Platinum Heritage has a holistic view on our environmental strategy as it is just one pillar on our Sustainable Business Mission which includes our Environmental Strategy, our mission to showcase, preserve and honour the local heritage and culture and our support of local industry and people. We are very proud to be the first and only desert safari company to be awarded the coveted Green Tourism Award by Dubai Tourism.
Our Environmental Strategy contains the following elements…
Avoiding and educating the industry about the damage of dune bashing
Numerous studies have highlighted to devastating effects of dune bashing on the environment. This is leading to severe desertification, a terrible environment degradation where vegetation and wildlife is lost.
Studies from Wild Earth Guardians conducted a study of the effects on dunes with 50 4WD’s making a pass over desert vegetation. This was the results of their findings…
“Not only were plants trampled and damaged by the trafﬁc, but they were also slow in recolonizing off-road vehicle (ORV) tracks after traffic had ceased. ORVs also churn up and dry out the organic drift lines (the high point of material deposited by waves). Plant seeds deposited at these organic drift lines often develop into mature plants over time, but Godfrey and Godfrey (1981) found that ORV trafﬁc trampled seedlings and made the soil unsuitable for growth, thereby retarding the natural cycle of plant colonization and the formation of foredunes (a ridge of irregular sand dunes partially covered with vegetation).”
Obviously, where there is no vegetation, there are no animals. Where there is no vegetation and no animals, you have desertification.
This problem was highlighted in The National on June 4, 2014…
“Off-roading, littering and clearing for construction purposes are prime threats. In fact, the simple act of driving into the UAE desert to watch the sunset could damage the environment. Vehicles crush dry shrubs and low-lying plants, which results in a reduction in the soil’s ability to absorb water, making it more susceptible to wind erosion.”
Ajman Hasan from the Sustainable blog site, Green Prophet made the following observations in 2012.
“These deserts are host to a variety of wildlife, from mammals to reptiles to insects. These creatures are all superbly built to utilize the desert sand and survive the harsh environment they live in. Dune bashing literally destroys their natural habitat (breeding grounds, holes, activity areas, etc) forcibly displacing them to move deeper into the desert, thereby putting immense pressure on them to survive”.
To date, Platinum Heritage is the only company in the safari industry to do something about educating the industry, protecting the desert environment and removing dune bashing from their desert experiences. No company can truly call themselves “Green” when they participate in a daily activity that is leading animals and plants towards extinction.