Wolwedans, which opened its very first camp (Dune Camp) exactly 25 years ago in 1995, is proud to announce that Wolwedans Dunes Camp recently walked away with the annual Responsible Tourism Awards (RTA’s) 2019 in the accommodation category at this year’s Tourism Expo presented by the Minister of Tourism, Hon. Mr. Pohamba Shifeta.
The award was received by Sustainability Coordinator, Jason Nengola, who worked with the Operations team tirelessly to introduce both the Eco Awards and the Responsible Tourism Awards assessors to the Wolwedans Waste Management protocols.
The awards theme for the year was ‘recycling’ where re-using, up-cycling and minimizing waste were paramount in the criteria used for assessment during the Eco Awards of Namibia 2019, a pre-requisite to the entries criteria for the acclaimed RTA’s.
During the Eco Awards assessment, not only did Wolwedans’ camps and lodges receive the highest score in each category of waste and water management for each camp (99%), the group was also awarded the first-ever 5 Green Flowers award, overall – presented to acknowledge the achievement of immeasurably high scores in all categories – especially in waste management.
Having partnered with the Recycle Forum of Namibia, and being a member of the internationally represented Long Run (as a GER certified founding member), the work being done by the Wolwedans Group and The Wolwedans Foundation is a long term commitment to managing our carbon footprint, reducing, reusing and recycling, where up-cycling has become a dominant theme for our 2020 – 2023, planning period.
Wolwedans has introduced the BottleBrick Initiative, the Fire-lighter Initiative, a home-made Jenga Blocks Initiative and continued their work fixing and repairing chairs from the Maltahohe communities middle and secondary schools. Their female carpenters play an integral part in this process, assisting us to find creative ways to up-cycle our wood off-cuts, while the wormery, piggery, and organic garden take care of the organic waste produced.
Turning trash to treasure and entering the shabby chic manufacturing market are some bold ideas that Wolwedans has, that will hopefully influence other tourism and hospitality establishments to prioritize sustainable material use and general conservation, of both land and waste production.
Although there is still a long way to go, the Responsible Tourism Award highlights the achievements in this special jubilee year and paves a clear way forward for our sustainable tourism journey goals.
As Wolwedans prepares for the second part of 2019, they look forward to completing their renovations and introducing more and more tourists and travelers to the Wolwedans Way, which exists to inspire. The desert-based economy continues to diversify its waste management protocols, looking to bio-gas, improved grey and black water treatment facilities as well as increasing solar water-heating facilities. Every single one of Wolwedans partners and employees is excited at the prospect and challenge of becoming better and better, one step at a time.