Ethics and Responsible Tourism


As a member of the Royal Photographical Society and the Nature Group, I am committed to abide by the Nature Photographers code of practice. Produced by the Nature Group of the Royal Photographic Society.

There is one hard and fast rule, whose spirit must be observed at all times.

The welfare of the subject is more important than the images.

“Photography should not be undertaken if it puts the subject at risk. Risk to the subject, in this context, means risk of disturbance, physical damage, causing anxiety, consequential predation, and lessened

reproductive success.

Photography may be seen as a criminal offence with relation to some species, since disturbance will be occasioned.

Many species are afforded special legal protection. The Law as it affects nature photography must be observed. For Great Britain the main legislation is listed at the end of this leaflet. In other countries one

should find out in advance any restrictions that apply.

Apparent lax or absence of local legislation should not lead any photographer to relax his/her own high standard” 

For full details refer to the standard itself ;   RPS Ethical Standards

Guidelines for sustainable tourism

Here are my Personal guidelines for sustainable tourism. I developed this simple guide for myself in a hope that others will use it. This set of guidelines has been developed from a variety of other guides to develop a guide that is useful, understandable and achievable.

Personal Guidelines

  • Informed

Look out for your own safety and that of others you are with. Know how to access medical care. Select tour operators that are ethical and try to protect the Culture and environment in which it operates.

  • Respect

Respect the people and places you are visiting and make yourself aware of laws that are different to yours. Respect human rights and do not give money to beggars, even if they are children. Research local projects instead. Take photos and not protected artefacts or wildlife. Observe local customs etiquette and dress codes.

  • Culture

Research your destination to understand traditions, social conditions and local customs that may be different from your own. Try to learn a few phrases of the local language that will help you connect with local people.

  • Economy

Buy locally made souvenirs and products and pay a fair price. Do not buy counterfeit or prohibited products. Hire guides who are local and knowledgeable.

  • Environment

Look after the locality as if it were your own. Take away all of your rubbish and more if you find it. Take a reusable shopping bag and say no to plastic in all forms. Take your own drinking bottles and refill rather than buy bottled water. Access places only open to visitors.

  • Wildlife

Do not support any practices that exploit, or have a negative impact on animal welfare. Consider the 5 freedoms that should be available to all animals. Freedom to, eat & drink; not suffer discomfort; not suffer; express normal behaviour; be free from fear and distress.

  • Photography

Only take photos of people or in places where you have permission. Don’t take photos of secret or military places. Wildlife photos must not be taken where the welfare of the subject and environment will be disturbed or damaged.