12 March 2013. While being a major contributor of CO2 emissions that cause climate change, the global tourism industry is highly dependent on the climate. This interconnection requires a tourism destination to increase its resilience toward climate change impacts. In order to raise climate change awareness among school children living in the popular coastal tourism destination of Pangandaran, West Java province, Indonesia, the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) in collaboration with the Indonesian Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy and with support from the Government of Germany launched the Mangrove Ambassador Programme.
The Mangrove Ambassadors Programme involves school children in planting and monitoring mangroves as an innovative way to promote a local and long-term sustainable solution to climate change adaptation. Through the Programme, Indonesia’s future generations become not only an active part of the fight against climate change in their communities but also the voice of this movement amongst the older generations. The 451 participants of the Mangrove Ambassadors Programme voiced out through a selection of 24 “Letters to Leaders” how climate change is affecting their daily lives at one of the most popular tourism destinations in Indonesia and have urged global tourism leaders to take climate change seriously. These handwritten letters explaining how they are impacted by climate change were delivered by the Indonesian Vice-Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy, Sapta Nirwandar, to UNWTO during the presentation of the project at ITB Berlin.
The Mangrove Ambassadors Programme is one of the central elements of the project “Sustainable Tourism through Energy Efficiency with Adaptation and Mitigation Measures in Pangandaran" (STREAM). This project serves as a model of innovative climate change mitigation and adaptation measures – adopting an energy efficiency approach, while strengthening local structures for the sustainability of this tourism destination. Other initiatives of the STREAM project include seminars and workshops to increase the knowledge of local tourism stakeholders on climate change response, capacity building on energy efficiency, renewable energy technologies and energy management systems for hoteliers, as well the rehabilitation of mangroves and coral reefs by locals and tourists as a means to naturally capture and store carbon emissions.
For further information please contact Marcelo Risi (mrisi@UNWTO.org) or visit: http://media.unwto.org/en/press-release/2013-03-06/indonesia-s-future-generation-pledges-tourism-leaders-fight-climate-change.