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UNWTO and Stockholm+50 International Conference: One Healthy Planet for All

Written by Dmytro Makarov

UNWTO joined high level representatives from Environment Ministries, International Organizations and UN Agencies to consolidate tourism’s commitment and position as a high impact sector for accelerating sustainability.

The special One Planet Forum was hosted by the One Planet Secretariat (UNEP) in association with the Stockholm +50 International Conference, to mark 50 years of global environmental action. Important commitments were made to shift business behaviour and promote circular economy and investments in sustainable consumption and production during plenary discussions on “Investments in people and nature”.

The catalytic role of the Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism was highlighted – reaching 600 signatories in 6 months – by UNWTO Executive Director, Ms. Zoritsa Urosevic. Visit Finland announced its signature to the Glasgow Declaration and Mastercard reiterated its support to help make tourism destinations more sustainable and inclusive by co-developing new digital solutions.

“Finland’s tourism product is sensitive to the effects of the warming climate. It is important to secure the business opportunities and jobs within the industry. ​The development of low-carbon travel options, experiences and destinations must be secured. The Finnish tourism industry is committed to a common goal and has joined forces. Today, 60 travel organizations from Finland have signed the Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism.,” said Kristiina Hietasaari, Senior Director, Visit Finland.

In 1972, there were 189 million international tourism arrivals, and this grew almost tenfold up to the start of the pandemic. Today, international tourism arrivals are at the levels of 1992– precisely the time where the Rio Conventions on Climate Change and Biodiversity Protection were adopted, guiding our sector’s environmental action.
Tourism’s contribution to sustainable development has been recognized in the Sustainable Development Goals. As the sector recovers from the pandemic, there is a growing uptake by tourism stakeholders to scale-up environmental action and inclusiveness.

But how will the new consumers trends stimulate change? During the workshop on “Green nudges for increasing the circularity of plastics”, organized jointly by the One Planet Sustainable Tourism Programme and the Sustainable Lifestyles Programme in collaboration with the government of France and UNEP, tourism stakeholders explored the application of behavioural science to implement environmental policies at destination level. The report “A Life Cycle Approach – Key messages for tourism businesses to address single-use plastics”, produced within the framework of the Global Tourism Plastics Initiative, was also released in all UN Languages.

UNWTO Secretary-General, Mr. Zurab Pololikashvili will address the plenary of Stockholm+50 on Friday, to be opened by UN Secretary-General, Mr. Antonio Guterres, on 3rd June.

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Dmytro Makarov

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