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Wolwedans bags international travel award for its community and conservation work

Wolwedans bags international travel award for its community and conservation work

Albie Brückner’s life project, Wolwedans in the NamibRand private reserve, has just been recognised by an international travel organisation, for its groundbreaking work over more than three decades to develop local communities while protecting the fragile desert environment at the same time.

The late Brückner, the founder and leader of Namibia Engineering Corporation, had a conservation dream to protect large desert areas bordering the Namib Naukluft National Park, when all his neighbours were only interested in smallstock farming. From 1984 he started acquiring commercial farms piecemeal, removed all the internal fences and consolidated the land into the NamibRand Nature Reserve. Today, NamibRand stretches over more than 200,000 hectares with five tourism properties which make up Wolwedans.

Managed by Albie’s son Stephan, Wolwedans also incorporates a foundation and the Desert Academy, carried by a forward-looking, holistic and perhaps, radical vision called “The AridEden Project.”

Regenerative Travel, an outfit based in New York, noticed the exceptional work done at Wolwedans and the unwavering commitment of all involved with the project. Announcing the Impact Awards, the travel group said Wolwedans stood out for its groundbreaking approach to tourism, redefining its purpose and benefits for both guests and the community.

Adjudicated by a distinguished panel of experts from diverse fields like marine ecology, social entrepreneurship, travel journalism, sustainability, visual storytelling, tourism policy, hospitality, and impact investing, Wolwedans impressed with its innovative ideas and tangible contribution to social and environmental welfare.

“The AridEden Project – Wolwedans Vision 2030” is at the heart of this accolade, embodying a holistic framework centred on the five pillars of sustainability: Commerce, Conservation, Community, Culture, and Consciousness. This framework underscores Wolwedans’ commitment to balance people, planet, and profit, driving not only economic prosperity but also fostering personal development and empowerment of the community.”

“We believe that sustainability is a shared responsibility, and our approach focuses on nurturing both our team and the environment. This award is not just a recognition of our efforts, but a call to inspire others to embark on a similar journey to regenerative travel,” said Stephan.

Through vocational training programmes, desert-based economic projects, and instilling a value system aligned with conscious living, Wolwedans empowers its community, recognizing that their well-being is integral to the success of the entire region.


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