Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Botswana committed to ecotourism

The importance of Botswana’s natural resources, biodiversity and cultural heritage was recognised the government in 2002 with the conception of the country’s National Ecotourism Strategy, a framework that positions Botswana as a leading sustainable tourism destination and has resulted in the development of the Botswana Ecotourism Certification System, a voluntary, tourism industry-wide program run by Botswana Tourism.

The Botswana Ecotourism Certification System, outlining more than 240 performance standards, is designed to encourage and support responsible environmental, social, and cultural behavior by tourism businesses, and to provide a quality, eco-friendly product to consumers. This comprehensive, three-tier system enables companies of all sizes to attain the entry level of 'Green' certification. From there, companies may continue to evolve their operations to the 'Green+' level and finally to the 'Eco' level of certification. This highest level of certification acknowledges the full spectrum of ecotourism, including involvement with local communities in tourism development, nature conservation, environment management, and interpretation of the surrounding environment to the guest.

The private sector of Botswana’s tourism industry has embraced this voluntary program. Since its inception in late 2010, the number of Botswana eco-certified camps and lodges has grown to a total of 15 properties. Thirteen of the 15 properties have attained 'Eco' status, the highest certification level: Banoka Bush Camp, Chobe Game Lodge, Jao Camp, Kalahari Plains Camp, Kwetsani Camp, Little Vumbura Camp, Savuti Camp, Xigera Camp, Zafara Camp, Jacana Camp, Meno A Kwena Tented Camp, Mombo Camp; Camp Kalahari and Tubu Tree Camp have attained 'Green+' certification, the mid-level certification; with Vumbura Plains Camp attaining 'Green', or entry level, certification.

Read more here.

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