The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) have launched a new partnership in the form of a memorandum of understanding (MoU), recognising the positive impacts that their collaboration can have in the areas of conservation and sustainable development.
The specific objectives of the MoU include collaboration in capacity building, knowledge sharing, and networking, both online and in person. PATA members can look forward to opportunities to increase their knowledge of wider sustainability issues, particularly in relation to Mangroves for the Future (MFF) and coastal tourism, as well as forthcoming IUCN case studies showcasing positive examples of sustainable tourism on PATA’s sustainability website, sustain.pata.org.
PATA CEO Mario Hardy said, “We are excited to have IUCN on board to share their knowledge and best practices to enable our members to make smarter decisions in the context of environment and conservation. The benefit of the partnership allows PATA members to increased access to opportunities to make a difference in dealing with Asia’s critical sustainability issues in relation to the travel and tourism industry.”
“Tourism is growing rapidly in the Asia Pacific region, with opportunities for both positive and negative impacts on ecosystems and communities, particularly in vulnerable coastal regions,” said IUCN Regional Director for Asia Aban Marker Kabraji. “This new partnership will allow us to share information with PATA member companies, to explore business risks and opportunities within the tourism industry, and to create new solutions together.”
Co-chaired by IUCN and UNDP, the Mangroves for the Future (MFF) partnership-based regional initiative focuses on building the resilience of communities dependent on coastal ecosystems in a number of Asian countries. By encouraging private sector engagement and community action in collaboration with PATA, communities and businesses in areas vulnerable to climate change can be empowered to live and operate sustainably. MFF builds on a history of coastal management interventions before and after the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. It initially focused on the countries that were worst affected by the tsunami – India, Indonesia, Maldives, Seychelles, Sri Lanka, and Thailand. More recently it has expanded to include Bangladesh, Cambodia, Myanmar, Pakistan, and Vietnam.
With a common goal of long-term sustainable management and protection of livelihoods within the tourism sector, the partnership aims to promote an integrated approach to coastal area and natural resource management in the Asia Pacific region.