What does Africa’s tourism stand to gain from climate action?

At STAS 2021, Rose Mukogo of Climate Friendly Registry Zimbabwe, made a presentation about climate change, placing care for environment at the heart of tourism development. Africa’s tourism draws immense benefits from environmental resources, which today are threatened by climate change impacts. According to Rose, tourism businesses and communities in the continent can stand ready to play an active role through fact-based measurable mitigation action. This action must incorporate Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) targets and progressive carbon reduction, following Nationally Determined Contributions. On this, Judy Kepher Gona, of STTA Kenya, advises that it is important for action to be “reportable and verifiable,” to optimize opportunities for tourism in climate response.

Here is what you need to know about the opportunities for tourism in climate action.

  • Climate action helps to minimize foreseen harm, e.g., infrastructural damage, economic losses, environmental destruction, from climate change impacts.
  • Measurable action provides data, which governments can use to access greater advantage within global climate talks, by influencing attention to the needs of the sector.
  • Targeted action, grounded on sustainability principles, helps destinations to build resilience to climate shocks.

Whereas there is much attention in Africa’s tourism to advancing to low carbon growth through mitigation measures, adaptation must be accorded utmost priority in the continent. Unfortunately, we still have adaptation deficits in the continent, evidenced through absence of financial, institutional, and technological capacities to adapt effectively. This hinders its resilience to impacts of climate change.

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