While the exchange of visitors can contribute to economic growth, the tourist industry has unexplored and detrimental environmental ramifications.
Because tourists visit a location temporarily, there is a psychological disconnect that de-emphasizes problems facing a particular nation, thereby creating a sense that the tourist will not leave a longstanding effect on the nation they are visiting. On one hand, increased tourism encourages local investment in infrastructure projects, but influx of visitors drastically increases trash, litter, and transportation-based fuel emissions.
In this meeting, the speakers addressed how rampant use of plastic and large amounts of trash deposited in coastal island tourist communities circle through the ecosystem and have international ramifications. Health of communities is interconnected.
Solution to waste reduction in small coastal tourist destinations begins with morphing global mindset to see the whole world as home, rather than a specific country or region. The representative from Germany explained the sustained recycling efforts that have been underway for many years. Machines designed to collect waste and return fiscal benefit to those who recycle offer hope for transforming areas with high concentrations of tourism. While new initiatives and technologies are crucial to decreasing excess waste, the speakers suggested that new mindsets are necessary for a long-term sustainable solution.
Meeting: Transforming Tourism: Sustainable Future for Coastal Fishing Communities in the era of Tourism Development
Date/Time: Thursday, 8 June 2017; 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM; German Mission to the UN; UNHQ, New York, NY
Speakers: German Mission to the United Nations; Social Service Agency of the Protestant Church in Germany (Bread of the World); National Fisheries Movement; Tourism Watch; Instituto Terramar; Fair Oceans
Written by: WIT Representative Elia Sampayo Meza
Edited by: WIT Representative Mariel Brunman