Sustainability Protecting Local Biodiversity: Inspiring Initiatives from Baby Bamboo Sharks in Thailand to Bongos in Kenya
4 min

Explore Accor's efforts in protecting local ecosystems and discover how hotels across our network are championing biodiversity preservation through innovative initiatives, from breeding endangered species like Bongos, a type of antelope, in Kenya to nurturing baby bamboo sharks in Thailand.

At Accor, we deeply value the intrinsic importance of nature, that enhances the attractiveness of our destinations and offers resources that are vital for our operations - and which need to be managed responsibly. Dedicated to safeguarding the local ecosystems, biodiversity and culture that make each destination unique, we embrace sustainable tourism to foster positive impacts through global commitments and local actions. Join us as we explore some of the inspiring initiatives that Accor hotels are leading to conserve and celebrate biodiversity around the world.

Fairmont Mount Kenya Safari Club, Kenya: Committed to Breeding and Rewilding Bongos

Facing a steep decline due to years of hunting, poaching, habitat loss and disease, Bongos are on the brink of extinction. In partnership with Kenyan wildlife authorities, the Mount Kenya Wildlife Conservancy which hosts the Fairmont Mount Kenya Safari Club has created the world's first Bongo sanctuary. This vast, natural haven is home to a unique breeding and rewilding program. A meticulous process prepares Bongos repatriated from zoos in North America for a life back in the wild. The program’s long-term objective is to achieve a population of over 750 Bongos over the next 50 years, ensuring the future of this species.

Furthermore, the Community Conservation Education program empowers local communities with practical training on ecosystem restoration, including educational trips highlighting the significance of the Mountain Bongo. This way, they are not just conserving a species; they are fostering a harmonious relationship between people and nature.

Every Heartist® has embraced the initiative. They know that by coming to work every day, they play a part in restoring the slopes of Mount Kenya, its flora and fauna, and culture for future generations.

Curtis Munyoli Learning & Development Manager

Pullman Phuket Panwa Beach Resort, Thailand: A Sanctuary for Baby Bamboo Sharks 

Located on the pristine southern coast of Phuket, the Pullman Phuket Panwa Beach Resort operates with a deep commitment to its community and environment. A prime example is the bamboo shark nursery, housed within the hotel lobby. These sharks, native to the nearby shallow reefs, play an essential role in maintaining the ecosystem and reflecting reef health. Unfortunately, pollution, overfishing and unsustainable hunting threaten their existence.

The nursery, launched in partnership with Oceans for All Foundation (OFA), provides a safe haven for shark eggs and hatchlings until they are 4 to 6 months old. Here, guests and residents can learn about their vital role in the local ecosystem. When the sharks are old enough to fend for themselves, they're reintroduced to their natural habitat.

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A Holistic, Global Approach to Protect Biodiversity

Our Development, Procurement and Sustainability Departments work together to monitor biodiversity-related issues, in close collaboration with Operational teams ౼ all working towards the shared goal of reducing the Group’s impacts on the biodiversity and ecosystem. In 2023, we initiated a Group-wide Biodiversity Policy, including our principles, commitments and detailed action plan, which is set for release in 2024. 

Further reinforcing our commitment, we actively participate in various sustainability initiatives. For example, since 2021, we have been part of the World Travel & Tourism Council’s (WTTC) Sustainability Taskforce, advocating for the protection of 30% of land and ocean to protect biodiversity. Additionally, Accor is a signatory of the Business for Nature coalition, joining 1,000 companies to halt biodiversity loss and restore our planet.

Click here to learn more about our biodiversity preservation strategy