CONSERVATION GETS ITS AHA MOMENT IN 2020!
Belinda Glenn, EWT Marketing and Communications Manager
The EWT and aha Hotels and Lodges have kick-started 2020 with an exciting new venture that will boost the important work being done by the EWT to save wildlife, habitats and people around Africa.
Both the EWT and aha Hotels and Lodges (aha), a division of Tourvest Holdings, share a passion for the African wilderness and our unique natural heritage, and borne out of this shared value is a new collaboration that will raise much needed funding to support conservation and community projects across Africa.
Both organisations are driven by conservation and strongly believe in the power of the tourism sector to play an instrumental role in conserving African wildlife to the benefit of all. The overlap in the organisations’ operational areas, as well as their strategic focus on flagship species and their habitats, further makes this partnership a natural fit.
Constant Hoogstad, EWT Senior Manager: Industry Partnerships, says, “We have always known that there is a strong link between conservation and tourism. People come from all over the world to Africa, to see some of the most iconic species and habitats on the planet. The EWT has a strong focus on working with communities in areas that are home to some of our most threatened species. And stimulating local economies, particularly through the jobs that tourism operations create, which are extremely valuable to the economy.”
Graeme Edmond, CEO of aha Hotels & Lodges, added, “Conservation is the thread that binds so many of our properties together, and contributing to the protection of our ecosystem is a responsibility we can’t ignore. In getting involved, there’s also an opportunity for us to give local communities a lift. The EWT does amazing work all over the continent. We’re grateful that we are able to boost their noble efforts and honoured to be in such good company. We hope that this collaboration will make a lasting impact on the landscape and wildlife that is so important to us, and leave a lasting impression for generations to come.”
The partnership began in February 2020 and will run for an initial period of five years. During this time, aha will contribute a monthly percentage of their turnover towards projects and activities undertaken by the EWT, and strategically identified by both partners, which will benefit from a sustainable income stream. Said Yolan Friedmann, EWT CEO, “the EWT has a robust monitoring framework for all projects to measure their impact and we expect significant conservation benefit to stem from this exciting partnership. Our relationship with aha thus far has been positive and rewarding and we have already seen some of our most threatened carnivores benefit from their successful tourism services and we are eager to see how many other species will soon benefit from their input.”
At a time when conservation needs strong and committed partners, aha has stepped up and given the EWT much needed support to ensure that we keep protecting forever, together.