Ban Trophy Hunting Ltd.Ban Trophy Hunting Ltd.Vancouver, BC, Canada - 14 February 2017: Most Canadians believe it is time to end the practice of hunting animals for sport, a new nationwide Insights West poll conducted on behalf of Ban Trophy Hunting Ltd. has found. In the online survey of a representative sample of Canadians, 80% of residents support enacting legislation that would ban trophy hunting in their province.

Sustainable Tourism on a Finite Planet

Burlington, VT, United States - 1 February 2017: Technology and the growing global middle class are driving a travel revolution which is causing escalating impacts on fragile ecosystems, human health, and social systems. Unreported data on the worldwide biophysical impacts of tourism uncovered in the new book, Sustainable Tourism on a Finite Planet, indicate that valuable destinations are on the verge of being irreparably harmed. New disciplinary approaches are needed to support the transition to lower the impact of tourism development worldwide.

The tourism industry is one of the most dynamic industries on the planet with a global footprint that is largely unmanaged. While tourism development brings wealth and benefits to a wide range of residents in economies worldwide, much stronger systems are required to lower escalating impacts on some of the most beautiful landscapes, watersheds, natural, socio-cultural and historical treasures in the world.

Madrid, Spain, 31 January 2017 (UNWTO): The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the United Nations Specialized Agency for Tourism, expresses its deep concern and strong condemnation over the recently announced travel ban by the United States of America (USA) to nationals of seven countries (Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen).

The travel ban, based on nationality, is contrary to the principles of freedom of travel and travel facilitation promoted by the international tourism community and will hinder the immense benefits of the tourism sector brings in terms of economic growth and job creation to many countries, including the USA. 

“Global challenges demand global solutions and the security challenges that we face today should not prompt us to build new walls; on the contrary, isolationism and blind discriminatory actions will not lead to increased security but rather to growing tensions and threats”, said UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai.

“Besides the direct impact, the image of a country which imposes travel bans in such a hostile way will surely be affected among visitors from all over the world and risk dumping travel demand to the USA” added Mr Rifai.

GSTC Industry Criteria

30 January 2017 (GSTC) - The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) is pleased to announce the release of the GSTC Industry Criteria, which had been under development for most of 2016.

The GSTC Industry Criteria serve as the 3rd revision to GSTC Hotel & Tour Operator Criteria, hence the reference to “version 3” in their formal name. To distinguish the Hotel Criteria and the Tour Operators Criteria from each other, the Industry Criteria include separate Performance Indicators for Hotels and for Tour Operators, but the two share the same set of Criteria.“The GSTC Industry Criteria forms a private sector ‘umbrella’ set of Criteria which can be applied to any future subsector-specific Criteria,” says GSTC CEO Randy Durband. “It opens the path for us to create baseline standards for other sub-sectors beyond hotels and tour operators.”

Ms Irina Bokova

Marbella, Spain - 24 January 2016 (InterEcoForum): The Director-General of The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) Ms Irina Bokova has confirmed her participation in the VI InterEcoForum which takes place in Marbella on the 23rd and 24th of March 2017. UNESCO and the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) in 2013 forged a new cooperation agreement that consolidates efforts in sustainable tourism and the protection of natural and cultural heritage. This cooperation culminated in the proclamation of 2017 as the UN Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development.

Elected as Director-General of UNESCO in 2009 and re-elected for a second term in 2013, Ms Bokova is actively engaged in international efforts to advance gender equality, quality education for all, and combat terrorist financing by preventing the illicit traffic of cultural goods. A leading champion in the fight against racism and anti-Semitism, Bokova has spearheaded UNESCO’s activities on Holocaust remembrance and awareness and is the first Director-General of the Organization to appoint a Special Envoy for Holocaust Education. She is a leading advocate for ensuring quality education for all and has championed gender equality, making this her own personal priority for the Organization. Other fields of action include enabling scientific cooperation for sustainable development, such as early warning systems for tsunamis or trans-boundary water management agreements and global advocacy for the safety of journalists and freedom of expression.

Athens Airport becomes carbon neutral

Brussels - 11 January 2017 (Airport Carbon Accreditation): At the COP21 climate negotiations in Paris in December 2015, the airport industry committed to having 50 carbon neutral airports in Europe by 2030. Today we announce the latest airport to reach that goal: Athens International Airport which has achieved carbon neutral status (Level 3+), certified by the independent carbon management programme Airport CarbonAccreditation.

Niclas Svenningsen, who heads the Climate Neutral Now initiative at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Secretariat in Bonn, Germany commented «The news that Athens International Airport has become carbon neutral through Airport Carbon Accreditation is a great way to kick off 2017. The ambitious efforts of a growing number of carbon neutral airports are a testament to how seriously this industry is working on addressing its direct impact on climate change. With 25 European airports now carbon neutral, the airport industry is already halfway towards meeting its pledge at COP21. We look forward to more progress in the year ahead.» 

Coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef. Photo Credit: Paul Marshall

5 January 2017 (UNEP) - New climate model projections of the world's coral reefs reveal which reefs will be hit first by annual coral bleaching, an event that poses the gravest threat to one of the Earth's most important ecosystems.

These high-resolution projections, based on global climate models, predict when and where annual coral bleaching will occur. The projections show that reefs in Taiwan and around the Turks and Caicos archipelago will be among the world's first to experience annual bleaching.

Other reefs, like those off the coast of Bahrain, in Chile and in French Polynesia, will be hit decades later, according to research recently published in the journal Nature Scientific Reports.

Ecovillages emerging in China?

14 December 2016 (GEN): A partnership between the Global Ecovillage Network (GEN) and the Sunshine Ecovillage Network (SEN), has been growing in the past year in China, since the first Ecovillage Forum organised by SEN took place in October 2015, drawing around 500 interested participants. Ecovillage Design Education courses have also been run in China, and many young Chinese have participated in ecovillage training.

In April and October 2016, GEN Consultancy completed its first work in China, with training sessions facilitated by Kosha Joubert, Robin Alfred, Dorota Owen and Albert Bates all offering distinct perspectives and expertise on ecovillage solutions. One of the sessions was arranged for government representatives of the Songyang district, whose Party Committee’s Secretary, expressed interest in exploring the transition of 70 of the most beautiful traditional villages of China to ecovillages.

BALPA

London, UK - 13 December 2016 (BALPA):  An airline captain and member of the British Airline Pilots’ Association has accepted an apology from an airline after being sanctioned for refusing to fly due to fatigue, as well as assurances that the company remains committed to passenger safety.

Captain Mike Simkins was suspended by Thomas Cook Airlines for six months and threatened with dismissal after refusing to fly his Boeing 767 with over 200 passengers due to being fatigued. Captain Simkins took the case to an Employment Tribunal which unanimously found in his favour and against the airline.

By Tania P. Romero-Brito , Ralph C. Buckley , Jason Byrne

1. Introduction

The conservation of biological diversity is urgent, insufficient, and underfunded [1–12]. Practical conservation involves social as well as natural sciences, and multiple stakeholders including private, community and non-government organisations (NGOs) as well as government and multilateral agencies [13–19]. Amongst these stakeholders, NGOs are assuming an increasingly important role, through: formal and informal political lobbying; buying or covenanting land for conservation; and forming partnerships to undertake specific conservation projects [19–30]. Establishing conservation-oriented ecotourism enterprises is one such approach. These enterprises aim to switch land and resource use from consumption to conservation, and to resist external threats such as large-scale land use change associated with primary industries [31–33]. This approach requires that non-profit NGOs, and their project partners, must operate within the competitive commercial tourism sector.