Avivikea Oirarapa” – Rotokas Ecotourism was established to give our people the right to livelihoods and opportunities. We are building WASH facilities at local schools and conducting workshops on how clans can spend revenues on improving health and education facilities in their communities. We are developing standards to protect our porters and tour guides, including, pack weight limits and a fair wage.
• Gender “Riakova Ora Oirato” – Rotokas is a matrilineal society, meaning our women hold a special position as traditional custodians of the land. However, like most societies, inequality between men and women persists. We reserve jobs and committee positions for females, ask our trekkers to pay women directly for accommodation and donate a portion of the trekking fee’s to local women’s groups.
• Equality “Uvuivira” – Experience with extractive industry makes us Bougainvillian’s innately aware of the destructiveness of unequal societies. Financial transparency is of upmost importance for the consumer, our partners and our organisation. Rotokas Ecotourism ensures profits are distributed widely throughout communities by training porters and tour guides from all clan groups. We ask trekkers to pay each service provider directly, bypassing ourselves (contact us for a breakdown of your trekking cost).
• Culture “Tuaripa Pitupituro” – With assistance from the United Nations we are building three “Cultural Exchange Centres” from locally available bush materials. Here we will facilitate workshops to restore traditional environmental management practices, local flora and fauna knowledge, and traditional crafts.
Rotokas Ecotourism is open to new initiatives to improve the above core values, contact us for feedback or comment.