Ecotourism Kenya, in conjunction with other stakeholders in the tourism industry, has developed Green Destinations Guidelines to safeguard resources.
Funded by the African Wildlife Fund (AWF) and the Netherlands embassy, Ecotourism Kenya project has come up with the guidelines, which borrow, from the Global Sustainable Tourism Council but they have been tailored to suit the local context. The guidelines have gone through several drafts, previews, a pilot project and are currently at the validation stage.
Uncontrolled tourism activities lead to pollution, environmental degradation and cause permanent damage to the natural ecosystems. “Our concern is to manage natural resources with present and future impacts in mind. We would like to conserve the environment to ensure that tourism thrives even in future generations,” said Ecotourism Kenya Chief Executive Officer, Grace Nderitu during the Green Destinations Guidelines validation workshop at AWF headquarters last week.
National parks, forests, beaches and conservancies are some of the destinations targeted by these guidelines. Once they are validated, the guidelines will be administered by Ecotourism Kenya. Eco Tourism Kenya also plans to partner with the county governments to implement the guidelines as they are directly involved in the running of tourism in the counties.
The destinations will be invited to apply and if they meet the set standards they shall earn recognition as early adopters. These guidelines are seen as a step in the right direction for the Kenyan tourism industry as a way of combating climate change and giving tourism posterity.