Encuentro TEN en Bonn: por la justicia climática en el turismo internacional

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A principios de junio voy a participar en el encuentro de la Tourism European Network (TEN).  TEN es «una red de ONGs, organismos de ayuda, grupos religiosos, grupos de solidaridad y personas que trabajan en el ámbito del turismo y los efectos que tienen sobre la gente del Tercer Mundo. Este grupo de trabajo entiende el turismo global en el contexto del conflicto Norte-Sur,  denuncia los conflictos y combate las prácticas injustas en turismo.»

Voy invitado por Frans de Man y Tricia Barnett de Tourism Concern. También van a estar muchas otras de otros países europeos como Suiza, Alemania, Holanda, Bélgica, Austria, Suecia e India… ¡Yo voy a ser la única representación española! Espero poder aprender mucho de esta gente, que lleva muchísimos años al pie del cañón. También me gustaría poder explicar la situación del turismo en España, especialmente los problemas medioambientales que causa la construcción turística en el litoral.

Os dejo la nota de prensa que han sacado en que se explican las reivindicaciones de los participantes en el encuentro, que este año tienen mucho que ver con el cambio climático.

Campaigning groups demand climate justice in international tourism

Tourism: on the one hand, it is a victim of global warming; on the other hand, it contributes to the problem by generating high levels of carbon emissions. That is what the European Ecumenical Tourism Network (TEN) points out on the occasion of the climate negotiations in June 2010 in Bonn.

Although tourism is not directly negotiated at the UN climate talks, it is mentioned. Bunker emissions (emissions from aviation, including holiday flights, and shipping) have been under negotiation at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) for years. However, they have so far not been subject to any binding regulations.

In fact, international tourism is used as an argument against binding regulations to limit aviation and shipping emissions. There are concerns that such climate protection measures may harm tourism’s growth potential, particularly with respect to its role as a foreign-exchange earner and driver of development for poor countries.

TEN and its partner organisation are instead demanding a critical debate about tourism and the impacts of its continued, unfettered growth. “Tourism is promoted in an uncritical and unethical way. It may bring economic benefits to a few but is often outshined by its adverse impacts on the local communities and environment”, claims Sumesh Mangalassery of Kabani, India, an organisation working on tourism, human rights and development. “Climate change and it’s so called solutions are aggravating these impacts and violating the basic human rights of the communities. Therefore a complete paradigm shift in current tourism development and climate change negotiations are essential”.

Rachel Noble from UK organisation Tourism Concern underlines that tourism is already responsible for a range of negative impacts on poor countries. “Global warming could seriously exacerbate existing problems caused by tourism, particularly in relation to water scarcity”.

“Emissions from aviation and shipping must be placed under binding regulations, as should all emissions from tourism”, says Heinz Fuchs of Tourism Watch, part of the German Church Development Service. But the debate around climate justice and tourism goes beyond reduction measures. “There needs to be a shift in thinking on the part of tourism decision makers and the international tourism industry, which sees them take social responsibility for the impacts of tourism beyond the existing legal requirements. Climate protection measures must become an integral part of voluntary corporate social responsibility initiatives and sustainability strategies,” says Fuchs.

These and other issues around tourism and climate justice will be discussed at a special side event on 4th June 2010, starting at 6pm, at the University Club Bonn. This will be followed by an open wine reception with the TEN members in the foyer.

The panellists will be available for interview. They are in Bonn on the occasion of the European Ecumenical Tourism Network (TEN) from 3rd till 6th June 2010.


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