Tag Archive for: SDG

El Karama Eco Lodge was this year’s Ecowarrior of Sustainable Development Goal 12; Ensuring sustainable consumption and production patterns.

El Karama is situated centrally within Laikipia District, in the 40,000 square Km Ewaso ecosystem that boasts more diversity of fauna and flora than any other region in Kenya. El Karama Eco Lodge is based on a private 14,000 acre ranch where conservation is a primary concern. We offer an intimate wilderness experience for the wildlife connoisseur

El Karama which shortlisted together with Kilima Camp and Rekero Camp during the 12th Ecowarrior Award. The award this time round, the Eco-Warrior Award had been altered to be in sync with the 2017 UNWTO Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development and the WTM and Africa Responsible Tourism Awards. The award therefore focused on how tourism businesses in Kenya are contributing to the uptake of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)

In their application El Karama Lodge had the following to share about their consumption of natural resources like energy and water. They also shared on efforts implemented in order to reduce the adverse effects of solid waste on the natural environment.

Water and Energy Consumption

The eco lodge use of 100 percent solar energy for all our operations including warming Eco pool. With up to 100,000 litres of stored rain water and 1.5 million litres of stored water for operations, the facility owns 6 working dams on the property. For monitoring purposes, 6 water metres are installed and records taken of consumption. The eco lodge makes use of Paraben free natural soaps and natural rock and sand filtering systems for grey water. Indigenous trees are planted to utilize the recycled grey water. El Karama Lodge has a dual flash system in all its toilets to cater for different needs; Short and long flushing systems. This minimizes on the water consumption. the lodge is a Chemical free swimming pool that uses neither salt nor chlorine hence pioneering use of Eco smarts technology.  The lodge uses the same system to clean up tap water. Low level solar powered LED lighting for minimal light pollution are installed in the compound. The lodge Use of Eco jiko’s for all cooking powered by Eco charcoal made from pruning the lodge compound trees. The briquettes are prepared in the facility.

Waste Management

The lodge possesses a reduce reuse recycle policy which sees them Recycling and reusing some solid waste like wine bottles and plastic containers. The eco lodge is a plastic bottles free area, they filter and use rain water harvested. They are part of the throttle the bottle campaign as a means of distributing drinking water in an environmentally friendly manner. They are implementing the plastic bags ban by using several alternatives like cardboard boxes, crates or permanent baskets. They monitor waste generation by separating solid waste at source in the various categories using well labeled bins then weigh to set use conservation targets. The waste is also composted, recycled and incinerated appropriately. Soft furnishings are recycled materials from Mitumba; designed and crated by art collective in Nanyuki. The garden is chemical and pesticide free in order to protect pollinators like bees and use drip irrigation to reduce water consumption.  This is done in the effort to reduce carbon emissions as a result of transportation.

The judges’ take; The applicant has set up an environmentally sustainable & replicable operation that delivers not only social and environmental benefits, but delivers monetary benefits to community. Their approach touches on more than 5 SDGs addressing poverty, quality education, good health, climate action, decent work and sustainable production and consumption

Kenya celebrated the 2017 UNWTO World Tourism Day on 27th September 2017 by showcasing the innovative leaders in sustainable tourism that were recognized in an Eco Warrior Award Gala dinner theme Magical Night Experience. Serena Beach Resort & Spa emerged the winner of SDG14 which is; Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.

Serena Beach Resort & Spa (SBRS) which is under Serena Hotels, offers quality accommodation, conference and holiday solutions in an up-market resort. The facility therefore promotes tourism potential, serves as an economic engine, pioneers for development and growth in remote or neglected areas, and is committed to developing human resources and a good steward of the environment.

Serena Beach Resort & Spa is located in on Shanzu Beach just 30 kilometers from the city of Mombasa. It is among the Serena Hotels that has benefiting from the tourism arm of the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED). Serena is involved in several activities to ensure the protection of the ocean and its inhabitants.

Community Based Sea Turtle Conservation

The project has turned a group of fishermen previously all turtle egg poachers as turtle nest protectors and they patrol the beaches 24/7 to protect the turtle nests in-situ. The fishermen have gone through various awareness levels to reach this level.

Through the project, Serena hotels advised them to form a self-help group known as “Kamukunji Self-Help Group”. Fishermen who participate in reporting and protecting nests are paid, thus increasing their income and benefitting their families. Some have been able to send their children to school and improve overall livelihood.

SBRS also purchased 2 Chest Freezers and installed electricity for the local fishermen who support the Project. This has helped them receive a better yield for their fish farming activities as this prevents their catch from getting spoiled.

SBRS has engaged other partners e.g. World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Ocean Sole, Kenya Marine Services, Kuruitu community to ensure modern fishing methods are used by the fishermen and overall awareness of importance of sea turtles is enhanced.

Nest Monitoring

Since inception, 407 sea turtle nests (320 Green, 46 Hawksbill and 41 Olive Ridley) have been reported. 52,524 eggs have so far been secured, with 43,691 turtle hatchlings (83%) released into the Indian Ocean.


SBRS offers weekly lectures on turtle conservation to guests by a resident naturalist on site. SBRS offers environmental training to staff and the communities around to create understanding on the importance of environmental responsibility.

The judges’ comments:

The applicant’s project supports marine conservation by protecting sea turtles (Programs/ innovation for supporting conservation of aquatic ecosystems and threatened species) through supporting fishermen previously poaching sea turtles. They are supported to engage in alternative fishing activities, protect nesting areas, marine patrols and maintenance of a sea turtle hatchery. The project assists with the monitoring of endangered green turtles and critically endangered hawksbill and leatherback turtle species, contributing to the long-term conservation of these species

The ocean with its many uses, gets challenges in equal measure. For instance, agrochemicals used on land, plastic products carelessly discarded and sometimes unmanaged sewage ends up in the ocean. Great discipline and commitment to ensure this great ecosystem is safeguarded for maximum productivity of habitats like corals and mangroves.