Washington, April 16 : An international seminar was held on April 11 in the United Kingdom, which helped to shape a path towards sustainable tourism.
According to a report in ENN (Environmental News Network), the seminar, which was on climate change adaptation and mitigation in the tourism sector, involved 30 high-level tourism and environment officials from developing countries and Small Island developing states.
The seminar focused on capacity building and pragmatic adaptation and mitigation techniques and methods for developing countries and small island states in order to address the problems and meet the challenges presented by climate change.
The seminar's delegates contributed to and took part in a series of sessions at Oxford University's Balliol College.
For three days, the participants received high-level training and carried out interactive debates including practical ways of integrating the mitigation of and adaptation to climate change in the tourism sector.
"The tourism industry has a key role to play in confronting the challenges of climate change," said Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary General and UNEP Executive Director.
"Indeed, there is now a clear understanding that the industry can be part of the solution to climate change, by reducing its green house gas emissions as well as by helping the communities where tourism represents a major economic source to prepare for and adapt to the changing climate," he added.
According to Dr. Murray Simpson, scientific coordinator of the seminar, with its close connections to the environment and climate itself, tourism is considered to be a vulnerable and highly climate-sensitive economic sector, similar to agriculture, insurance, energy, and transportation.
"At the same time, tourism is a contributor to Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions, including emissions from transport, accommodation and activities," he said.
In 2005, tourism's contribution to CO2 (carbon dioxide) emissions was estimated to be approximately 5%. Measured as warming effect, these emissions could represent up to 14% of global warming effect.