One Planet - Sustainable Tourism: Highlights



Following the adoption of the Kasane Call to Action during the 2017 International Symposium and Annual Conference, the One Planet - Sustainable Tourism programme has restructured its Portfolio of Work around four areas of action: lead, innovate, finance and empower (LIFE). The examples below represent a selection of highlights undertaken by programme members in 2017. 



The Kasane Call to Action on Sustainable Tourism: "The Tourism We Want"

The Kasane Call to Action represents the contribution of the 10YFP Sustainable Tourism Programme to the legacy of the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development. The Call aims to drive stakeholders in transforming the way tourism is developed and managed by providing guidance on critical issues and opportunities for the sector to accelerate sustainable consumption and production patterns.

It was developed by the Coordination Desk with support from the Rainforest Alliance and UN Environment and followed a participatory approach which consisted of a survey of programme members, desk research and consultations during breakout sessions held at the 2017 International Symposium and Annual Conference in Botswana, where the Call was adopted after the successful discussions on the use of data for tourism and conservation planning, circularity in tourism value chains and the Paris Agreement, financing of innovation and sustainability marketing.

The Call is shaped around 4 levers of action (i.e. 'LIFE'): LEAD the creation of the necessary conditions for sustainable consumption and production in tourism; INNOVATE to accelerate the adoption of sustainable consumption and production practices in tourism; FINANCE a shift towards sustainable consumption and production practices in tourism; EMPOWER travellers, entrepreneurs, host communities and governments to scale-up sustainable consumption and production practices in tourism.



Zero Carbon Resorts for Sustainable Tourism project in the Philippines and Thailand

Solar cooking is part of the innovative practices being implemented by resorts in the Philippines

Led by the Center for Appropriate Technology from Austria (GrAT) with funding from the European Union SWITCH-Asia programme, the project has supported over 800 tourism establishments since 2014 to advance towards carbon neutral operations through the adoption of innovative practices and technology for resource efficiency and the use of renewable resources. Interventions range from simple measures with low or no investment such as the identification and elimination of energy and resource wastage and a smart realization of energy services to efficient high-end technologies like alternative ways to achieve thermal comfort, among others.

Through the application of the 3R methodology (Reduce – Replace – Redesign), the project has challenged the conventional practices of how tourism establishments operate their buildings and facilities in the Philippines and Thailand leading to a reduction of up to 63% of costs for energy and water and avoided the emission of over 11 million kg CO2, thus building the case that making any business more sustainable is not only a good economic choice but can also significantly reduce the carbon footprint of tourism and enhance the resilience of its operations.

In collaboration with the Department of Tourism of the Philippines, the project has contributed to the development of the “ANAHAW – Philippine Sustainable Tourism Certification” which was launched in January 2018. The certification is in accordance with the objectives of the National Tourism Development Plan 2016 – 2022 and focuses on enabling innovation initiatives that help reduce operational costs and carbon emissions through smart methods, processes and technologies.



Tailor-made Financing Programme for Sustainable Tourism Micro and SMEs in Costa Rica

Locos por el Bosque is one of the beneficiaries of the credit programme which operates tours in the Costa Rican rainforest

Led by Fundecooperación para el Desarrollo Sostenible, a private foundation, the financing programme offers innovative and accessible credit conditions for micro and SMEs which otherwise would have limited possibilities to receive support in traditional financing systems. The programme focuses on innovative products or services that promote entrepreneurship related to environmental and social practices and trigger productive linkages, social management and equal gender participation. 

With a USD 12 million investment, more than 280 projects have been financed since 2006, mainly in the agricultural and tourism sectors. Overall, 83% of the projects are carried out in places with lower social development indexes; 60% of the projects financed were developed by the family unit; 35% of the total financed projects corresponded to the development of new business ideas; and 33% of the projects were led by women. In average, credits have a timeline of 10 years and in 2017 it was possible to increase the repayment rates to 93% (from 80% in 2016).

Many of the tourism projects financed were related environmental education during tours (e.g. by boat, kayak or horse-back riding) or through the improvement of trails and to the implementation of adaptation measures such as water harvesting, clean energies, aquaculture and wastewater treatment.



The Long Run –Tourism Operations with a Holistic Balance

Members of The Long Run gathered at Grootbos Private Nature Reserve for their 2017 Annual Meeting

The Long Run gathers a community of 33 like-minded destinations from around the world that showcase how business goes hand in hand with healthy ecosystems and prosperous communities. To date, its members protect directly over 5 million acres of nature and over 30,000 species – including more than 200 endangered or threatened species and business operations and member programmes and activities benefit over 500,000 people.

Guided by the 4 key principles of being fair, honest, positive and creative and the “4Cs”, i.e. Conservation – Community – Culture – Commerce, The Long Run members integrate sustainability into all its business decisions following the highest standards of sustainability – 25% of its members are certified with the Global Ecosphere Retreats Standard.

As part of the 2017 strategy to support and connect nature-based tourism businesses around the world, inspire additional businesses and investors, encourage local communities to become champions of wildlife conservation and secure the legacy of its members, the creation of an online Knowledge Centre is one of the key elements for scaling up technical assistance in line with the goal to protect by 2020 a total of 20 million acres and touch the lives of 2 million people.


For further information on activities affiliated to the One Planet - Sustainable Tourism programme, please visit SCP Clearinghouse