Congratulations to Kenya’s Eco-Warrior Award Winners!

Lion in the Masaai Mara - Image by Ahmas AlZarouni (instagram)

The winners of the 10th Eco-Warrior Award were announced during a colourful dinner held at the Leisure Lodge and Golf Resort in Diani on the 16th of October 2015. Launched by Ecotourism Kenya in 2005, the Eco-Warrior Awards honour creativity, celebrate responsible tourism practices, and inspire innovative actions to protect the environment and integrate local people into the business of tourism.

A total of 7 winners and 2 Judges Recognition were announced in the following categories of the 2015 Eco-Warrior Award:

2015 Ecotourism Community Conservancy of the Year Winner: Naboisho Conservancy
Naboisho Conservancy was recognized for their innovative approach in conserving and protecting wildlife areas while making conservation economically beneficial to the community through sustainable tourism practices.

2015 Ecotourism Community-Owned Enterprise of the Year Winner: Ngare Ndare Forest Trust
Ngare Ndare was recognized for their role in the establishment of a public/private partnership between the local community and the Kenya Forest Service. The initiative has made conservation economically viable to the local community.

2015 Ecotourism Tour Operator of the Year Winner: Gamewatchers Safaris
The 2015 Eco Warrior Award judges recognized Gamewatchers Safaris for their excellent approach to conserve and protect wildlife areas through partnership formed with the local communities.

2015 Ecotourism Safari Airline of the Year Winner: Safarilink Aviation
Safarilink Aviation was recognized for their diverse conservation projects where they demonstrated a well-structured project funding policy. Some of the projects that they fund include Lewa, Colubus Trust and tree planting initiatives with Mt. Kenya Trust.

2015 Ecotourism Eco-rated Hotel of the Year winner: Baobab Beach Resort and Spa, Diani
The award recognized Baobab Beach Resort and Spa for their outstanding documentation and implementation of suitability practices through a clear policy with targets on their sustainability investments.

2015 Ecotourism Eco-rated Tented Camp of the Year Winner: Tortilis Camp
Tortilis Camp was recognized for its commitment to sound environmental practices, conservation and creation of opportunities for improved livelihood of the local community.

2015 Ecotourism Eco-rated Lodge of the Year Winner: Sirikoi Lodge
Eco-friendly Sirikoi was recognized for among other sustainability practices, its innovative ways in community and staff empowerment, well-documented impacts of conservation investments and a clear policy that guides their sustainability initiatives with a target.

2015 Ecotourism Private Conservancy of the Year: Ol Pejeta Conservancy – Judge’s Award
The Ol Pejeta Conservancy works to conserve wildlife, provide a sanctuary for great apes, and to generate income through wildlife tourism and complementary enterprises for re-investment in conservation and communities. Today, Ol Pejeta is the largest black rhino sanctuary in east Africa, and home to three of the world’s last remaining northern white rhino. It is the only place in Kenya to see chimpanzees, in a Sanctuary established to rehabilitate animals rescued from the black market. It has some of the highest predator densities in Kenya, and still manages a very successful livestock programme. Ol Pejeta also seeks to support the people living around its borders, to ensure wildlife conservation translates to better education, healthcare and infrastructure for the next generation of wildlife guardians.

2015 Tourism Training Institute of the Year: Amboseli Institute of Hospitality and Technology – Judge’s Award
Amboseli Institute of Hospitality and Technology is a middle level institution that was established in 1996 on a foundation of commitment to quality and excellence. Being in a dynamic hospitality and tourism industry, the institution has to remain focused and flexible in order to maintain market leadership and quality.

It’s fantastic to see so many Kenyan tourism partners invested in eco-tourism. ACTS Africa salutes you!

Feature image by Ahmas AlZarouni (instagram)

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