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SPTO Urges Pacific Tourism Stakeholders to Strengthen Climate Action

July 15, 2017 Responsible Tourism No Comments Email Email

The South Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO) was amongst other stakeholders participated at the Climate Action Pacific Partnership (CAPP) Event that was held in Suva from the 3rd to 4th of July at the Grand Pacific Hotel.

The event was part of a programme of activities by the High Level Champions appointed under the Paris Agreement, and hosted by Fiji’s High Level Champion, Minister Hon. Inia Seruiratu.

The forum featured opening comments from the incoming President of COP23, Honourable Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama, with responses from Pacific leaders.  SPTO congratulates the Honourable Prime Minister for his Presidency and extends its best wishes for the enormous responsibility in being the voice of the Pacific during the global climate change negotiations in Bonn, Germany in November.

SPTO was represented by their CEO and Manager Sustainable Tourism Development who joined Pacific leaders, development partners, regional and international organizations, civil societies, private sector and special interest groups at the event.

The aim of the event was to support and strengthen the participation of Pacific Small Island Developing States (P-SIDS) in the global climate agenda.

The Tourism sector, being a key economic driver for the Pacific, has a significant role to play in this collective effort – and the only way forward is to transition into sustainability.

“Pacific tourism stakeholders including our Governments, development partners, donors, civil societies and communities need to move beyond the “business as usual” approach and make real changes that can reduce greenhouse gas emissions, conserve and protect the fragile natural environment that tourism depends on” says SPTO CEO, Christopher Cocker.

“As Pacific islanders, we have been made custodians of our greatest assets – our people, our culture, our land and our oceans, by our forefathers.  A duty we need to fulfil because if we are not careful, we will not only lose our home but we will lose the economic benefits that sustains our livelihoods,” he says.

The event calls for the Pacific to work together in advancing transformative actions to save our planet from the effects of climate change.

The tourism sector needs to shift to renewable energy sources and commit to sustainable practices. Additionally, Government support is crucial, particularly through the provision of incentives for private sector investment in transformative technology. Also, influencing behavioral changes in employees, visitors, partners and communities coupled with putting in place and enforcing guiding policies and legislative frameworks to guide tourism development can make a difference.

These changes will happen only through public-private partnerships that advance climate action in the tourism sector and reinforcing the need to work together for a resilient future

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