Protecting endangered birds in the Galapagos, cleaning a beach in remote Svalbard, and engaging citizen science to study humpback whales and leopard seals in Antarctica are a few of the environmental projects that have recently received support from the Hurtigruten Foundation.
The adventure travel company Hurtigruten Group’s Foundation—a collaboration between the company, its guests, partners, and private donors—has awarded its final grants for 2022, with funds distributed toward projects such as protecting endangered birds in the Galapagos Islands and beach clean-up efforts in Svalbard, Norway.
The Oslo-based company, which operates expedition cruises and land-based activities in remote destinations, has committed to supporting environmental initiatives in the areas in which it operates and has called for more organisations to apply in the future.
“We’re truly showing the global scope of our commitments with this latest round of grants, with projects spanning from Svalbard and Galapagos to mainland Norway, Alaska, and Antarctica”, said Hurtigruten Foundation Managing Director, Henrik A. Lund. “Every donation is targeted towards concrete, science-based local efforts to protect places and wildlife with urgent needs, and secure a tangible, positive impact.”
Ecuadorian organisation Fundación de Conservación Jocotoco was awarded a grant in the latest round, for its project to preserve nesting sites of the critically endangered Petrel birds on San Cristobal Island in the Galapagos archipelago. Fundación Jocotoco CEO Martin Schaefer said that the support was an “essential” component of the breeding programme, which sees planting native trees to restore habitats.
Closer to Hurtigruten HQ, in the Arctic region of Svalbard, Prosjekt Isfjorden is a beach cleaning effort centred on one of Norway’s largest Fjords being led by Aktiv i Friluft, which has also received a grant from the foundation. Lund commented that the organisation specialises in reaching remote parts of the landscape.
“This is precisely the type of project we love to support, where funds are allocated towards efforts that are ambitious, challenging, and necessary. This is not the first time we’ve supported the organisation, and our renewed donations demonstrate the faith we have in their ability to get the job done”, he said.
Other grant recipients include Bruktikken Longyearbyen, a volunteer second-hand store on Svalbard; Charles Darwin Foundation, which conducts population studies of the waved albatross in the Galapagos; Lofotrådet, which undertakes ecosystem accounting in Lofoten, Norway; the Prince William Sound Science Center, to study prevent plastic ingestion by migrant shorebirds in Alaska; Tarevokterne, which is restoring kelp forests in Northern Norway; and the Universidad de Los Andes, which is engaging adventurer travellers in citizen science to study humpback whales and leopard seals in Antarctica.
The application closing date for Hurtigruten Foundation’s next funding round is 1 May 2023.