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Offenders on the Move: GLOBAL STUDY ON SEXUAL EXPLOITATION OF CHILDREN IN TRAVEL AND TOURISM 2016

Categories: Case Study, Featured Post, Human Rights, Non-Profit
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The Global Study on SECTT aims to bring this gross violation of children’s right into the light, and marks the 20th anniversary of the 1st World Congress on the Sexual Exploitation of Children. Guided by a High-Level Taskforce and informed by detailed studies from every region and many countries, as well as contributions from experts and only) research initiative on SECTT to explore emerging trends and possible solutions. Read more.

Click here for Regional Reports.

 

 

*Courtesy of The Code

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Since this year’s Earth Day falls on a weekend, PATA decided to celebrate a little early. For this year’s Earth Day, our Green Team invited Mr Poonyos Kumpolkunjana, founder of Paper Ranger a local Bangkok non-profit, to give our team a workshop, titled, “Everyone can be a hero.”

 

On Tuesday, 18 April, Mr. Kumpolkunjana came to the PATA Engagement Hub and spoke to our team about how easy it is to make something useful out of paper waste, then showed us how to make notebooks using our office’s used paper! Our team had a lot of fun crafting notebooks out of paper waste.

 

Mr. Kumpolkunjana from Paper Ranger showing how its done

 

Everyone joined in, including Dr. Mario Hardy, the CEO of PATA

 

Proud participants presenting their work

 

His foundation arranges workshops with various groups, and donates the handcrafted notebooks that result from these workshops to schools throughout Thailand. Learn more about Paper Ranger here, and to book your own workshop, contact paperranger@live.com.

 

Recycling is a crucial concept in sustainable management, especially in an office environment. For more information check our green tips of this week here.

 

 

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COURTESY OF PIXABAY

 

Ever wondered what happens to the half-used bars of soap you leave behind after overnight stays in hotels?

In some cases, the soap gets recycled, thanks to a nonprofit named Clean the World.

The organization, which is based in Orlando, Florida, works with hotel partners to collect used soaps and recycle them for distribution to those in need. Since the organization was founded in 2009, it has distributed more than 40 million bars of soap to over 115 countries. And those numbers continue to grow.

Founder Shawn Seipler, who spent years in the technology industry, says the group’s mission is twofold: To recycle soap and hygiene products and to distribute these products to prevent hygiene-related deaths, reduce the morbidity rate for hygiene-related illnesses, and encourage childhood development programs.

 

Read more about the idea on recycling hotel soap here.

 

By MATT VILLANO From AFAR

 

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#TravelEnjoyRespect

The United Nations 70th General Assembly has designated 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development.

 

To that end, please explore the official IY2017 website at www.tourism4development2017.org, which is their primary tool for coordinating the worldwide celebrations of the year, and on which more than 200 events and activities have already been registered. The UNWTO kindly invites you to upload your IY2017-related initiatives, as well as to share your best practices, stories and/or knowledge. Your initiatives will be visible on the website’s calendar and global map, and you will be able to use the IY2017 logo in all your communications. Kindly note that all the information they receive will be included in their final report to the UN General Assembly in 2018.

Furthermore, UNWTO is organizing a series of events and activities, the details of which you can find in the attached document. For instance, they are running a consumer-oriented awareness-raising campaign “Travel.Enjoy.Respect.” with six useful tips for responsible travel, and would very much like you to help disseminate it as broadly as possible. In addition, UNWTO is organizing 14 IY2017 Official Events, as well as producing two flagship reports related to the themes and objectives of the IY2017, for which your support and input would be more than welcome and on which more info will follow shortly. As part of their awareness-raising activities, they have also initiated a Special Ambassadors programme, currently comprising seven high-profile individuals who will help spread the relevant messages regarding tourism as an agent for positive change.

Read more: PATA Sustainability & IY2017 Initiatives

 

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Saving coral reefs one scuba diving centre at a time

Categories: Asia, Non-Profit, Planet, Private Sector, Sea, Water, Wildlife
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I learned to scuba dive at the age of 12 and was a diving instructor by the age of 15 – pretty unusual for a girl growing up in the middle of England!

By Chloë Harvey – Reef-World’s Programmes Manager

My underwater encounters throughout those formative teenage years inspired me to study Marine Biology at university – those, coupled with my natural (and some may say tiresome) desire to learn more about the way things work.

I started off investigating marine biological and ecological functions, but have more recently moved into the area of how the industries and human processes that thrive off marine ecosystem services, impact the sustainability of our ocean planet. scuba greenfins

Tourism is currently one of the largest and fastest growing sectors in the world, generating 10 per cent of global GDP and supporting one in every 11 jobs. The Asia and Pacific region represents the major source of tourists, as well as being the number one destination for tourists worldwide – it’s underwater diving and snorkelling adventures promise vibrant coral reefs, making it a common draw for tourists.

Having lived and worked in many popular tourist destinations across Asia, I have seen first-hand the negative impacts of booming tourism. These impacts are felt socially as well as environmentally, especially by fragile natural ecosystems like coral reefs. scuba greenfins2

In response to these negative impacts I have been working with some of the leading conservation and industry voices in the region, developing a program that supports sustainability within the diving and snorkelling industry. This programme is called Green Fins, a United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and Reef-World Foundation led initiative. Green Fins is effecting measurable and meaningful change in core business practices and is positively influencing the way this industry works. In the below video Jim Toomey (and his cartoon friends) will take you through a fun and enchanting run through of the Green Fins approach.

Service providers are the cornerstone for sustainability and whilst diving and snorkelling activities carry significant environmental risks, if activities are well managed their opportunity to provide environmental awareness and education is enormous. There are good case studies from all over  the world highlighting how operators successfully strike a tourism/education balance. Unfortunately though, this is not commonplace.

Mass tourism often drives unsustainable practices, as businesses prioritise cashing in on the opportunity to make a quick financial gain, without consideration for the longevity of the industry.  Green Fins is working to make the industry partner with government agencies in environmental management, putting business owners in control of protecting their natural asset. The approach involves businesses voluntarily agreeing to adhere to a 15 point environmental code of conduct for diving and snorkelling activities.scuba greenfins3

The end result is a win-win – enhanced business performance and the protection of the underlying natural asset. By systematically eliminating negative environmental impacts, businesses can increase the health of coral reefs and ensure the sustainability of the ecosystem services they provide.

Businesses who are successfully applying Green Fins are also noticing a shift towards a more loyal repeat customer base that make longer stays and are willing to pay more for services. This constitutes the basic building blocks for sustainability within the industry.

The most sustainable choice no longer being a sacrifice, but the one that makes business and professional sense

The marine tourism industry is changing, and those wanting to be ahead of the game need to get on board. The change will result in the most sustainable choice no longer being a sacrifice, but the one that makes business and professional sense. Dive and snorkel industry partners and government agencies in some of the most thriving tourist destinations are using the Green Fins learning and outreach tools to apply best industry practice. Today almost 500 dive and snorkel businesses across Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Maldives, Philippines and Vietnam are leading the charge and applying Green Fins to support consistent improvement in environmental business practices.scuba greenfins4

In response to the demand, expansion to Singapore, Sri Lanka and Palau is underway, and plans for replication in the Caribbean and Mediterranean are in progress. Education and communication materials are also available in Chinese, Japanese and Korean, to ensure best practice and guidance is widely available to these growing segments of the market.

If Green Fins is available in your area, then sign up for free. If it is not available in your area then consider adopting and applying the code of conduct and guidelines within your business independently by following the dive and snorkel centre handbook.

Joining the Green Fins network means joining the only international sustainable diving and snorkelling programme, recognised by divers and leading authorities as a program which is doing exactly what it says on the tin … Greening the industry’s Fins! 

Find the original article here.

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Buying Marine Life Souvenirs

Categories: Non-Profit, Planet, Recommended Reading, Wildlife
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Although it’s natural to want to take a bit of our vacation home with us as remembrance, buying marine life souvenirs is never a good idea.

Souvenirs souvenirs_cover

Most of us never want our dive vacations to end. Leaving those sun-soaked beaches and post-dive afternoon naps is often a hard pill to swallow. So it’s natural that we want to bring home souvenirs to remind us of our trip. A beach-seller’s bracelet is a remembrance of carefree days once you return to the daily routine, and supporting local traders is a worthwhile goal. But as tourists, we must make responsible choices when it comes to shopping, taking care particularly to avoid buying marine life souvenirs. By Chloë Harvey, Programs Manager, The Reef-World Foundation. Read more.

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Ten Years of Transformational Tourism

Categories: Asia, Featured Post, Non-Profit
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Transformational 15327396278_f9541502a3_o

Photo: Soneva Resorts (Wild Asia Responsible Tourism Awardee)

Ten Years of Transformational Tourism
Reflecting on a decade of the Wild Asia Responsible Tourism Awards

Friday 21st October, ITB Asia, Singapore

In 2006, Wild Asia, a Malaysian social enterprise that works with the tourism industry to support operators meet and exceed global standards for sustainability, started identifying regional leaders in responsible travel. At that time, the concept of sustainable tourism was in its infancy, particularly in Asia. Following their philosophy to work with industries, they believed the growth of this sector lay in the hands of practitioners. To help encourage and inspire other tourism professionals to become more socially and environmentally aware, they introduced the first Asian Responsible Tourism Awards. This program aimed to share real-life examples of responsible tourism in action, to educate the industry from within and on a peer-to-peer basis.

Since then, they have assessed hundreds of businesses and initiatives of all shapes and sizes, across South and South East Asia. Benchmarking these enterprises against the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria, they have celebrated these leaders on an annual basis, especially through their on-going partnership with ITB Asia. 75 businesses have been awarded to date, with entries from 15 Asian countries.

This year, to celebrate a decade of the Wild Asia Responsible Tourism Awards, the team decided to consolidate lessons learned and reflect on the last 10 years of life-changing travel.

Dr Reza Azmi, Founder of Wild Asia, says “This journey has been a rewarding and enriching experience for me personally. It has given me a unique perspective on the challenges of sustainable tourism but also the inspiration to do more”.

As part of the 10 year anniversary, Wild Asia reconnected with Awardees to help share stories of success and replicable best practices. Ten past Award recipients participated in this special study, and their unique business features and positive impacts have been highlighted in a report and an on-going series of educational videos.

To read a collection of ten inspiring case studies, and the first part in a series of mini-documentaries of Awardees’ best practices, visit:

http://rt.wildasia.org/responsible-tourism-awards/ten-years-transformational-tourism/

Stay tuned for 4 more videos to be released over the coming months.

2016 marks the end of the annual Wild Asia Responsible Tourism Awards. Amy McLoughlin, Awards Manager, says “Today, we are delighted that there are more opportunities than ever before for cutting-edge responsible tourism pioneers to be recognised for their achievements. There are now a wide variety of award programs available. After 10 years of highlighting the very best in Asia, we are excited to be shifting our focus to applying these lesson learned to support the development of up-and-coming business through our one-to-one mentoring services”.

Wild Asia continues to offer bespoke advisory and consultancy services to destinations, tourism businesses, and community organisations in the field of responsible tourism. Their insights into behind-the-scenes ‘know how’ of Awardees to date are shared through these services, to support businesses implement tried and tested sustainability measures. For more information visit: rt.wildasia.org

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Responsible Travel crestcampocuba

Image Source: CREST

The Center for Responsible Travel (CREST) has published their annual report on the state of responsible tourism:

“This 2016 version of CREST’s annual study demonstrates that the growth of responsible tourism continues to outpace growth of the tourism industry as a whole. In addition, the 2016 report concludes that “the social and environmental imperative for responsible travel” is being spurred, in part, by the twin crises of wealth inequality and climate change. The report was prepared in collaboration with 16 leading tourism organizations and institutions.”

The report also puts a spotlight on the growing niche markets of adventure tourism, agritourism, culinary or gastronomic tourism, orange tourism, wellness tourism, and the sharing economy (e.g., Uber and AirBnB).

Read the full report here.

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Last week was the International Volunteer Day which takes place every year on December 5th.

International Volunteer Day : orphanage tourism

“Children are not tourist attractions” www.thinkchildsafe.org

The growing popularity of international volunteering has led to the trend of orphanage tourism: people take time to volunteer at or visit an orphanage while visiting a foreign country. In Cambodia, a visit to an orphanage would include a short performance or dance routine by the children, accompanied with a request for a small donation to assist with orphanage running costs. Another version is for a tourist to volunteer for a few days at the orphanage. An entire industry has grown out of thousands of tourist visits.

A recent report into Cambodian orphanages has revealed that tourist visits, despite tourists’ best intentions, cause more harm than good. Orphanage tourism, often conducted by shady business operators, does more to harm, rather than help child protection, rights and education standards. In Cambodia, as in much of the developing world, orphanages opened for tourists are a problem, not a solution.

What can you do about it?

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Five reasons funding should go directly to local NGOs

Locals give out food after a fire in an South African township. Photograph: Kim Ludbrook/EPA

Less than 2% of humanitarian aid goes directly to local NGOs, but Jennifer Lentfer argues that grassroots groups are best placed to help those in need, giving five reasons for that. Read more.