The Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park in Cayman Islands awarded Green Globe Certification
Green Globe CEO, Mr. Guido Bauer said, “The certification by Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park is a significant achievement in underpinning the sustainable operation and management of a tourist attraction dedicated to preserving and promoting nature."
Through its participation in the Cayman Islands Environmental Project for the Tourism Sector (CEPTS), a joint pilot project between the Cayman Islands Departments of Tourism and Environment and the tourism private sector, the Botanic Park had to apply 133 sustainability indicators, implement several environmental best practices, and complete a detailed third party audit to attain certification.
Following the sustainable management practices required by Green Globe Certification, the Botanic Park has realized a reduction in gas/fuel usage of 43 percent and 11 percent for water consumption over the last 27 months. A cost saving of 12 percent has also been achieved with increased green waste recycling and rain water harvesting.
John Lawrus, general manager of the Botanic Park, believes that the certification will enhance the already existing green initiatives being implemented in the facility. These environmental best practices included installation of a drip irrigation system and high-efficiency toilets to reduce water consumption; the use of recyclable paper; and the disposing of garden waste onsite. The park is also a driving force in the rehabilitation of the indigenous blue iguana species and educates guests and the general public on their importance.
Mr. Lawrus said: ”The Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park is extremely pleased to have received Green Globe Certification. The Botanic Park has always been a green facility, and the certification process has made us look at all of our practices and procedures to see where improvements could be made. These changes have enabled the Botanic Park to become even more ecologically sound which furthers our conservation goals.”
Racquel Brown, the Department of Tourism’s acting deputy director responsible for product development said: “Concern for the environment continues to grow among consumers and companies alike, and we’re finding that tourism businesses are seeking new and creative ways to lessen their carbon footprint. Travelers are becoming more aware of their direct impact on the environment and are actively planning their vacations with businesses that are going the extra mile to become environmentally and socio-economically responsible through green initiatives, such as those participating in CEPTS."
ABOUT GREEN GLOBE CERTIFICATION
Green Globe Certification is the worldwide sustainability system based on internationally-accepted criteria for sustainable operation and management of travel and tourism businesses. Operating under a worldwide license, Green Globe Certification is based in California, USA, and is represented in over 83 countries. Green Globe is the only certification brand to be an affiliate member of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), is partly owned by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), and a member of the Caribbean Alliance for Sustainable Tourism (CAST) governing council. For information visit www.greenglobe.com .
ABOUT THE QUEEN ELIZABETH II BOTANIC PARK
The Botanic Park is owned jointly by the Cayman Islands government and the National Trust for the Cayman Islands, a non-profit, statutory body dedicated to preserving natural environments and places of historic significance in the Cayman Islands for present and future generations.
The Botanic Park is one of the few places in Cayman where the native dry forest can be appreciated and viewed in comfort. Also, because the area is that of a low-elevation landscape, subtle variations in topography and flooding patterns trigger dramatic changes in the flora. This makes the park an almost ideal outdoor classroom that plays a valuable role in local environmental education.
The Botanic Park also functions as a modest protected area - all the forest enclosed by the Woodland Trail and south of the lake is protected to conserve the area’s native flora and fauna. Extensive areas of natural forest are the key to conservation of so many of Cayman’s native plants and animals.
Several highly-endangered, uniquely-Caymanian plants are planted and cared for in managed areas of the park. Each is a scientifically-documented collection held as a security against the potential extinction of the plants in their natural range.
The Botanic Park is home to 10 of the 26 orchid species recorded for the Cayman Islands. Three of these – including the world’s rarest orchid, the Ghost Orchid - are found nowhere else on Earth.
The Botanic Park also houses the Blue Iguana Recovery Program, a project of the National Trust of the Cayman Islands, which began its work with the creatures, shortly after its formation in 1987. The Blue Iguana Habitat, along the Woodland Trail, is the captive breeding ground for these fascinating reptiles (Cyclura lewisi) who only two decades ago were facing extinction. The Blue Iguana Recovery Program has a repopulation goal of 1,000. Frequently found freely roaming the grounds of the park, these “blue dragons” delight both local and foreign visitors who happen upon them.
Operating Hours: 9:00 am to 5:30 pm, last admission at 4:30 pm, (Closed on Christmas and Good Friday)
Bradley Cox Green Globe Director of Communications phone: +1-310-337-3000 fax: +1-310-626-9982 skype: bradleygcox email: email@example.com Green Globe Certification 5959 W. Century Blvd., Suite 610 Los Angeles, California 90254 USA Karie-Anne Bounds Cayman Islands Department of Tourism Product Development Officer (Research & Policy) phone: (345) 244-1254 fax: (345) 949-5746 web: www.caymanislands.ky , www.divecayman.ky