With having over 80 Eco Award certified tourism establishments, having protection of the environment written into the constitution, having almost half of the country under conservation management and this leading to over 250 000 rural Namibians being members of a conservancy, Namibia is internationally acclaimed as a emerging global leader in responsible and sustainable tourism best practices. With the desire to share its efforts the Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET) of the Government of the Republic of Namibia, in collaboration with UNEP, the Government of France, the Government of the Kingdom of Morocco, the Hospitality Association of Namibia, the Tour and Safari Association of Namibia and Eco-Awards Namibia, hosted the 5th International Symposium and Annual Conference of Partners of the Global Partnership for Sustainable Tourism, held in Windhoek at the Windhoek Country Club on the 23rd and 24th of February 2015.
With the theme of the symposium, "Advancing Sustainable Tourism: Securing the Legacy of Our Cultural & Natural Heritage" still in mind, BirdsConTour (Stefan Rust) guided a safari excursion from the 25th until 27th of February 2015 to feature Namibia's Namib Sand Sea (UNESCO Heritage Site) and surrounding lodges and a project practicing sustainable tourism. These were Conny's Restaurant, Namib Desert Lodge, Wolwedans and Rostock Ritz Desert Lodge.
The participating excursion members are international heavyweights in terms of sustainable tourism and in recognition for their global input, BirdsConTour rewarded each participant with a top score three penguin-rated Welfare, Conservation & Tourism Support 2015 Award.
Oryx dung-spitting (Bokdrol Spoeg in Afrikaans) is a fun sport practiced with guests at the Namib Desert Lodge, here with the excursion members: