Humans and the rest of biodiversity are critically linked and interdependent. The need for the conservation of diversity of natural habitats and ecosystems on earth is supported by the United Nations through the development of a complete and well-managed network of protected areas by the year 2020 (CBD Aichi 2020 target 11). This goal is achievable with the support of tourism.
There is no other group of people in the world more interested in protected nature than tourists.
- Most national parks would not exist, if tourists would not visit them.
- 50% of all tourists visiting foreign countries make use of protected areas (IUCN)
- The estimated sum of 30 Billion USD needed every year for the management of a global complete network of protected areas can be raised by tourism. It is only less than 0,5 % of the global tourism turn-over.
- There are many good examples in the world, where tourism is supporting the establishment, development and management of protected areas by means of finances, education or political action.
No doubt, tourism is a business sector that can become much more eco-friendly. No doubt, in the long run, tourism and tourist business have common interests in maintaining attractive, safe, ethical and environmentally friendly tourist destinations.
Tourism can become an important driving force for sustainable development.
The UN Sustainable Development Goals
The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations. UNWTO states:
During the 70th Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations, a record of 154 heads of state or government gathered at the UN Sustainable Development Summit in New York from 25-27 September 2015 to formally adopt the bold and ambitious 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, along with the 17 Sustainable Development Goals that aim at, inter alia, – ending extreme poverty, fighting inequality and injustice, and tackling climate change.
Goal 8 promotes sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.
Tourism is one of the driving forces of global economic growth, and currently provides for 1 in 11 jobs worldwide. By giving access to decent work opportunities in the tourism sector, society- particularly youth and women- can benefit from increased skills and professional development. The sector’s contribution to job creation is recognized in Target 8.9 “By 2030, devise and implement policies to promote sustainable tourism that creates jobs and promotes local culture and products”.
Goal 12 shall ensure sustainable Consumption and Production patterns.
A tourism sector that adopts sustainable consumption and production (SCP) practices can play a significant role in accelerating the global shift towards sustainability. To do so, as set in Target 12.b of Goal 12, it is imperative to“Develop and implement tools to monitor sustainable development impacts for sustainable tourism which creates jobs, promotes local culture and products”.
Goal 14 shall conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.
Coastal and maritime tourism, tourism’s biggest segments, particularly for Small Island Developing States’ (SIDS), rely on healthy and marine ecosystems. Tourism development must be a part of integrated Coastal Zone Management in order to help conserve and preserve fragile ecosystems. Tourism Development and serve as a vehicle to promote blue economy, in line with Target 14.7: “by 2030 increase the economic benefits of SIDS and LCDs from the sustainable use of marine resources, including through sustainable management of fisheries, acquaculture and tourism”.
- Linking tourism and conservation
- Making the case for a sustainable tourism industry – Helpful resources for tourism stakeholders during this time of crisis
- The end of tourism?
- The trampling of Venice shows why tourism must change after Covid-19
- The contribution of global aviation to anthropogenic climate forcing for 2000 to 2018
- LT&C examples
- Looking beyond tourism to finance gorilla conservation
- Costa Rica: The Government’s successful decision to increase protected areas and forest cover, in line with and support of eco-tourism.
- Green tourism
- Sustainable Tourism Programme
- What is the future for travel and migration in age of Covid-19? Lockdowns are starting to ease but travel and migration will be disrupted for longer
- What is eco-tourism?
- Eco-Trips and Travel
- Defining Eco-Tourism
- The International Ecotourism Society (TIES)
- Natural Habitat Adventures is WWF’s Conservation Travel Partner
- The International Ecotourism Society defines Ecotourism as: “responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the welfare of local people”.
- Tourism Responsible for 8% of Global Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Study Finds
- The UNWTO Affiliate Members Global Report, Volume fourteen on The transformative power of tourism: a paradigm shift towards a more responsible traveller
- Why the Tourism Industry Is an Environmental Disaster and a Hothouse of Worker Exploitation: The Future Is Responsible Travel
- Why Carbon Credits For Forest Preservation May Be Worse Than Nothing
- Green destinations
- GRID-Arendal: Blue carbon |
- GRID-Arendal: Blue Carbon – The Role of Healthy Oceans in Binding Carbon
- GRID-Arendal: The Okavango River Basin
- Seven seas magazine
- Cancun Declaration puts emphasis on positive potential of linking conservation and tourism (Dec 2016)
- Positive and Motivating News: Protected Planet Report 2016
- Join the Sustainable Tourism Revolution
- This Fiji Resort Leads the Way in Sustainable Travel
- Å reise sakte og leve mer (Cicero Nov 2017)