The ecotourism unit of the Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa (WESSA) is implementing a new sustainable tourism project along the Eastern Cape’s Wild Coast.
The Tourism Green Coast Project is a two-year initiative expected to start in November and funded by the National Department of Tourism through the Expanded Public Works Programme. It will focus on the placement of 100 underprivileged youths from nearby communities with local tourism operators working along the Wild Coast.
The youths, who will be employed as Green Coast ‘Stewards’, will assist with piloting a new WESSA coastal award scheme, Green Coast, which aims to reward local municipalities and community groups that are actively protecting sensitive species, habitat and cultural heritage sites along the coastline.
All sites applying for the award need to adhere to specific Green Coast criteria and ensure ongoing monitoring of their specific coastal area.
The Stewards will gain exposure to the tourism market; receiving mentorship from the local operators, and will have the opportunity to assist local tourism operators with the implementation of WESSA’s other environmental programmes such as Eco-Schools and Green Key, both of which are programmes of the international Foundation for Environmental Education.
The Stewards will receive accredited training from WESSA in tourism guiding and environmental practices.
WESSA is appealing to potential operators and stakeholders along the Wild Coast, from Chintsa to Port St Johns/Mbotyi, to contact them to explore ways in which they can partner with WESSA on this project and become involved by hosting and mentoring recruited Stewards.
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