THE OPERATING TRAVEL AGENCY BIRDS COLOMBIA S.A.S. is mindful about the importance of maintaining a sustainable touristic development, and by assuming the principles specifically adopted by the Sectored Technical Norm NTS–TS 003, is fully dedicated to implement a sustainable procedure of its activities, throughout the adoption of requirements oriented at preventing, eliminating or reducing the negative impact of our installations and operations.
We strive for a better future being completely aware of the commitment we have acquired by means of a sustainable development. We will place great effort to reduce the impact of our activity and contribute in the preservation of the biological and cultural diversity, of our environment during the scenic integration, and the respect of its flora, fauna and costumes from local communities. Similarly, we also reject any sexual exploitation towards children and adolescents (ESCNNA) and towards discrimination, in compliance with the Colombian legislation.
In this manner, we prompt the rights and duties of our collaborating customers and providers, in order to attain a proper teamwork and constant improvements on our services.
This policy is issued in compliance with the Sectored Technical Norm NTS TS – 003, which determines the sustainability requirements within environmental, socio-cultural and economical aspects that are pertinent for travel agencies.
- To encourage optimal use of the natural resources by our tour guides and collaborators, taking into account the fundamental elements of the touristic development for our nation.
- To promote respect towards the socio-cultural authenticity of the local communities, conserving their culture, architectonical assets and traditional values.
- To instill proper environmental and cultural practices onto our clients, in order to guarantee the care and preservation of the destinations.
- To comply with the occupational health and safety policy.
- To guarantee quality in respect to the products and services that we offer.
- To bond with providers encouraging similar practices with sustainable tourism.
SANITARY MEASURES FOR THE TRAVELER
Before travelling, make sure to be informed about the proper sanitary conditions of your destination and its access to any consular and emergency services, to ensure that your personal health and safety will not be compromised. Make sure to cover your specific necessities (food, accessibility or medical attention) before you decide travelling to a determined destination.
Gather all the possible information about your destination, and dedicate some time to understand their costumes, rules and traditions. Avoid any type of behaviors that could offend the local community.
Inform yourself about the current legislation in order to avoid committing any acts that are considered delinquent within the visited region. Do not traffic with drugs, weapons, antiquities, protected species, nor illicit products or hazardous substances that are prohibited by national regulations.
CURRENT LEGAL REGULATIONS:
The illicit traffic of flora and fauna species in, and any cultural patrimony asset is considered a crime in Colombia, which may incur into legal fines and even imprisonment.
In its commitment with the sustainable development, Birds Colombia S.A.S., encourages the compliance of the following regulations in order to protect the cultural and natural patrimony of our nation:
- Law 17 of 1981 and Law 1333 of 2009 regarding the International Commerce of Wildlife Endangered Species in Fauna and Flora.
- Law 63 of 1986 and Law 1185 of 2008 regarding the Commerce of Cultural Assets.
- Resolution 0584 of 2002 regarding Wildlife Species that are under threat around the national territory.
- Law 1453 of 2011. Article 32. The illicit manipulation of exotic wildlife species. Likewise, it promotes the compliance with the applicable regulation to counteract Sexual Exploitation of Minors.
- Law 1336 of 2009 a mean by which includes and stout Law 679 of 2001, to the resistance against exploitation, pornography and sexual tourism of children and adolescents.
- Law 679 of 2001 by which a decree is enacted to prevent and counteract exploitation, pornography and sexual tourism of minors, in development with article 44 of the Constitution.
- Law 599 of 2000. Criminal Code, Title IV.«Criminal offence against the liberty, integrity and sexual orientation.
- Law 1482 of 2011 guarantees the protection of human rights of a person, a group of people, a community or a town, which may be susceptible to violation through acts of racism or discrimination.
It is the responsibility of all the collaborators, clients, employees and providers to implement the following good practices, in addition to the establishment of different procedures within the Sustainability System:
SUSTAINABLE CONDUCTS WITH THE ENVIRONMENT
- Always ensure to purchase and consume meals with recyclable wrappings or the least amount used.
- Carry bags of different colors (green, blue and gray) to sort out waste residues and deposit them in trashcans or in assigned places by competent authorities, from within the field as well as inside the office.
- Incentivize donations towards projects focused on conservation and environmental education.
- Visitors must not, under any circumstance, remove wildlife species from their local habitat and take them to their country of origin, such as exotic plants or animals; since this act is not only a criminal felony, it also contributes the desertion of species.
- If you are travelling by car or bus, reduce your CO2 emissions footprint by shutting off the engine while standing or parking.
- Avoid the use of ironing appliance for clothes, hair dryer and hair irons.
- Do not throw garbage or plastic anywhere; identify the trashcans that are nearby or pick up everything into a bag and after completing your visit, discard off the residues in a proper location.
- Turn off the lights and air conditioner in order to save electricity and avoid overloads in the electric system of the city
- Efficient use of paper (Recycle), water, electricity and renewable resources.
- Assist in the conservation of species in flora and fauna, and the cultural patrimony found in the Agency and its environment.
- Support communal ecologic groups through the means of donations in equipment, field guides and allocations.
- Shut off water faucets whenever they are not needed. Control the use of this valuable resource.
- Remember to discard any sanitary waste into the assigned trashcan.
- Avoid the contamination of water.
- Do not flush any hazardous substances into water drainages or toilets.
- Best to use a flask for personal consumption of water.
- Report to management if there is any detection of leaks or discharge of water.
- Turn off the lights whenever is not necessary.
- Turn off computer equipment, printers and other electric appliances once the work session has ended.
- Turn off the computer screen when is not being used.
- Report to management if there is any detection of damage, in power sources, equipment or electric conductors.
- The implementation of energy saving light bulbs within the establishment.
- Remember the correct classification with residues.
- Use recyclable paper as mush as possible without the need of printing.
- Print on both sides of the paper whenever is possible.
- Promote communication by means of electronic devices.
- In the office, substitute disposable batteries for rechargeable batteries with higher lifespan.
- Respect diversity; observe their traditions, social and cultural practices of the place.
- Abstain from the selling, commercializing, trafficking or exhibiting archaeological pieces, as long as it reckons with the relevant permits under a unique and specific case of such exhibition.
- Inform travelers about the values and traditions of the community.
- Avoid visits to indigenous communities without prior authorization.
- Incentivize travelers to acquire local products and handcrafts.
- Remind clients, providers and workers the importance to respect human rights, since any act of susceptibility towards them also goes against the fundamentals applied in tourism.
- Birds Colombia, advises that any attempt against the wildlife of endangered species, as well as the traffic and exploitation of plants, is considered a criminal offence and may bring forth grave sanctions for those who try it.
- Birds Colombia enacts on its clients, providers and employees the basic and necessary care for the conservation and durability of the destination that is being visited, as well as to guarantee a better experience during your stay.
- To clarify that only the local communities are allowed to decide which aspects of their cultural traditions they wish to share with the visitors and which level of social interaction with each one.
- Respect the visual arts based on traditional handcrafting techniques from the local communities.
- Incentivize the consumption of typical local food from the region and its local communities.
- Promote social practices, local rituals and festivities.
- Respect the scenic art and music.
- Encourage respect towards the traditions and oral expressions, included within the language as a means of the immaterial cultural patrimony.
- Respect local wisdom and its related use with nature and the universe.
- Promote codes of conduct in places of cultural and historical importance and protect archeological and historical pieces.
- Contribute to the protection and maintenance of historical, archeological, cultural and spiritual places and assets, as well as to promote and value local traditions.
LOCAL COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT:
- Foment cultural gatherings among tourists and local communities, which generates an authentic and respectful social exchange.
- Promote touristic activities to help protect the cultural heritage in the place of destination and allow cultural and traditional products, handcrafts and folklore to remain intact.
- Incentivize the participation from local communities on the development of touristic plans.
- Include within the destination plan, a participative process with the community to develop activities inside and out of the natural area.
- Promote research on the current state of the installations within local communities in order to put forward any touristic activity as a source of income.
- Respect the management plans on collective territories and lifestyle plans from black communities, sheltered indigenous and peasant communities.
- Involve traditional authorities of Indigenous and Afro-Colombian communities into the development process of the touristic product.
- Regular training for employees.
- Active reengineering of our services to constantly improve work relations with our clients.
- Report any action that may threaten against the physical and moral integrity of any living being in general.
- Apply legal policies that guarantee the lifespan of the fauna and flora in Colombia, as well as guarantee the wellbeing of all children and adolescents.
- Maintain proper conducts that contribute with adequate labor and commercial practices, tolerating and respecting common differences such as race, religion, gender, etc. among employees with clients and providers.
- Develop correct separation of paper and delivery sessions to recyclers or recycling facilities that utilize paper, when cleaning around the office as well as throughout the trajectory of the tours.
- Reduce the use of plastic bags, replacing them with cloth bags or cardboard boxes.
- Deliver reusable bottles to clients in order to minimize el use of plastic bottles.
- Encourage respect and proper conduct towards local communities wherever the touristic plan is taking place, by asking for permission prior to the admission of the communities.
- Give lectures to tour guides about the proper use of the natural reserves, National parks, as well as fauna and flora sanctuaries.
- Deliver manuals to the tour guides about proper practices out in the field.
- Comply with the code of conduct and report all the facts if any doubt is present.
- Conform to the established safety regulations.
- Promote and socialize labor practices to facilitate the work for everyone.
- Respect the ideas from each other and acknowledge any accomplished achievements.
- Manage different points of view under private settings only with the group of people involved.
- Inform to providers and clients about the sustainability commitments acquired by the company.
CONDUCT WITH THE ECONOMY
- Carry out the projects diligently that are established by the Company, in order to guarantee its economic development.
- Comply with the guidelines issued by the management, for the economic development of the Company.
- Inform about any situation that could negatively impact the economy of the Company.
- Propose related actions towards sustainability, which carry out improvements within the indicators of the sustainability program.
- Identify any type of inconveniences that could negatively affect the agency and its groups of interest.
- Establish actions to increase the benefits of the agency and the general community.
CODE OF CONDUCT (LAW 1336 OF 2009)
With a purpose in mind to counteract the sexual exploitation of children and adolescents in travels and tourism, the touristic service providers will adopt a code of conduct which must be observed by its legal representatives, directors, administrators, employers and contractors that are involved in the provision of touristic services, in order to put in effect the obligations stipulated under articles 16 and 17 of the Law 679 of 2001, as well as to prevent typified conducts under article 19 of the same Law and also incorporate the following measures of control:
- Birds Colombia refuses to offer any tour plans on sexual exploitation of children and adolescents, and any type of sexual exploitation practice in general, across the promotional touristic programs and on touristic plans, expressed or surreptitiously.
- Birds Colombia refrains from providing information to tourists, either directly or imposed by someone about the places where commercial sexual exploitation of children and adolescents is coordinated or even practiced.
- Birds Colombia refuses to drive tourists, either directly or imposed by a third party, to establishments or places where commercial sexual exploitation of children is practiced, as well as to drive children to places wherever tourists are hosted, even if its on boats anchored out sea, with the intent of any commercial sexual exploitation of children and adolescents.
- Birds Colombia refuses to lease or lend vehicles during touristic routes with intent of a commercial sexual exploitation of children and adolescents, and any type of sexual exploitation practice in general.
- Prevent children and adolescents from entering hotels or lodges and hostels, bars, or any related businesses or establishments in which touristic services are provided, with the intent of exploitation acts or sexual abuse.
- Birds Colombia adopts the required measures from preventing personnel involved at any rank of the company, to offer touristic services based on sexual activity with children and adolescents, and any type of sexual exploitation practice in general.
- Birds Colombia will report to the Chamber of Commerce and other competent authorities with knowledgeable facts attained from any source, in regards to the existence of any place that is related with sexual exploitation of children and adolescents or any type of sexual exploitation practices in general and assure that proper channels exists within the company to report promptly of any issue to competent authorities.
- Birds Colombia designs and discloses within the company and with its goods and services providers, a policy in which the provider establishes preventive measures and counteracts any form of sexual exploitation of children and adolescents during travels, tourisms, and any type of sexual exploitation practice in general.
- Birds Colombia instructs all personnel involved in the company, in regards to the subject about the prevention of sexual exploitation of children and adolescents. To inform its users about the legal consequences in Colombia with the exploitation and sexual abuse of children and adolescents, and any type of sexual exploitation practice in general.
- Birds Colombia will inform its users about the legal consequences in Colombia with the exploitation and sexual abuse of children and adolescents, and any type of sexual exploitation practices in general.
- In development with the declaration under the article 17 of the Law 679 of 2001, the agency advice tourists how exploitation and sexual abuse towards minors in the country are criminally and administratively sanctioned based on current regulations.