UNWTO and JICA partner to promote sustainable tourism

The agreement, undersigned by UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai, and JICA Executive Senior Vice President, Kazuhiko Koshikawa, opens important opportunities of collaboration as JICA is one of the largest global donors in terms of international cooperation for development in tourism.

As underlined in the document, the agreement aims to contribute to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through tourism. A particular focus is given to assisting developing countries to reduce poverty through tourism as well as to improve public policies and business practices in order to ensure sustainable and responsible production and consumption patterns along the tourism supply chain.

“To work together with a development agency that has 40 years of experience is a privilege and a unique opportunity for UNWTO, particularly now that we are launching the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development 2017,” said UNWTO Secretary General Taleb Rifai on the occasion of the signature of the agreement conducted at the Organizations’ Headquarters in Madrid.

Other areas of cooperation include research and knowledge-sharing in themes such as tourism and poverty reduction, tourism development in developing countries, tourism and climate change and tourism and security.

In addition, both Organizations will cooperate in technical assistance projects addressing policy and strategy development, institutional strengthening, quality standards, human resource development as well as capacity building.

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

This is a unique opportunity to raise awareness of the contribution of sustainable tourism to development among public and private sector decision-makers and the public, while mobilizing all stakeholders to work together in making tourism a catalyst for positive change.

In the context of the universal 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the International Year aims to support a change in policies, business practices and consumer behavior towards a more sustainable tourism sector than can contribute to the SDGs.

The #IY2017 will promote tourism’s role in the following five key areas:
(1)        Inclusive and sustainable economic growth
(2)        Social inclusiveness, employment and poverty reduction
(3)        Resource efficiency, environmental protection and climate change
(4)        Cultural values, diversity and heritage
(5)        Mutual understanding, peace and security.

The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the United Nations Specialized Agency for Tourism, has been mandated to facilitate the organization and implementation of the International Year, in collaboration with governments, relevant organizations of the United Nations system, international and regional organizations and other relevant stakeholders.