CTO Earth Day Message 2017
by Hugh Riley, Secretary General, Caribbean Tourism Organization
Theme: Environmental and Climate Literacy – The Caribbean is Taking Action
As the world pauses to celebrate Earth Day today, the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) is pleased to declare its support for actions that make a difference.
It is no secret that the very foundation of Caribbean tourism is our unparalleled natural environment; one that is rich in biodiversity, is virtually unpolluted, boasts landscapes that draw visitors from across the globe, and sustains life and livelihood. In the Caribbean we have a sacred duty to protect these assets by insisting on the development and adoption of sustainable tourism practices, while responsibly sharing our natural treasures with travellers to our shores.
As the Caribbean’s tourism development agency whose purpose is: Leading Sustainable Tourism – One Sea, One Voice, One Caribbean, the CTO is intimately attuned with the need to respect our earth. It is our belief that there will always be conflict between respect for our planet and the desire to profit from invaluable natural assets that we possess. Moreover, we must recognize that destroying our planet in pursuit of economic growth is an existential threat to both present and future generations.
It is for this very reason that the CTO strives to position the Caribbean as a truly sustainable tourism region – a region that leads the global response to climate change by pursuing carbon neutrality, one that actively manages its land, water, and energy resources and decisively employs technologies that drive resource efficiencies across its tourism supply chains. CTO will also continue to provide the relevant authorities with the tools and data necessary to activate tourism policies and regulations that serve the best interest of the region, while advocating for more responsible behaviour from the larger nations around the world.
We are pleased that Earth Day 2017 focuses on Environmental and Climate Literacy, as we have been developing our Caribbean Tourism Climatic Bulletin in partnership with our colleagues at the Caribbean Institute for Metrology and Hydrology (CIMH). Once finalized, this bulletin will be a guiding tool for tourism policymakers and businesses to better understand how climate change will impact their livelihoods, and how they can adapt for success while contributing to a better state of affairs.
When seeking to protect our planet, one of the greatest challenges is to enlist all citizens to join the effort. The Caribbean Tourism Organization, through its trained professionals and in conjunction with global and regional partners, is pleased to provide guidance and information on how the actions of any individual can be an effective part of the solution. Happy Earth Day 2017.