You reached the point where you have the info, and you are in the process of analyzing the the results of and the nature of the interactions.
How hard or easy was it for you to obtain answers to your questions? Are the answers complete, or are they rather elusive or non existent, etc… If they were hard to obtain, or confidentiality arguments were opposed, these are warning signs. There can’t be transparency issues when dealing with non profit organizations. The information you obtained will give clues about any malpractice, questionable ethics, relevance issues etc. It will also help you understand whether it is a young versus a mature organization, or an organization that has changed from ethical to not so ethical or vice versa.
The outcome of this process is to have a good understanding of the ethics and relevance of the venue, its mission and of your involvement. Ultimately one critical question to ask yourself is: is it justifiable for you to be there and promote/endorse that place with your money, time and skills?
Realize that –of course– most projects won’t check positive on all of the criteria. For some it does not mean that they are to be dismissed (unless there are clear welfare or criminal violations). But the thing is to not encourage bad ones, and help small immature venues to grow into ethical organizations.
Your key to making an ethical responsible decision:
✓ Your motivations are grounded in respect, compassion and empathy.
✓ You understand the level of security surrounding that mission.
✓ You are not taking the job of someone local.
✓ You are aware of how to limit your carbon footprint.
✓ You are ready to be flexible in a setting you are not familiar with.
✓ You fit the skills, fitness, moral requirements of the project.
✓ You have good evidences that the project is ethical, and that you can and will be free to contribute to make it even better.
All checkmarked? Good! you’re now ready to go to the next level and start organizing and preparing for your adventure…
If some of the items did not get a checkmark and raised some alarms in your head then maybe it is time to think of alternative ways to help, or see nature – via ecotourism, by picking another more fitting project or doing some local volunteering.
Home / Explore / The Complete Guide to Choosing Wildlife & Nature Venues / ☆ Assessing & Deciding
◊ The references mentioned on this page are listed in the Extended Bibliography.