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Selina Juul, who moved from Russian to Denmark when she was 13 years old, was shocked by the amount of food available and wasted at supermarkets

Never underestimate the power of one dedicated individual.

A woman has been credited by the Danish Government for single-handedly helping the country reduce its food waste by 25 per cent in just five years.

Selina Juul, who moved from Russian to Denmark when she was 13 years old, was shocked by the amount of food available and wasted at supermarkets.

Read more on how she reduced the waste of food in Denmark. By Zlata Rodionova.

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The UN has declared war on ocean plastic pollution

Photo credit: UNEP/Flickr

The Clean Seas campaign was launched last week, aimed at eliminating major sources of marine plastic and changing shopping habits.

The United Nations has declared war on plastic. In an unexpected announcement that emerged from the Economist World Ocean Summit in Bali last week, the UN officially launched its ‘Clean Seas’ campaign. The goal is to eliminate major sources of pollution, including microplastics in cosmetics and single-use disposable plastics, by pressuring governments and individuals to rethink the way goods are packaged and their own shopping habits. By Katherine Martinko. Read more.

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Conference promotes sustainable tourism among young travelers

The wonders of traveling are figuratively a click away for today’s youth. It is more apparent that the millennials, with their spending capability and insatiable thirst for exploring and sharing their experiences, are in the position to redefine the face of tourism as we knew it.

Social media abounds with proof. Whether it is about scaling a mountain or diving under the sea, today’s travelers are more than willing to tell others about their memories. Many profiles show a glimpse of travel stories captured in breathtaking photos and cool travel videos.

But traveling is not just about adventure and pampering. Nowadays, the adventure of a lifetime comes with soul searching and giving back components. Putting meaning to their globetrotting, young explorers go for authentic experiences, which explain the surge of homestay, “voluntourism” or volunteering for tourism efforts, and interaction with locals. By INQ POP. Read the original article here.

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January MGM Sustainability Newsletter (2017)

Categories: Asia, Featured Post
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 Create A Better Tomorrow Today - MGM Sustainability
 中文
WELCOME TO OUR MGM SUSTAINABILITY NEWSLETTER

We’re doing a lot behind the scenes at MGM to reduce our impact on the environment and support the people that mean the most to us, including all our employees and community. Contributing to a better Macau through our arts and culture program is also an important aspect of our approach. Through this newsletter we will share our monthly sustainability highlights with you, and hope you will join us in our sustainability programs to help usCreate a Better Tomorrow Today.

Spring cleaning for senior citizens ahead of Chinese New Year (CNY): In spirit of the Chinese tradition to spring clean the home before CNY as a symbol of good luck and fortune, MGM has teamed up with Centro de Dia “Brilho da Vida” to help in the festive activity for the 6th year. On January 20, 160 of our volunteer team members rolled up their sleeves to help 220 households at the Fai Chi Kei housing unit for senior citizens to get their homes ready for the New Year. At the end of each spring clean, the traditional Fai Chun red banners were placed on doorways and windows and New Year goodie bags were given to wish households a healthy and prosperous Year of the Rooster.

For another CNY tradition, to be at our best for the coming of a New Year – from January 9-12, MGM’s 30 Volunteer Hairdresser Team members also provided complimentary haircuts to 145 senior citizens at Asilo de Santa Maria and Centro de Dia “Brilho da Vida”.

CNY gifts to our community and guests: This CNY, MGM created tailor-made gifts to send well-wishes to those that mean the most to us.

To our community, MGM created a uniquely-designed towel gift set and distributed 1200 sets to 8 local community associations on January 23-24, including Caritas Macau, Macau Association of Support for the Disabled, Fuhong Society of Macau, Macau Deaf Association, Macau Special Olympics, Macau Youth Volunteer Association, “S. José Ká–Hó” Children and Youth Home, and “Jardins Dom Versiglia” Youth Home.

We also provided all our full-time staff with a gift towel set to celebrate our 9th anniversary as a token of appreciation for their hard-work and dedication.

During CNY, we treated our guests to a tasty and meaningful gift. During January 28-30, all in-room guests were surprised with CNY fortune pockets, consisting of brightly-colored, hand-stitched bags containing festive cookies and mini cupcakes, all of which were prepared by people with learning disabilities in association with Fuhong Society of Macau and Sem Meng Chi Restaurant.

 

 

 

 

Success of Macau small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) program: To celebrate the success of the Macau SME Procurement Partnership Program, co-organized by Macau Chamber of Commerce (MCC) and all 6 integrated resort operators, a press conference was organized on January 17 to acknowledge the achievements thus far of the initiative. MGM has been an active supporter including five SME Business Matching Sessions, among many other interactive and engaging activities. Mr. Lionel Leong, Secretary of Economy and Finance of Macau SAR, and Mr. Kou Hoi In, President of the Board of Directors of MCC, delivered addresses wishing the future success of the program in 2017 in bringing continued economic growth and employment prospects to the Macau SME community.
Sustainability-themed CNY float: As Macau residents and visitors from afar gathered to watch Macau’s dazzling CNY Parade on January 30 and February 4, MGM’s parade float not only wowed and entertained, but also had a unique twist – an environmental message at its heart! To create the float, we thoughtfully used materials that can be readily recycled such 1500 plastic bottles, 400 wine glass bottles and 500 room key cards; and for lighting we utilized 100% LED lighting, which uses up to 80% less energy than non-LED alternatives. The acrobats and dancers that lead the front of the float also donned costumes made from over 4,000 bottle caps, among other recyclable materials. To the crowd, MGM distributed recycled soap created through its partnership with the Clean The World Program – a program that collects, sanitizes and recycles leftover soap, which is then donated to those in need in Macau and beyond.
Red packet recycling: Every year, thousands of trees are cut down to help make our beautiful lai see packets – this CNY we can give back to the environment by recycling these packets to be made into paper to be used once again. As part of our environmental commitments to reduce waste, we have supported the “Lai See Packets Recycling Campaign 2017” initiated by the Macau Environment Protection Bureau.

 

 

Lion dance blessing ceremony to mark the New Year: On January 28, MGM hosted a grand celebration to welcome the arrival of the Year of the Rooster. Eight lions with vivid costumes marched into the Hotel VIP Lobby entrance for the eye-dotting ritual carried out by management (a ceremony which signifies the awakening of the lion’s spirit before the lion dance performance). The Ceremony culminated in the lighting of firecrackers, as well as a lion dance parade accompanied by sounds of clashing cymbals, drums and gongs, sending well wishes of good fortune to all corners of the Resort.
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Mario-Hardy-PATAMario Hardy, CEO of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), speaks with Anula Galewska about the organisation’s commitment to sustainable tourism and what Asia needs to take sustainability to the next level.

Dr. Mario Hardy is Chief Executive Officer, Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA). Dr. Hardy has close to 30 years of combined leadership, corporate development and change management experience. Prior to PATA, Mario worked 14 years for UBM/OAG a business with a focus on data analytics and events for the aviation sector and occupied several leadership roles in London, Beijing and Singapore.

ANULA: PATA actively advocates for sustainable tourism. What is your goal?

MARIO: Our aim is to educate, train and create awareness. We want to educate people from the tourism industry on practical ways of being more environmentally friendly, how they can engage with local communities, and also to inspire people to think about sustainability differently than they were thinking before.

People usually link sustainability with the environment, which of course is very important but shouldn’t be limited to it. Sustainability includes social, economic and cultural aspects, and my feeling is that we don’t address these issues enough. For example, we should educate people as to how tourism can improve the wealth of local communities.

People usually link sustainability with the environment, which of course is very important but shouldn’t be limited to it. Sustainability includes social, economic and cultural aspects, and my feeling is that we don’t address these issues enough.

By  Read the original article here.

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World Wetlands Day: IUCN launches regional project to enhance resilience of wetlands in Lower Mekong countries

Categories: Asia, Climate, Featured Post, Planet
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On the occasion of World Wetlands Day on February 2, IUCN is announcing the launch of a regional project to enhance the resilience of wetlands in Lower Mekong countries. Funded by the International Climate Initiative (IKI) of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB), and to be implemented until 2020, the Mekong WET: Building Resilience of Wetlands in the Lower Mekong Region” project aims to build climate resilience by harnessing the benefits of wetlands in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand, and Viet Nam.


wetlands in Lower Mekong

Photo: © Pheakdey Sorn/IUCN

Mekong WET will help the four countries to address their commitments to the Ramsar Convention, an international treaty for the conservation and sustainable use of wetlands, and to achieve the Aichi Biodiversity Targets. With wetlands featured as a key ecosystem, the project also supports governments in implementing their National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs) under the Convention on Biological Diversity and pursuing their commitments on climate change adaptation and mitigation under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. By International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Read more.

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Electrical faults are the leading cause of fires in the Bangladesh garment industry. ILO with the support of the US Department of Labor has helped build capacity of fire inspectors to spot electrical risks.


Shahjadi Sultana
DHAKA, Bangladesh (ILO News) – Shahjadi Sultana is one of just a handful of female fire inspectors in Bangladesh.

Following her promotion to Warehouse Inspector in 2015, Shahjadi Sultana has checked some 500 establishments across Bangladesh for fire safety. However since taking part in specialized electrical safety training in late 2016 she is now able to assess important electrical systems with a more critical eye while carrying out inspections.

Organized by the International Labour Organization’s “Improving Fire and General Building Safety in Bangladesh ” project funded by the US Department of Labor, the training helped participants gain knowledge of electrical engineering considerations as they apply to safety. The need for the training is clear. According to Bangladesh Fire Service and Civil Defence Department (BFSCD) figures, approximately 75 percent of fires in the garment industry are caused by electrical faults.

For Shahjadi, gaining knowledge of electrical safety issues marked another step in her development as an inspector. After joining the Fire Service in 1992 as a telephone operator – at a time when women were not allowed to work in the field – the inspector has slowly worked her way up through the ranks.

Shahjadi Sultana during a factory visit

Shahjadi Sultana during a factory visit

Shahjadi is now one of five women working in fire service operations and inspection cells. She has been in the field for almost 14 years – 4 as a sub-officer and another 10 as the station officer at Chittagong’s Kalurghat – when she had to go out to numerous fires many of which were caused by electric short circuits. She now knows a lot more about reducing the danger of fires caused by electrical faults.

By International Labour Organization. Continue reading the main story.

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Elephant camps in spotlight

Picture L-R: Nicolas Dubrocard, Project Director – Wild Asia; Jeniffer Peron,  Associate for Sustainability & Social Responsibility – PATA; Naut Kusters, General Manager – Travelife.


Delegates from tour operators and travel agents in Thailand joined a PATA Tour Operator Sustainability Working Group meeting on ‘Elephant camp standards’ hosted jointly by Travelife on January 27, 2017 at the PATA Engagement Hub in Bangkok.

The workshop focused upon the importance of applying best practices across the industry when considering elephant camps as potential attractions to offer to local and international visitors. Delegates received an update from Nicolas Dubrocard from Wild Asia – a PATA sustainability partner – on the first stage of a study that examined eight elephant camps in Thailand.

PATA and Travelife for Tour Operators signed a Memorandum of Understanding in May 2014 designed to promote sustainable practices amongst the tour operating communities in Asia. Travelife, a Dutch not-for-profit organisation operated by ECEAT is dedicated to making holidays more sustainable by working with travel businesses around the world to help them to improve their social, economic and environmental impacts.

Businesses that prove they meet the Travelife sustainability criteria can become Travelife certified, helping them to promote their achievements to others. Read more about the PATA/Travelife partnership here.

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WTTC Tourism for Tomorrow Awards finalists

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) is pleased to announce the 15 Finalists for its 2017 Tourism for Tomorrow Awards. The 2017 Finalists cut across five continents in the following categories: Community, Destination, Environment, Innovation and People.

The WTTC Tourism for Tomorrow Awards, now in its 13th year, showcases business practices of the highest standards that balance the needs of ‘people, planet and profits’ within our sector.

The 2017 Awards fall within the UN International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, all 15 Finalists illustrate great commitment to “support a change in policies, business practices and consumer behavior towards a more sustainable tourism sector than can contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals”, as the International Year calls for.

Following a rigorous 3-phase judging, which includes an onsite evaluation, Winners of the 2017 Tourism for Tomorrow Awards will be announced during the Awards Ceremony at the 17th WTTC Global Summit, taking place in Bangkok, 26 – 27 April 2017.

David Scowsill, President & CEO of WTTC said: “I am extremely pleased to once again see such inspiring business leadership amongst this year’s Finalists. This year saw a 36% rise of applications, which shows not only that more and more Travel & Tourism companies are looking to operate sustainably but also an increased interest to share company best practices and thereby educate peers and governments.

As the Travel & Tourism sector continues to grow, WTTC currently estimates global Travel & Tourism to have grown by 3.1% in 2016, we have to ensure we safeguard the environment, local communities and cultural heritage, and our Awards programme calls on tourism businesses to showcase just that.”

Awards Lead Judge, Graham Miller, Executive Dean, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at the University of Surrey, said: “The 2017 Finalists illustrate how widespread the notion of sustainable tourism has become. While sustainability used to be focused around the preservation of nature, this year, the organisation’s missions are, amongst other things, centred around innovative value creation for societies, travel technology for those with accessibility needs, and empowerment of the young workforce.”

The Finalists of the 2017 WTTC Tourism for Tomorrow Awards, which is Headline sponsored by AIG Travel for the second year, are:

Community Award Finalists, whose organisations are committed to sustainable tourism leadership in local community development, empowerment and cultural heritage

  • Cinnamon Wild Yala, Sri Lanka
  • G Adventures, Canada
  • Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Kenya

Destination Award Finalists, who show commitment to supporting and delivering sustainable tourism best practices in their destinations:

  • Botswana Tourism Organisation, Botswana
  • City of Bydgoszcz, Poland
  • Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park, Finland

Environment Award Finalists, whose organisations and companies achieved environmental best practice through biodiversity conservation, protection of natural habitats, addressing climate change, and green operations:

  • Biosphere Expeditions, UK
  • Caiman Ecological Refuge, Brazil
  • Misool, Indonesia

Innovation Award Finalists, who provided innovative solutions to overcoming the challenges faced by Travel & Tourism in implementing sustainability in practice:

  • NATIVE Hotels and Accessible Tourism, Spain
  • Soel Yachts, Netherlands
  • The Mapping Ocean Wealth initiative led by the Nature Conservancy, USA

People Award Finalists, who are dedicated to the development of capacity building, training and education to build a skilled tourism workforce for the future:

  • Desert & Delta Safaris, Botswana
  • STREETS International, Vietnam
  • The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation’s China Hospitality Education Initiative (CHEI), China

The Winner Selection Committee is chaired by Fiona Jeffery OBE, Chair of the WTTC Tourism for Tomorrow Awards and include a further 15 independent judges from within the Travel & Tourism sector.

Fiona Jeffery OBE, Tourism for Tomorrow Awards Chair, said: “Now more than ever it’s important to highlight how tourism positively connects people across the planet and brings great social and economic benefits to destinations. The 2017 Tourism for Tomorrow Award Finalists demonstrate a commitment to long term vision in preference to short term gains and provide inspiring examples of responsible leadership in their businesses. The true value of the awards is the insight and learning which can be shared across the industry and I’m looking forward to hearing their stories during the WTTC Global Summit in April 2017.”

For the full list of finalists and more about the Awards, read more here.

Click here for the original article by WTTC.

To view the announcement of the 2017 Tourism for Tomorrow Awards Finalists, presented by Lead Judge Graham Miller, please click here.

Copyright @ WTTC 2017

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Reducing Local and Direct Environmental Impacts Associated with Diving and Snorkelling Tourism Activities to Increase Reef Resilience

 

Maldives-coral-@-Reef-World-Foundation

Green Fins is currently active in 18 locations throughout Asia including the Maldives. Photo © The Reef-World Foundation

Location

Green Fins is currently active in six countries: Indonesia, Malaysia, The Maldives, The Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam

 

The Challenge

Coral reefs are globally important ecosystems facing intense and unprecedented pressures. Major global issues like marine debris, coral bleaching and illegal fishing mean that experts predict at least 60% of the world’s coral reefs will be destroyed within the next 30 years. Meanwhile, the tourism industry dependent upon these reefs continues to show considerable economic growth. According to the World Travel and Tourism Council (2014), tourism and travel sector activities generate 9.8% of GDP and support nearly 277 million people in employment, representing one in every eleven jobs globally. The World Tourism Organization predicts that, by 2020, over 1.56 billion international trips will be made each year, most of them intra-regional and with the highest numbers in Europe, followed by East Asia and the Pacific, with coastal tourism constituting a significant part of this. By Reef Resilience Program.

Find the whole article here!

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