Donnerstag, 18.10.2018 22:57 Uhr

Tourism as instrument for Sustainable Development Goals

Verantwortlicher Autor: Carlo Marino Rome, 21.06.2018, 08:53 Uhr
Kommentar: +++ Reise & Tourismus +++ Bericht 6287x gelesen

Rome [ENA] The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) is the United Nations agency for the promotion of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism. As the prominent international organization in the field of tourism, UNWTO promotes tourism as a driver of economic growth, inclusive development and environmental sustainability. It proposes leadership and support to the sector in advancing knowledge

and tourism policies worldwide. On the other side, UNWTO urges the implementation of the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism, to maximize tourism’s socio-economic contribution while minimizing its possible negative impacts. The tourism sector has to take more action to combat climate change and biodiversity loss. A call by UNWTO for stronger partnerships and incentives for governments and businesses to make a difference in climate action efforts has been advocated during the 30th joint meeting of its Commissions for South Asia and Asia-Pacific in Fiji (18-20 June 2018). This was the first Joint Commission meeting held in a Pacific island nation.

UNWTO also pledged to raise further awareness of climate change’s impacts and effects on tourism through capacity building and educational opportunities. Rigorous policies require that the tourism sector better measures its impact on sustainability. Progress has been made in this regard, including UNWTO’s development of a statistical framework to measure sustainable tourism. Fiji continues to lead the efforts on climate resilience and sustainability not only within the country but in the entire region. This was also demonstrated during the Global Climate Summit COP 23, when the Government of Fiji committed to the development of sustainable tourism as a tool to tackle climate change.

Tourism in Fiji has gradually increased for years, with arrivals growing by almost 50% between 2005 and 2017. At the same time, it has provided jobs, encouraged communities and improved livelihoods. This is true all across Asia and the Pacific, which in 2017 cemented its status as one of the fastest-growing tourism regions in the world with a 6% growth in arrivals. Fiji is also the right place to discuss on the implications of tourism on climate change, biodiversity and sustainable development in Asia and the Pacific. The small island developing state is well aware of the underlying threat to the natural environment posed by climate change and biodiversity loss throughout the region.

Like almost any other key economic activity, tourism has a dual role in this perspective, given its socio-economic significance and simultaneous impact on natural resources. Against this background, the regional tourism community needs to tackle the climate challenge by seizing tourism’s potential to contribute to protection of biodiversity, environment and heritage. It is critical to raise mindfulness among local populations on the importance of conservation, and how to address environmental issues while undertaking tourism activities.

Governments across the Asia-Pacific region are spotlighting tourism in their key sustainable development agendas and initiatives for multi-stakeholder cooperation and local community participation. Tourism’s continuous growth has to be translated into a growing meaningful contribution to long-term sustainability for the sector, including the achieving of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. Promoting tourism as an instrument in attaining the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) must also be geared towards reducing poverty and fostering sustainable development worldwide as a vital factor for world ecology and bionetwork.

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