Clean Travel Program – Planting trees for the benefit of all
Travel responsibly the Namibian way
As the world is becoming more environmentally conscious in realizing the carbon impact humans have on the planet, we have a responsibility towards nature and others. Tourism is responsible for around 8% of the total global C02 emission. The good news is that the trees can clean up after us. The planting of trees offsets carbon emission and helps lessen the impact of the tourism industry on global warming.
The clean travel carbon-offsetting program sponsored by the tourism industry.
The Clean Travel carbon offsetting program last week planted their first trees at two schools in Windhoek. The two schools who benefited from the program are Moreson Special School and Augustineum Secondary School.
The Clean Travel program is a partnership between Eloolo Permaculture Initiative and Tourism Supporting Conservation (TOSCO Trust) and the first carbon offset program in Namibia. Eloolo is a Namibian NGO engaged in education, food security and sustainability. TOSCO is a trust supporting and advocating for a sustainable and responsible tourism industry in Namibia. Together Eloolo and TOSCO are giving the tourism industry including their clients the opportunity to offset their carbon emissions through planting trees.
This year marks the maiden year of this innovative program. The first trees were sponsored by Eco Safaris Namibia (85 trees) and ASCO Car Hire (22 trees) also starting the next year with a lower price for the trees going to N$250 from N$450. ASCO Car Hire director Mrs. Mirela Kriess said in her address to the Moreson Special School that, “It was great to be part of the Clean Travel program and to be able to contribute to the development of Moreson Special School and their learners.
The first schools to benefit from this program were Moreson Special School and Augustineum Secondary School. Monday the 22th of October marked the first tree planting by Eloolo as part of the Clean Travel program at the Augustineum Secondary Schoolas the school aims to provide extra food and nutrition to their boarding school that has been affected by funding cuts. Mr. Rudolf Matengu, principal at Augustineum Secondary School was extremely excited about the tree planting program. Mr. Matengu also pointed out that everyone should participate to achieve the United Nations (UN) sustainable development goals which includes climate action. The school is also hoping to use this opportunity to attract sponsors for their garden and agricultural department which are in urgent need for irrigation, tools and gardening materials.
The Moreson Special School is full of energy and the learners, teachers and principal are busy creating what can only be an example to all Namibians. The Principal Mrs. Anita Kreft has big plans for the school and planting trees and creating their own composting are only a few of them. Mrs. Kreft reminded us that special needs and mentally impaired children and people also have the right to self-fulfilling occupations. Through vocational training such as brick laying, hospitality and agriculture learners can be integrated into mainstream society or continue working at Moreson and play a meaningful part in Namibia’s socio-economic activities.
Food seccurity initiative
In a move towards carbon neutral tourism, the Eloolo Permaculture Organization is also striving to improve human ecosystems to become healthy and abundant. The vision is for people to live in a healthy community supported by productive and resilient food systems through appropriate methods using Permaculture design science. Eloolo has since started school gardens as there is a need for people to understand that change is needed when it comes to food, and what better way to do it than starting with children. The chance to work with children in an educational manner gives Eloolo an extra incentive. Children are much more open to change and to learning new things than adults, therefore children can act as change makers in their own communities.
Donavan Wager and Ina-Maria Shikongo recently participated in the Kids Workshop presented by TOSCO on the 2NDof November where they where teaching kids on permaculture and doing some hands-on work. These kids have never learned about gardening or have the experience, but they were open to the learning process and were very happy to do it. This move had a huge impact o them as they went home with their first gardening seedling and they are looking forward to making their own gardens and help their families to a better future and healthy living.
Through planting trees and practicing permaculture, you help to create educational opportunities for children, build strong communities, empower each other, increase income of poor families, restore biodiversity, make the future bright for the next generation. This is just the beginning for a more and better Namibia. More and more operators, schools, organizations and communities are showing interest in joining the program.
How to be part of this initiative
Through planting trees and practicing permaculture, you help to create educational opportunities for children, build strong communities, empower each other, increase income of poor families, restore biodiversity, make the future brighter for the next generation. This is just the beginning for a more and better Namibia. More and more operators, schools, organizations and communities are showing interest in joining the program.
If you want to offer to your clients the opportunity to carbon offset their travel and get involved, please contact us :
Price for a tree : N$250
Written by Vanessa Chidembo