THE ROYAL GEOGRAPHICAL SOCIETY HONG KONG
"Ecotourism: Sustainable Safaris"
Tuesday, 5 May 2009
Pacific Place Conference Centre
5/F One Pacific Place, Admiralty
Drinks Reception 6.30 pm; Lecture 7.30 pm
The Royal Geographical Society is pleased to welcome to Hong Kong at short notice Keith Vincent, Vice Chairman of the Botswana Tourism Board, which is tasked with developing the tourism industry and setting the tourism policies for the country's legendary wildlife reserves. Mr Vincent is a world expert on developing sustainable tourism in the environments of Africa. With a passion for conservation, his vision, which he is able to achieve and implement through his position, is to conserve and increase Africa's wildlife areas for future generations.
Mr. Vincent's wealth of expertise on conservation on the great plains of Africa comes from over 20 years experience running "Wilderness Safaris", a conservation organisation and ecotourism company promoting responsible tourism throughout the areas in which it operates in southern Africa. Its goal is to share these wild areas with guests, while at the same time helping to ensure the future preservation and regeneration of Africa's spectacular wildlife heritage.
Mr. Vincent runs camps and safaris in Botswana, Namibia, Malawi, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe and the Seychelles with a group of likeminded wildlife enthusiasts who came together to ensure that southern Africa's pristine wilderness areas remain sustainably preserved. They operate privately on 6.5 million acres of southern Africa's finest wildlife reserves in some 60 lodges and camps from Hwange National Park to the great Okavango. They have been nominated for and won numerous international awards for their work.
In this lecture, Mr. Vincent explains how to run tourism sustainably, with ecofriendly practices. This involves the methods of construction of the camps, the reduction of waste, the use of solar power, ensuring the elimination of damage to the local environment. He also speaks of the right ways to conduct safari tours to ensure game viewing with minimum damage to local environments, while allowing animals to be watched without disturbance. Mr. Vincent argues that it is essential to preserve pristine wilderness areas and the flora and fauna, or biodiversity, that they support. Preserving these areas is essential for Africa and ultimately the world's great wilderness areas.
The lecture is finely illustrated with slides of the great plains of Africa, showing its species in glorious abundance.
Mr. Vincent was educated in Zimbabwe. During this time he developed a love for the outdoors and natural history of the country and became a professional guide, working for various safari companies throughout the country, before settling in Victoria Falls in 1984. He joined Wilderness Safaris in 1993, becoming the Managing Director of the Company in 1996. In March 2001 he moved to Maun in Botswana and became the Managing Director of both Wilderness Safaris and Okavango Wilderness Safaris. He is presently the Vice Chairman of the Botswana Tourism Board, which is tasked with developing the tourism industry and setting the tourism policies for the country.
Members and their guests are most welcome to attend this lecture, which is HK$100 for Members and HK$150 for guests and others.