Technically speaking Limpopo-Lipadi has naturally thought of everything
The exclusive game reserve in eastern Botswana, Limpopo-Lipadi, recently won gold at the Homes Overseas awards for the Most Sustainable Development in the world for the second year running. This has yet again highlighted the dynamic way in which the game and wilderness reserve views its land, its abundance of wildlife, the work it does with local communities and of course the sustainability of these aspects. So as 2009 gets underway what sets Limpopo-Lipadi apart from other eco-friendly developments? What improvements are being made to continue expanding their green credentials and how are these actions monitored?
Here Alan Marneweck, the founder, director and share holder of Limpopo-Lipadi talks about the ongoing efforts to maintain the 0.1% carbon footprint that the reserve has on the environment and why it means more to them than a few figures on a piece of paper.
“We have a group working on the ground monitoring all the species of wildlife and plant life and as a result we have gained much knowledge on how the reserve is “feeling”. The information we gather is put into our extended asset management structure known as Big Foot which helps us monitor everything on the reserve; from the washing machines to the rhinos, we can see how each living and man made element impacts the land" says Marneweck.
He continues, “It never ceases to amaze me how nature has a way of showing us how its sustainable cycles are fairing, for example if a tree on the reserve is under stress due to over grazing it naturally goes into survival mode and creates a bitter taste therefore deterring animals from eating it until it has recovered.”
Limpopo-Lipadi covers an expanse of 32,500 hectares in the Tuli block of Botswana and plans are already in place for expansion with the view to becoming a trans-frontier reserve. The project itself is an opportunity like no other with investors invited via a private placement memorandum to invest through the purchasing of a share/s in the entire project rather than a section of land or property title. Entry level investment per share is $195,000 and shareholders are encouraged to take a very active role in the running of the reserve. AGMs are attended by all and various projects within the reserve are open for shareholders to participate in, for example the recent relocation of a herd of elephants or the reintroduction of wild dogs to the reserve.
As a continent Africa is known for its precious natural resources and water is no exception; with 21km of Limpopo River frontage, water is one of Limpopo-Lipadi’s biggest assets. Its transformation from river water to drinking water has been an ongoing task, as Marneweck goes onto explain; “Although our biggest asset, supply from the river is not constant due to seasonal trends and the quality of the water varies extensively. The water derived from boreholes across the reserve is reliable but will be extracted conservatively in order to limit the disruption of the water storage in the ground. We will also be utilising another abundant natural resource – the sun – by powering the boreholes with solar energy."
The United Nations definition of sustainability reads: “A sustainable development is one that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” which explains the very ethos of the reserve.
“Limpopo-Lipadi’s continued research into the most sustainable building methods adds to its long term approach” says Robert Marneweck, a founder and share holder who heads up the architectural and project management team. “The extremely low density of building on the reserve of 0,01% is of extreme importance and we have also been experimenting with a new eco build method using sand bags to construct solid homes for many of our staff which we hope to replicate in the lodge homes.”
Other green features that are being considered for the future are environmentally friendly ranger vehicles and also the way in which the reserve deals with its waste management. In time Alan is confident that new processes and equipment will enhance its green credentials: “It’s a process and as you can imagine these things do not happen overnight. We have a dedicated team on board though and investors that have a passion for all that Limpopo-Lipadi stands for.”
For more information on Limpopo-Lipadi visit www.limpopo-lipadi.com or call 0871 2445152