Excerpts from a recent report from the "northern" NGO clearinghouse
for the UN Commission on Sustainable Development --- especially about
At 2:54 PM -0800 11/2/99, northclear@...
>The following is a report posted on the CSD tourism list server by the
>Co-coordinators Nina Rao and Frans de Man.
>The NGO Tourism Caucus
>A. The mission statement:
>The NGO Tourism Caucus focuses on the participation of peoples and
>communities in the process of tourism development. Set up in 1998 in
>preparation for the 1999 7th session of UN-CSD, which discussed tourism
>as it is understood by the different stakeholders, the Tourism Caucus
>refers back to Agenda 21 and the concept of sustainable development. In
>this process it has expressed the collective experiences of Southern
>and Northern NGOs on the impacts of tourism and would like to have
>wider representation so that the industry led perspective is balanced
>by the peoples concerns and priorities:
>* land, water and resource rights,
>* peoples and communities
>* customs and cultures
>* traditional wisdom
>* the right to determine ones own future.
>* the just demands of those who work in the industry
>The Tourism Caucus will take up:
>* monitoring the implementation of the CSD-7 outcome
>* facilitating multi-stake-holder processes
>* the follow-up to Earth Summit 3, in 2002
>* investigating opportunities to relate to UN/Intergovernmental
>organizations that are working on tourism or affect tourism, such as
>the World Trade Organisation.
>* promoting a code of ethics which will allow for debate on the manner
>of Tourism production and consumption.
>Consequently the Tourism Caucus will take up the empowerment of local
>communities and indigenous peoples (with special attention to the work
>force in tourism) through a more representative and democratic exchange
>of information and ideas and informed participation in the debate, to
>help them to participate directly and meaningfully at all levels of
>decision-making. That requires broad and authentic information,
>education and awareness-raising initiatives.
>B. Starting points:
>In the caucus meeting on the last Friday of the CSD it was decided that
>the priority of the coordinators work would be to answer the needs of
>NGOs to informed participation in tourism development. This would be
>* Creating a list of possible groups/organizations interested and
>informing them on the tourism caucus and the opportunities to join the
>information sharing process.
>* Offering information resources (UNEP/VSO/WWF/others)
>* Offering access to information on the CSD process and other relevant
>material by creating a very simply accessible newsletter service, with
>general information available to all and more regionally based
>information available to groups concerned.
>* Exploring the possibilities of enhancing and creating access to this
>information for local groups.
>* Exploring the possibilities to contribute to the process of building
>capacities for informed participation for local groups. Next to a
>website, also a (for older computers and bad telephone lines) more
>easily accessible email facility should serve this purpose.
>For the NGOs the unsustainable aspects of tourism relate to the
>* Transferring real wealth from the rich to the poor.
>* Determining the needs of the local people and their use of resources.
>Can we document sustainable practices and then see if tourism can be
>* Why measure tourism only by income, and by volume?
>* The monocultural practice of tourism and its economic, social and
>cultural pressure, particularly on backward regions, which is creating
>a tourism tension around the world.
>* Leisure and recreation patterns that consume people and places to be
>documented and discussed.
>* Patterns of consumption--a shift from local or national products to
>imported items, which transfer consumer retail expenditure from the
>poor and middle classes to the rich and the MNCs.
>* Just demands of those who work in the industry.
>C. Tasks of the coordinators
>The caucus decided in New York that the tasks of the coordinators would
>* Representation in Steering Group (at intersessional and at CSD)
>* Overseeing/ensuring transparency and facilitating NGO participation
>in multistakeholder process
>* Relating to Roadmap (UNED-UK site) and all actions by the UN & other
>* After consulting with caucus members it was decided that the
>coordinators would also be the
>* preliminary representatives in the Ad Hoc Multi Stakeholder Working
>Group which the CSD called the WTO upon to organize.
>D. Issues in sustainable tourism.
> >From all the documents that have been produced and the emails that were
>shared we distilled categories which can be seen as clustering the
>issues in sustainable tourism. To streamline discussions and exchange
>of information, the eGroup will be divided in subgroups on the
>following clusters of issues:
>* Community Development/Informed Participation
>* Information/Education of tourists
>* Finance/International Economy/Financial Institutions/GATS/Investment
>* Financial leakages/linkages
>* Multistakeholder processes
>* Responsible entrepreneurship/Voluntary Initiatives/Codes of ethics or
>conduct/Fair and ethical Tourism/Stewardship
>* Year of Mountain and Year of Ecotourism
>* Biodiversity and environmental issues
>* Indigenous people
>* Links to other caucuses
>In the accompanying questionnaire you can give your preferences.
>E. Tourism and NGOs in the UN-CSD 99
>For more information on tourism and NGOs in the UN-CSD, you can check
>the websites of NGO-CSD website (http://www.open.igc.org/csdngo/) and
>the website of UNED-UK: (http://www.uned_uk.org).
At 2:54 PM -0800 11/2/99, northclear@...
>10. Northern Clearinghouse Update
>Megan Howell has uploaded the new Steering Committee web site. The
>site contains Steering Committee documents, Issue caucus webpages,
>archived copies of OUTREACH, links and other CSD related information.
>If you haven't been to the website yet, then please go to
>If your organization produces a paper on any of the upcoming issues for
>CSD-8, please email it to Mita Sen at northclear@..., so that
>your paper can be put on the website.
>In addition, the Steering Committee website now features a link to
>'Babelfish', a program which provides approximate translations (of text
>and entire web pages) from English into French, Spanish, German,
>Italian and Portuguese. Though the translations are not perfect, we
>hope it will help ensure that organizations who's language is not
>English can use the material we producing - www.csdngo.org/csdngo.
>If anyone has copies of previous NGO statements or position papers that
>were presented at CSD please send copies to Mita Sen at the Northern
>Clearinghouse. We hope to be able to create an online historical
>library of NGO positions over the years.
>The Northern Clearinghouse has contracted with EcoAccord Russia to
>coordinate outreach to Eastern Europe. As part of this agreement,
>EcoAccord has been translating relevant Steering Committee documents
>into Russian. This will initially be a three-month contract, during
>which we hope over 500 NGOs will be mailed information and thus drawn
>into the Steering Committee process. The Northern Caucus made it a
>priority to outreach to Eastern Europe during 1999/2000 as only 1 out
>600 NGOs at the CSD in 1999 came from Eastern Europe.
>The Northern Clearinghouse is also funding the translation of the
>Co-Chairs reports and all the Dialogue NGO preparatory papers into
>Spanish and French. We hope this will ensure a larger involvement of
>NGOs who speak those languages. This is in line with requests made to
>the Steering Committee this year.
>In September, Mita Sen went to Germany where she met with colleagues at
>the German NGO Forum on Environment and Development, UNFCC Climate
>Change Secretariat and the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment
>The Northern Clearinghouse has submitted its funding proposal to three
>funders - the European Commission and the Governments of the
>Netherlands and Norway.
>We hope you have found this information useful
>Esmeralda Brown and Felix Dodds
>Co-Chairs of the CSD NGO Steering Committee
Island Resources Foundation
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