Volume 1, Number 1


Environmental aspects in Namibia with reference to the tourism and hospitality sectors
Visser, N.

The various environments in a country usually include biophysical, social, economic, cultural, historical and political components. Such components are utilised to develop accommodation and tourism businesses. All living organisms emanate from the environment, which, in turn, is the basis for all development.

There is an innate relationship between the environment and the hospitality sector; hence environmental management principles for the hospitality sector were set up by the International Hotels Environment Initiative (IHEI), which has since become the International Tourism Partnership (ITP).

In the Namibian hospitality sector a number of attractive destinations are situated in ecologically fragile areas. As a result, the Namibian government implemented an Environmental Assessment Policy to control the development of projects and to ensure that environmental impacts are kept to preset limits.

In the above context, from 1992 onwards, a number of government policy documents regulating the tourism and hospitality sectors in Namibia have seen the light.

The Namibian government is committed to setting specific guidelines to ensure that the development processes of tourism and related sectors take place according to existing ecologically friendly policies.

In the above context, the ecologically fragile Sossusvlei area contains approximately 15 accommodation establishments that contribute to a degree of environmental damage. In this context, the hotel sector contributes substantially to ecological degradation, where energy, water, food, wood and plastics are consumed. The waste products are often discarded in delicate aeas, giving rise to excessive emissions of, for example, carbon dioxide, chlorofluoro carbons (CFCs), noise, smoke and smells. This indicates that the use of water, food, wood, energy and plastics requires properly planned disposal measures that, if not dealt with appropriately, often leads to further environmental concerns.

This article deals with environmental issues relevant to tourism and hospitality, including transformation towards environmental conservation and the significance and state of environmental awareness in sub-Saharan Africa in general and Namibia in particular.

Keywords: Tourism Hospitality, Ecology, Green Revolution, Biodiversity