GRAND TURK, Turks and Caicos (eTN) – Dr. Murray Simpson, senior research associate at Oxford University, has said that the Caribbean is a vulnerable hotspot for reef destruction and that there is a need for governments in the region to not only pass legislations as a means of taking action and to make sure the law is enforced.
Speaking to delegates at the 10th Caribbean Sustainable Conference of the Caribbean Tourism Organizattion (CTO), which opened in the Turks and Caicos Islands on Monday evening, Simpson told the first session on Tuesday morning that tourism is contributing to the problem of climate change and although the future seems gloomy, taking corrective measures through legislation is an integral part of the process.
“There must be that power to make change, not just change in legislation but the power to enforce,” he said. “You can have as much legislation as you like but the you don’t enforce these policies this means nothing.” According to him, the ability to cope and adapt to change is key to long term sustainability of the region’s tourism product.
Sharing his ideas on the topic “Climate Change and sustainable Coastal Tourism in the Caribbean: Impact, Adaptation and Mitigation,” the Oxford University research associate said: “In the Caribbean, sustainable tourism is understood as the as the optimal use of natural, cultural, financial and human resources for national development on an equitable and self sustaining basis in order to provide that unique experience but if the very things that is integral to the process are not there then the question begs what are the options of the Caribbean as we prepare to face this global change.”
In addition to examining the issues of coral reef protection and management, the conference’s morning sessions also examined a number of related coastal tourism development issues, including climate change, cruise tourism, natural disasters, the dive market and strategies for managing marine sties and attractions. “This conference also provides the opportunity for emulation of best practices,” said CTO secretary general Vincent Vanderpool-Wallace.
More than two hundred delegates attended the tenth edition of the annual CTO meet.