Promoting responsible tourism and mitigating the impact of tourism on climate change, the Clean Travel Programme offers Namibian tour operators and their clients an opportunity to offset the carbon emissions produced by their tour vehicles. By planting trees throughout the country, TOSCO in partnership with the Eloolo Permaculture Initiative aim to counterbalance
the emitted carbon dioxide of the Namibian tourism industry.
The number of trees to be planted is determined by the amount of carbon our participating members need to offset. These emissions are determined with a carbon calculator which can be calibrated to reflect the vehicle type and number of kilometers traveled.
The costs of a tree are N$ 300. 1 tree can offset approximately 100 kg of carbon, and 1 L of Diesel equals 2640 g CO2 (of which 720g Carbon and 1920g Oxygen).
An example calculation for a large/long 4×4 for a 3000 km trip: 18 litre Diesel per 100 km / 3000 km trip = 540 litre Diesel x 720g carbon = 388.8 kg of carbon.
That means there are 3.88 (so 4) trees needed to offset these emissions.
For a 3 000 km trip through Namibia it means that an SUV/4×4 (14l/100km) equals 3 trees a regular 4×4 (18l diesel/100km) equals 4 trees a Quantum minibus (18l/100km) equals 4 trees a 40 seaters bus (30l/100km) equals 7 trees.
The Programme is busy growing from a “seed” that was planted in 2018 to potentially becoming a standard in the sustainable and ecotourism industry in Namibia. Tree planting occurs during Arbor Week in October, after which follow-up visits take place to the various tree-planting sites.
Only indigenous trees are planted, to ensure the maintenance and restoration of biological diversity and reverse environmental degradation. They are part of a permaculture system to ensure their survival. Community empowerment plays an important role in identifying the planting sites. By planting trees at schools and within rural villages, communities can in turn benefit from taking care of the trees.
The fruits, medicinal properties and shade supplied by the trees, provide additional benefits for the custodians. During planting activities, tree care tips and techniques are shared with the community to ensure tree growth and survival. Current sites include Dagbreek School in Klein Windhoek and Farm Okukuna in Katutura.