Media & Press Releases

Wilderness Safaris Participates in UNWTO International Symposium in Kasane

Dec 15, 2017 | Wilderness Safaris

December 2017 – Wilderness Safaris recently participated in the 10 Year Framework of Programmes (10YFP) Sustainable Tourism Programme’s International Symposium and Annual Conference on Empowering Tourism Destinations’ Sustainability through Innovation which took place in Kasane, Botswana, from 7 – 9 December 2017.

Hosted by the Botswana Tourism Organisation (BTO) in collaboration with the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), the conference provided a platform for participants to analyse the progress and priorities of the 10YFP on Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) Patterns. It was attended by industry specialists, academics, government officials and the public.

“Tourism is one of the largest and fastest growing industries in the world and as it continues to grow it is our responsibility to ensure that it is practiced in a sustainable manner that will not deplete our natural resources and biodiversity. We need to continually look at the various ways in which we can mitigate the pressures that tourism places on wildlife and the environment and concomitantly ensure that communities benefit from conservation and tourism”, said Dr Sue Snyman, Wilderness Safaris Group Sustainability Manager. Sue co-moderated the Financing Innovation in Tourism panel discussion, with panellists from the World Bank, Global Environment Fund, amongst others, looking at promoting conservation, competitiveness, sustainability and inclusion.

This International Symposium brought together sustainable tourism and conservation experts dedicated to advancing sustainable tourism with a focus on innovative approaches, tools and techniques that accelerate SCP patterns both in developed and developing countries. This presented an opportunity for delegates to share experiences, enabling them to play an active role in shaping the needs of the programme by using collective intelligence to develop a framework of action; the Kasane Call to Action was designed to enhance international cooperation to accelerate a global shift towards a more sustainable practice of tourism.

The conference was also attended by various members of Wilderness Safaris Botswana’s sustainability team, including Cultural Ambassador and Community Relationship Manager, Lesh Moiteela, Environmental Manager, Segametsi Monnamorwa, and Conservation Manager, Kai Collins. Kai also presented on Wilderness Safaris’ 4Cs approach (Commerce, Community, Culture and Conservation) to sustainability in a session on local perspectives on sustainable development, conservation and tourism. 

“This is an important platform for Wilderness Safaris to ensure that we are not only keeping up with the best international practices in the ecotourism and conservation sectors, but encouraging our peers to do the same. The conference was attended by inspirational experts in tourism, conservation and sustainability from across the globe and together we shared experiences on a number of critical factors of the ecotourism industry, including conservation planning, circularity in tourism value chains, financing innovation in tourism and the marketing of sustainability,” commented Lesh Moiteela.

Segametsi Monnamorwa reiterated that the conference provided a great opportunity to network and enable improved knowledge and systems to continually respond to the changing needs in the luxury ecotourism space. “We are thankful to BTO and UNWTO for hosting the conference in Botswana and look forward to implementing the findings throughout our operation”, she concluded.