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Tourism Responsible For Coastal Resource Loss Cited

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  • Bruce Potter, IRF
    ... -- -- 35 Years of Environmental Service to Small Tropical Islands -- Island Resources Foundation Fone 202/265-9712 1718 P St NW, # T-4 fax
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 8, 2009
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      At 10:49 PM +0100 3/8/09, trish Baily wrote:
      >This came thru MAP news - Mangrove Action Plan newsletter. Š
      >Tourism Responsible For Coastal Resource Loss Cited
      >Activists who attended the 2009 World Social
      >Forum in Belém do Pará, Brazil, from 28 January
      >to 1 February, denounced contemporary tourism
      >policies dominated by the neoliberal vision of
      >national governments, the global tourism
      >industry and global organizations like the UNWTO
      >and affirmed that it is urgent and possible to
      >bring about another tourism (see #1).
      >Mega-resort and real estate developments and the
      >enormous problems they cause for society and the
      >environment featured high on the agenda of the
      >WSF tourism seminar. The plan to launch an
      >international campaign on these issues found
      >great interest so that activists in Latin
      >America are now developing a concept for
      >alliance-building and action. It is hoped that a
      >wider range of popular movements - including
      >fisherfolk, Indigenous Peoples, mangrove
      >protectors and other environmentalists - will
      >join the global action network that will work to
      >protect coastlines and other valuable ecosystems
      >from destructive resorts, golf courses and
      >marinas. To facilitate the process, campaign
      >groups, including the Tourism Investigation &
      >Monitoring Team, have prepared a sign-on
      >statement that calls for a moratorium on harmful
      >mega-resorts and real estate developments (#2).
      >If you can endorse the statement, please email
      >us at tim-team timteam02@... or at
      >Equations campaigns@....
      >For some years already, Spain, and the Valencian
      >Region in particular, have come in for heavy
      >criticism for their infamous `land grab' town
      >planning laws that allow resort developers to
      >expropriate land from private owners (see #3).
      >Victims of these laws, many of whom have lost
      >their homes and been financially ruined by
      >greedy businesspeople and politicians, took
      >their complaints to Brussels when it became
      >clear that the local administration did not
      >care. Subsequently, the European Parliament has
      >condemned Spain three times since 2003 on the
      >`land grab' issue. On 11 February, members of
      >the European Parliament (MEPs) launched a new
      >offensive against the notorious Spanish laws
      >after the Petitions Committee approved a damning
      >new report slamming planning loopholes.
      >This case from Spain illustrates as to how hard
      >small land and home owners have to struggle
      >against powerful alliances of unscrupulous
      >developers and politicians. Sir Robert Atkins, a
      >British Tory MEP, was quoted in The Telegraph
      >(12 Feb 2009) as saying: "The scandalous
      >behaviour of some developers, builders and local
      >authorities resulting in people losing their
      >homes has to stop now. The emotional and
      >financial trauma suffered by so many legitimate
      >home owners has to be rectified." He added, "The
      >European Parliament has expressed a forceful
      >condemnation of Spanish Land Law and its
      >implementation and it is imperative that all
      >political parties in Spain understand the anger
      >of residents and act to change the law as soon
      >as possible." Hopefully, such sympathy and
      >solidarity action are not only restricted to
      >Europe but will also be extended to farmers and
      >fishers folks in Third World countries, who are
      >even more vulnerable and defenseless
      >when tourism and real estate developers
      >illegitimately take over their land, forests and
      >Yours truly,
      >Anita Pleumarom
      >Tourism Investigation & Monitoring Team
      >World Social Forum, Belém do Pará - Brazil, 28 January to 1 February 2009
      >We, participants of the Global Tourism
      >Interventions Forum, which took place between 28
      >January and 1 February during the World Social
      >Forum in Belém of Pará, Brazil, Pan-Amazon
      >region, members of organizations of countries of
      >Latin America, North America, Asia, Africa and
      >Europe, affirm that another tourism is possible
      >and urgent!
      >We denounce the hegemonic tourism policies as
      >the main obstacle to build another model of
      >tourism. These policies are characterized
      >by:>>the neoliberal vision of national
      >governments, the global tourism industry and
      >global organizations like the UNWTO;>>the
      >privatization of territories of traditional and
      >indigenous people by trans and multinational
      >corporations backed by the governments,
      >especially in developing countries;
      >the unpunished favoring of continuing sexual and
      >economical exploitation of the labor and body of
      >women, of children and young people and of
      >workers, a clear and repugnant violation of
      >human, social and labor rights;
      >the destruction of the environment, in coastal
      >areas, forests, territories of traditional and
      >indigenous people and places of great natural
      >scenic beauty, where big tourist real estate
      >enterprises are installed bringing about
      >financial speculation;
      >the lack of democracy and transparency with
      >which they are implemented, deliberately
      >excluding the participation of communities and
      >critical organizations in the decision-making
      >the aggravation of poverty among local populations and of social inequality;
      >the concentration of income from tourism in the
      >hands of big corporations facilitated by large
      >amounts of public funds and by international
      >financial institutions;
      >and the deregulation of tourism contributing to
      >the several social and environmental conflicts
      >that we identify in various parts of the world
      >as a result of predatory, excluding and
      >unsustainable tourism.
      >Conventional tourism contributes to global
      >warming and climate change. It emits greenhouse
      >gases while privileging tourism transport means
      >moved by fossil fuels, besides other
      >unsustainable practices and consumption forms.
      >While settling in coastal-marine areas, in
      >territories of indigenous and traditional
      >peoples who live interlinked with the
      >environment, destroying natural ecosystems (dune
      >fields, mangrove swamps, sandbanks) for the
      >construction of resorts and hotels, and when
      >privileging a mass tourism that doesn't respect
      >the carrying capacity, neither the needs,
      >aspirations and sustainability concerns of
      >communities of the tourist "destinations", while
      >privatizing territories expelling many
      >communities towards unhealthy and unworthy urban
      >areas it increases social and climatic injustice
      >and the vulnerability of these communities with
      >respect to the impacts of climate change. We
      >will raise more awareness about the relationship
      >between tourism and climate change in the
      >current negotiations of the UN Convention on
      >Climate Change.
      >We defend a kind of tourism, with a logic
      >opposed to this current model of tourism and
      >speculative real estate development that
      >threatens the territories of traditional
      >peoples, trying to transform nature enclaves and
      >cultures into economic goods in the interest of
      >big capital. In fact, with hope,
      >self-determination and courage, several
      >experiences based on networks are blooming in
      >all continents, which clearly respect
      >community-based and solidarity tourism, firmly
      >guided by the respect of local cultures and the
      >environment. These are legitimate expressions of
      >struggle and resistance of communities against a
      >conventional, unsustainable and exploitative
      >tourism, the defense of their territories and
      >natural resources, rescue and affirmation of
      >their deep cultural expressions, and a means to
      >strengthen their local and community
      >organizations. These are experiences of a
      >tourism model that values the way of life of
      >those communities, narrowly linked to the
      >ecosystems that guarantee their survival.
      >We call upon all citizens of the world to
      >contribute to the consolidation of
      >community-based, solidarity, just and
      >sustainable tourism, through their organizations
      >and as conscious consumers, and to produce and
      >exchange knowledge and experiences; to defend
      >public policies that seek the regulation of
      >tourism, immediately stop public financing of
      >tourism mega-enterprises and ensure the right of
      >access of communities to the territory, of the
      >constitutional and human rights of the
      >communities to development and
      >self-determination, as well as the rigorous
      >application of the environmental legislation
      >respecting biological and cultural diversity;
      >and to support the resistance struggles in the
      >whole world as well as the alternatives and
      >concrete experiences of community-based and
      >solidarity tourism.
      >Belém, 1 February 2009.
      >Brazilian Forum of NGOs and Social Movements for the Environment and
      >the Development (FBOMS), Argonautas Environmentalists of the Amazon,
      >EQUATIONS (India), Forum for the Defense of Ceara Coast, Institute
      >Terramar, TURISOL Network, TUCUM Network, Coopesolidar (Costa Rica),
      >Institute Vitae Civilis, Association for the Defense and the
      >Development of Kuelap (Peru), Alba Sud (Spain/Nicaragua), Association
      >for Responsible Tourism (Spain), Brazilian Institute for Consumers
      >Defense, Community Mapuche-Tehuelche Pu Fotum Mapu (Argentina),
      >Association Amigos of Prainha do Canto Verde (Switzerland).
      >For more information, contact:
      >FBOMS - Fórum Brasileiro de ONGs e Movimentos Sociais
      >para o Meio Ambiente e o Desenvolvimento
      >SCS, Quadra 08, Bloco B-50
      >Edifício Venâncio 2000, Sala 105
      >CEP 70333-900
      >Brasília, DF - Brasil
      >Fone: (61) 3033.5535 ou 3033.5545
      >Source: Tourism Investigation & Monitoring Team
      >Trish Baily: Captain/Manager Yacht Serendipity,
      >British Virgin Islands. Tel: 284 4967557,
      >ecosail@..., www.sailserendipity.com.

      35 Years of Environmental Service to Small Tropical Islands
      Island Resources Foundation Fone 202/265-9712
      1718 "P" St NW, # T-4 fax 202/232-0748
      Washington, DC 20036 Potter cell: 1-443-454-9044
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      Blogs at http://pottersweal.wordpress.com/; twitter: brucepotter
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