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CTO and Caribbean Development Bank Partner with Ministry of Tourism, St Kitts to Stage Successful Climate Smart Tourism Forum

 

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (19 December, 2017) – The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) in collaboration with the St. Kitts Ministry of Tourism hosted the Climate Smart Sustainable Tourism Forum, as the first regional activity related to implementation of the Supporting a Climate Smart and Sustainable Caribbean Tourism Industry  (CSSCTI) project, funded by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB).  The landmark event, in observance of the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development was held in Basseterre, St. Kitts from December 12-14, 2017.

The Forum brought together local, regional, and international representatives from public and private sector tourism entities, as well as development agencies for three days of dynamic and interactive engagements. It examined climate change adaptation, mitigation, and opportunities for sound management of Caribbean destinations. Key Forum Sessions included: Tourism Resiliency through Climate Change Adaptation & Mitigation; Innovative Models & Best Practices in Sustainable Tourism; S.M.A.R.T Destinations: Using Climate as an Opportunity; The Tourism Recovery Roundtable; and Roadmap to Disaster Management. The keynote presentation was delivered by Mr. Greg McKenzie, senior news presenter, producer and television broadcaster from the BBC, London U.K, who explained that as more Caribbean countries developed their tourism industry, it would produce significant impacts on their natural resources, consumption patterns, as well as ecological and social systems. He therefore argued that sustainable and responsible planning and management was imperative for the industry to survive. “A balance has to be found between limits and usage so that [we] continuously change monitoring and planning [to] ensure that tourism can be managed. More importantly, sustaining development must include the interests of all stakeholders, including indigenous people, local communities, visitors, industries and of course more importantly, government united in the effort to mitigate and combat global climate change and its related impacts” Greg McKenzie, BBC.

The first two days of activities included presentations by experts showcasing best practices for a climate resilient sustainable tourism industry; the sharing of experiences and benchmark initiatives by country representatives; practical workshops to reinforce lessons learnt; and experiential field visits showcasing key initiatives in St. Kitts. Presentations were received from Dr. Ulric Trotz, Deputy Director, Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre, Mr. Hugh Riley, CTO’s Secretary General and CEO, Dr. Yves Robert Personna, Project Manager for the African Caribbean Pacific-European Union-Caribbean Development Bank- Natural Disaster Risk Management (ACP-EU-CDB NDRM) in CARIFORUM Countries programme, at the CDB, and Lieutenant General Russel L. Honoré, best known for serving as commander of the Joint Task Force Katrina responsible for coordinating military relief efforts post Hurricane Katrina in the United States, who presented on the topic, Lessons from Katrina.

On the third day a tourism sector strategic consultation workshop was held for the CSSCTI project, chaired by the CTO Sustainable Tourism Specialist and CSSCTI project Manager, Ms. Amanda Charles. Also presiding over the meeting was Dr. Yves Robert Personna, who delivered a presentation on the NDRM programme highlighting ongoing activities to include support given to countries.

“CBD has partnered with CTO to help incorporate climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction considerations into national and regional tourism policies, plans and operations. While the tourism industry is crucial to the economic growth and development of the Caribbean, one must also recognise that this sector is highly sensitive to the impacts of climate change and extreme weather events. These events have adversely affected the flow of environmental goods and services on which the sector is largely dependent. Therefore, it is essential to develop and implement sound initiatives to increase the tourism sector resilience to climate-related risks to ensure its sustainability”, said Dr. Personna.

The Climate Smart Sustainable Tourism Forum was an opportunity to share and exchange best practices, hear and learn from experts and engage in rich dialogue and networking with tourism industry stakeholders, as well as regional and international partners, in seeking to enhance climate resiliency and strengthen disaster risk management strategies in the Caribbean Tourism industry. “We are indebted to the CDB for their support of the Caribbean tourism sector in providing the financial and technical assistance for the implementation of the Supporting a Climate Smart and Sustainable Caribbean Tourism Industry project, which facilitated the convening of the Forum. The threats posed by global warming and climate change require a well-coordinated and urgent response, given the vulnerability of the Caribbean region and the tourism sector specifically.” Hugh Riley, Secretary General and CEO.

This CSSCTI project will support the mainstreaming of climate and disaster risk reduction considerations in tourism business operations and destination management, and through the delivery of training and tools, enhance regional competencies for climate change adaptation and disaster risk management.

Funding for the project and related activities is being provided under the African Caribbean Pacific-European Union-Caribbean Development Bank- Natural Disaster Risk Management in CARIFORUM Countries programme, which aims to reduce vulnerability to long-term impacts of natural hazards, including the potential impacts of climate change, thereby achieving national and regional sustainable development and poverty reduction goals in those countries.

For information and photos from the event please visit www.caribbeanstc.com

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About the Caribbean Development Bank

The Caribbean Development Bank is a regional financial institution established in 1970 for the purpose of contributing to the harmonious economic growth and development of its Borrowing Member Countries (BMCs). In addition to the 19 BMCs, CDB’s membership includes four regional non-borrowing members – Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and Venezuela and five non-regional, non-borrowing members; i.e., Canada, China, Germany, Italy, and the United Kingdom. CDB’s total assets as at December 31, 2016 are USD2.89 billion (bn). These include USD1.59bn of Ordinary Capital Resources and USD1.29bn of Special Funds. The Bank is rated Aa1 Stable with Moody’s and AA+ Stable with Standard and Poor’s and Fitch. Read more at caribank.org.

Contact:

Sueann Tannis

Head of Corporate Communications

Mobile: 246-826-3343

Office: 246-431-1882

Email: [email protected]

 

Posted in: 2018 News, Blog, Climate Smart Forum

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CTO Announces Winners of Caribbean Primary Schools Tourism Writing Competition

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, (2 August, 2017) – Four Caribbean primary school students ranging in age from 8-12, will be honoured for excellence in tourism writing at next month’s Climate Smart Sustainable Tourism Forum in St. Kitts.

The four –  Kassie Haley-Shai of St. Augustine Roman Catholic School in Montserrat, Ariah Khobie Diamante Darroux of  Convent Preparatory School  in Dominica (both in the 8-10 category), Jhe’anti Belyca Craigg of Belmont Government School in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Gabriella Lewis of Atwell’s Educational Institute in Trinidad and Tobago (10-12 category) – emerged winners among 44 participants  from 26 schools who participated in the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO)’s Caribbean Primary Schools Tourism Writing Competition.

The contest, held as part of activities for International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development and the CTO’s Year of Adventure, was organised to enhance primary school students’ awareness of tourism and its value and contribution to the region’s social and economic development. It was also meant to challenge the students to think of creative ways to make tourism more sustainable.

The winners can be viewed here: http://www.onecaribbean.org/primary-school-tourism-writing-competition/

“I am very pleased with the level of interest exhibited in this initiative, as evidenced by the diversity of participating schools,” said Amanda Charles, the CTO’s sustainable tourism development specialist, whose department spearheads the Climate Smart Sustainable Tourism Forum.

“The submissions were all of a high calibre, with the students displaying depth and creativity in their compositions. It is clear that even at the primary school level students are aware of the importance of tourism to the region, can speak eloquently about tourism in their countries and have some insight into the opportunities and challenges associated with tourism development.”

The students in the 8-10 category were asked to write about what sustainable tourism meant to them or how visitors and locals should act towards each other to promote peace, while those in the 10-12 category were challenged to conceptualise and describe a new adventure tour or to suggest ways that the CTO can help make tourism in the Caribbean more sustainable. The students in both categories were also given the option of writing on whether they felt tourism does indeed contribute to making the Caribbean region a better place, or to identify an adventure tourism activity in their countries and deliver a sales pitch to encourage tourists to experience that activity.

Themed, Good for Us, Better for All, the 6-8 September Climate Smart Sustainable Tourism Forum is being held in observance of International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development and will bring together local, regional, and international representatives from public and private sector tourism entities, as well as development agencies that offer programming in sustainable tourism, for three days of interactive engagements.

Major elements will include best practice sharing and strategic consultations for a CTO climate adaptation project funded by the Caribbean Development Bank, in order to strengthen holistic destination management approaches in the Caribbean. The programme will also include experiential field visits, a meeting of CTO’s Sustainable Tourism Technical Committee, and winning presentations from CTO’s Primary School Tourism Writing Competition. The event culminates with the presentation ceremony for CTO’s 2017 Sustainable Tourism Awards which recognise regional sustainability champions.

Organising partners include the CTO, the St. Kitts Ministry of Tourism, the St. Kitts Sustainable Destination Council, and Sustainable Travel International.

The winner of the 2014 CTO/Travel Mole Sustainable Tourism Award in Destination Stewardship, St Kitts is one of the first destinations in the world to be accepted as an early adopter of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council’s criteria for destinations. It also is a founding member of the Sustainable Destination Alliance of the Americas, an initiative by the CTO, the Organization of American States, Sustainable Travel International and Royal Caribbean Cruises Limited to promote sustainable destination management in the Caribbean and Central America.

Its many initiatives include the establishment of the Heart of St. Kitts Foundation and Sustainability Charter, which helps businesses understand how their operations contribute to destination-wide sustainability, and to support community projects that make St. Kitts a more sustainable place to live and experience.

Posted in: 2017 News, Blog, Climate Smart Forum, Corporate News

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