Visit National Geographic Society to learn how you can get involved.

National Geographic Society

The National Geographic Society is one of the world's largest non-profit scientific and educational organizations and is dedicated to inspiring people to care about the planet. Since its founding in 1888 the Society has funded more than 9,000 scientific research, conservation, and exploration projects around the globe. National Geographic currently supports more than 350 people and projects annually, and develops conservation, exploration, and education initiatives around major issues, such as language and culture loss and the establishment of sustainable tourism in authentic places. These efforts and their results are communicated through National Geographic magazine and other media to an audience of more than 325 million people around the world each month.

Some examples of National Geographic's work to sustain cultures, habitats and heritage include the Society's Center for Sustainable Destinations, The Enduring Voices Program, Photo Camp, The All Roads Project and the Genographic Legacy Fund.

  • The Center for Sustainable Destinations works to protect all the world's distinctive places through wisely managed tourism and enlightened destination stewardship. Sustainable tourism is defined as "tourism that sustains or enhances the distinctive geographical character of a place - its environment, heritage, aesthetics, culture and the well-being of its residents." The Center provides guidance for localities and governments seeking to implement geotourism strategies. Recent initiatives have focused on such destinations as Guatemala, Norway, Rhode Island and Polynesia's Cook Islands.
  • The Enduring Voices Program: Some 7,000 distinct languages are spoken in the world today, and one of them dies about every two weeks. Through National Geographic's Enduring Voices Program, researchers are travelling to the hotspots around the world to interview the last speakers of languages in critical condition. The project seeks to help revitalize these languages by recording them and by providing to the language speakers means of documenting their languages.
  • Photo Camp provides life-changing opportunities for youth from underserved and indigenous communities to reconnect with their surroundings as they develop skills in photojournalism and learn to explore their own communities in new and meaningful ways. National Geographic photographers guide and mentor the youth as they shoot, edit and design a portrait of their surroundings. Recent camps have taken place in locations ranging from the Appalachian Trail, San Francisco and New Orleans in the U.S. to Costa Rica, Mexico, and Uganda internationally.
  • The All Roads Project provides a global platform for indigenous and under-represented minority-culture filmmakers and photographers around the world to showcase their talents and teach a broader audience about their cultures. The project includes a film festival, photography exhibit, and a seed grant and fellowship program to help filmmakers finance their storytelling projects.
  • The Genographic Legacy Fund was created to establish a positive and ongoing legacy for the Genographic Project, while empowering indigenous and traditional peoples and raising global awareness of the challenges and pressure facing these communities. The Genographic Legacy Fund supports cultural conservation and revitalization programs for indigenous and traditional communities around the world.
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