The ‘Green Seat’ initiative, launched by Tourvest Destination Management, enables its guests and partners to contribute to a number of community and wildlife-supporting projects, and receive a Green Seat badge – handmade by the African Home Community Project in Cape Town, from bottle caps recycled by Tourvest Destination Management employees.

Green Seat donations are apportioned between Trees for Tourism, African Home, and SANParks Honorary Rangers.

Tourvest Destination Management’s most recent partner is the Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT), with projects benefiting from the initiative including Guardians of the Future, and the Conservation Canine Project.

The Canine Project provides canine support to the conservation sector. This benefits not only rhinos, but also other species that are targeted by poachers, including elephants and pangolins. The goal is to ensure that ‘Conservation Canines’ are strategically placed across South Africa’s private, provincial and national parks, contributing to the protection of its wildlife, and are trained in detection and tracking.

Ashleigh Dore, EWT’s Wildlife In Trade Programme Manager, says: “Tourvest Destination Management’s commitment to the EWT, and the working relationship that stems from this, is a reminder of the strong link between tourism and conservation – enhanced conservation facilitates tourism, and responsible tourism aids conservation. The Green Seat initiative means that we are able to expand our Conservation Canine Project, allowing us to support efforts to reduce poaching and smuggling of wildlife across South Africa.”

Tourvest Destination Management is directly supporting the training of a rescue puppy, Pirate, to become a Conservation Canine, and the deployment of Shay Seebran (EWT Conservation Canine Handler) as well as EWT Conservation Canine Fury (a six-year-old male German Shepherd).

Each guest travelling on Tourvest Destination Management-scheduled guided tours and scheduled self-drive tours in the 2020 season, will contribute towards the Green Seat initiative. “This allows our customers to know that their clients’ visit to South Africa have made a meaningful difference to our planet, people and wildlife,” says Karien le Grand, Product Development Manager at Tourvest Destination Management.

The full contribution per badge goes directly to the project beneficiaries.