Blue Carbon Ecosystems for Regenerative Tourism

4 July 2022
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"Blue Carbon Ecosystems for Regenerative Tourism" 28th June 2022

NOAH Regen took an active role in promoting solutions as per its engagement in promoting a blue future at the United Nations Ocean Conference (UNOC) and its side-events in Lisbon; a week of ocean talks held on the shores of the Atlantic capital where the fresh sea breeze acted as a reminder that winds of change were needed in our commitment to protect the ocean.

The side-event was co-organized by NOAH Regen and the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) hosted by Forum Oceano. The discussions explored innovative solutions to accelerate the transformation towards regenerative tourism through the protection of blue carbon ecosystems.

Blue carbon ecosystems such as mangroves, tidal marshes and seagrasses have a remarkable sequestration potential. These coastal and marine ecosystems are closely connected to tourism: Approximately 80% of global tourism takes place in coastal destinations; Tourism represents 40% of the blue economy. At the same time, coastal ecosystems are impacted by tourism development.

As the tourism sector embraces more low carbon operations, investments in blue carbon markets can support mitigating residual emissions, while unlocking opportunities and finance to further support conservation, creating a virtuous circle for tourism destinations and leading the way to Net Zero.

In opposite order of appearance, Megan Morikawa, Global Sustainability Director, Iberostar Group provided examples of their industry leading restorative practices currently implemented their locations; Amanda Ho, CEO & Founder, Regenerative Travel gave an accurate focus on services aligned with nature, Michael Mathres, Founder & Director, Fund Nature gave a rousing contribution as to what financial contributions will be required to achieve the targets with a clear focus on the private money markets being the only resource to do this, and Frederic Degret, CEO, NOAH Regen detailed the necessity of the holistic approach and toolkit solution. The panel was moderated by Zoritsa Urosevic, Executive Director, UNWTO who takes a passionate interest in the subject, which made for a comprehensive panel, and an interesting and engaging discussion.

The Blue Carbon Ecosystems for Regenerative Tourism panel moderator and featured speakers represented the challenges and solutions for nowadays, and near future.

  • Zoritsa Urosevic, Executive Director, UNWTO
  • Miguel Naranjo, Programme Officer, UNFCCC (On line)
  • Frederic Degret, CEO, NOAH Regen
  • Michael Mathres, Founder & Director, Fund Nature
  • Megan Morikawa, Global Sustainability Director, Iberostar Group
  • Amanda Ho, CEO & Founder, Regenerative Travel

"From Global to Local action – Local governance on SDG 14 and blue economy” 28th June 2022

Diving straight into the holistic approximation of the Sustainable Blue Economy Investment Forum was Joana Balsemão, City councilor for Environment, Municipality of Cascais; detailing their sensitive way of approaching Ocean conservancy integrating all actors involved in the Tourism Portugal’s key spot of Cascais.

H.E. Julius Korir, CBS – Principal Secretary, Ministry for Devolution explained their commitments towards a regenerative approach on the ground, in collaboration with Kerstin Forsberg, Director of Planeta Océano Foundation.

Frédéric Degret showcased concrete examples of blue carbon mechanisms which can enable the blue transition with the inclusion of all interested stakeholders.

Moderated with an inclusive approach by Catarina Canelas, CNN journalist, the following speakers showcased their solutions and challenges:

  • Joana Balsemão, City councilor for Environment, Municipality of Cascais
  • H.E. Julius Korir, CBS – Principal Secretary, Ministry for Devolution.
  • Kerstin Forsberg, Director of Planeta Océano Foundation
  • Frédéric Degret, Founder, NOAH ReGen

In parallel, 5 other panels were exploring the solutions required and how to realize them into producing tangible results:

  • Sustainable Ocean Principles: a framework for responsible business practices in the Ocean
  • Energy, digital, natural capital and other fields of action for a sustainable blue economy
  • Protection, production and prosperity: The 3 P’s contribution to the blue economy growth
  • How to mobilize funding for blue economy projects
  • Circular economy investment for sustainable blue economy

Tourism Ocean Action Towards a circular and regenerative blue economy 29th June 2022

Tourism is the largest sector of the ocean-based industries, representing 40% of its total export value. Coastal and maritime tourism plays a significant role in the economic prosperity of island and coastal communities, bringing jobs, investment and income. Besides the benefits of tourism development, there are also challenges such as the loss of biodiversity, pollution and resource consumption.

Virgnia F Trapa Environment Programme Manager, Mr. Luis Araujo, President, Turismo de Portugal; Megan Morikawa, Global Sustainability Director, Iberostar Group; Mr. Graeme Jackson, Head of Partnerships, Travel Foundation; Ms. Catherine Haswell, UN Resident Coordinator, Maldives;  Zoritsa Urosevic, UNWTO Executive Director; Hon. Najib Balala, Cabinet Secretary for Tourism & Wildlife, Kenya; Mr. Frédéric Dégret, CEO, NOAH Regen

At the core of the blue economy is the decoupling of socioeconomic development from environmental impacts. This side-event focused on sustainable consumption and production as a key strategy to accelerate tourism ocean action. Policy makers and businesses will share policies, strategies and solutions to accelerate the contribution towards a more circular and regenerative blue economy.

High level representatives from Portugal, Kenya and the Republic of Fiji including the Minister of Economy and Maritime Affairs of Portugal, H.E. Antonio Costa Silva; the Cabinet Secretary for Tourism and Wildlife of Kenya, Hon. Najib Balala; the Minister of Commerce, Trade Tourism and Transport of the Republic of Fiji, Hon. Faiyaz Koya, together presented frontrunning tourism policies and stressed the importance of finding a balance between the environment, the economy and jobs creation through tourism. The UN Resident Coordinator for the Maldives and UNEP’s Ecosystem Division Director also took part in the side event.

“As we implement the sustainable tourism action plan 2020 – 2023, we are promoting changes in consumption behavior, looking at the circularity of materials and at the efficiency in the use of resources, while supporting tourism companies adopt ESG and connecting marine protected areas with tourism” said H.E. Antonio Costa Silva, Minister of Economy and Maritime Affairs of Portugal.

Welcome remarks:

  • Mr. Zurab Pololikashvili, Secretary-General, World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) – video
  • H.E. Ms. Rita Marques, Secretary of State for Tourism, Portugal
  • Hon. Najib Balala, Cabinet Secretary for Tourism & Wildlife, Kenya

Keynote:

  • Ms. Susan Gardner, Ecosystem Division Director, UN Environment Programme (UNEP)

Roundtable discussion:

  • Moderated by Ms. Zoritsa Urosevic, UNWTO Executive Director

Panelists:

  • H.E. Mr. Faiyaz Koya, Minister of Commerce, Trade, Tourism and Transport of Fiji (tbc)
  • Hon. Najib Balala, Cabinet Secretary for Tourism & Wildlife, Kenya
  • Mr. Luis Araujo, President, Turismo de Portugal
  • Ms. Catherine Haswell, UN Resident Coordinator, Maldives
  • Ms. Megan Morikawa, Global Sustainability Director, Iberostar Group
  • Mr. Frédéric Dégret, CEO, NOAH Regen
  • Mr. Graeme Jackson, Head of Partnerships, Travel Foundation

To access the streaming link, please visit this webpage

https://www.oneplanetnetwork.org/tourism-ocean-action

Coastal and maritime tourism plays a significant role in the economic prosperity of island and coastal communities, bringing jobs, investment and income. Besides the benefits of tourism development, there are also challenges such as the loss of biodiversity, pollution, resource consumption and overtourism. For instance, a large proportion of marine plastic litter has been found to come from tourism and other related value chains in coastal areas. Tourism emissions have also been forecasted to increase by 25% by 2030 under a business as usual scenario.

Placing sustainability at the heart of the recovery of tourism from COVID-19 is essential to transition to a more circular, regenerative and resilient tourism model capable to balance the needs of people, planet and prosperity and which addresses unsustainable consumption and production as one of the underlying causes of pandemics, climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution.

Investing in the transformation of coastal and marine tourism supports longer-term goals such as the protection of ecosystems and climate change which not only underpin the global economy but also offer opportunities for creating green and decent jobs and pay real time dividends, which are particularly relevant for tourism dependent countries such as Small Island Developing States.

References

https://www.unwto.org/news/scaling-up-tourism-action-at-un-ocean-conference
https://webunwto.s3.eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/s3fs-public/2022-07/NR_UNOC_EN.pdf?VersionId=hEOkPt9j7e1Su1NApHfIE5R0EpaXnLFf
https://media.un.org/en/asset/k1x/k1xzqj81p5
https://www.oneplanetnetwork.org/tourism-ocean-action

Event Pictures:

https://www.mkb.photos/-/photos-region-viticole/pro/pro-monde/noah/20220630-noah-lisbon-forum-oceano

NOAH ReGen has a mission : Empowering global economic growth through sustainable ocean-based climate solutions

and a VISION : Becoming (in less than one decade) a Global Coordinator of a ReGenerative BluEconomy, the leader of CleanTech acceleration, funding, integration, scale up and promotion, always linked to impact certification.

  • Setting up the central governance & advisory, inviting symbiotic partners, coordinating & co-managing the ecosystem and a legal structure of the ESG platforms.
  • Connecting funds to the Blue Value Chain & to disruptive BlueTechs for the kick-start of the Blue Revolution.
  • Migrating from an old exploitative and extractive paradigm to a new preservation and regeneration paradigm.

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