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[sustainable-tourism] UN Commission on Sus Dev: report on Sustainable Tourism

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  • Bruce Potter at Island Resources
    Excerpts from a recent report from the northern NGO clearinghouse for the UN Commission on Sustainable Development --- especially about Tourism.... ...
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 3, 1999
      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@... wrote:
      >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
      >* biodiversity
      >* 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
      >done by:
      >* 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
      >following issues:
      >* 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
      >international bodies.
      >* 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
      >* Criteria/Indicators/guidelines
      >* 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@... wrote:
      >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
      >and Energy.
      >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
      >Best Wishes
      >Esmeralda Brown and Felix Dodds
      >Co-Chairs of the CSD NGO Steering Committee

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