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UN Resolution Recognizes Ecotourism as Key to Sustainable Development
A landmark resolution recognizing ecotourism as key in the fight against poverty, the protection of the environment and the promotion of sustainable development has been adopted by the United Nations General Assembly (21 December 2012).
Source: UNWTO Press Release
In a significant acknowledgment of tourism as a tool for promoting sustainable development, the UN General Assembly unanimously adopted a resolution stressing ecotourism’s role in the fight against poverty and the protection of the environment.
The resolution, entitled, "Promotion of ecotourism for poverty eradication and environment protection", calls on UN Member States to adopt policies that promote ecotourism highlighting its "positive impact on income generation, job creation and education, and thus on the fight against poverty and hunger".
It further recognizes that "ecotourism creates significant opportunities for the conservation, protection and sustainable use of biodiversity and of natural areas by encouraging local and indigenous communities in host countries and tourists alike to preserve and respect the natural and cultural heritage".
"UNWTO welcomes the adoption of this resolution on the importance of ecotourism," said UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai. "The remarkable support that the resolution has received, from all regions and across the development spectrum, is a clear testimony that sustainable tourism has a vital role to play in a fairer and sustainable future for all."
The resolution, facilitated by Morocco and sponsored by a record 105 delegations, draws on the recommendations contained in a report prepared by UNWTO on the basis of responses from 48 Member States which, in a notable departure from its normal practice, was welcomed by the UN General Assembly.
The MDGs are goals set by the UN and its member nations on various development issues. What are some of the ways tourism can support to the MDGs? In addition to the social and economic benefits that tourism offers, how can tourism businesses and destinations actively contribute to the MDGs?
The tourism industry is faced tremendous opportunities to inspire positive action: from implementing climate-friendly management systems and strategies to reduce carbon emissions, to engaging travelers to promote responsible choices such as the use of public transportation and environmentally-friendly tours.
These Principles of Water Equity in Tourism aim to capture the essential points from the recommendations of the report, Water Equity in Tourism - A Human Right, A Global Responsibility by Tourism Concern. The Principles are underpinned by the notion of water as a human right.