Yesterday, 12 companies from the tourism sector in Botswana and Namibia launched the first learning energy efficiency network to reduce energy consumption and CO₂ emissions in the KAZA region. These companies will be supported by the implementing partners comprising the KAZA Secretariat, Botswana Tourism Organization, the Ministry of Environment and Tourism (Botswana), Namibia Tourism Organization, the Ministry of Environment, Forestry, and Tourism (Namibia), and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
Dr. Nyambe Nyambe, Executive Director of the KAZA Secretariat applauded the initiative and the tourism enterprises for their role: “Everything happening in KAZA has to be within the context of sustainable development as indicated in the KAZA vision. Tourism is not an exception. This initiative is an opportunity for participating enterprises, in their quest to operate sustainable lodges, to reflect on additional changes possible towards the attainment increased energy efficiency.”
“We applaud the action being taken by these companies here. There are technologies, practices and instruments that are proving effective in resource reduction and resource management, if these can be implemented, they cannot only reduce emissions and but help companies in cost reductions and resource efficiency” said Taboka Motlhabane, Technical Advisor under renewable energy supporting the Learning Energy Efficiency Networks (LEEN) project.
“Climate change is the result of more than a century of unsustainable energy and land use, lifestyles and patterns of consumption and production,” said Simone Micheletti, owner of the Wild waters group on the Namibian side of the Chobe, and one of the first supporters of the idea to form a network. “We live here in the KAZA region with remarkable nature and wildlife. We are therefore obliged to do everything we can to protect it.”
The intention of the learning energy efficiency network is to support participating businesses to identify, select, and implement sustainable energy solutions through the facilitation of energy consumption audits conducted by experts. Outputs of the energy audits will include costed recommendations for the implementation of measures towards reduced energy consumption and increased savings on energy spend.
Participating companies will set energy consumption targets after the initial audit phase is over, and then work together to implement profitable saving solutions. As a concept, learning energy efficiency networks have proved to be successful. In Germany there are currently over 350 running networks with more than 4,000 participating companies.
For the next two years, under the auspices of the network, companies will work together and receive technical support with respect to energy audits, training, consulting, as well as information exchanges.
Johan Bruwer, General Manager of the Chobe Game Lodge explained that the lodge has invested in energy saving measures for a number of years. This includes the use of electric-powered Land Rovers and boats, and other measures towards implementation of the lodge’s rigorous Environmental Management Plan. Located along-side the Chobe River in Chobe National Park, the lodge feels a great sense of responsibility to ensure sustainable it is operating sustainably, and minimising its footprint on the national park’s pristine natural environment. Johan Bruwer added that learning from others and sharing what already has been achieved as part of a network of peers is a positive and promising way to go.
For more information, please contact:
- Taboka Motlhabane, Technical Advisor under renewable energy supporting the Learning Energy Efficiency Networks (LEEN) project Tel: (+267) 71482517; Email: email@example.com
- Bridget Siziba, Communications and Marketing Officer. Tel (+267 625 1332 / 1269). Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Meron Estifanos, Communications Expert Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH Tel: (+267) 759 43550 Email: email@example.com