4Cs are a set of four core dimensions—conservation, community, culture, and commerce—whose balance is at the heart of achieving ecosphere safety and sustainability. These four dimensions also comprise a quadruple bottom line approach towards the Global Ecosphere Retreats (G.E.R.) certification of Long Run Destinations.


4keys are a set of four key principles (Fair, Honest, Positive, Creative) that guide both the Foundation’s and the Long Run’s work and vision.

Agriculture/ Horticulture

Agriculture/ Horticulture as a sustainable practice seeks to maximise the production of goods through growing and cultivating plants (among other specialities such as animal husbandry) while minimising negative impacts on the environment and maintaining profitability and community prosperity. Poor agricultural practices have large environmental footprints, resulting in pollution and depletion of water sources. Sustainable agriculture and horticulture strives to achieve minimal water pollution, soil erosion, and waste production while conserving wildlife and their habitats, ensuring sustainable land use.

Baseline Information Studies

Baseline Information Studies are studies and/or work done to collect and interpret information on the condition of an existing environment.


Biodiversity is the number, variety, and genetic variation of different organisms found within a specified geographic region.

Capacity Building

Capacity Building refers to the process of developing and strengthening the skills, abilities, networks and resources that institutions, communities and individuals need to survive, thrive and adapt in a fast changing world. It encompasses the range of expertise required for the implementation of integrated management structures (whether with regards to renewable energy, biodiversity, tourism, or others), including establishing appropriate policy and strategy, regulatory and operational frameworks, processes and mechanisms.

Carbon Impact Reduction

Carbon Impact Reduction signifies a wide range of activities that reduce the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere. Such reduction can be achieved through moving away from fossil fuels, significant improvements in energy efficiency (such as utilising renewable energy sources), and re-evaluating economic systems to reward carbon offsets. Carbon impact reduction is crucial to sustainability.

Carbon Offsets

Carbon Offsets are financial instruments or credits that represent reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, measured in metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2). One carbon offset represents the reduction of one metric ton of carbon dioxide. organisations, businesses, individuals and governments purchase carbon offsets to neutralise their greenhouse gas emissions caused by transportation, electricity consumption, travel and other sources.


Creative – one of the 4keys – means imaginative. It means thinking outside the box. Being creative means finding a way around a problem, rather than stopping when the walls are too high. It means looking at new ways, listening to new ideas and trying new strategies. It means striving for the most innovative solution because just being good enough is never good enough.


Ecodiversity refers to the holistic sum of interdependent relationships between living and non-living things, forces, energies and climatic factors that comprise the Ecosphere. Food security, vulnerability to natural disasters, access to clean water and raw materials, energy security, health (human, plant, and animal), and social relations all rely on ecodiversity and its preservation across the planet.


Ecosphere is a term that refers to the regions of the Earth that are capable of supporting life, together with the ecosystems they contain.

Ecosphere Safety

Ecosphere Safety refers to safeguarding the Earth’s ecosphere as an interdependent and global collective. In the context of a Long Run Destination, ecosphere safety refers to achieving and securing a sustainable balance of conservation, community, culture and commerce.


Ecosystem is the range of organisms interacting with a given environment as a functioning whole.


Ecotourism refers to those tourism practices that invite and engage with tourists, placing a special emphasis on conserving nature, building environmental awareness, minimising impact, and enhancing the lives of local people and the ecodiversity, including wildlife, within a given ecosystem.


Fair – one of the 4keys – means balanced. It means we see both sides, and resist the pressures that can push us into extreme ways of thinking, working or living. It also means we are open to all, and refuse to discriminate against people or make judgements based on gender, race, religion, political persuasion, sexual preference, or way of life. And being fair means listening as much as we talk, and giving back as much as we take.

Global Ecosphere Retreats (G.E.R.) certification

Global Ecosphere Retreats (G.E.R.) certification is a sustainability certification system founded and supported by the Zeitz Foundation. The G.E.R. certification system is a rigorous process of testing and assessments across each of the 4Cs dimensions. Through becoming G.E.R. certified, Long Run Destinations exemplify the highest standards achieved in sustainability practices in each of the following dimensions: conservation, community, culture, and commerce.


Habitat refers to the place or type of site where an organism or population naturally occurs. A habitat is where an organism lives for all or part of its life, including environments once occupied (continuously, periodically, or occasionally) by an organism or group of organisms that have the potential to be reinstated.


Honest – one of the 4keys – means sincere. It means not faking it, walking the walk as much as we talk the talk. It means putting our money, our time and our energy where our mouth is. And being honest means admitting our mistakes, and owning up to our responsibilities.

Human-Wildlife Conflict

Human-Wildlife Conflict refers to confrontations between humans and animals. Due to increases in human populations and expanding development, wildlife habitats are not only shrinking and threatened, but humans are also entering into ever more remote natural areas. The human encroachment onto wildlife habitats can bring animals into situations where they eat crops, attack livestock, destroy property, or injure people. In retaliation, many of the animals are killed. Acute human-wildlife conflicts result in the loss of human life and tangible damage to wildlife, crops, property and livestock. Chronic conflicts are characterised by non-tangible losses to livestock production, animal habitats, and ecodiversity over time.

Livestock ranching

Livestock ranching refers to the practices that recognise cattle as a sustainable source of income in many parts of the world, as well as its capacity as a natural resource management tool. Responsible livestock ranching that incorporates rotational grazing plans and maintains sustainable numbers can, among other ecological measures such as harvesting the grassland through grazing at the same rate of its natural re-growth and minimising any potential negative effects on ecodiversity.

Local and Regional Relations

Local and Regional Relations includes developing positive working relationships and ensuring effective communication not only with those communities who are an Organisation’s or enterprise’s (such as a Long Run Destination) immediate neighbors, but also with all those who are affected in some way by its activities. These relationships should be developed through existing representative institutions where possible - both formal and informal—including, but not limited to local district councils, traditional leadership, business leadership, community fora, women’s groups, youth groups and local politicians. If necessary, new mechanisms for communication should be established to facilitate the development of positive relationships in order to further common goals.

Long Run Destinations

Long Run Destinations are privately managed natural areas of conservation value with identified and valued ecodiversity that have committed themselves to the Global Ecosphere Retreats (G.E.R.) certification system. Long Run Destinations are run commercially and earn their income from tourism or other commercial activities that adhere to the highest standards in promoting social, cultural, and environmental sustainability. These Destinations exist in all parts of the world and are dedicated to developing and promoting best practices in their location and all of their endeavors.


NTFPs, or non-timber forest products, are a collection of biological resources derived from both natural and managed forests and other wooded areas specific to the particular areas from which they originate (such as. fruits, nuts, seeds, oils, spices, resins, gums, medicinal plants, and others). Gathering NTFPs can be either for personal/community usage, for commercial resale, or both.

Performance-based certification

Performance-based certification is an approach to certification that utilises a set of externally determined criteria or benchmarks – environmental, socio-cultural, and economic – to measure companies, services, or products. Performance-based systems compare and judge businesses and projects against a set of common criteria, often through an independent auditor.


Positive – one of the 4keys – means constructive. It means building things – and people – up, not breaking them down. It means suggesting rather than criticising, and working for solutions and supporting others when they try, encouraging them when they fail, and celebrating with them when they succeed. It means “we can” more often than “we can’t.”

Privately-managed natural areas

Privately-managed natural areas are land parcels of any size that are owned or leased by individuals, communal entities, private corporations, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) or other non-state actors that have rights to develop on and generate revenue from their land; predominantly, these areas, whether managed for or not-for-profit, lie outside the public sector and direct government control and play an important role in safeguarding ecodiversity.

Process-based certification

Process-based certification is an approach to certification by the setting up of environmental management systems that involves conducting baseline studies, putting together a program plan, training staff, and setting up systems for on-going monitoring and attainment of set environmental targets.


Reforestation encompasses the process by which the capacity of the land to sequester carbon is increased by replanting forest biomass in areas where forests have been previously harvested. It is the conversion of non-forested land to forested land – through planting, seeding, and/or human-induced promotion of natural seed sources – on land that once was forested but was converted to non-forested land.

Renewable Energy

Renewable Energy projects include hydro, wind, and solar power, solar hot water and biomass power, and heat production. Renewable energy projects are crucial for the long-term protection of the world’s environments, and in reducing global warming, because they help reduce negative carbon impacts on the environment while moving us away from fossil fuel-based electricity and heat production to more benign forms of energy production.

Small and Medium Enterprises (SME)

Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) signify companies that typically employ less than 250 but more than ten individuals. An additional distinction between SMEs and SMMEs (Small, Medium, and Micro Enterprises) is that the latter term takes into account “micro” enterprises, which typically employ less than ten individuals. In a development and capacity building context that addresses the role of the community, the micro-size enterprise is key in extending benefits that occur within the core business to the wider community.

Social venture

Social venture refers to activities, enterprises and structures that seek to provide sustainable solutions to meet social objectives. Social ventures are distinguished from commercial ventures in that the primacy of their objectives is to solve social problems and provide social benefits. While social ventures may generate profits, it is not the focus of the endeavours.


Stakeholders are individuals and organisations that are directly or indirectly affected by a project or enterprise. Stakeholders include those interested (e.g. owner, developer, founder, host country, host community, local population), those affected by the project or enterprise (e.g. local population, host community, environmental and human rights advocates), as well as national and international authorities.


Sustainability encompasses a long-term model (including methods, standards, and practices) of socio-cultural, environmental, and economic well-being and prosperity that is globally shared. Ultimately, and in the most positive sense, sustainability allows for responsibly meeting the needs of the present without compromising ecodiversity, ecosphere safety, or the needs of future generations.

Sustainable ecotourism

Sustainable ecotourism refers to the practices that responsibly meet the needs of tourists and host regions while protecting the environment in a sustainable way and improving the welfare of local people and wildlife within the ecosystem, without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Areas of sustainable ecotourism, such as Long Run Destinations, are where local communities, expert analysts, and other stakeholders agree that there is a net benefit from tourism. Some habitats will be judged as being too fragile or endangered to permit tourism at all, and some cultural groups may prefer to restrict or prevent tourism in areas they judge to be particularly sensitive.

Water management

Water management refers to the planning, development, distribution and optimisation practices that are used to collect, treat, reuse, and dispose of water in order to help protect the quality of the environment and the community in which the management structure exists. Water management can include treatment of water for sanitation purposes, from conservation needs to rainwater harvesting and wastewater catchment.

Waste management

Waste management is a great challenge to both industrial and developing countries at all levels, from an individual to a community and even national level. Waste management includes waste avoidance, resource recovery, and environmentally sound treatment and disposal – all of which are important to achieving sustainability.

Wildlife management

Wildlife management refers to wildlife and land use strategies designed to sustain manageable wildlife populations and natural resources. These measures contribute to ecosphere safety as economically competitive and environmentally sound forms of wildlife and land use, without threatening the sustainable population of species.