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          The Long Run Initiative newsletter - September 2014

          Dear Friends,

          It is with immense pleasure that I write the introduction to the newsletter of the Long Run Initiative that we had the privilege to co-create with Jochen Zeitz, under the auspices of the Zeitz Foundation, 5 years ago. As I recall, our first conversations were characterized by enthusiasm and commitment among the likeminded entrepreneurs who envisioned sustainable tourism, not beyond a profit making opportunity, but also as a responsibility to benefit the planet and people that the industry so overwhelmingly depends on. During that time, we realized that achieving sustainability was a core challenge around the world, and collective action was fundamental to make enterprises more sustainable especially in tourism. 

          In the 5 years since its inception, the Long Run Initiative has evolved and grown continuously as a sustainability system that stands apart from other contemporary initiatives. It focuses on the end result of conserving the world’s pristine environments for posterity; treating compliance and assessments as a means to achieve the result. Therefore, the Long run Initiative serves as a platform for tourism businesses that own, manage or significantly influence important areas of conservation value, which demonstrates around the world that nature, people, culture and business can indeed prosper together holistically. We, at Caiman Ecological Refuge, Brazil, are proud to belong to this global leadership initiative of sustainable tourism. 

          Joining the Long Run Initiative was a conscious decision on our part. Its philosophy of “Acting today for a better tomorrow”, encouraging a holistic pursuit of Conservation, Community, Culture and Commerce (4Cs) in business resonates with our core values and commitments and is strongly aligned with the Caiman’s sustainability model based on respect and husbandry of the local environment and people. Demonstrating compliance with the Global Ecosphere Retreats® (GER) standard was therefore, more of a charm than a challenge for us.

          In 2011, Caiman Ecological Refuge was assessed by the Zeitz Foundation’s team of specialists and on meeting the very demanding and comprehensive GER® standard requirements, we were recognized as a Global Ecosphere Retreats®. The support, expertise and professionalism of the team that evaluated Caiman were crucial for us to better understand and internalise the concept of the holistic balance of the 4Cs. Today, the 4Cs framework and tools provided by the Long Run Initiative are used across Caiman’s management and operations involving our guests and staff. 

          In a few weeks, the Long Run Initiative community will come together for the 4th annual meeting. Caiman Ecological Refuge is honoured to host the event, as it is an important occasion for reviewing our goals and actions. The meeting will enable us learn from the implementation experiences of our individual destinations and how we, as a leadership community, can strengthen the role of the broader tourism industry in shaping the global sustainability agenda.

          This meeting will strengthen the Long Run Initiative community, its activities and the GER® processes, while developing exploring ways of attracting more other destinations to become industry leaders who respect the environment, understand the importance of local communities, recognise the functions of the local culture, believe in the premise of markets and commerce for the planet’s sustainability, and most importantly, offer social and economical dignity as both the elements of practical outcomesfor their enterprises.

          I look forward to welcoming my LRI colleagues at Caiman, and take the opportunity of this newsletter to extend, on behalf of all of us, our sincere gratitude to all those who share our vision, have encouraged us on this path, and have lend us their support along the way. We will continue to count on it going forward.

          Please click on the link to access the newsletter: The Long Run Initiative newsletter - September.


          Roberto Klabin


          Caiman Ecological Refuge


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