January 14, 2013 | 1:54 pm | Print
Above: Dominica (CJ Photo)
By the Caribbean Journal staff
Ecotourism can play a vital role in the fight against poverty and the protection of the environment, according to a United Nations General Assembly resolution adopted this week.
The resolution, “Promotion of ecotourism for poverty eradication and environment protection”, calls on UN member states to adopt policies that promote ecotourism, due to its “positive impact on income generation, job creation and education, and thus on the fight against poverty and hunger.”
“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,” the resolution said.
It was facilitated by Morocco and sponsored by 105 UN delegations.
“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 is an expansion of a 2010 resolution covering the same subject. It encourages member states to promote investment in ecotourism, including creating small and medium-sized enterprises, promoting cooperatives and facilitating access to finance.