GUATEMALAN WETLANDS PROMOTED AS TOURIST ALTERNATIVES
GUATEMALA, Feb 4 (NNN-Prensa Latina): The National Council of Protected Areas (CONAP) promotes Guatemala’s seven wetlands as tourist alternatives
Action requested. The Standing Committee is invited to approve the Draft Resolution on “Tourism and wetlands” for COP11 consideration subject to the amendments agreed by the Committee.
1. The attached Draft Resolution responds to the request to the Scientific and Technical Review Panel (STRP) in Resolution X.10 (2008) to conduct a scoping review of needs, options and opportunities for development of advice on scientific and technical aspects of tourism, sustainable tourism, ecotourism, and other recreational activities in relation to wetlands.
2. The Standing Committee will recall that in February 2010 the Ramsar Secretariat and the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) signed a Memorandum of Cooperation designed to enhance collaboration on issues of tourism and wetlands.
3. The Draft Resolution has been developed in a collaboration between the STRP, the Ramsar Secretariat, UNWTO, and the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity.
COP11 Draft Resolution 11-xx
Tourism and wetlands
A) Opportunities for wetlands and tourism
1. AWARE that wetlands are amongst the most productive of the world’s ecosystems; that many wetlands worldwide, both coastal and inland, natural and artificial, offer major opportunities for tourism and recreation; and that such tourism and recreation is of high economic value to governments, the tourism industry, and local communities;
2. RECOGNIZING the additional unique tourism opportunities and attractions provided through the internationally acknowledged importance of Ramsar Sites (Wetlands of International Importance);
3. ALSO RECOGNIZING the value of tourism in and around wetlands for development, poverty alleviation, human health, wetland conservation and wise use;
4. AWARE that sustainable tourism can bring strong political attention and economic opportunities to securing wetland wise use and the maintenance of key socio-economic wetland values, both in Ramsar Sites and in other wetlands; DOC. SC43-27, page 2
5. NOTING that well-managed sustainable tourism can both benefit wetlands and contribute to global biodiversity and sustainable development goals and targets, including the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), climate change adaptation & mitigation, the “Aichi targets” established in the “Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020” adopted by CBD COP10, and the Ramsar Strategic Plan 2009-2015; B) Direct and indirect threats to, and impacts on, wetlands from tourism.
6. NOTING that many countries have established national (sustainable) tourism strategies, policies and plans, but CONCERNED that these do not always address fully the role of wetlands in tourism and their potential or actual impacts, nor are they linked with national wetland policies and strategies;
7. AWARE that negative impacts of tourism on wetlands can be both direct (in situ), such as through unregulated infrastructure development and disturbance of wetland biodiversity by tourism activities, and indirect (ex situ), such as through upstream unsustainable land and water use, and CONCERNED that unsustainable or uncontrolled tourism can result in human-induced negative changes to the vital services provided to human societies by Ramsar Sites and other wetlands;
8. RECOGNIZING that whilst wetland tourism can be a positive alternative to other land uses, it does not always bring socio-cultural benefits to local communities and other stakeholders, and that in some cases it might lead to the exacerbation of existing problems and the creation of new inequalities in access to resources and distribution of benefits;
C) Definitions and available guidance relevant to tourism in wetlands
9. AWARE of the role of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) in addressing issues of tourism and wetlands and RECOGNIZING that the UNWTO principles for sustainable tourism are consistent with application of the Ramsar wise use principle;
10. RECALLING that the “Key messages” on “Planning, decision-making, finance and economics” in the Changwon Declaration on human well-being and wetlands, adopted as Resolution X.3 (2008), are relevant to issues of planning and decision-making for tourism and wetlands;
11. AWARE of existing tourism and biodiversity guidelines that are useful for addressing tourism in and around Ramsar Sites and other wetlands, including among others the IUCN-WCPA Sustainable tourism in protected areas: guidelines for planning and management, the CBD Guidelines on Biodiversity and Tourism Development adopted by CBD COP7,the 2002 World Heritage Convention’s Managing tourism at World Heritage Sites: a practical manual for World Heritage site managers and the 2004 UNWTO publication “Tourism congestion management at natural and cultural sites”;
12. ALSO AWARE of the attention to tourism in multilateral environmental agreements, including through the World Heritage Sustainable Tourism Programme, the CBD’s Biodiversity and Tourism Network, the Convention on Migratory Species’ publication Wildlife watching and tourism: A study on the benefits and risks of a fast growing tourism activity and its DOC. SC43-27, page 3
impacts on species, and the African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbird Agreement (AEWA) Guideline No. 7: Guidelines on the development of ecotourism at wetlands;
13. ALSO AWARE of the relevance of sustainable tourism in poverty eradication strategies and policies and as a potential contributor to a Green Economy; and
14. WELCOMING the report and analysis of case studies provided in the joint Ramsar-UNWTO publication on “Wetlands and tourism” being launched at this meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties;
source: Tourism and Wetlands