September under the banner of sustainability - News - Gondwana Collection

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September under the banner of sustainability

Avatar of inke inke - 02. September 2019 - Gondwana Collection, Tourism

The latest Gondwana lodge, The Desert Grace, was built using a unique environmentally-friendly construction method: sandbags that were filled on site. The natural building material has excellent sound and thermal insulation qualities.

Inke Stoldt

Gigantic forest fires in the Amazon threaten the "green lung of the world"; maritime life in our oceans die from plastic waste; catastrophic floods and droughts claim human lives...  The ecological equilibrium of our planet is in jeopardy. No wonder that the magic word "sustainability" is suddenly on everyone's lips. It’s time to rethink and find a new approach to life in order to keep our world in balance for future generations. Gondwana Collection Namibia was, however, founded on the basis of sustainability more than 20 years ago.

Four deserts meet and interlink in southern Namibia. Despite the arid conditions and sparse vegetation, most of the land has been used for decades for livestock farming. However, when tourism started to pick up after independence in 1990, the hospitality industry became an alternative prospect. A higher income is generated from beds than from goats and sheep, more and better jobs are created, and one of Namibia’s most remarkable assets, its spectacular and rugged natural beauty, is conserved and celebrated.

A very rare black-footed cat was discovered in the Gondwana Canyon Park recently. The detection of this shy cat is a compliment to Gondwana’s conservation efforts as the last recorded sighting of this cat in Namibia dates back several decades.

The three pillars that support Gondwana's philosophy are tourism, nature and people. These three pillars have laid the solid foundation for our success. Without nature there are no tourists; without tourists there is no money for nature conservation and there are fewer jobs; without staff and the support of communities there would be no hospitality business and no sustained wildlife conservation.

This tripod philosophy has been implemented resolutely from the very beginning, initially in the Gondwana Canyon Park with the Canyon Lodge, established in 1996, and later in the other parks and accommodation establishments that became part of the Gondwana Collection in the past two decades. Gondwana's passion for environmental protection is further reflected in the way the accommodation facilities are built and managed.

Gondwana has from the outset been defined by a deep respect for people and the acknowledgement that we are all connected and need one another to thrive. This concept includes local communities and communal conservancies where some of our lodges are located, and also a broad-based social commitment.

Canyon Lodge was the first property of the Gondwana group and has always been run according to sustainable principles. As at most of our lodges the garden is irrigated with water from its own wastewater recycling plant.

Tourism is one of the world’s largest industries today and the fastest-growing sector. In Namibia it is also critical for regional development. The establishment of new tourism enterprises creates additional sources of income, jobs and new infrastructure, which will improve the living conditions of the local population. Sustainability is essential to the preservation of our unique natural environment and contributes to strengthening Namibia's reputation as an attractive, competitive travel destination. 

Gondwana has declared September our sustainability month. Follow us on our website and on Facebook and join us in making the world a little better.

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