Zurich, 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, Carbon & Renewable Energy Manager, 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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Notes to editors
About the Kariba REDD+ project: Located in Northern Zimbabwe, the Kariba REDD+ project site stretches over more than 1,000,000 hectares, including 786,000 hectare (or 7,860 km2) of forest land and 250,000 hectare (or 2,500 km2) of community agricultural land. It connects national parks and wildlife reserves to create a giant biodiversity corridor. The driving forces behind the project activities are the local communities in Binga, Nayminyami, Hurungwe and Mbire, on the southern shore of the Lake Kariba. Their work has led the project being recognised in the 2014 UNCCD’s “Land for Life Award” and UNDP‘s Equator Prize 2014. Find out more about the Kariba REDD+ project on LT&C’s website, or download the Kariba REDD+ project fact sheet and SDG infographic.
About the UN Sustainable Development Goals: The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a UN Initiative. The SDGs, officially known under the headline ‘Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’ is made out of seventeen aspirational “Global Goals” with 169 targets between them. Find out more here.
About Carbon offsetting: In 2007, carbon offsetting was already mentioned in UNWTO’s Davos Declaration: Climate Change and Tourism – Responding to Global Challenges – in which UNWTO encouraged Travel and Tourism Industry stakeholders to consider offsetting the emissions associated with their travels. For more about the link between tourism, climate change and climate solutions, including offsetting, click here.
Nadia Kahkonen, Communications Manager, South Pole Group
Peter Prokosch, Linking Tourism & Conservation (LT&C)
About South Pole Group
South Pole Group is a leading provider of global sustainability solutions and services. The company has delivered climate-proven solutions to a wide range of public, private and civil society organisations for over a decade. Areas of expertise cover key areas of corporate climate action, investment climate risks, sustainable supply chains, green finance, as well as renewable energy and energy efficiency. A pioneer in emission reduction and renewable energy projects, the South Pole Group’s portfolio features both Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and voluntary carbon market standards. The Group’s experience in carbon project and programme development, portfolio management, due diligence, monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) services is unmatched. Environmental Finance’s Voluntary Carbon Market Survey and others consistently rate South Pole Group among the most successful carbon market service providers in the world.
About Linking Tourism & Conservation (LT&C)
Linking Tourism and Conservation is a Norwegian registered, globally operating NGO, which is based on the compelling idea that tourism, the industry that benefits so much from protected natural areas, can play the most critical role in ensuring their sustained and effective management worldwide. By identifying and highlighting specific examples, LT&C facilitates the sharing of knowledge, experience and effective practices that mutually benefit tourism and nature conservation in protected areas. LT&C is an innovative and effective shared network. It is designed to develop tools and incentives for replication of best practices and examples of sustainable tourism that supports the establishment and management of national parks and other types of protected areas. LT&C works with individuals, businesses, and governments to strengthen the benefits of both sustainable tourism and area protection and management.