Camps International Win Eco-Warrior Award
The Eco-Warrior Awards were launched by Ecotourism Kenya in 2005 as part of their drive to broaden industry understanding of responsible tourism and are assessed against four main criteria; outstanding innovation, real achievements, sustainability of the initiative and its replicability. This has to be achieved whilst respecting the environment, local people and cultures, and linking with communities to positively empower economies and promote self-sufficiency and environmental governance.
In the words of Ecotourism Kenya; ‘Camp Kenya partners, employ, buy from and build within community areas. By so doing, they achieve sustainable development by creating alternative business opportunities for the local communities to avoid sole dependence on environmentally damaging activities. Over 80 diverse projects have been developed in partnership with local communities and provide travellers with unique meaningful and influential experiences. CI have launched, supported and developed numerous community based business enterprises including Mwaluganje Elephant Sanctuary, Kaya Muhaka Sacred Forest, Small-scale bio-fuel production in Muhaka and support for Imani Women’s Group.
Camps international started in Kenya and the model has been so successful that it has been replicated in Tanzania, Zanzibar, Borneo, and Cambodia. CI intend to open in Vietnam and Uganda in 2012’.
These burgeoning initiatives amongst many others have become great sources of local employment and revenue and the overall success of this model led Ecotourism Kenya to express that Camp Kenya was the exceptional choice.
Camps International’s Chief Executive and Founder Stuart Rees Jones stated:“Most industry awards end up on a shelf in the head office....this one is being driven around the communities we work with by way of a lap of honour. We work hard to balance our company profits with profits for the planet and this means a great deal for our team and the thousands of local people who benefit from Camp Kenya”.
Ecotourism Kenya is a not-for-profit sector association directly serving more than 300 members and reaching out to hundreds more in Kenya and East Africa. Its wide range of programmes enables it to attract membership beyond the mainstream tourism industry. Since its inception in 1996, the association has been involved in a wide range of activities to promote sustainable tourism. From organizing international conferences and training workshops to developing guidelines, codes of conduct, best practices and a green certification scheme, Ecotourism Kenya has been working hard to broaden industry understanding of responsible tourism. Ecotourism Kenya has had many firsts: it was the first Ecotourism Society in Africa; the first to develop a voluntary eco-certification scheme for hotels/lodges in Africa and the first to publish a Green Directory of producers of green products and services.