SEVENSEAS Marine Conservation & Travel Issue 21, February 2017 - Page 116

Pioneering Sustainable Tourism Organisations Offset Emissions and Support UN Sustainable Development Goals

South Pole Group and LT&C (Linking Tourism & Conservation) announce exclusive partnership on climate neutrality

urich, Switzerland and Arendal, Norway, 18 January 2017 - The contribution of tourism to greenhouse gas (GHG)

emissions is increasing. Today, the tourism and ecotourism industry is already feeling the numerous impacts of climate change: sea-level rise and more acidic oceans are threatening coastal tourism infrastructure and natural attractions, and climate change is leading to significant changes in biodiversity. It is against this backdrop that leading sustainability solutions provider South Pole Group and LT&C (Linking Tourism & Conservation), the global sustainable tourism & conservation network, announce their exclusive partnership on climate neutrality.

The partnership offers LT&C members the possibility to offset the GHG emissions associated with their travels by investing in a charismatic conservation project, which also contributes to specific Sustainable Development Goals. By taking this approach, South Pole Group and LT&C demonstrate that tourism can be a driver for sustainable development and lead the fight against climate change.

South Pole Group and LT&C have selected the Kariba REDD+ project in Zimbabwe to support climate neutrality efforts. This project is rooted in the vision to fight poverty, hunger and deforestation, and at the same time, contribute to nature- and climate protection. These outcomes are achieved by actions to adapt to climate change, and conserve natural ecosystems by reducing forest loss and avoiding desertification. The true agents of change in living up to these ambitions are the people from the communities living within the project area.

This South Pole Group solution supports pioneering tourism organisations that want to compensate for the global climate impact of travel and further environmental conservation efforts. LT&C’s and South Pole Group’s collaboration also complements the aspirations of the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development (IY2017), launched today by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) in Madrid: the IY2017 aims to promote the role of tourism in sustainable economic growth, poverty reduction, environmental protection and conservation, climate change, and peace.

“We could not be prouder to partner with LT&C,” says Alexander Quarles van Ufford, title, South Pole Group. “By combining our robust climate neutrality solutions and LT&C’s global knowledge network and industry insights, we can work together to help ensure business practices in the tourism sector actively contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals.”

“There is no bigger group of people in the world wanting to experience nature and protect it than tourists”, says Peter Prokosch, founder and chairman of LT&C. “We are excited to be working with South Pole Group to strengthen the capacity of tourism businesses in supporting the establishment, development and management of protected natural areas.”

The two organisations plan to work together throughout 2017, to engage LT&C’s stakeholders, and encourage tour operators and individual travellers to address their travel carbon footprint through the Kariba REDD+ project.

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February 2017 - Sustainable Travel

116 - SEVENSEAS