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Unwto Celebrating Diversity Ghana

Unwto Celebrating Diversity Ghana

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Published by: bgarciares5244 on Oct 13, 2008
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07/01/2009

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27 SeptemberLima, Peru
Tourism Responding to the Challengeof Climate Change
Adaptation, Mitigation, New Technology & Finance
UNWTONEWS
- SPECIAL EDITION
World Tourism Day 2008
 
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UNWTO: Committed to Tourism, Travel and the Millennium Development Goals
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Climate change is one of the greatestglobal challenges in general, and to sus-tainable development and the UNMillennium Development Goals (MDGs)in particular.Catalyzing grassroots action by thetourism sector to face this challenge is atthe centre of this year’s World TourismDay Theme, Tourism: Responding to theChallenge of Climate Change.Tourism is one of the few sectors that cutsacross a whole range of economic and so-cial activities, and a key economic and jobdriver in the developing world. We there-fore can and must play an active role totackle the double challenge of climate re-sponse and poverty alleviation.As the leading UN agency for tourism,UNWTO’s input from Davos to Bali 2007has shown our determination to carry outrigorous action to implement a carbon-neutral roadmap in tourism. We encour-age urgent adaptation of a range of poli-cies which promote sustainable tourismthat incorporates environmental, socio-economic and climate responsiveness.As agreed during UNWTO’s GeneralAssembly in November 2007, these rec-
Message from the UNWTO Secretary-Generalfor World Tourism Day 2008
Tourism: Responding to the Challengeof Climate Change
ommendations “should not discriminateagainst developing countries by creatingobstacles to their economic developmentand in particular of those developingcountries located at long distance fromtourists generating markets”.Our call to action is to change habits andposition renewable energy at the fore-front of international response by pro-moting the action oriented DavosDeclaration Process, encouragingtourism stakeholders to adapt, to miti-gate and use new technology and securefinancing for the poorest countries toface the challenge of climate change.UNWTO is part of the UN roadmap toclimate response and has been develop-ing guidelines for the tourism sector since 2003, in collaboration with the UNEnvironmental Programme (UNEP) andthe World Metheorological Organization(WMO). This is an example of our activeinvolvement in the UN’s “Delivering asOne” initiative on UN System-wide co-herence. “One UN” aims at ensuring afaster and more effective developmentof operations and accelerate progress toachieve the MDGs.It is here where UNWTO has identifiedconsensus measures for the tourism sec-tor to address climate change withoutlosing sight of all other priorities, espe-cially poverty alleviation and tourismcontribution to the MDGs.Our call to respond to the challenge ofclimate change consists of a year longcampaign during 2008, with WorldTourism Day on 27 September in Peru asone of its highlights. A global high-levelmeeting around this subject will gather public and private stakeholders and con-tribute to the evolving planning and ac-tion towards overall sustainability.I am certain that we all share these con-cerns. Now is the time to work effective-ly and respond to these challenges.I look forward to celebrating WorldTourism Day with you!
Francesco Frangialli
UNWTO Secretary General
 
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UNWTO: Committed to Tourism, Travel and the Millennium Development Goals
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Today’s world faces two great challenges:extreme poverty and climate change. Thesolution to these problems requires an ur-gent change of behaviour in the generalpopulation. Tourism can encourage such achange through the responsible use ofenergy and natural resources.The growth of tourism has increasedconsiderably. In the countries of thesouthern hemisphere, tourism hasproven to be a prominent element oftheir economies, as well as an activitythat uses a great deal of labour andopens up opportunities for small enter-prises that provide products and servicesto the sector:
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In poor rural areas, it often constitutesthe only alternative to subsistencefarming.
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In some regions of Peru, several com-munity-based tourism initiatives arebeginning to be developed with aview to incorporating them into moreconsolidated tourism circuits, thus be-coming an opportunity to improvethe quality of life and welfare ofPeru’s most excluded peoples.
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In this way, tourism contributes topoverty reduction, an indispensablecondition for the conservation of theenvironment and sustainable devel-opment.Tourism flows travel from the developedcountries via long-haul flights that ac-count for 2.7% of total emissions--ex-tremely harmful--whose combustiontakes place at high altitude. In additionto this we must take into account thedomestic trips generated by tourism,which lead to increased emissions of pol-lutant gases, as well as excessive con-sumption of water and energy.Although tourism contributes to climatechange, restrictions on long-distancetourism would be counterproductive inthe fight against poverty, as it is the waythrough which expenditure by devel-oped countries is carried out in less-ad-vantaged countries:
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Tourism in areas where communitiesexist ensures that such communitiesbecome guardians of their own habi-tat; in our case, the indigenous com-munities are the primary protectors ofthe Amazon rainforest, a tourism re-source par excellence.
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Another factor to consider will be thechange in tourism destinations owingto the destruction of natural resourcesdue to climate change: the disappear-ance of glaciers, coastal alterations,prolonged periods of drought, andfloods, among others.The way to maintaining the benefits oftourism and moderating its contributionto climate change entails the responsibleuse of the natural resources and the en-ergy that is currently available, while atthe same time encouraging a shift to re-newable energy sources--and this with-out forgetting the necessary measures tomake tourism a factor for stimulating theeconomy at the local level.Therefore, it is necessary to draw up anEnvironmental Policy for Tourism; andsuch a policy, in its role as a promoter ofbest environmental practices, must pro-vide for handbooks and guides that canserve as tools to help tourism operatorsincorporate environmentally responsiblebusiness policies in their operations. InPeru we have initiated these actions be-cause we consider that the long-termgrowth of the economy and of tourismcan go hand-in-hand with proper envi-ronmental sustainability.
Message from Mercedes Araoz Fernández,Minister of Foreign Trade and Tourism of Peru
Tourism, ClimateChange and Sustainable Development
Mercedes Araoz Fernández
Minister of Foreign Trade andTourism of Peru

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