World Tourism Network Sustainable Tourism Think Tank Discuss Wetlands

by: Juergen T Steinmetz | copyright: eTurboNews – Travel Industry News – World Travel News

6558 members of the World Tourism Network Sustainable Discussion Think Tank include leaders and stakeholders from around the globe. They are engaged on WTN’s private Linkedin Group.

The WTN Sustainable Tourism ThinkTank on this Linkedin group is under the leadership of Rudolf Herrman, Chair of the WTN Malaysia Chapter and a tourism Hero.

Yesterdays discussion included the role of Wetlands in the tourism world.

Tourism and Environment Conservation

Tourism and environment conservation are two important aspects that are closely related.

Wherever land meets water, life abounds. Wetlands exist in every corner of this beautiful planet and are the arteries and veins of the landscape. Majestic and mighty, wetlands are a sight to behold.

World Wetlands Day

Dr. Musonda Mumba, Secretary General, of the Convention on Wetlands said, World Wetlands Day is celebrated each year on the 2nd of February.

The commemoration raises awareness and increases people’s understanding of the critical importance of wetlands. Wetlands support critical ecosystems and biodiversity. 40 percent of all plant and animal species live or breed in wetlands.

Wetlands are rich in nature and vital to human life. They are crucial to agriculture and fisheries. They act as water sources, and purifiers and protect our shores. Wetlands are the planet’s greatest natural carbon stores.

To date, nearly 90 percent of the world’s wetlands have been degraded or lost. We are losing wetlands three times faster than forests. There is an urgency to raise global awareness of wetlands to arrest and reverse their rapid loss and encourage actions to restore and conserve these vital ecosystems.

A perspective from Ecuador

Patricia Serrano, an expert in Travel and Environment Conservation in Quito, Ecuador explains on the World Tourism Network Sustainable Tourism Linkedin Discussion:

35% of the world’s wetlands have disappeared in the last 50 years. Land areas that are saturated or flooded with water either permanently or seasonally.

I have been working on organizing adventure travel to climb mountains in Ecuador and other South American countries as well as arranging tours to Ecuador’s Amazon jungle and the Galapagos Islands.

On one hand, tourism provides a source of income for Ecuador creating employment opportunities and contributing to economic growth. On the other hand, environmental conservation is crucial for maintaining the delicate balance of Ecuador’s ecosystem and biodiversity preservation for future generations.

This is why it is essential to find a balance between tourism development and environmental conservation.

One way to achieve this balance is through sustainable tourism.

This type of tourism aims to minimize the negative impact of tourism on the environment while maximizing its benefits to local communities. This can be achieved through eco-friendly tourism practices, such as reducing waste, using renewable energy sources, and promoting conservation efforts. But is this too idealistic or are we actually doing this?

Another important aspect of sustainable tourism is responsible travel. Tourists can play an active role in protecting the environment by choosing eco-friendly accommodations, participating in conservation activities, and being mindful of their impact on local communities.

For example, tourists can choose to stay in eco-friendly lodges that use renewable energy sources, engage in volunteer programs to help protect wildlife, and minimize their use of plastic while traveling.

The Ecuadorian government should play a crucial role in promoting sustainable tourism and environmental conservation. It can establish more policies and regulations to control the growth of tourism in environmentally sensitive areas, create more protected areas for wildlife, and provide financial incentives for eco-friendly tourism practices. Is our government really interested in doing this?

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