To ensure its survival and competitiveness, tourism must foresee positive progress regarding its impact on natural resources, the loss of biodiversity and the assimilation capacity of the impacts produced.
Tourism in its numerous forms can and must become a window to knowledge and appreciation of biodiversity, the sustenance of life on the planet in its infinite manifestations. This involves recognising the real importance of biodiversity and its landscapes, as well as the urban contexts of tourism, as key assets and a vital part of environmental quality and appeal for visitors.
To preserve nature and biological diversity as essential tourism resources, including critically endangered and emblematic species, all necessary measures must be taken to ensure ecosystem and habitat integrity is always respected.
We need to work towards an ecosystem-based vision of tourism, reducing its ecological footprint and taking into account the services and products that the ecosystems themselves provide. This means adopting innovative approaches to build these dimensions into tourism development, planning and management.
Tourism operations can contribute directly or indirectly to biological diversity conservation, which obliges all parties involved to know the true costs, impacts and benefits of tourism in relation to biodiversity.
Today’s world needs new models of excellence and reference, such as UNESCO’s Biosphere Reserves and the Natura 2000 network, that are capable of inspiring an effective link between biodiversity and tourism. Models of this kind also express the benefits of protected areas beyond their boundaries.
WORKING WITH TOURISM BUSINESSES TO SUPPORT CONSERVATION
RAISING AWARENESS OF BIODIVERSITY ISSUES IN TOURISM
UNESCO’S SITES: LIVING LABORATORIES FOR SUSTAINABLE TOURISM