Jamaica is supporting a new United Nations push for “sustainable tourism economy” in less than 10 years.
Jamaica Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett says the island “fully endorses the goal of the Ocean Panel to achieve a sustainable tourism economy by 2023.”
Bartlett was giving the keynote address at the UN Ocean Conference: Sustainable Coastal and Marine Tourism Launch Event in Lisbon this week.
“The health and sustainability of our oceans are critical to the survival of the tourism industry,” Bartlett said. “The role of healthy marine and coastal systems in promoting sustainable tourism is especially worthy of recognition.”
Bartlett also noted that marine and coastal ecosystems “are also threatened by tourism development.”
“The areas that appeal to tourists have been coming under increasing pressure from the damage and pollution caused by tourist facilities and the supporting infrastructure,” he said.
That’s particularly the case with cruise tourism, which he said “produces a significant environmental impact,” including the emission of greenhouse gases “which cause pollution and reduces the resilience of marine ecosystems as well as damage to fragile coastal and marine environment including corals.”
He said it was urgent to balance the economic gains from the “blue economy” with biodiversity and conservation.