Dear travel community,
Thank you all for your support in 2012! Already in its first year TOSCO has been able to make a notable difference for conservation projects, as you can see in the progress report. Please also check this updated website.
Please find below:
- progress report 2012, containing the projects sponsored in 2012 and transparent financial reporting
- Brochure 2013
- Responsible travel guideliness
- 2013 Professional & Individual membership
- RESPONSIBLE TRAVEL GUIDELINES
This year, we’ll ask our members to commit themselves to “responsible travel guidelines”, to be returned completed with the renewal membership application. Tourism depends on the environment that it operates within and on good relationships with local communities. Benefits from tourism should also reach local communities whose assets, e. g. wildlife, are used by tourism. Therefore, TOSCO feels that as visitors we have a responsibility towards the places and people we visit. This is why we endeavour to introduce responsibility values and guidelines for TOSCO membership.
Please keep in mind that this is only a humble first step towards responsible tourism practices addressed to operators, experienced and inexperienced guides, self drivers… A large target that we need to embrace in totality. They are dynamic and require the inputs you may find necessary. TOSCO is a vehicle for responsible travel and the experience of will assist in reaching that goal..
We aim to be a driving force for responsible travel in Namibia, especially on communal lands. This has been presented to WWF and NACSO. The Adventure Travel World Summit in October this year will give TOSCO a platform for promoting our responsible travel values and actions and thus adding value to our members’ profile.
- MEMBERSHIP 2013
For 2013, TOSCO has selected new projects to sponsor in cooperation with conservation organizations, like Desert Lion Conservation, IRDNC and local communities: programs 2013.
In TOSCO’s first year, already 15 tour operators have joined TOSCO, thus showing a lot of concern for Namibia’s wild places. Thank you. The members’ benefits have also been enhanced, as detailed in the brochure.
- OUR STRENGTHS ARE:
- our ability to act quickly to situations that require urgent attention, e. g. the lionproof kraal at Slangpos, the loan of a generator etc…
- our very pragmatic programs that make a real difference in the field
- the fact that TOSCO Trust’s donors are considered to be members who can participate in project selection (you are welcome to make suggestions)
- the very transparent, use of funds e. g. through the progress report and funds management table
In 2013 we need your support more than before, especially with the drought exacerbating conflicts around waterholes.
You can renew your membership by returning the attached form (Professional or Individual).
A get together sundowner is in preparation for June to celebrate the first successful year and present the new one! TOSCO’s team is also getting bigger and it will be the opportunity to meet everyone. We hope to see you there!
Yours in conservation,
The satellite collar provided by TOSCO to the Desert Lion Conservation on the 24/12/2012 was fitted to Xpl-70 – a lioness of the Okongwe Pride – on 17 Feb 2013. The daily movements of Xpl-70 can be viewed on the Desert Lion website under the Hoanib Pride (along with the movements of “Rosh” Xpl-73): http://www.desertlion.info/gpscollars/gps_73.html.
This will significantly anticipate local conflict with communities and make a real positive difference on the field.
XPL-70 after the collar fitting
1 female satellite collar and 5 camera traps sponsored
- Shortly after the tragic event in Puros which led to the demise of the remaining Hoaruseb lion pride, we thought that in order to prevent similar future events. It became clear that the provision of suitable radio and satellite collars would play a vital role to better understand lion behavior.
- The satellite collars could also play a role as an early warning system for the farmers and herdsmen in areas that were prone to human-predator conflict as a result of lions killing livestock as a source of food. The decision to consider Africa Wildlife Tracking as a local supplier of collars also seems to have greater benefits in that the products appear to be reliable, they are more economical and with an already closely established association between the manufacturers and Dr Stander, the products can be maintained and adjusted to suit the required needs according to the different circumstances.
- This generous contribution will therefore be another major boost for the project in that it has enabled the purchase of a new satellite collar as well as pre-paid air time for 2 years. Dr Stander will identify an appropriate lioness posing a potential threat to the livelihood of the farmers and by attaching your collar, this will hopefully avert the inevitable livestock losses and subsequent elimination of the desert adapted lions as the necessary precautionary steps can be put into place in time to prevent these.
Thank you for helping to protect our lions.
You can follow the movements of various lion prides on a daily basis and much more by connecting to www.desertlion.info
- Research findings indicate that the lions move between the Huab and Springbok Rivers, and possibly as far south as the Ugab River. The lions have not yet identified with the “stable” food source of the livestock (e.g. becoming habitual “problem lions”). But, if something is not done soon to protect the livestock from the lions and they continue killing livestock, the lions will become habitual livestock killers.
- In the Huab River, Torra Conservancy, an opportunity has presented itself for a novel approach to address all the above mentioned points in an effort to solve a HLC problem, save the lions from being shot and promote the tourism value of lions.
- Part of this approach is the necessity of building a lion proof kraal to protect the cattle that TOSCO has organized
- This is not a standard approach that has been tried and tested. It is a novel idea to address a Human Wildlife Conflict problem by involving all the interested parties: the local community, the tourism industry and a local research project.
If it succeeds the program could potentially become a blue-print that can be implemented elsewhere in the Kunene Region.
11 boards sponsored
- Tourism is an important industry in Namibia and has even been suggested as playing a fundamental part of wildlife conservation and rural development. However, uncontrolled tourism could potentially damage the industry and spoil the very product that it is based on.
- Namibian and Non-Namibian registered vehicles illegally enter sensitive areas like the Skeleton Coast Park on an alarmingly regular basis. The vehicles do not follow the existing roads and leave damaging tracks on sensitive gravel plains that will be visible for many years to come.
- When caught driving illegally in restricted areas, transgressors often claim that they are lost.
4 lion guards salaris, 4 tents, 2 torches sponsored
1 laptop donated to Sesfontein Conservancy for lion follow up through satellite collar on desertlion.info
- This year’s very poor rainfall in the west of Kunene Region has dramatically increased the potential for conflict between stockowners and lions in conservancies
- The immediate problems are at Elephantsong in the Hoanib valley and in the Gomatum valley near Purros.
- The only areas that still contain some grazing are in these areas of high potential conflict. People have no choice but to take their livestock into these two areas. After much discussion, it was decided to assist the communities by providing several paid lion guards at these sites. Their duties would be to monitor the lions in these areas and to serve as early warning. This is seen as a short term venture and will be evaluated after six months. It is likely that some rain will have fallen by then and the situation will have changed.
2 000 brochures printed
- Distributed to 2 car rental companies members of TOSCO:
- Included in the “Brochures Namibia self-drive package“
- Distributed to guides who will hand them to self-drivers met on tour
More available on request