|OL PEJETA WINS GLOBAL TOURISM AWARD
Ol Pejeta’s innovative approach to tourism, conservation and community wins top honours at global awards ceremony
The Ol Pejeta Conservancy is extremely proud and humbled to have won the Community Award at the 2017 Tourism for Tomorrow Awards. The Award Ceremony was held in Bangkok, Thailand last week. Ol Pejeta trounced stiff competition from resort chain Cinnamon Hotels and adventure travel tour operator, G Adventures.
Ol Pejeta’s Community Development Manager, Moses Muthoki received the award on behalf of the Conservancy.
“I dedicate this award to the staff we have at Ol Pejeta and mainly to the communities we work with, people who are very resilient…These are the people that really deserve this award. For conservation to be where we want it be it cannot happen without the participation of the community,” Moses said.
The Tourism for Tomorrow Awards recognise how tourism can create socio-economic and cultural benefits for local communities and environments – in line with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Community Award is given to organisations that use gains from their tourism activities to foster positive societal change among communities directly affected by their operations.
Richard Vigne, Ol Pejeta CEO said, “receiving this prestigious award is a fantastic not only for Ol Pejeta but Kenya in general. This award is proof that our model of working closely with communities is the only way of conserving endangered species like rhinos at scale. We feel that this model should be replicated across the world to further conservation.”
Five categories are recognised during the annual awards namely: Community Award, Destination Award, Environment Award, Innovation Award and People Award.
Ol Pejeta is a not for profit organisation that reinvests 100% of its income from tourism into conservation and community development. Through business enterprises and with the help of willing donors (both large and small), Ol Pejeta Conservancy works to develop the funding necessary to pay for our wildlife conservation work, and to support projects that benefit the people living within our neighbouring communities.
By the end of 2016, Ol Pejeta had raised and dispersed over US$ 6.5 million in support of our community development programme. We work with local government and a variety of elected community representatives across the county to identify projects that qualify for assistance from the Conservancy.
All projects are assessed on a case-by-case basis, and must contain some element of community contribution. We concentrate on the following core areas: health, education, water, agriculture and the development of community based conservation tourism ventures. Based on regular socio-economic surveys, we aim to provide the support necessary to address real needs and to make a real difference to the lives of our communities.
For more information on Ol Pejeta and our community development programme, please visit: www.olpejetaconservancy.org/community/olpejeta-communities/