The present Corona-times imply significant challenges for the entire tourism sector, including our members, who stay behind our important 39 LT&C-Examples. On the other hand, times also provide prospects that the governments and others in the world will have to put much more emphasis focusing on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), they all had agreed already in 2015. That means much more focus on those types of tourism, which support SDGs. From our perspective, the highest priority should go to the biodiversity SDGs 14 & 15, respectively related forms of tourism. Therefore, LT&C has to play an even more critical role. We need to raise an increasing discussion with our LT&C-Example providers, how their essential work can be secured, upscaled and replicated.
Nature is sending us a message, says UN’s environment chief, Inger Andersen. “There are too many pressures at the same time on our natural systems and something has to give,” she added. “We are intimately interconnected with nature, whether we like it or not. If we don’t take care of nature, we can’t take care of ourselves. And as we hurtle towards a population of 10 billion people on this planet, we need to go into this future armed with nature as our strongest ally.”
The providers of LT&C-Examples have shown in all corners of the world how tourism can support nature conservation. Now they are themselves challenged, and the crisis is putting at risk effective protected area management. However, it is also a time to take a step back and rethink tourism on a more strategic level and to strengthen the case for sustainable tourism, which supports conservation of nature (SDGs 14 & 15).
As LT&C recently reached out to all their LT&C-Example providers, we increasingly receive responses with urgency for help. Here is the message from the LT&C-Example Chumbe Island Coral Park.
From the North of the United States, we are receiving the message from the ongoing battle to safe the LT&C-Example Boundary Waters: Protecting the Boundary Waters during the COVID-19 Pandemic
From the LT&C-Example Jackson Hole & Yellowstone Sustainable Destination Program, Timothy O’Donoghue has sent us a slightly more optimistic message: “ In short, similar to the rest of the world, our destination is shutdown. The central attraction here is our two national parks: Yellowstone and Grand Teton. They are projected to reopen on May 22 which is to say that is when people, primarily from within the U.S., will start to arrive. This is normally the time of year when the parks and surrounding national forest are closed anyway, primarily to give wildlife and their habitat a rest and for the snow to be cleared from the roads.
The primary concern is how the restrictions will be eased and over what time. The state of Wyoming is in a much better position than other states since the impact of coronavirus has been less so far.“
And for our German-speaking audience, we like to forward the latest Newsletter of the Schutzstation Wattenmeer, the most important conservation-education organisation for the LT&C-Example Wadden Sea. They urgently need help!