2nd Regional Green Tourism Summit & Mazingira Awards

The 2016 Green Tourism Summit and Mazingira Awards held on 16th and 17th June 2016 at the Sarova Panafric Hotel, Nairobi, Kenya. The Summit which also hosts the Mazingira Awards is organized and hosted by Sustainable Travel and Tourism Agenda (STTA), a Kenyan organization working to elevate dialogues around green tourism and the broader green development agenda. The overriding theme for the summit was, “The Future is Green”.

The issues addressed in the summit included; Climate change and impacts on tourism, Supply chain issues in green procurement, Blending Green and Luxury in accommodation facilities, Green spaces in cities as opportunities for healthy living and peaceful co-existence, Contemplations of Green in planned events, Securing spaces for wildlife by recognizing host communities, Hotel classification and Policy innovation for tourism sustainability.

The big issues and broad recommendations that emerged from the summit were as follows:

Patchy recognition, commitment, incorporation, harmonization and implementation of sustainable or Green practices in tourism policy, planning and practice; Ignorance or limited attention to threats of Climate change on tourism; Disparity between awareness of green / sustainable concept in tourism and practice-Green washing; Businesses translating benefits from green to appreciation for environment by host communities and travelers; Over reliance on a single tourism product and international tourists with minimal effort to diversify the product or make it more appealing for both international and domestic travelers; Local community engagement, inclusion and equitable benefit sharing in conservation areas and Positioning cities as tourism destinations.

The Winners of the 2016 Mazingira Awards include;

  1. Waste Management/Reduction Solutions: Watamu Marine Association
  2. Water Management/Saving Solutions: New Buntu Organic Detergents
  3. Environment Restoration Programs: REMS – Okundi Gulley Rehabilitation and Soil Erosion Control Project
  4. Community Environmental Education/Awareness Programs: Action for Development Kenya – Children and Environmental Learning Center

The Green Tourism Summit was a perfect platform to build a common understanding for sustainable tourism in East Africa by getting stakeholders to talk to each other. It provides opportunity for situational analysis of green tourism in the East African region and the importance of green in tourism going forward.

Source Extracts: Report of the 2nd Regional Green Tourism Summit & Mazingira Awards