LT&C celebrated its 5th Anniversary and outlined Post-2020 Strategy

Koenigstein/Taunus, February 22, 2019 

During the same month in 2014, “Linking Tourism & Conservation” (LT&C) was established and registered in Norway as a non-profit conservation organization with the mission to profile tourism that contributed to the global protected areas network. Now, five years later, a small group of founding Board members and other highly motivated “penguins” (in the photo) met in Koenigstein near Frankfurt/Main, Germany, to outline the future development of what is today an entirely voluntary organization. In relation to its small budget and lean administration, the achievements of LT&C are impressive. More than 300 competent and positive-minded members (known as penguins), distributed over all continents, have joined us; and, they are our main asset and the reason for our credibility. They represent both realms – tourism and conservation -and their backgrounds cover all levels of global society, from travellers and birdwatchers to tour companies and conservation NGOs up to UN organizations. They have identified and profiled 30 LT&C-Examples for replication, examples where tourism supports the establishment or development of national parks and other types of protected areas around the world.

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LT&C Workshop “How can Raet National Park be developed towards international standards?”

Raet, “verdens fineste nasjonalpark”, was the original vision of the “fathers” of the new marine national park on the Skagerrak-coast of Arendal, Grimstad, and Tvedestrand. At this workshop, we invite local LT&C members (including GRID-Arendal), “Friends of Raet National Park” (as found on Facebook), as well as representatives of such tourism businesses, which are interested to support the further positive development of the park. Also, marine experts from the local Flødevigen Marine Research Station as well as the manager of Raet national park, Jenny Marie Gulbrandsen, are invited to think with us about ideas, how Raet could at least become the leading example of a marine national park in Norway by developing towards international standards.

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Giorgio Scala: “We should focus on a more positive approach”

Giorgio Scala, the CEO of the media company Deepbluemedia, is one of our Emperor Penguin-members, and as an official photographer of FINA (International Federation of Swimming), LEN (European Swimming Federation) and of the Italian and Russian Swimming Federations, he supports LT&C and has his own view on what the organization is about and its desired future development. As we are highly keen on listening to different voices and opinions of people that are interested in the development of LT&C (see also the outcome of our recent 5th-anniversary meeting), Peter Prokosch had the chance to conduct an interview with Giorgio:

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Again LT&C-Examples among the World’s Top 10 Sustainable Destinations as unveiled at ITB

As LT&C Partner Green Destinations reports: The World’s Top 10 Sustainable Destinations have been unveiled in the Awards Hall of ITB Berlin, at the end of its Opening day, March 6th. 44 Sustainable tourism stories have been submitted by the 100 top-sustainable destinations, available on www.sustainabletop100.org. Ten Award winners have been selected by a Jury representing 12 international organizations. 

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10-Year Anniversary World Heritage Wadden Sea celebrated at ITB

The LT&C Example Wadden Sea celebrates the 10-year anniversary of its inscription on the World Heritage List and presents its anniversary programme at this year’s ITB Tourism Fair in Berlin. In cooperation with the UNESCO World Heritage and Sustainable Tourism Programme and within the framework of the Interreg project Prowad Link”, the Wadden Sea World Heritage organizes two stands at the world’s largest tourism fair, the ITB. Under the motto “People. Protecting. Places.” (see press release of the Common Wadden Sea Secretariat).

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Green Destinations

Green Destinations is a non-profit foundation for sustainable tourism, leading a global Partnership of expert organisations, companies, and academic institutions. We work for the benefit of the Green Destinations Community: destination representatives and stakeholders. Together with them, we try to make their places better and more sustainable.

Green Destinations developed a complete, affordable and easy-to-use Assessment & Certification programme that fits the needs of both small and larger destinations. It is operated through an online Assessment & Reporting platform based upon the GSTC-Recognised Green Destinations Standard and the GD Database with data from 2000 destinations. The platform helps destinations to improve sustainability management and performance, best price guaranteed. For more information, read more about our Awards & Certification. Destinations that subscribe to the GD Assessment & Reporting platform become member of the Green Destinations Community.

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LT&C at ITB in Berlin when the Sustainable Top 100 Destination will be awarded

Linking Tourism & Conservation (LT&C), as a partner of Green Destinations, will be present at ITB in Berlin when for the second year, the ‘Best of Top 100’ will be unveiled.  This is a selection of the finest Top 100 destinations based on jury-reviewed sustainability success stories submitted by the Top 100 destinations.

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Interview with Sarah O. Hameed from Marine Conservation Institute on “Global Ocean Refuges” and relation to LT&C

The creation of a marine-protected area is only the start of an effective conservation effort, not the end.” – The New York Times, Editorial Board, February 15, 2014

In the context of today’s global ocean crisis involving overfishing, climate change, industrialization, pollution and habitat destruction, Marine Conservation Institute launched the Global Ocean Refuge System to protect 30% of the ocean by 2030. The Global Ocean Refuge System is an innovative strategy aiming to encourage decision makers to establish protected areas that safeguard marine life and promote opportunities for sustainable tourism.

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Congratulating LT&C-member Greg Bakunzi from Rwanda for receiving UNWTO Award

We congratulate our Emperor Penguin member, Greg Bakunzi from Rwanda, for receiving the UNWTO Award for his conservation and community supporting tourism. The UNWTO Awards are the flagship awards for the global tourism sector. They recognize the work of organizations and individuals around the world that positively impact and inspire the tourism sector through innovation and knowledge, in line with the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

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Good News: Virunga National Park reopens February 15

Our Emperor Penguin member, Amahoro tours, just forwarded us the information of the Virunga Foundation that the Virunga National Park re-opens on the 15th of February! This comes after the park was indefinitely closed in May 2018, due to tragic incidents as we wrote earlier. The Virunga National Park is a UNESCO world heritage site and an outstanding LT&C-Example, especially known for its thriving mountain gorilla population. Thanks to the dedication of the park’s rangers and wardens, Virunga has been able to survive. Thereby the cooperation of the Virunga Foundation with the governmental parks authority ICCN played a key role. Their work to provide unique opportunities for tourists to experience the natural wonders of the park made travelers not only financing the management and infrastructure of the national park but also triggers other financial contributions the surrounding communities benefit from.

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Raet National Park: can the present controversy about a camping site turn into a positive direction for the development of the park?

There is a hot debate in Arendal about the future development of the Hove camping or “glamping” site on the island of Tromøy in an area directly surrounded by Raet national park.  Arendal municipality has meanwhile decided to develop a special “regional plan” for the sensitive area. The good thing about the present controversial discussion is that many are wishing better preservation of the natural and recreational values of the area bordering Raet national park. Hopefully, the outcome of Arendal’s decisions is, to minimize the area covered in the future with any permanent physical structures. 

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Marine Conservation Institute and the Global Ocean Refuge System

The Global Ocean Refuge System improves the quality and quantity of marine protection globally by awarding protected areas that meet science-based standards. It is helping the world create an urgently-needed worldwide system of strongly protected areas through strategic and cost-effective ways, ensuring the future diversity and abundance of marine life.

Marine Conservation Institute’s objective for the award is to bring special recognition to nations, decision makers and site managers who effectively protect their marine ecosystems and to incentivize better ocean protection worldwide. Our hope is that this network grows and inspires nations around the world to strongly protect 30% of the ocean’s most important places by 2030.