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Eco Awards recipients awarded at June 2019 HAN event

Eco Awards recipients awarded at June 2019 HAN event

Eco Awards recipients were awarded their certificates in June 2019 at the Hospitality Association of Namibia event.

From left to right: Stephanie Mohrmann (Ongava and Okonjima); Dominic Duraan (Journeys – Fish River Lodge); Bettina Frank-Schultz (Gondwana Kalahari Farmhouse); Hazel Milne (Eco Awards Namibia); Jack Chakanga (Wilderness Safaris – Skeleton Coast Hoanib Camp); Granville Maasdorp and Robin Donenburg (Am Weinberg Boutique Hotel); Jason Nott (//Huab under Canvas – Ultimate Safaris); Conny Berg (Pack Safari).

Responsible Tourism Awards 2019 winners announced at the Namibia Tourism Expo

Lara Potma of Pack Safaris, and Jason Nangolo representing Wolwedans

Photo: Lara Potma of Pack Safari, and Jason Nangolo representing Wolwedans.

The winners of the 2019 Responsible Tourism Awards (RTA) were announced at the Namibia Tourism Expo yesterday.

In the category for accommodation establishments Wolwedans Collection (Dune Camp) walked away as the winner while the runners-up were Wilderness Safaris Desert Rhino Camp and Gondwana Kalahari Anib Lodge.

Wolwedans Dune Camp provides the perfect base from which to explore vast stretches of pristine nature where guests can encounter small and large desert dwellers, intriguing flora and fascinating geology. The charm of the camp lies in its tranquil, intimate atmosphere, capturing the romance of a bygone era. During its most recent sustainability assessment by Eco Awards Namibia, Wolwedans Dune Camp scored very well – achieving full marks in the sections for Management, Conservation, Energy and Guiding – over 90% overall.

In the category for tour operators the winner was Pack Safari while the runners-up were Sense of Africa (Tourvest) and Wild Dog Safaris. Pack Safari is an established, reputable Namibian inbound tour operator with extensive experience and broad knowledge of Southern Africa. Pack Safari designs superior tours, incorporating the most inspirational places, nature and cultures that Southern Africa has to offer. Although Namibia is the heart of their operation, their expertise and passion extends past Namibia’s borders, into South Africa, Zimbabwe and Botswana. The combination of their love for places and people, and their keen dedication to unsurpassed service, ensures that each tour is unique and extraordinary. During the recent sustainability assessment by Eco Awards Namibia, Pack Safari achieved an excellent score against internationally benchmarked criteria.

The Responsible Tourism Awards, initiated by Namibia Media Holdings (NMH), aim to acknowledge and reward tourism operators in accommodation establishments who practise ecotourism in their operations as well as those who invest in the communities where they operate. The awards are linked to the Namibia Tourism Expo, an annual event which brings together tourism operators from Namibia and neighbouring countries to network and market their products and services.

Text from https://www.namibiansun.com/news/rta-winners-announced-2019-06-05

NMH announces 2019 Responsible Tourism Award finalists

2019 Responsible Tourism Award finalists
2019 Responsible Tourism Award finalists, from left to right representatives of Gondwana Anib Lodge; Wild Dog Safaris; Sense of Africa; Wilderness Safaris Desert Rhino Camp, Pack Safari and Wolwedans

Namibia Media Holdings (NMH) on the 1st of March Friday announced the finalists for the 2019 Responsible Tourism Awards (RTA) which showcase some of Namibia's top tourism establishments and operators.

The awards aim to acknowledge and reward tourism businesses who practice ecotourism in their operations as well as those who invest in the communities where they operate. The finalists all achieved top marks in the most recent Eco-Awards Assessments, especially in their waste management and recycling scores. The awards are divided into two categories, namely Accommodation Establishments and Tour Operators. The three accommodation establishment finalists are, in random order, Wolwedans Collection's Dune Camp, Wilderness Safaris' Desert Rhino Camp and the Gondwana Kalahari Anib Lodge. Pack Safari, Sense of Africa (Tourvest) and Wild Dog Safaris are the three finalists for the RTA's Tour Operator category.

The awards, initiated by NMH and assisted by Eco-Awards Namibia, are linked to the Namibia Tourism Expo (NTE), an annual event which brings together tourism operators from Namibia and neighboring countries to network and market their products and services. The RTA winners of each category will be selected during a more complex assessment process focusing on the theme of this year's NTE, namely Recycling – Think Sustainability.

The winners will be announced at the official opening of the Namibia Tourism Expo that will take place at the Windhoek show grounds on 5 June 2019.

Text from https://www.eif.org.na/post/nmh-announces-2019-rta-finalists

Photos by (top) Wiebke Schmidt; (bottom) Tanja Bause

What is the Green Five Flower Award?

During 2018, the Management Committee of Eco Awards Namibia discussed the fact that there were already over 30 Tourism Establishments which had achieved the 5 Flower Award. Following the latest criteria update, we realised that it became possible to achieve 5 flowers by doing well in criteria sections across the board, without excelling in the environmental criteria sections.

We decided that we want to give special recognition to those establishments, which, on top of achieving an overall 5 Flower award, also excel in the environmental criteria sections, namely Energy, Water, Conservation and Waste Management. The Green Five Flower Award was thus created and is only being awarded to Tourism Establishments that achieve 90% or more average in the combined 4 Environmental Criteria Sections.

The first Green 5 Flower Certificates were awarded in June 2018, to four Wolwedans establishments: Boulders Safari Camp, Dune Camp, Dunes Lodge, Private Camp.

Eco Awards recipients recognised at HAN Gala function Friday 22 June 2018

Eco Awards recipients recognised at HAN Gala function Friday 22 June 2018

Eco Awards recipients were awarded their certificates at the HAN Gala function held on Friday 22 June 2018.

From left to right: Mare Steenekamp from FNB (Eco Awards Sponsor); Hazel Milne – Program Coordinator; Claire Gall - Chameleon Backpackers and Guesthouse; Thalita Horn – NWR Sossus Dune Lodge; Thomas Skrywer – NWR Duwisib Castle; Jesaja Kohima – NWR Namib Naukluft Lodge; Ulf Grunewald on behalf of Buellsport Guest Farm; Rainholdt Stanley – Gondwana Anib Lodge and Damara Mopane Lodge; Jason Nangolo Wolwedans Collection.

World Water Day

World Water Day turns 25

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As Namibia is celebrating its 28th year of Independence, herewith a reminder that this week is dedicated to another major milestone, with the 22nd of March commemorated as World Water Day for the 25th time.

Water, as most Namibians are aware, is one of our most valuable natural resources, and while some of our regions are currently suffering flash floods and washed-away roads, Namibia's South is suffering what seems to be the worst drought in decades, with even the businesses along the banks of the now fickle Orange River called upon to save water.

Unfortunately, being part of the ‘consumer generation’ we keep on producing waste, much of it being discarded carelessly at dumpsites, from where it could end up in riverbeds, rivers, and oceans.

As part of our joint campaign of a "Cleaner Namibia", by joining hands and linking brands, Eco Awards Alliance, HAN and the Recycle Namibia Forum is working on a number of exciting projects at the moment, and befitting to the events of this week, celebrating our beautiful country and its Independence, as well as World Water Day, we decided to give you a glimpse of a campaign to be launched next week….:

May this small message make a big influence on the use of plastic straws… one of the standard,  but often superfluous items on the tables at cafes, restaurants and hotels. Apply your mind and join us to REDUCE, RE-USE and RECYCLE, where ever possible.

Some general information on World Water Day:
World Water Day, on 22 March every year, is about focusing attention on the importance of water. The theme for World Water Day 2018 is ‘Nature for Water’ – exploring nature-based solutions to the water challenges we face in the 21st century. Damaged ecosystems affect the quantity and quality of water available for human consumption. Today, 2.1 billion people live without safe drinking water at home; affecting their health, education and livelihoods.

Sustainable Development Goal 6 commits the world to ensuring that everyone has access to safe water by 2030, and includes targets on protecting the natural environment and reducing pollution.

Take action today - Wherever you are and whatever you do on March 22, make it about nature and water.

  • Every drop of water is on an endless journey through the sky, the soil and streams…through our lives…and back into nature.
  • In many places, our environment is damaged, leaving us with polluted water or no water at all.
  • Nature is green infrastructure. A system supplying us with the water we need to survive and thrive.
  • Healthy forests and fields prevent soil and chemicals being washed into rivers.
  • Lakes, wetlands and floodplains store, purify and control water.
  • This World Water Day, explore nature-based solutions to our water challenges.
  • World Water Day 2018 – The answer is in nature.

May we call on all of you to join hands to act and operate more consciously, by keeping the aim of a "Cleaner Namibia" in mind.
Small things do matter, (as per the motto of this year's Tourism Expo coming up at the end of May), - and amending your practices by reducing the use of plastic straws for instance, - could go a long way in preserving the rivers and oceans!

JOINING HANDS & LINKING BRANDSFor a cleaner Namibia 2018!!

ECO AWARDS LOGO with catchphrase.jpg   HAN30thlogo.png   recycle namibia logo.jpg

Excellent Eco Awards assessment for Kalahari Anib Lodge

At Kalahari Anib Lodge a water recycling plants provides the water for the gardens

“Congratulations!! You scored 5 Eco flowers (92%)!!” Gondwana’s environmental officer, Quintin Hartung, who accompanied the Eco Awards Namibia inspectors to Kalahari Anib Lodge in late November 2017, rejoiced with the lodge management and staff at the fantastic score.

The five desert flowers for Kalahari Anib Lodge represent a high score in terms of among others conservation and guiding, waste, pollution and sewer, staff and health, legal and NTB compliance, management, building and landscaping and social responsibility. Furthermore they are a tremendous improvement on the two desert flowers awarded in 2014. Special attention was given to environmental protection and design during the extensive construction and renovation work at Kalahari Anib Lodge in 2016. With success.

Similar to the star-rating system for tourist accommodation, the environmental initiative awards up to five flowers for sustainability. Participation in the Eco Awards is voluntary. Lodges that register for evaluation receive an extensive catalogue of possible measures for introducing eco-friendly ways to their operations. Participants are free to decide which steps they want to take. An independent evaluator inspects the lodges and sends his report to the panel who then decides on the evaluation.

Source: www.gondwana-collection.com/news/article/2018/02/21/excellent-eco-awards-assessment-for-kalahari-anib-lodge

Namibia Media Holdings invites entries for the 2018 Responsible Tourism Awards

Namibia Media Holdings invites entries for the 2018 Responsible Tourism Awards

Press release by Namibia Media Holdings:

Following the recent celebration of our 2017 RTA Winners:

  • Tourism Accommodation: Wilderness Safaris Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp, Jackalberry Tented Camp, Ongava Tented Camp and Etosha Safari Lodge,

Namibia Media Holdings invites entries for the 2018 Responsible Tourism Awards.

The winners of these prestigious awards will be selected from two entry categories:

1) Tourism Accommodation Establishments

2) Tour Operators (including car rentals, shuttles etc.)

The first pre-requisite is that all entrants MUST be registered with the Namibia Tourism Board as an individual entity.

Please also note that there need to be at least 6 entries in each category. All the qualifying Tour Operators in Namibia may enter, since there was no winner in 2017.

For the Accommodation Establishments, there will be a 3-year gap for the previous winners, which means that Nkasa Lupala Tented Lodge (2016 Winner) and Wilderness Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp (2017 Winner) will not be able to enter again this year.

Each entity who would like to be considered for this prestigious award needs to provide evidence of excellent performance, measured against the principles of sustainable tourism.

The criteria include: Sustainable Management, Natural Resources, Waste Handling, Building & Landscaping, Staff, Safety and Legal Compliance and Social Responsibility Initiatives Aimed at Poverty Eradication.

Proof of a successful routine assessment by Eco Awards Namibia (achieving at least 4 Eco-Flowers) will be the minimum entry requirement. If an establishment or operator has not yet been audited, an assessment needs to be arranged and completed by November 2017.

(More information regarding the Eco Awards Assessment can be obtained from Hazel Milne, Programme Coordinator at Eco Awards Namibia: admin@ecoawards-namibia.org).

Finalists in each category will then be selected for a more extensive evaluation, where the criteria will be based on the theme for the 2018 Tourism Expo: “Conservation – small things matter”.

There will be three winners in each category with prizes in editorial and advertorial coverage as follows:

  1. N$250,000
  2. N$150,000
  3. N$100,000

These prizes include N$100,000 in cash for community upliftment in the areas which the winners operate in.

KEY DATES

Entries for the Tour Operator awards is open until 15 November 2017.

Entries for the Accommodation Establishment Awards is open till 15 November 2017. Judging of entries will take place from end 2017 till April 2018. The three finalists in each category will be announced early in 2018. The winner in each category will be announced at the 2018 Namibia Tourism Expo.

Applications are available online: follow this link - http://bit.ly/2xaxioT

Tourismus Namibia will feature regular updates on these prestigious awards.

Issued by Maggy Mbako, maggy@nmh.com.na

Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp wins NMH Sustainable Tourism Award

The finalists of the 2017 NMH Sustainable Tourism Awards

Wilderness Safaris' Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp was announced as the winner of this year’s prestigious Responsible Tourism Awards during the opening event of the 2017 Namibia Tourism Expo.

Eco Awards Namibia selected the finalists – the entrance requirement for the competition is certification with at least 4 Eco Awards Flowers.

The finalists were:

  • Gondwana's Etosha Safari Lodge
  • Ongava Tented Camp
  • Wilderness Safaris' Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp
  • Jackalberry Camp

The final winner was then selected from a secondary assessment, with criteria based on the theme of this year's Expo – Safe Travel. Eco Awards Namibia received great exposure and recognition during the event. Hon. Minister Pohamba Shiveta handed over the prestigious award. Congratulations again to all finalists, and to Wilderness Safaris' Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp!

Damaraland Camp Wins Silver African Responsible Tourism Award

Winners!

Wilderness Safaris Damaraland Camp has won a Silver African Responsible Tourism Award (ARTA) in in the Best Accommodation for Social Inclusion category. The camp is a pioneering example of a successful joint venture between a Namibian community and leading authentic and sustainable ecotourism operator, Wilderness Safaris. This partnership has resulted in increased employment, thriving wildlife – and the hugely successful Torra Conservancy.

"We are extremely proud to have received this prestigious recognition from some of the word’s experts in responsible tourism, especially considering Damaraland Camp was the first joint venture agreement of its kind in Namibia", said Lena Florry, Wilderness Safaris Damaraland Area Manager.

According to Harold Goodwin, Chair of the ARTA judging panel, "The Gold and Silver Award winners should be particularly proud of what they have achieved; they have been recognised as being leaders in a Responsible Tourism movement where more is expected each year."

ARTA Founder and managing director of Better Tourism Africa, Heidi van der Watt, further pinpointed what made the Award winners leaders in responsible tourism in Africa: "Our winners have a vision that extends beyond the commercial – linking business success with the wellbeing of local communities and the longevity of their environments. They want to make profits with principles, communicate balance sheets alongside beliefs, and won’t undermine passion in the pursuit of professionalism. They are resilient, determined, humanising advocates for their destinations. They are the future of tourism in Africa."

Originally signed 20 years ago, Damaraland Camp's joint venture partnership gave the Torra Conservancy an equity share in the camp, as well as capital to participate in the business and build another camp. The majority of camp staff are from the community, with many of the original members having moved on to positions of responsibility elsewhere in Wilderness Safaris and the tourism industry over the years.

Thanks to this partnership and the implementation of a viable ecotourism model, around 350,000 hectares (865,000 acres) of land are under the protection of the Conservancy, wildlife populations have increased and employment is up, benefitting the local economy. There has been a shift in mind-set towards large species like elephant, rhino and lion, which are now viewed as precious resources that can bring in additional money through ecotourism when protected and conserved.

“The success of this venture led to the Torra Conservancy becoming the first self-sustaining community conservancy in Namibia; a model that has since been replicated across the country and elsewhere in Africa. Damaraland Camp and the Torra Conservancy are proof that when ecotourism and local communities join forces, the result is tangible benefit for people, a change in attitudes and an increase in wildlife numbers”, added Florry.  

Click here to see the full list of 2017 ARTA winners, or to watch an inspirational video about Damaraland Camp’s partnership with the Torra Conservancy, click here.