Our Rural Ecotourism Development (R.E.D) Projects empower low-income communities to support a green economy. BraveHearts Expeditions defines a green economy as the situation where growth in local income is driven by communal investments that reduce environmental degradation and pollution and prevent the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services.
Biological diversity - or biodiversity - is the term we use to describe the variety of life on our expedition project locations. It refers to the wide variety of ecosystems and living organisms in each location – animals, plants, their habitats and their genes.
The R.E.D Projects consider biodiversity as the foundation of life on Earth, and for very good reason. Biodiversity is crucial for the functioning of ecosystems which provide our beneficiary rural communities with products and services without which they couldn’t survive. Oxygen, food, fresh water, fertile soil, medicines, shelter, protection from storms and floods, stable climate and recreation – all have their source in nature and healthy ecosystems. But, aside from these indispensable benefits, biodiversity is itself extremely complex, dynamic and varied like no other feature of the earth. Its innumerable plants, animals and microbes physically and chemically unite the atmosphere (the mixture of gases around the earth), the geosphere (the solid part of the earth), and the hydrosphere (the earth's water, ice and water vapour) into one environmental system which makes it possible for millions of species, including people, to exist.
At the same time, no other feature of the earth has been so dramatically influenced by man’s activities. Consequently, our R.E.D Projects are fueled by the belief that by working to protect, conserve and add value to biodiversity, we will strongly affect human well-being and the well-being of every other living creature in our beneficiary communities.
Our R.E.D Projects comprise the following environmental projects:
- The Trail-Savers Project and
- The Species-Savers Project
- Biodiversity: the variability among living organisms from all sources including terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecosystems, and the ecological complexes of which they are part. This includes diversity within species, between species, and of ecosystems
- Ecosystem: a community of plants, animals and smaller organisms that live, feed, reproduce and interact in the same area or environment
- Ecosystem service: a service people obtain from the environment. Ecosystem services are the transformation of natural assets (soil, plants and animals, air and water) into things that we value. They can be viewed as provisioning such as food and water; regulating, for example, flood and disease control; cultural such as spiritual, recreational, and cultural benefits; or supporting like nutrient cycling that maintain the conditions for life on Earth. Ecosystem ‘goods’ include food, medicinal plants, construction materials, tourism and recreation, and wild genes for domestic plants and animals