SUNBIZ

Seminar Needs Tangible Outcomes, Recommendations

The United Nations World Tourism Organisation Regional Seminar on Climate Change, Biodiversity and Sustainable Tourism Development should come up with tangible outcomes and recom­mendations that could be taken up at
19 Jun 2018 10:16
Seminar Needs Tangible Outcomes, Recommendations
Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism Faiyaz Koya, Secretary-General of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation Zurab Pololikashvili and Permanent Secretary for Industry, Trade and Tourism Shaheen Ali (back) during the 30th United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) Joint Commission Meeting for East Asia and the Pacific (CAP) and the UNWTO Commission for South Asia (CSA) at the Sofitel Fiji Resort and Spa, Nadi on June 18, 2018. Photo: Charles Chambers

The United Nations World Tourism Organisation Regional Seminar on Climate Change, Biodiversity and Sustainable Tourism Development should come up with tangible outcomes and recom­mendations that could be taken up at other international forums.

Minister for Tourism Faiyaz Koya said the outcomes should find ways in which the re­gion could be supported in terms of climate adaptation and mitigation.

He made the remarks when opening the 30th Joint Meeting of the UNWTO Commis­sion for East Asia and the Pacific and the Commission for South Asia and the Regional Seminar on Climate Change, Biodiversity and Sustainable Tourism Development at the Sofitel Fiji Resort and Spa yesterday.

“Hosting the Joint Commissions meeting in the Pacific for the first time is crucial for the region,” Mr Koya said.

“We want to use this opportunity to show to the UNWTO and the East Asian and South Asian, firstly what Fiji and the region can of­fer in terms of tourism products.

“At the same time highlight the challenges that the nations in this region face due to cli­mate change. The impact of the adversity of natural disaster.”

Tourism vital contributor

Mr Koya said tourism in Fiji and the Pacific was a vital contributor to the Gross Domes­tic Product and employed a large number of Pacific citizens adding that in Fiji’s case, the tourism sector contributed at least 30 per cent to the GDP and employed one in three persons in the workforce.

“It is this very livelihood that is being ad­versely affected by climate change caused by unsustainable practices around the world.

“The Pacific region is the smallest contribu­tors to global warming.

“However, we are the ones that are affected the most by climate change – raising sea level that not only affects sectors such as tourism but also affects arable land.”

He said the seminar was timely and he hoped it brought to the forefront the chal­lenges faced by the Pacific region.

“Along with our Pacific Island neighbours, the adverse impact of climate change on us is not about a theoretical discussion, but a survival reality.

“We the Pacific Islanders on this side of the world feel the full brunt of its impacts, whilst contributing the least to these changes (in comparison to developed states).”

He said global direction, commitments, dia­logue and joint action was needed to ensure that this is preserved forfuture generations and that it is secured and sources of income was also secure.

“Our commitments to the Sustainable De­velopments Goals (SDGs), Presidency of COP 23 and Fiji’s cornerstone strategy – the Green Growth Framework highlight the im­portance we place on sustainability through its three pillars – social, environmental and economical.

“As a country, we are recognised as a happy nation well-known for its hospitality. This is reflected in our national tourism branding – “Fiji where happiness finds you”!

“Our island home is a multi-cultural society blessed with rich natural resources.

We celebrate diverse cultures and cherish our unique heritage.

“As policy-makers we have to ensure that tourism development is sustainable and its benefits are shared amongst all stakeholders in the industry, especially the local commu­nities.

“We must dedicate efforts and make the right policy interventions to mitigate envi­ronment damages, also ensure that our cul­ture and heritage is protected and to protect our people.”

He urged Mr Pololikashvili and member states to engage and actively support sus­tainable tourism development in the Pacific region.

The meeting ends tomorrow.

Feedback: charles.chambers@fijisun.com.fj

Subscribe to E-Edition
pacific island top up
Air Nuigini
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
Fiji Sun Instagram
Fiji Plus
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
error: