One of the world’s finest wildlife reserves is a One Planet Living Community, working to improve the lives of local people while conserving one of the earth’s most amazing wildlife sites
One Planet Living in the African bush
Singita Serengeti in Tanzania is on a journey to becoming a world-leading exemplar of sustainable upmarket tourism.
The resort is cutting its greenhouse gas emissions, saving water, improving waste management and recycling while boosting the local economy and conserving majestic African Savannah wildlife.
A range of initiatives in training staff, investing in greener infrastructure and supporting local village communities are now starting to deliver the luxury resort’s detailed One Planet Action Plan, announced with Bioregional in the Spring of 2013.
The plan, which extends to 2020, embraces all of the extensive Singita Serengeti concession in Tanzania, on the western edge of the Serengeti-Mara Ecoystem with its spectacular annual migration of two million wildebeest.
Singita and the Singita Grumeti Fund, a Tanzanian not for profit, have created a unique partnership, applying the best of tourism, conservation and community outreach efforts to this globally important, at-risk, iconic landscape. Singita Serengeti’s Sustainability Action Plan sets challenging but attainable targets across the 10 One Planet Living principles.
Among the highlights of an impact report covering the first year of Singita Serengeti and Bioregional’s One Planet Partnership, are:
- Total greenhouse gas emissions from operations, electricity consumption and staff travel cut by 16% between 2012 and 2013
- Estimated 10% saving in water consumption through changes in irrigation regimes
- Over 5,000 field patrols undertaken, with 2013 seeing the lowest levels of illegal animal killing in the previous decade
- Significant improvements in waste management and recycling
- 10% increase in produce purchased from local communities and repair of 25 community water boreholes
- Basic green and low carbon measures installed, including solar water heaters, energy efficient lighting in all back of house areas and water meters
- Construction commenced on what aims to be the first LEED accredited building in East Africa. (LEED is the environmental and energy efficiency rating system developed by the US Green Building Council)
Wildlife on the concession had suffered from years of poaching, bush meat hunting and unsustainable land management. In 2002, the Grumeti Community and Wildlife Conservation Fund, a not-for-profit organisation backed by US philanthropist and financier Paul Tudor Jones II, was granted the right to manage and conserve these 350,000 acres – about the same area as London.
Four years later, Singita was asked to come in and use low impact tourism development with the aim of generating the funds needed to ensure the long-term sustainability of the reserve through conservation and community partnerships.
The operation provides sustainable employment for over 750 local people as conservation and hospitality staff.
The barren plains of ten years ago have now been restored to full wildlife carrying capacity. All the commercially available hunting rights are purchased in order to prevent any hunting. The great herds are once again lingering in this region during their 500-mile long migration.
About the developer and partners
Singita’s core vision is to preserve and protect large tracts of wilderness in Africa for future generations.
Dedicated to environmentally conscious hospitality, sustainable conservation and the empowerment of local communities, Singita, meaning “place of miracles,” was founded in 1993. Singita’s mission is to share a unique part of the world while maintaining respect for the natural environment and challenging accepted notions of luxury. Today, Singita is the guardian of over a million acres of pristine land in Africa and responsible for successful community development projects, making a tangible difference in the lives of the people living and working in and around its lodges. Singita operates 12 lodges and camps, each a unique experience in its own right, in five regions across three countries in Africa.
The Grumeti Fund is a Tanzanian non-profit organization formed in 2003 to carry out conservation and community development work. The mission of the Grumeti Fund is to contribute to the conservation of the Serengeti ecosystem in partnership with local authorities and other stakeholders. The Grumeti Fund is 100% donor funded and relies on the generosity of individuals to keep its programmes going.