Inaugural Green Tourism Summit and Mazingira Awards

The inaugural Green Tourism Summit was held on 11th and 12th June 2015 at Crowne Plaza Hotel, Upper Hill Nairobi. The convener of the summit Judy Kepher Gona, rallying call was “One billion travelers – One planet – Consume with care” which was borrowed from the World Environment Day theme dubbed, “7 billion interests – One planet – Consume with care”.

The summit provided a platform aimed at challenging interactive environment for debate and learning on green development trends. The main topics included; Why embracing green is transformative leadership, Making green work for destination branding, Greening Kenya Initiative – What does it mean for Destination Kenya, Embracing Green in Hotels and Lodges, Greening Destinations in Tourism, Green Design and Green Policies.

The following areas were identified as the key emerging issues during the Green Tourism Summit: Lack of National Green Tourism Policy, need to heighten awareness on Green Tourism, lack of cohesive efforts and initiatives in Green Tourism, need to have more youth in the green agenda, steady growth in green tourism, need of have devolved green tourism planning and development.

The Mazingira Award is a new green tourism award program that showcases innovative green products, technology and services that are behind positive transformation of tourism industry towards sustainability. The award seeks to recognise and honor transformative leadership in sustainable tourism in Kenya and the region, by appreciating innovative, practical, and accessible products and services that not only minimise negative impacts from tourism operations, but create opportunities for sustainable use of resources.

The awards applicants include; Producers of innovative green products and services for tourism industry, Consumers of innovative products and services for camps/lodges and hotels, Providers of green services to tourism sector, Destinations – parks, reserves and conservancies.

The Winners of the 2015 Mazingira Awards include;

  • Energy Management Solutions: Sollatek Electronics Kenya Ltd (Innovation – Sollatek Solar Centers for Fishing Communities)

  • Waste Management Solutions: Kyamulendu Primary School (Innovation – Food and Yard Waste Plan)

  • Biodegradable Products: New Buntu Organic Detergents (Innovation – ORVFW- 200 (Organically Reducing Very Foul Waste – Below the level of 200 Micro Siemens)

  • Green Pioneer Award: Abba Self Help Group (Innovation – Restoration Of Lake Victoria Biodiversity)

  • Water Management Saving Solutions: Sorget Community Forest Association (Innovation – Bamboo Water Conservation)

The summit brought together innovators in green technology relevant for tourism, tourism businesses that are showing leadership in responsible tourism through adapting green technologies, sustainable tourism consultancy organisations and associations, tour operators, manufacturers or service providers from different parts of Kenya to learn, debate and discuss green development trends. At the end of the summit the participants agreed to put sustainability into practice.

Source: Extracts and thoughts from The Green Tourism Summit and Mazingira Awards 2015 Report