Tourism Supporting Conservation TOSCO Trust’ financial year has come to an end in February 2019. We are very excited to share our 2018 Activity Report with all of you. We are proud at all the projects TOSCO Trust has been supporting and for all the accomplishments made the past year. Thank you again to all the strategic partners, members and volunteers.
In 2018, TOSCO Trust increased its incomes by 32% in relation with the previous year. That means we fundraised 959.869,77 NAD with 45 members. That allowed us to support different programs all around Namibia; in terms of;
We sponsor recognized scientists who preserve species and give conservation recommendations to the Minister of Environment and Tourism (MET);
• Living with Wildlife;
We support people living with wildlife outside of National Parks in order to turn this threat into an opportunity for them;
• Public Awareness;
We raise public awareness about conservation matters in order to promote responsible travel in Namibia;
• Clean Travel;
We clean visible and invisible pollution during and after our safaris, from the ground to the air.
We compiled data from our research (2006-2018) along with published accounts dating back to 1975 on the desert-dwelling elephant population in our study area of Skeleton Coast National Park and western Kunene region. This includes the Hoarusib-Hoanib, and Uniab subpopulations.
The current number of resident elephants in the Hoarusib-Hoanib subpopulation is 34 (based on exact counts of known individuals). This number is down from 2017 when there was a total of 36 elephants, because two deaths occurred in 2018. In the Uniab drainage study area, all of the elephants had gone out of the study area and into the surrounding mountains following the rains, so we were not able to observe them. The estimate from 2017 of ~50 elephants remains the most current estimate.
The total for these three study areas is ~84 elephants. By comparison, Viljoen (1987) documented 86 individuals in the same area in 1981, during the height of drought and poaching.
“The 10,000NAD received from TOSCO was well spent on the fuel that is necessary to carry out this long term research and monitoring project. Thanks again, and we look forward to continued support from TOSCO as we enter into our 15th year on this project in 2019.”
“Earth has lost 50% of its wildlife in the past 40 years, only when the last of the animal’s horns, tusks, skin and bones are sold, we will realize that money can never buy our wildlife” WWF.
TOSCO’s aim and vision is to make sure Namibia never gets to that stage, by supporting conservation projects and local people who share their land with wildlife, TOSCO Trust contributes to safeguarding Namibia’s natural assets.
Spreading the conservation message and making a difference in our society.
“Art speaks where words are unable to explain.” Thread less artist Mathiole. The 29THof October marked the first Wildlife Conservation in Namibia Art-Exhibition by the Tourism Supporting Conservation Organization (TOSCO Trust). The EXPOwas a complete success in creating awareness on Namibian spectacular wildlife, the challenges of living with wildlife and the role of the tourism in the mitigation of these conflicts.
About 500 people visited the exhibition including Ministers, Diplomates, local authorities, TOSCO members, TOSCO supporters, artist, tourists, friends and many more. There was a satisfying turnout of people as well for the kids workshop, Vanishing king outdoor screening and the Craft Market. All different activities with only one goal, to create awareness about wildlife in Namibia. A complete success.
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.
Large Carnivore Management Association Says Cheetahs Are Not Pets
WINDHOEK, Namibia (14 Sept. 2018) – The keeping of cheetahs as pets or captive animals at farms and guest/hunting lodges in Namibia appears to have increased in the past couple of years as reported by several of the Large Carnivore Management Association of Namibia (LCMAN) members. Cheetahs should never be taken from the wild, and the practise is illegal according the Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET). Most captive cheetahs will inevitably be relinquished to authorities, voluntarily or involuntarily (if proper permits are not in place), and will then have to be placed with a registered organisation authorised to care for these animals. If the condition of the animal is not good, it will be destroyed.
There are a handful of organisations registered in Namibia that act as custodians for the MET and hold non-releasable cheetahs that have been confiscated. MET has strict criteria for registering large carnivore holding facilities, including animals having annual veterinary check-ups and proper enclosure structures and sizes. Additionally, large carnivores are not allowed to have free contact with people for tourism activities.
“Large carnivores, including cheetahs, do not make good pets. Cheetahs are a delicate species that can suffer from many health-related issues and require special food and care, as well as physical and mental stimulation. If they do not get this proper care, they most often get very sick”, said Dr Laurie Marker, Chair of the LCMAN, and Founder and Executive Director of Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF).
Not only is it against the law to keep a pet cheetah in Namibia, it is also detrimental to the animals. Cheetahs require very specific holding facilities and proper food (with vitamins and minerals found in a wild diet) to keep them in good health.
Tourism Supporting Conservation (TOSCO Trust) its currently looking sponsors to contributed the 72 hours Kunene Annual Full-Moon Counts.
This event is being organized and partly funded by the Natural Resources Working Group (NRWG) a collaboration between NACSO members and the Ministry of Environment and Tourism. The main count will take place around the 22 to 25 September.
Wildlife conservation in Namibia – Art-Expo by TOSCO
To raise awareness about Namibian wildlife, the challenges of living with wildlife and the role of tourism helping in the human wildlife conflicts. In the other hand we will collect funds through selling wildlife-related art pieces that help TOSCO in supporting conservation projects in Namibia.
The world’s wildlife serves as a true reminder of how wonderful and useful biodiversity is; but the contemporary status of wildlife also shows how fragile our planet is. Conservation of wildlife is important to secure the future of our planet’s biodiversity and our own future generations.
This Expo aims to make people aware of the fact that the wildlife with which we share this planet, is in danger of being lost forever. At the same time, it aims to make people aware that they can play a role in conserving it. Furthermore the expo will show the efforts that people and organizations are already undertaking to decrease these conflicts between wildlife and local communities. Part of this is the often forgotten or misunderstood perspective of the local community on the issue, as it is not easy to live with wildlife and sacrifices often have to be made.
Wow! It has been an amazing six months for the newly re-activated Lion Ranger program. At the end of 2017 our hope was to achieve limited, community-level successes focusing on information sharing concerning lion movements and potential conflict in northwest Namibia. We could not have imagined the enthusiasm from communities, government, NGOs, and the private sector to see the Lion Rangers begin operating. The drive for conserving the desert- adapted lions of northwest Namibia has never been stronger and the need to limit human-lion conflict never clearer. A program aiming to cover ~6,400 km2 across three conservancies, is poised to encompass ~20,000 km2 across eight conservancies by early next year. This expansion is due to local requests for Lion Rangers – word is spreading! The upcoming months will see the program expand its operations, engage in further on-the-ground training, provide greater levels of feedback and support to communities, and up its capacity for field-based data collection.