How is your initiative currently financed? If available, provide information on your finances and organization that could help others. Please list: Annual budget, annual revenue generated, size of part-time, full-time and volunteer staff.
We area financed by revenue generated from individual tourists and tour companies who book tours and contracts with our company. We employ a combination of part-time, full-time and volunteer staff, all of which are Socotrans, making sure that all money collected in given back into the community.
Is your initiative financially and organizationally sustainable? If not, what is required to make it so? Is there a potential demand for your innovation?
Our company is sustainable on both fronts. Because we have no external financial backing, our company is required to be supported by tour contracts.
What are the main barriers you encounter in managing, implementing, or replicating your innovation? What barriers keep your program from having greater impact?
One of the most significant barriers we face is the lack of governmental enforcement of tourist and local guidelines and restrictions. It is essential that a governmental environmental initiative be put into place and that laws and restrictions are enforced. At this time, waste management and free-roaming tourism are also prevalent issues.
There must be individuals, whether governmental or non-governmental, who are willing to train locals to develop and implement strategies for tackling the enormous waste issue on the island. Most of the environmental issues are not caused by tourists but by the local inhabitants, who have no education in the need or implementation of environmental care.
Laws should be put into place and enforced that restrict certain tourist behaviors. Right now there are only suggestions, which are not widely known, that keep tourists from knowing how to best care for the island during their stay.
What is your plan to expand or further develop your approach? Please indicate where/how you would like to grow or enhance your innovation, or have others do so.
We would like to continue to grow in the area of training and educating our employees and the locals on the importance of waste management.
We are also working with the airport authorities in establishing a set of guidelines to be posted in a public place for tourists to recognize and follow.
We are a small company who is just stepping into the daunting task of geotourism and environmental sustainability. We seek to grow our understanding and implementation of these principles so that future generations of Socotra can benefit from the onslaught of globalization.