Heritage’s conservation philosophy
Heritage’s conservation philosophy is based on two principles:
The first is the need to conserve rapidly dwindling wilderness areas and to provide a sanctuary for fauna and flora as part of Uganda’s heritage.
The second is the belief that the business must be a true example of eco-tourism effectively linking tourism with conservation and the community. Heritage’s environmental management system is a holistic one, where the ecological needs are balanced with the needs of people and their communities, i.e. focusing on the interdependence of tourism, conservation and local communities.
Heritage’s environmental management policy
“We need to conserve our rapidly dwindling wilderness areas and to provide a sanctuary for fauna and flora of our heritage. The only way a wildlife sanctuary can survive the onslaught of socio-economic pressures is by:
a) Employing people
b) Earning foreign currency
c) Paying tax
d) And promoting sustainable tourism
Each member of the Heritage team receives ongoing training in all areas of our business, empowering them and improving their skills; and each has a thorough understanding that an individual’s performance reflects and is dependent on the performance of other members of the team.
In the rural subsistence areas surrounding Heritage, the ratio of breadwinner to dependant is over 1 to 7. Therefore our 7 local employees at Heritage support over 50 dependants. These people are directly or indirectly dependant for their livelihood on the success of our enterprise.
Heritage Safari Lodge defines eco-tourism as the interdependence of tourism, conservation and local community thereby ensuring the optimum tangible benefit to each of the above.
Local community includes all of the staff employed at Heritage and the neighboring communities where they reside. The empowerment of all staff through training and development is a key policy at Heritage.
Heritage’s dedication to conservation
Unusual dedication and understanding is needed to manage our environment in an ecologically sound manner. It is also important to maintain economically viable tourist lodge, as well as meet the needs of a widely differing range of staff and neighbors. Heritage’s Management believes that it is meeting the challenge, and achieving this fine balance.
Environmental control forms an integral part of the conservation process. Heritage has an extensive Habitat Management Plan in place that is continually reviewed. This encompasses concepts such as
a) clearing encroached seep lines and grasslands,
b) and correctly planting and maintaining gardens.
c) pumping and treating water from the Nile
Other issues that constantly demand attention are the sustainable fire management programme and waste-water disposal.
Fire is a natural part of the ecosystem, control of runaway fires is vital, but correct burning is essential for the long-term health of the natural environment.
The continued presence of humans makes it imperative to deal with the problem of waste-water. At Heritage, waste-water is treated naturally through oxidization tanks, which is ideal habitat for waterfowl. The treated water soaks back into seepage lines, which ultimately feed underground aquifers, thus creating a full natural water cycle.