Eco Rating Udzungwa

Name of property Udzungwa Forest Tented Camp (Hondo Hondo)
Person completing this form Hannah Wood
Position Owner
Address of property Plot 1, Main Road, M’angula, Kilombero Valley, Morogoro Region
Country Tanzania
Phone number including country code and area code +255 786 782829
Web site Udzungwa Forest Tented Camp
E-mail han@udzungwaforestlodge.com
Type of property Tented safari camp
Number of rooms or cottages 11
Maximum number of guests 33 (plus a large campsite)
Eco memberships TIES, PfAP, EcoClub, Viva EcoAfrica
Eco ratings, certifications, awards Eco Tropical Resorts 4 out of 5.
  1. Do you have a written environmental or social sustainability policy?     YES a simple one

If yes, please attach.

  1. Do you have a written environmental management system?                  NO

If yes, please attach.

  1. Describe the property – aim, size, facilities, amount of land owned and leased

We have approx 4 hectares of land bordering the Udzungwa Mountains national Park.  The land was purchased from the local villagers piecemeal over a number of years and all negotiated through the local village Council with the approval of the village chief and the village elders.  The camp currently has six luxury en suite safari tents (three stilted, under construction, to be completed May 2011) and five thatched huts, locally constructed from bamboo and burnt earth.  We have a campsite also to cater for school and university groups.  There is a well stocked bar and a good restaurant, cooking good food from locally sourced ingredients (as far as possible).  We aim to bring more visitors to the area and increase the profile of the Udzungwa Mountains National Park in order to preserve the remarkable rainforest and the wildlife it shelters.  We also aim to give all our guests a fantastic experience of rural Tanzania, and bring financial and development support to the local community.

  1. Describe the location, including distance to nearest town and size of town
  1. Describe WHY you made the decision to develop an eco resort

We have all lived  in Tanzania for up to ten years running safaris to remote areas with our safari company Wild Thing Safaris – two of us are trained ecologists and another spent two years working as an environmental volunteer in TZ with Frontier.  We love the country and its wildlife and have settled here, and wanted to do something to both give us a long-term base in the country and also contribute to the rural areas.  We had already been working with African Space fundraising for their mission and hospital building and wanted to do something ourselves in the Udzungwas, an area close to all our hearts.

Introduction to the Butterfly Club’s Eco Rating

The Butterfly Club Eco Rating has five equally-weighted categories:

  1. Energy;
  2. Water;
  3. Recycling and waste;
  4. Land and nature conservation; and
  5. Community.

Each category has five levels, designated by one to five butterflies.  Through self assessment, resort operators completing this rating will determine their own levels within each category based on their responses to items listed below.

Two categories – energy and water – have similar rating systems with Levels 1 and 2 addressing conservation of existing resources, and Levels 3, 4 and 5 addressing creation of renewable energy or capturing water.

Level five in every category also requires written sustainability policies or environmental management systems to: (1) monitor and record consumption; (2) test and apply additional conservation methods; and (3) work towards specific targets.   We require a copy of your policies if you achieve level 5 in any category.

Eco Rating Udzungwa Energy

Levels 1 and 2 – conservation: Check all that apply:

YES use natural air circulation and fans, not air conditioners
YES  use natural light during the day
YES minimize use of fossil-fuel powered vehicles, machines and equipment
YES use “on demand” or solar heating for hot water
YES air dry clothes/linens
YES wash dishes by hand
YES use energy efficient appliances and electronics
YES use low wattage fluorescent or LED light bulbs
YES change linens, tablecloths, napkins upon request
YES switch off lights when not used
Other energy conservation activities? Please list:

Level 1 = four or fewer energy conservation activities

Level 2 = five or more energy conservation activities

Levels 3, 4 and 5 – renewable energy: Indicate proportion (%) of energy from each source:

___  solar
__  wind
__100%_  hydro
___  generator
___  public utility
Other energy sources? Please list:

100% TOTAL
How were these proportions developed?

Level 3 = renewable energy is employed and is less than 1/3 of all energy

Level 4 = renewable energy constitutes 1/3 – 2/3 of all energy

Level 5 = renewable energy constitutes 2/3 or more of all energy.  In addition, there are written sustainability policies or environmental management systems to: (1) monitor and record energy consumption; (2) test and apply additional energy conservation methods; and (3) work towards specific energy targets.

Attach a copy of your policies if you achieve Energy Level 5 (required).

Your Energy Level (select 1 – 5) =   Level 4 – We installed a micro hydro generator tailormade by a Tanzanian who had received training with a UNDP grant.  The generator provides approx 1.5KvA which is sufficient to power our low-impact camp as all our lighting etc is with low energy bulbs and the only real drain on the power is the fridges.  Policy is attached but we have not yet implemented formal monitoring or specific targets.

Eco Rating Udzungwa Water

Levels 1 and 2 – conservation: Check all that apply:

__  low flow faucets and showerheads
YES low water use toilets
YES change linens, towels, tablecloths, and napkins upon request
___use table mats that can be wiped and not laundered
YES  use biodegradable laundry detergent, dish soap and hand soap
__  treat swimming pool with chlorine-free processes
Other water conservation activities?  Please list.
Recycle grey water from kitchen/shower block for use in gardens

Level 1 = three or fewer water conservation activities

Level 2 = four or more water conservation activities

Levels 3, 4 and 5 – capture and treat fresh water and manage waste water. Capture water: Indicate proportion (%) of water from each source:

___  spring
95 %  river
___  rain
5%   reuse gray
___  public utility
Other water sources? Please list.

100% TOTAL

Fresh water treatment: how is captured fresh water treated?
YES  naturally.  Indicate method: charcoal, ultraviolet light, other? List:  generally not treated at all as is clean from the river but if used for cooking / drinking (at staff or guests choice) it is boiled and charcoal filtered)
___  chemically.  List chemicals used:

Waste water management:
YES  septic tanks
___  cesspools
___  other? List methods:

Level 3: Water is captured (from springs, rivers, rain or prior use) and constitutes less than 1/3 of water from all sources.  Water is treated chemically.  Water disposal does not minimize damage to coral reefs and rain forests

Level 4:  Captured water constitutes 1/3 to 2/3 of all water.  Water is treated naturally. Water disposal minimizes damage to coral reefs and rain forests

Level 5:  Captured water constitutes more than 2/3 of all water.  Water is treated naturally. Water disposal minimizes damage to coral reefs and rain forests.   In addition, there are written sustainability policies or environmental management systems to: (1) monitor and record water consumption; (2) test and apply additional water conservation methods; and (3) work towards specific water targets.

Attach a copy of your policies if you achieve Water Level 5 (required).

Your Water Level (select 1 – 5):  4

Eco Rating Udzungwa Recycling and waste

Check all that apply:

YES  use durable service items, e.g. cups, glasses, dishes, tableware, storage items
YES  buy fresh and local to reduce packaging and emissions from transportation
YES  purchase in bulk to reduce packaging
YES  recycle paper, glass, plastic, aluminum
___   minimize emissions from fossil-fuel powered vehicles, machines & equipment
___   zero waste in the kitchen
YES  serve local water, not bottled water
YES   cleaning products are biodegradable
___   compost organic matter
Other methods to recycle waste? Please list.
Using recyclable products from camp as part of development programme with community – working with primary school to teach kids arts and crafts which they then sell at our camp shop and also will be transporting to Dar es Salaam to sell at Makutano House

Level 1 = four or fewer recycling activities

Level 2 = five recycling activities

Level 3 = six recycling activities

Level 4 = seven recycling activities

Level 5 = eight or more recycling activities.  In addition, there are written sustainability policies or environmental management systems to: (1) monitor and record recycling and waste; (2) test and apply additional recycling and waste conservation methods; and (3) work towards specific recycling and waste targets.

Attach a copy of your policies if you achieve Recycling and Waste Level 5 (required).

Your Recycling and Waste Level (select 1 – 5):  4

Eco Rating Udzungwa Land and nature conservation

Check all that apply:

YES   minimize tree removal when building
YES  None at all   use only botanical (plant-based) herbicides & pesticides in garden & grounds
YES maintain organic gardens as food source for resort
YES use biodegradable cleaning products
YES  minimize external illumination
YES take additional specific actions to preserve the local habitat.
YES Landscaping with native plants
Please list actions and projects:
Treeplanting project – reforestation of the land which when we bought it was shamba (farmland).  To date 400 indigenous trees planted.  More to be planted before next rainy season (Oct/Nov 2011)

Creation of waterhole for forest animals – we have dug a simple scrape to hold water and also are soaking an area of land to create a swampy area.  The aim is to provide a range of habitats especially for birds and butterflies which are extremely diverse in the area.

Level 1: one or two land and nature conservation activities

Level 2: three land and nature conservation activities

Level 3: four land and nature conservation activities

Level 4: five land and nature conservation activities

Level 5: six or more land and nature conservation activities.  In addition, there are written sustainability policies or environmental management systems to: (1) monitor and record land and nature conservation activities; (2) test and apply additional land and nature conservation methods; and (3) work towards specific land and nature conservation targets.

Attach a copy of your policies if you achieve Land and Nature Conservation Level 5 (required).

Your Land and Nature Conservation Level (select 1 – 5):  4

Eco Rating Udzungwa Community

This category addresses policies and activities regarding staff, guests, suppliers and other members of the community.

Check all activities that apply:

YES  hire staff residing near the resort          __70_% local nationals
YES  use local suppliers                                __50% purchased goods produced locally
YES re-invest resort income locally            __80_% income re-invested locally
YES pay above local prevailing wage
YES pay into local social security
YES provide health insurance or coverage
___  use regular staff meetings to educate staff about sustainable processes throughout the resort, in the garden, with waste disposal, etc
_ YES provide educational awareness programs for staff, guests, suppliers and other members of the local community
YES  (no need they walk) provide sustainable transport to work for staff
YES take additional specific actions to support the local community. Please list actions and projects.   Primary school – financial aid with toilet construction, provision of materials (pens notebooks etc), arts and crafts worksops and a place for them to sell their products, support for World Environment Day festivities, enrolled in Pack for a purpose; secondary school – financial support for two orphaned village children to complete their education; In the pipeline – womens group to produce local organic soaps and shampoos
___  Have enrolled your staff in any personal green training/certification schemes such as ecohelpline.com green leaf certification.

Level 1: one or two community activities

Level 2: three to five community activities

Level 3: six to seven community activities

Level 4: eight to nine community activities

Level 5: ten or more community activities.  In addition, there are written sustainability policies or environmental management systems to: (1) monitor and record community activities; (2) test and apply additional methods to support the community; and (3) work towards specific community targets.

Attach a copy of your policies if you achieve Community Level 5 (required).

Your Community Level (select 1 – 5): 4

YOUR OVERALL ECO SCORE (add your level for each category and divide by 5and enter the result with the decimal point, e.g. 3.6):  4

We have three final questions which are not part of the eco rating:

  1. Please describe your single most important eco achievement:

To date the installation of hydro and the ability to run an international standard camp entirely off grid.  Also the tree planting reforestation

  1. Indicate additional sustainable practices that you plan to institute within the next 6 months.

Community work is my next big push – women’s group to train and produce local soaps and shampoos and then send to Dar to sell.  Also looking into possibility of funding a teacher to help the secondary school – but this needs thought as it would have to be a long term commitment so we need to look at ways of making this happen.
Environmentally – the reforestation continues, and we plan to put id tags on trees and plants to educate not only guests but also local people.
We have a “bug lamp” set up, instituted by researchers from the natural History museum UK who use our camp regularly as a base for their entomology research.  This serves ot educate staff and guests and we plan to have further detailed info about the insect life available

  1. Is there anything else you would like to add to this eco rating?

We have been running for a couple of years as a basic campsite but only recently upgraded to a true ecolodge of which we can be proud.  Hence the early stages – practices are being implemented but we have not yet got any further with written guidance than the simple document I attach.  I do plan to do this  I have an MSc in Management of the Natural Environment and understand the importance of paperwork (!) – but this is why as I have consistently stated throughout the form we do not yet have E&M methodologies or precise measuring techniques in place.  However overall I feel that we are doing pretty well with both the ecological and community aspects of development and am proud to be a member of TIES and one of the few true ecolodges in Tanzania