Latest news and insights from various sources relating to UN Sustainable Development Goals.

What if you could make Europe a wilder place by going on a holiday? – Interview with Simon Collier

“Let’s make Europe even wilder together!” is the motto of Simon Collier representing the European Safari Company. They support and connect locally based partners with unique experiences to the traveler. The European Safari Company hand picks untouched nature-based experiences. Simon believes every trip you take has a direct impact on the area, the conservation efforts and the people that you meet. From this experience he draws a line in the following interview with Peter Prokosch to the mission of Linking Tourism & Conservation:

Simon, you just joined LT&C as a new member. What made you interested in ourorganization?

Showcasing key examples of tourism and conservation success stories is a tangible way to demonstrate how tourism enterprise and development have a positive alternative form of land use in general. Not only land use, but social impact of communities is a critical point which needs careful consideration in nature conservation going forward. LT&C is bringing likeminded people from a variety of sectors together and creating opportunities to network, learn and engage.

What has European Safari Company in common with LT&C and what could we learn from your experience?

As a new style tourism and conservation organisation we aim to demonstrate some critical

examples of direct impact of tourism – for the better! Conservation needs a business model and tourism has a significant role to play in this but this needs to have a dual impact – for people & nature. The European landscape has scattered rural communities, abandon lands and untapped nature; the ESC is bringing all of these into single experiences and highlighting direct social benefits, economic support and driving local conservation agendas. As a key lesson, accepting that conservation needs an economic model attached to it that isn’t dependant on governmental or NGO support.

LT&C is profiling cases (“LT&C-Examples”), where tourism is supporting the establishmentor development of protected areas. Real impact LT&C achieves, if such good examples are growing. What are your ideas for creating incentives that LT&C-Examples are getting learned from and replicated?

Working models or examples of tourism / conservation success is only the opening conversation to get people to entertain the notion of a working conservation model or alternative low impact land use model. As brutal as it sounds, changing mind-sets is normally very difficult unless you impact people’s pockets – leading examples and ‘early adopter’ incentives can help get the ball rolling. Furthermore, market place support, training and assisted development is not only essential to the process but will also set the standards. At the end of the day, we need local communities to not only see the benefit of nature but also benefit from it, and therefore become the long term custodians and business partners with nature / nature protection. Nature based businesses have a greater impact on local economics than direct support, as each guest can have impact on several low level businesses in the area…the local cheese farm, honey producer or even the corner grocer. What is key, is creating a brand value attached to this support and forging relationships which are all tied to conservation.

Do you have any thoughts for the future perspectives and development of LT&C?

LT&C Penguins are essential as they allow a formidable unified base across the boundaries of the world, its policies and cultural differences – but they need to access their own networks to allow for more efficient growth of the initiative, scalability is key at this point.

Engaging the traveling public will help grow the value of the LT&C brand – where travellers can select destinations or offerings on the basis of their sustainability, conservation ethic and impact model.

LT&C could become the hour glass model – being the key point in the middle between the

networks of conservation minded organisations and the available traveling public looking to make a difference.

It’s a great initiative with huge potential – keep it up!!

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STA enhances resilience of tourism-reliant communities to climate change risks

Some of the most vulnerabe tourist operators have benefited from assistance for resilient efforts towards the effects and risks of Climate Change.

The Samoa Tourism Authority (STA) in collaboration with the Integrating Climate Change Risks into Tourism Sector (ICCRITS) facilitated training on adaptation to climate change for some of the small scale tourism operators.

With funding provided by ICCRITS for kayaking equipment and training through the Small Grants Scheme, three selected businesses of tourism operators now have the capacity to support new revenue streams needed to respond to the effects of climate change.

The three beneficiaries are the Sweet Escape Fales at Manono Island, Sunset View Fales also at Manono Islands, and Joelan Beach Fales at Lano in Savai’i Island.

The STA team through its Climate Change project and members of its Planning and Development Division facilitated the assistance.

This is an excerpt from an article originally published by the South Pacific Tourism Organisation.

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Antalya: Solutions to today’s development challenges exist in the Global South, stresses UN official

27 November 2017 – Solutions to today’s critical development challenges exist in the Global South, and every country – large or small, emerging economy or least developed – has something to offer to the world, a senior United Nations official said today, as the 2017 Global South-South Cooperation Expo opened in Antalya, Turkey.

“The advantage and beauty of South-South cooperation is that this modality of international relations relies on solidarity expressed in concrete and demonstrable sharing of technical know-how, experience and resources among developing countries,” said Jorge Chediek, the Secretary-General’s Envoy on South-South Cooperation and Director of the UN Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC), at the opening ceremony.

Hundreds of participants from over 120 countries, including government ministers, development agency directors, and international and civil society stakeholders, have gathered for the world’s preeminent forum for showcasing, sharing, and scaling up innovative local solutions to global problems.

The event, hosted by the Government of Turkey and coordinated by UNOSSC, will focus on solutions “for the South, by the South” throughout the week. The theme “South-South Cooperation in the Era of Economic, Social and Environmental Transformation: The Road to the 40th Anniversary of the Adoption of the Buenos Aires Plan of Action (BAPA+40),” aims to engage stakeholders to scale up concrete solutions from the South to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

“South-South cooperation has gained a new centrality with respect to the 2030 Agenda, always complementing North-South cooperation, not replacing it. And despite the challenges before us, South-South approaches provide a window of opportunity for all of us to share hard-won lessons,” Mr. Chediek said.

“Your presence here is proof that you are ready to take up the challenge; that you are ready to build bridges and partnerships; that you believe that solutions we have can be shared and can help us build a better world. Every country can contribute – emerging economy or LDC – all of us can share and can contribute to the effort.”

Since its inception in 2008, the Expo has featured documented best practices from hundreds of partner countries, UN agencies, private-sector enterprises and civil society organizations.

“Turkey began providing development assistance to countries in the region in the 1920s,” said Mevlüt Çavusoglu, Foreign Minister of Turkey.

Today the Turkish International Cooperation and Development Agency (TIKA) operates in over 120 countries, he explained, adding that Turkey ranks second in the world for humanitarian aid as per percentage of its gross national income.

Earlier this year, Turkey signed an agreement with the UN to establish a Technology Bank for Least Developed Countries to strengthen the science, technology and innovation capacity in the world’s poorest countries toward achieving the 2030 Agenda. “Knowledge-sharing is a priority for Turkey,” the Minister said.

One of the highlights of the week is the Exhibition, which was inaugurated following the opening ceremony and boasts 58 booths and 3 photo exhibits showcasing tested development solutions from the South.

The Expo takes place in the lead up to the 40th anniversary of the historic adoption of the 1978 Buenos Aires Plan of Action (BAPA).

The Plan of Action set the agenda for the innovative concept of South-South cooperation and provided a foundation to build the institutional mechanisms and structures that have contributed to shaping the international development agenda and changing the landscape of the global South as it is seen today. Argentina will host Second High-level UN Conference on South-South Cooperation, marking the 40th anniversary of the BAPA, in March 2019.

This week’s gathering will focus on a number of issues, including climate change partnerships; peacebuilding; private sector engagement; science, technology and innovation; public service innovation; big data; youth employment and skills development; and women’s empowerment.