Botswana Ecotourism Certification System

 

Botswana is one of the few countries to set up an ecotourism system for rating lodges and camps in an effort to conserve the country’s natural resources, wildlife and cultural heritage. The Botswana Ecotourism Certification System encourages sustainable and responsible behaviour by tourism businesses in terms of environment, wildlife and people. It tries to ensure that they provide a quality eco-friendly experience to visitors to Botswana. The system uses a set of about 240 performance standards for environmental responsibility. It is built on the Botswana National Ecotourism Strategy which has five guiding principles:

  1. To minimise negative social, cultural and environmental impacts of tourism.
  2. To maximise the involvement of local communities, and bring economic benefits to them.
  3. To maximise income for conservation.
  4. To educate visitors and local people of the importance of conserving natural and cultural resources.
  5. To deliver a quality experience for tourists.

The certification looks for achievements in the areas of nature conservation, environment management, involvement with local communities and success in interpreting the environment to the visitor.

There are 3 levels of rating

Green tourism certified logo

Green

This is the entry level rating. Some efforts are being made.

Green+ tourism certified logo

Green +

This shows a mid-level attainment rating. These properties are trying hard.

Eco tourism certified logo

ECO

This is the highest level of certification. These properties are making a real difference.