Annual Sustainable Tourism Report
Tenikwa Wildlife Awareness Centre, through the very nature of its being, strives to raise awareness of the environmental impact humans have to nature, and to provide information to guests, local communities and organisations on environmentally responsible practices.
In 2011, Tenikwa embarked on an informal program to “put into practice what it preaches” through ensuring that the impact of the business on the environment is understood, and measures are taken to reduce the impact where possible.
Challenges that have been faced during the implementation of the program have been identified, and steady progress has been made. The key challenges faced include
- Reluctance and resistance to change. For example, a basic lack of understanding amongst the staff as to the reasons for recycling became apparent with our efforts to formalize our recycling initiatives.
- Cost of introducing change. With the downturn of economy, as well as an escalation of rehabilitation expenses, the cost of implementing some of the initiatives has been a prohibiting factor. Tenikwa carries the extra burden of funding the rehabilitation activities of the centre which bears heavily on available resources for projects.
Addressing the challenges has provided opportunity for raising awareness of sound sustainable practices, and forced Tenikwa to look at its expenses in an effort to ensure that unnecessary expenses are curtailed and some quick wins are achieved. The more expensive projects will need to be budgeted for.
Management has implemented some policy changes with regard to the following:
- Ensuring that products sold in the curio shop conform to IFAW recommendations wrt trade in wild animal parts. Although Tenikwa has always avoided certain curio items, such as porcupine quills, buying is now strictly monitored and choice of supplier is also evaluated on their supply ethics.
- During 2011, a sustainable environmental policy was incorporated into Tenikwa’s Policies and Procedures
- The concept of “Buy local” and supporting community crafts has been incorporated into Tenikwa’s Purchasing Policy.
- Tenikwa updated the Employment Policy to look towards sourcing staff from local communities where possible.
During 2011, the following Energy Management Initiatives were implemented:
- Low energy bulbs have replaced conventional electrical bulbs for lighting.
- Solar installations have been implemented for security, gate automation, heating in certain enclosures, electrification of certain enclosures
- The use of the solar cooker in the Teagarden has been encouraged as an awareness initiative but also as a staff education project. Performance evaluation of Teagarden staff include proactive use of the solar cooker.
- Unnecessary switching on of lights has been monitored.
- Use of heaters in the hospital has been monitored.
- Energy consumption is now monitored on a monthly basis.
During 2011, the following Waste Management Initiatives were implemented :
- Several more worm farms were created in order to cope with biodegradable waste from Tenikwa.
- The use of Leopard, Cheetah and Caracal faeces as a non-lethal method of predator and baboon control has been implemented and the faeces is provided to the community free of charge.
- A drive to recycle waste has been implemented with several recycling stations set up.
- A food-chain has been established for recoverable waste.
- Chicken waste is now frozen down and provided free of charge at the monthly pet care clinic at Kurland Village.
- Recycle Posters have been placed in all toilets as part of the awareness campaign.
- The Penguin Splash Pool Pictogram has been updated to reflect all kinds of pollution which impact Penguin populations.
- Recycled and non-recyclable waste is now monitored on a weekly basis.
During 2011, the following Water Management initiatives were implemented :
- An Osmosis system was installed at the centre in order to produce drinkable water from the water pipeline which services the facility.
- Plans have been drawn to install more water tanks in the hospital.
- Awareness Posters have been placed in all toilets at Tenikwa as part of the awareness campaign.
- Tenikwa developed and formalised an Alien Management Plan.
Tenikwa continues to provide a free monthly pet-care clinic in Kurland Village, and chicken waste is now provided as free food at the clinic to pet owners who bring their dogs for a checkup. Tenikwa also provides a free wildlife rehabilitation service to the community and Nature Conservation organisations within the region. Through the new purchasing policies implemented, Tenikwa has increased the stock of local curios in the curio shop, and purchasing patterns are now being analysed to purchase locally where feasible and where it makes business sense.
Developments and the future
Towards the end of 2011, Tenikwa took the decision to formalize their sustainable tourism program and joined Greenline for accreditation as a sustainable tourism entity. An initial assessment showed that Tenikwa has come a long way in implementing its strategy, but there still remains some projects which are needed to achieve accreditation. These, together with implementing further monitoring efforts will form the bulk of activities identified for the forthcoming year with the objective of achieving accreditation during 2012.