The eco awards Namibia programme was launched in 2004 to promote sustainable tourism practices, where sustainable practices are defined as …development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs and aspirations… by the World Commission on Environment and Development in 1987.
Establishments working successfully in accordance with sustainability principles are awarded with the Desert Flower emblem. Many establishments in Namibia have achieved this endorsement.
Hotels, lodges and guest farms can apply to be voluntarily assessed by eco awards Namibia. Candidates are assessed according to a catalogue including criteria such as water and waste water management, waste management including recycling practices, energy management, approach towards the ecology, sustainable construction and landscaping practices as well as their staff development programmes and involvement in the development of local communities.
The emblem of the eco awards Namibia is a yellow desert flower. As in the star-grading system used for hospitality sector, enterprises qualifying for an eco award are rewarded with between one and five desert flowers. For one flower the applicant, ranging from hotels or lodges to community-based camps, has to achieve at least 50 per cent, while five flowers are awarded when the candidate attains 90 per cent or more. The grading is effective for two years, after which the candidate can apply to be evaluated afresh.
In 2007 the eco media awards Namibia were launched to cover the published work and broadcasts of the print and electronic media for a given 12-month period. The primary purpose of the eco media awards Namibia is to recognise, encourage and honour outstanding achievements that contribute to the advancement of environmental reporting in the media landscape of Namibia; to encourage the promotion of environmental awareness in all areas of the Namibian society and encourage the promotion of environmentally friendly practices to the Namibian trade and industries. The eco media awards Namibia are governed and represented by the eco awards Namibia Alliance in conjunction with Namibia Breweries Limited, currently the main sponsor.