Tourism on the Agenda of the World Summit on Sustainable Development 2002 in
One Step Forward, Two Steps Back
European NGOs demand more comprehensive measures and push for implementation
Bonn, Vienna, Basle, 1 July, 2002. Contrary to all expectations, the current
Draft Plan of Implementation for the World Summit on Sustainable
Development (WSSD) elaborated at the 4th session of the Preparatory
Committee for the WSSD in Bali in June 2002 does place some emphasis on
tourism. The plan to be adopted at the WSSD in Johannesburg in
August/September this year contains one whole paragraph (No. 41) on tourism
and a few references in other sections.
NGOs working on tourism from an environmental and developmental perspective
in different European countries have welcomed the fact that tourism has been
included in the Rio Follow-up process to implement Agenda 21, the global
action programme for sustainable development. In an open letter addressed to
UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and WSSD-Secretary-General Nitin Desai,
however, they express their concern that the conditions under which tourism
is promoted are by no means sufficiently conducive to sustainable
development. The measures proposed in the draft fall behind the
International Work Programme on Tourism and Sustainable Development as
agreed upon at the 7th session of the Commission on Sustainable Development
(CSD) in April 1999 in New York. The NGOs - members of the networks DANTE
and TEN - also criticise that the paragraph on tourism has been elaborated
without consultation of relevant stakeholders. No adequate reference is made
to the CSD Work Programme of 1999 which was to be reviewed in 2002.
The signatories to the open letter demand that the promotion of foreign
direct investment (FDI) one of the central and controversial points in the
Draft Plan of Implementation be replaced by the demand to enhance
participatory tourism development. Tourism can be sustainable only if
disadvantaged groups of the population are involved in the decision-making
and benefit-sharing from tourism, as outlined in the CSD-7 resolution. At
the same time, the new problematic focus on the Ecotourism niche market
must be given up. WSSD must take full account of the cross-cutting nature of
tourism and its positive as well as negative impacts and promote a
comprehensive reorientation of the tourism industry. Tourism must be
integrated into the National Strategies for Sustainable Development,
following a cross-sectoral approach and including outbound tourism.
Measures on tourism to be recommended by the WSSD must not only refer to the
protection and management of natural resources, but must also address other
issues and be included in all fields of action as appropriate: There is a
need for the elaboration and implementation of appropriate strategies for
tourism to effectively contribute to poverty eradication. In order to change
consumption and production patterns, there is a need to influence consumer
behaviour through information, education and codes of conduct for tourists.
Aircraft emissions which are known to have contributed significantly to
global warming must be effectively reduced, applying the polluter pays
To support their demands, the NGOs refer the addressees to the Rio+10: Red
Card for Tourism? brochure as a comprehensive document on the
sustainability requirements in tourism, elaborated by the working group Rio
+ 10 of DANTE. This document has already provided valuable input to the
World Ecotourism Summit in May 2002 in Quebec. The protest letter has been
signed by members of the German/Austrian/Swiss NGO Network DANTE (Die
Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Nachhaltige TourismusEntwicklung) and the Third
World Tourism European Ecumenical Network (TEN). It has also been endorsed
by the Ecumenical Coalition on Tourism (ECOT) in Hong Kong. /ck/plus
Please find the Open Letter on the WSSD negotiations on tourism attached
Get Your Copy of: Rio+10: Red Card for Tourism?
in english: http://www.akte.ch/pages/en/4_news/fs4/news.html
in french (summary):
in spanish: http://www.turismovision.kate-stuttgart.org
For electronic copies or printed version and for further information please
contact the editors:
Christine Plüss, akte - Working Group on Tourism and Development,
Missionsstr. 21, CH-4003 Basel, Switzerland, Tel +41 61 261 47 42,
Fax +41 61 261 47 21, info@...
Martina Backes, FernWeh Tourism Review, P.O.Box 5328, D-79020 Freiburg i.
Br, Germany, Tel +49 761 70 75 125, fernweh-iz3w@...
Manfred Pils, International Friends of Nature, Diefenbachgasse 36/3, A-1150
Vienna, Austria, Tel +43 1 892 387-77, Fax +43 1 812 97 89, nfi@...
Christian Baumgartner, respect Center for Tourism and Development,
Diefenbachgasse 36/3, A-1150 Vienna, Austria, Tel +43 1 895 62 45, Fax +43 1
812 97 89, office@...
Heinz Fuchs, TOURISM WATCH-EED, Ulrich-von-Hassell-Str. 76, D-53123 Bonn,
Germany, Tel +49 228 81 01 2303, Fax +49 228 81 01 160,
For the spanish version please refer to:
Angela Giraldo, KATE Center for Ecology and Development, Blumenstr. 19,
D-70182 Stuttgart, Tel +49 711 2483970, Fax +49 711 24839722,
Arbeitskreis Tourismus & Entwicklung
tel +41 (061) 261 47 42
fax +41 (061) 261 47 21