Humans and all other biodiversity are critically linked and interdependent. To protect nature with all its ecosystems, habitats and species rank as one of the most critical goals the world society has agreed to strive for (Sustainable Development Goals 14 & 15). Thereby it is most important to reach already by 2020 the UN-target (CBD Aichi 2020 target 11) of a complete, representative and well-managed network of protected areas, 17% on land and 10% of the global oceans and coasts. LT&C believes that this is achievable with the support of tourism, because
- Travelers and tourists are the biggest groups of people in the world interested in protected nature areas. 50% of all tourists visiting foreign countries make use of protected areas (IUCN).
- Most national parks would not exist if tourists would not visit them.
- The estimated sum of 30 Billion US$ needed every year for the management of a global complete network of protected areas can be raised by tourism. It is only less than 0,5 % of the global tourism turn-over.
- Already the existing national parks produce a global annual revenue of 600 billion US$ for tourism-, real estate and other businesses in their surrounding (IUCN). To give back only 5% of this sum would meet the above figure needed for the management of a global complete network of protected areas.
- There are many good examples (we call them LT&C-Examples) in the world, where tourism is supporting the establishment, development and management of protected areas by means of finances, education or political action.
- It is, therefore, the specific task of LT&C to promote such good examples and find ways how others can learn from them.
There are many initiatives existing of sustainable, responsible and/or ecotourism that have potential to contribute to the specific mission of replicating LT&C-Examples worldwide. LT&C is neither competing with them nor copying those broader approaches but rather supporting them.
- LT&C is a lean organization with no employees and no complex administrationor bureaucracy
- LT&C supports and contributes to its members projects
- LT&C is a facilitation organization, which produces synergy among partners and members
- LT&C operates in a very specific niche by focusing on mechanisms, tools and incentives to replicate and increase examples of tourism supporting protected areas
- LT&C bridges the often-separated realms of tourism and conservation through connecting members from both domains
- LT&C demonstrates concrete and applied projects
LT&C members work to increase examples of well-managed and tourism-supported protected areas. The beneficiaries are nature, tourists and tourism, the management of national parks and other protected areas, local economies and societies as well as our members.
Linking Tourism and Conservation (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.
LT&C envisions a world where travellers are inspired by experiencing nature and the beauty of natural landscapes. This is supported through a global network of well-managed protected areas that represent the world’s diversity of habitats and ecosystems. Tourism business and individual tourists play a major role in supporting, implementing and sustaining this high-quality network of national parks and protected nature areas.