Archive for the Good Governance Category

Lima, Peru to host UN Climate Change Summit COP 20

Posted in Climate Change, Environment, Good Governance, Lima, Peru with tags , , , on November 9, 2014 by Sustainability Guru

COP20: “Don’t come to Peru if you don’t want to change the world”

One of the highlights of the UNESCO World Heritage site of Central Lima are its balconies. They were so popular during the Viceroyalty that Lima was also Known as the City of Balconies. Photo via Visit Peru.

One of the highlights of the UNESCO World Heritage site of Central Lima are its balconies. They were so popular during the Viceroyalty that Lima was also Known as the City of Balconies. Photo via Visit Peru.

UN Framework for Climate Change  (UNFCC) Cop 20 Lima, the cornerstone  for commitment to the future of our climate.

United Nations Framework for Climate Change, COP 20 Lima, Per

United Nations Framework for Climate Change, COP 20 Lima, Peru

In 2015, the most important climate change decisions will be made with the design and launch of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

This year, on  December 1-12, Peru will host the 20th Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC – COP 20), during which a draft text will be produced for a decision at the Paris convention the following year. This will shape our approach to climate change over the next decade and very much determine the scale of its impact on our future.

“Pon de tu Parte” (Do your part) NGO campaign for Climate Change towards COP 20 in Lima. Photo via COP20.pe

Last June, a zero draft on the SDGs was created, with 17 potential goals. Although this number will most likely be reduced to 10 or less in Peru, the focus was predominantly applauded for its approach. Jeffrey Sachs, director of the UN initiative the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) and the UN secretary-general’s special advisor on the SDGs expressed his expressed his delight with the first goal being focused on the ending of extreme poverty.

He further went on to praise the scientific base of the draft and insisted that scientists in a variety of fields, from climate to ecology, need to be outspoken in the production of the goals. The two degrees Celsius limitation in global warming is one such area where science has led to comprehensive adoption by the UN Framework.

The first ever United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA), held in Nairobi, Kenya, last month, had a keen focus on the upcoming COP 20 in Lima and on the wider SDGs. Earlier in the month, at the G77+China summit in Bolivia, the Peruvian President Ollanta Humala Tasso met with the United Nations’ Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to discuss his country’s hosting of the COP 20 and to reiterate Peru’s commitment to climate change.

Photo via cop20.pe

Launch of the “Pon de tu parte” (Do your Part) campaign for climate change in Lima that seeks to ensure that citizens, businesses and organizations are informed, sensitized and commited to specific actions to adapt to climate change and mitigate its effects.

The COP 20 will focus on four key areas – – with Peru a suitable choice as host. The 29th State of the World report from the Worldwatch  Institute in 2013 hailed Peru as the only nation hitting the ‘sustainability sweet spot’. This was due to the balance, based on 2007 date, they had achieved in human development and resource consumption. This was also assisted further by the commitment of the country’s Environment Officer to eliminate deforestation, whilst the President vowed to fight any trace of environmental pollution.

The COP 20 will focus on four key areas – Adaptation, Climate Finance, Mitigation and Technology – with Peru a suitable choice as host. The 29th State of the World report from the Worldwatch  Institute in 2013 hailed Peru as the only nation hitting the ‘sustainability sweet spot’. This was due to the balance, based on 2007 date, they had achieved in human development and resource consumption. This was also assisted further by the commitment of the country’s Environment Officer to eliminate deforestation, whilst the President vowed to fight any trace of environmental pollution.

Peru faces a tough task in delivering a draft at COP 20, in time for the 2015 Paris summit. Clever diplomacy is earmarked as being key; and with the 195 member countries showing disparity in their current positions, the process will certainly not be free from hurdles. Despite this, there has been some tentativeness in the mission of the summit, with Peru’s President keen to point out that the event marks the start of a new chapter more so than the closing of a book. Aiming too high has cost the COP dearly in the past and thus Peru has been focused on maintaining a balance between making a big impact and realism.

Photo via COP20.pe

Peruvian Deforestation- A Paradise Lost

The hosting of such a key summit comes at a time where Peru is staring down the barrel of climate change domestically, with the country susceptible to devastating impacts if both domestic and global action isn’t taken. As the host, positive dialogue and adequate pressure must be put on the biggest emitters, while at the same time ensuring the inclusivity of the lesser developed countries.  Peru’s COP 20 slogan is “Don’t come to Peru if you don’t want to change the world”, and with such a bold start, it is crucial that they deliver.

 

Photo via cop20.pe

Ministry of Environment of Peru with UNFCC and multi sector leaders for COP 20 Lima.

Slated at the Westin Hotel and Convention Centre in Peru’s capital, Lima, Climate Action Programme and UNEP will host the Sustainable Innovation Forum 2014 (SIF 14) to run alongside the COP 20. The largest commercially inclusive side event will bring together “world leaders, CEOs, senior executives, national, regional and city leaders, investors and industry experts”, seeking to “address climate change, accelerate green growth and sustainable development”.

SIF 14 will be a key event in the progression of the issues being discussed at the COP 20 and presents a great networking, ideas sharing and debating platform.  Key topics that will be addressed centre around innovative finance, adoption, mitigation, resilient cities and energy efficiency.  Event Director Claire Poole commented, “Lima represents a crucial milestone in the climate change dialogue, it’s vital that all stakeholders, not just the usual suspects on this world stage, are part of the conversation.”

More details on this year’s event can be located at http://cop20lima.org, with the event promising to be as innovative and impactful as last year. Source: cop20lima.org.

Learn the lesson from Estancia, Iloilo Oil Spill

Posted in Clean Blue Asia, Good Governance, Sustainable Development, Travel, Western Visayas, Zero Carbon Resorts with tags , , , , on December 14, 2013 by Sustainability Guru

Foreword. Estancia, Iloilo suffered not only devastation on a massive scale but also man-made disaster of oil spill from the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda. This is a re-post from our SSTDI Guest Resource Person, Sustainable Lifestyle Designer PJ Aranador’s blog about his hometown Estancia and the destruction brought by the super typhoon. The tourism and hospitality industry should learn the lesson of Estancia, Iloilo oil spill: NO to bunker fuel, YES to clean energy! Read our SSTDI blog post on ways hotels and tourism industry can use renewable energy.   

Don’t miss

Register now for the next TCI-CB Series IV-Green Leaders Conference Workshop:Climate Proofing for Sustainability & Resilience‘ in Coron, Palawan. March 13-14, 2014. Email/contact us for details.

 

 

Estancia, Iloilo: Our beautiful town spilled by oil and shattered it into a night mare

Estancia Iloilo is home to NAPOCOR power barge to supply the electricity of Northern Iloilo. This barge is just a few meters away from the coastline of the town near its old commercial port. It carries 2 million liters of fossil oil. Yolanda’s wrath was so strong it leaked 2,000 litters of dangerous fossil oil to the area. About 150,000 liters were washed on the shoreline while 50 liters afloat the water. 1It may still leak another 1.2  million liters of  oil if something goes wrong, let alone another super tyhoon come soon. The barge was slammed right into Barangay Botongon killing people and forced 5,000 people to evacuate.
The town folks are in agony as the cleaning has been snail pace. I asked the contractor representative how long it will take to totally clean it, he said, it depends. OMG, it depends on what?  Their own sweet little time.?
Let these pictures tell the sufferings of Estancia—now somehow lost and forgotten. The chemical gaseous stink is so strong, with half and hour visit I had on the site, two days after until now I am still very sick. I have a splitting headache and my eyes are teary.  I can imagine the survivors whose respiratory systems and skin may already have been damaged.
We need help to rebuild our coastline, much more, help our folks go back to their homes.
 

Contractor representative touring us at the site of the spill.

The extent of oil spill along the coastline.

The oil spill evacuation center called the Tent City where close to 5,000 locals are relocated while the area is not yet cleaned up for human safety.

Learn the lesson from Estancia, Iloilo Oil Spill: NO to Bunker Fuel, Coal Mining & Fossels Fuels! Yes, to Renewable, Clean, Efficient Energy!

Green Reconstruction for Sustainability & Resilience” is a Sustainable Re-build & Renewable Energy project by the Coron Sustainable Tourism Cooperative, The Coron Initiative,  & Society for Sustainable Tourism & Development Inc.-SSTDI. SSTDI can help you with short-and long-term renewable energy solutions in your community, city or destination. For more info, please email us or click HERE
Support Green Reconstruction for Coron

WTTC 2012 Report: Disaster Recovery Lessons from Japan and elsewhere

Posted in Conventions & Exhibitions, Events, News, Lifestyle, Good Governance, Sustainable Tourism, Travel with tags , , , on April 30, 2012 by Sustainability Guru

Sustainability Guru Asia Pacific is honored to be part of the invite-only World Travel & Tourism Council -WTTC- Global Summit Japan in Sendai & Tokyo. Summit reports started with the Tourism for Tomorrow 2012 Awards & Winners. The following is a re-post from the WTTC 2012 News & updates starting with the First Session in Sendai, Japan.

Disaster Recovery Lessons from Japan- keynote by Norifumi Idee-Japan Tourism Agency

“We are here to hear what we have learnt from the crisis,” said Mr Takamatsu, CEO, Japan Tourism Marketing Company, and session moderator. “The objective of this session is to look at the best ways to manage a crisis with case studies from Japan, but also other countries and the Travel & Tourism industry,” he added.

WTTC Sendai:Disaster Recovery Lessons Moderator Mr. Masako Takamatsu

Given the events of the last decade – from America on September 11 2001 to Japan on 11 March 2011, dealing with the unusual is increasingly becoming business as usual in the Travel & Tourism industry.

According to the Annual Global Climate and Catastrophe Report published by Impact Forecasting, 2011 was one of the most active years on record in terms of instances of natural catastrophes, so there has never been a more pressing time to consider crisis management and disaster recovery.

WTTC Global Summit Disaster Recovery Lessons from Japan

Japan has learnt a lot since March 2011, Mr Idee, Commissioner, Japan Tourism Agency (JTA), Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism told delegates. “I can tell you that [after the earthquake and tsunami], the government immediately took measures to ensure that the region was safe from radiation and that there was total security regarding food safety.

We have also undertaken a wide range of measures to try encourage a recovery in demand, using high-profile visitors like Lady Gaga to help us in our promotions. And we are grateful to UNWTO and the United Nations generally for issuing reassurances to the world that Japan is open for business. I would like to express my gratitude to them for these measures.

We were delighted to see that WTTC’s latest report suggests that Japan’s Travel & Tourism recovery will be better than expected, with the percentage drop in inbound tourism in 2012 projected to be down in single digits over Japan’s peak tourism year in 2010”.

“Destination Tohoku” campaigns in foreign countries such as the United States help, and we are focusing on the travel trade – tour operator and travel agents – to communicate our messages. But we are promoting domestic as well as inbound tourism.

Disaster Lessons from Japan Railway - infrastructure and transport sector

Mr Ogata, Vice Chairman,  East Japan Railway Company told the Summit that in 50 years of operating the Shinkansen (Japanese “bullet-train”) there had never been an associated fatal casualty. JR East is the largest railway company in Japan – with 4,700 miles of network and 17 million passengers a day on 13,000 trains. Its top priority is safety.

Many lessons from past experiences of earthquakes, e.g. the use of reinforced pillars, early earthquake detection systems, seismometers, preventing trains from large-scale deviations, plus the education and training of its staff have secured a dramatic decrease in accidents. But in addition to taking countermeasures, it is essential to utilise innovative risk assessments. As a result, on 11 March 2011, there were no customer fatalities or injuries – though because of aftershocks, it took 50 days to restore full operation.

There were lots of lessons learned: e.g. even more early detection systems needed – plus better evacuation systems, and a strengthening of electrification masts.

Bert van Walbeek, Chairman of PATA’s Rapid Recovery Taskforce, and Managing Director, The Winning Edge gave the Summit “Five Points in Five Minutes”:

Educate and train all stakeholders • Accept joint responsibility

Respect and understand ‘Mother Nature’

Co-operate on travel advisories

• We all need to work together to address the problem, in terms of crisis management and prevention.

UNWTO Risk and Crisis Management Coordinator Dirk Glaesser

Dirk Glaesser, Coordinator, Risk and Crisis Management, UNWTO reminded the Summit that whilst crises do occur, it’s the way we prepare for them and manage them that is critical. UNWTO works not just through United Nations systems but also through TERN – the Tourism Emergency Research Network, which groups together public and private sector organisations and associations involved in tourism. “The whole purpose of TERN is sharing knowledge and best practice, and communicating between partner organisations/associations and the outside world, through media,.

It’s all about planning and preparedness,” said Glaesser, “the importance of correct assumptions and strategic contingency planning.”

WTTC Sendai Summit Disaster Recovery Panel Discussion

In the Panel Discussion which followed, Raymond N Bickson, Managing Director & CEO, Taj Hotels Resorts & Palaces, said: “ Whether natural disaster or terrorist attack or other man-made disasters, including health concerns like H1N1 and bird flu, the crisis management tools are all very similar across the board. What helps recovery is the public and private sectors working together – plus India has its own national chapter of WTTC and this has helped us enormously.”

Robert Laurence Noddin, CEO and Representative in Japan, AIU Insurance Company, Japan Branch, told the story of the Japanese crisis from the insurance industry standpoint: “ We had to overcome or deal with three major issues: impact on transportation, getting support to customers and staff; and the availability of data and how to use, control and communicate it. The sheer scale of the disaster meant that there was huge damage, so we needed to call on an unprecedented number of support staff to assess the damages”.

The Summit then listened attentively to the story as told by Mrs. Noriko Abe, the “Okami” of Minami-Sanriku Hotel Kanyo.  Her story was a wonderful example of a member of the Travel & Tourism industry taking the initiative to help the community – in the aftermath some people had no accommodation, no food, no clothes. How to help them? “We had to help them. There was total confusion and incomprehension as to why this had happened to them. We offered support to 600 citizens – we started a school inside the hotel. Without help, we risked some of the younger Japanese leaving the community to go and live elsewhere. Or even committing suicide out of desperation, especially young mothers. So our help in fact was a way of rebuilding the community and giving people a reason for living”. On the basis of this closing presentation, the first session of the first day of the Sendai Forum drew the conclusion that Tourism is not often seen as the cement of community solidarity, but it should be. It’s something very human, and can really help when crises strike.

WTTC Global Summit Japan 2012

Sustainability Guru Asia Pacific supports the World Travel & Tourism Council’s Environment Initiative, with its Sustainable Tourism programs and projects in the Philippines – The Coron Initiative  , The Boracay Initiative & The Negros Initiative . Environmental, Social,  Good Governance & Resilience Capacity building programs  & training include Disaster Preparedness & Management for both public and private local stakeholders/proponents. Sustainability Guru Asia Pacific is working towards green economy for the grass roots, in cooperation with Zero Carbon Resorts, Green Hotels and The Clean Blue Asia Pacific. For more info, visit our Society for Sustainable Tourism & Development Inc. website or contact SSTDI for assistance.

Tourism for Tomorrow Awards

Posted in Conventions & Exhibitions, Events, News, Lifestyle, Good Governance, Green Hotels, Responsible Travel, Sustainable Tourism, Travel with tags , , , , , , , on April 24, 2012 by Sustainability Guru

What a wonderful World Travel & Tourism Council Japan Summit in Sendai & Tokyo, that was! Re-posting this great news from WTTC  first and foremost for Inkaterra, Tourism For Tomorrow Winner and the respective stories of other winners which serve as inspiration and benchmarks in Sustainable Tourism excellence.

Three companies and one destination, from four continents, have been recognised for their best practices in sustainable tourism at this year’s World Travel & Tourism Council’s (WTTC) Tourism for Tomorrow Awards. The four winners were selected from 12 Award finalists and announced onstage during the opening ceremony of the WTTC Global Summit in Tokyo, Japan on 17 April. The WTTC Tourism for Tomorrow Awards are among the highest accolades in the Travel & Tourism industry, and recognise companies, organisations and destinations around the world which showcase outstanding sustainable tourism achievements. They are the only global sustainable tourism awards that include on-site evaluation inspections of all finalists, conducted by a team of expert international judges.

WTTC Tourism for Tomorrow Awards 2012

The 2012 Tourism for Tomorrow Awards winners hail from South America, North America, Europe, and Asia. These diverse set of winners and emerged as victors over 150 entries from more than 60 countries. The winners are:

Saunders Hotel Group.Photo from Saunders website

Community Benefit AwardSaunders Hotel Group, USA: – This local family-owned hotel group has been a leader in sustainable tourism practices as far back as the early 1980s, when they converted an old police building in Boston, Massachusetts into an historic hotel and worked with local community partners to build affordable housing in the same area. Through initiatives that are driven and supported by all levels of their staff, the group supports dozens of local charity and non-profit groups with a combination of financial backing, volunteer time, and in-kind resources that goes far beyond most corporate social responsibility efforts. For Saunders, community service begins at ‘home’, where helping people in need is part of the company mission, recognising that disadvantaged communities can also exist in a major city in the United States.

Inkaterra CEO Jose Koechlin, giving his speech after receiving Tourism for Tomorrow Awards

Conservation Award – Inkaterra, Peru: This hotel boasts long term conservation stewardship of 38,000 acres of rainforest in the Amazon basin and 25 acres of cloud forest within the Machu Picchu Historical Sanctuary. Founded in 1975, Inkaterra has grown into a renowned biodiversity research and conservation tourism company operating five hotels in the Sanctuary of Machu Picchu and the Madre de Dios area of the Amazon rainforest. As well as a 100% carbon neutral hotel stay for every guest, Inkaterra has continued to implement a host of self-supported, sustainable tourism projects to facilitate a better understanding among tourists and local peoples about the need to protect fragile habitats in the Andes and the Amazon of Peru, which is home to 84 of the world’s 104 identified ecological life zones.

Roros Norway, WTTC Destination Stewardship Winner

Destination Stewardship Award – Destination Røros, Norway: Their successful multi-stakeholder approach to creating a thriving sustainable tourism destination in the old mining town of Røros, a UNESCO World Heritage Site is an example for many to follow. Since the end of mining in the late 1970’s, Destination Røros has been instrumental in reversing the area’s environmental degradation, guided by a management plan that actively engages and builds cooperation among local communities, municipal authorities, and private sector stakeholders. Emphasis is placed on demonstrating that historical cultural sites and formerly degraded natural areas can be revitalised and utilised in new contexts through sustainable development, thereby bringing tangible economic benefits to the local people. Destination Røros is also a pilot project for Norway’s country-wide Sustainable Tourism Initiative.

Banyan Tree Group, WTTC Global Tourism Business Award winner

Global Tourism Business Award – Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts, headquartered in Singapore: Their longstanding commitment to sustainability and creating tourism value recognition among stakeholders to support the protection of diverse natural and cultural heritage in worldwide destinations ranging from Mexico to China. Banyan Tree works through a three-pillar strategy: enhancing efficiency in environmental operations, conserving natural heritage and biodiversity, and social and economic empowerment of local people in the countries and regions where they operate. In addition to strong sustainable tourism practices, Banyan Tree has also fully integrated sustainability monitoring and evaluation across the company including its annual reports, in addition to issuing annual stand-alone sustainability performance reports that document projects, successes, and challenges. They have successfully done this for more than a decade, while also being one of the first global hospitality companies in the world to ban the sale of shark’s fin in all of their hotels in 2006.

Jose Koechlin Inkaterra CEO receiving Tourism for Tomorrow Awards from WTTC judges

David Scowsill, President & CEO, WTTC, said: ‘The Awards have been under WTTC’s stewardship for the last nine years. Since then, they have grown in calibre and reach, but the premise is the same: to give international recognition to outstanding examples of sustainable practices, from Travel & Tourism businesses across the globe.’ David continued: ‘All finalists and winners are inspiring cases of businesses providing sustainable solutions to real world problems. These actions espouse the ethos of Tourism for Tomorrow, and demonstrate true leadership in the industry.’

Commenting on their achievements, Costas Christ, Chairman of Judges, WTTC Tourism for Tomorrow Awards, noted: ‘Sustainable tourism principles are no longer solely the realm of a handful of well-meaning companies. Today, sustainability itself has emerged on the global stage as a new indicator of tourism quality, alongside traditional quality standards such as excellent guest services or a room with a view. What this means is that a measure of a company or tourism destination’s success, is now increasingly tied to their quality of sustainable tourism best practice. This is not a passing trend, but rather a positive and needed evolution of the tourism industry. The winners of this year’s Tourism for Tomorrow Awards exemplify how tourism, when planned and managed well, can be a tremendous opportunity to help safeguard our planet and deliver tangible benefits to local people.’ The

Tourism for Tomorrow winners underwent a rigorous four-step judging process by more than 20 independent judges from around the world, led by Costas Christ, a globally recognised expert in sustainable tourism. The Tourism for Tomorrow Awards are organised in association with Travelport and the Travel Corporation’s Conservation Foundation. For further information about the Tourism for Tomorrow Awards and the judging process, please visit: www.tourismfortomorrow.com

source: http://www.wttc.org/

Sustainability Guru Asia Pacific supports the World Travel & Tourism Council’s Environment Initiative, with its Sustainable Tourism programs and projects in the Philippines.  Environmental, Social,  Good Governance & Resilience Capacity building programs  & training include Disaster Preparedness & Management for both public and private local stakeholders/proponents. Sustainability Guru Asia Pacific is working towards green economy for the grass roots, in cooperation with Zero Carbon Resorts, Green Hotels and The Clean Blue Asia Pacific. For more info, visit our Society for Sustainable Tourism & Development Inc. website or contact SSTDI.

Disaster Recovery Lessons: Top Topic at the WTTC Japan Global Summit

Posted in Conventions & Exhibitions, Environment, Events, News, Lifestyle, Good Governance, Responsible Travel, Sustainable Tourism, Travel with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 3, 2012 by Sustainability Guru

Sustainability Guru Asia Pacific was honored to attend The Japan Recovery and Asia Outlook Forum Sendai (in association with PATA).

 

Sendai City. Photo courtesy of Sendai Tourism & Convention Bureau

Sendai City. Photo courtesy of Sendai Tourism & Convention Bureau

 

A year after the Tohoku region was devastated by the earthquake and tsunami of 11 March 2011, the World Travel and Tourism Council Global Summit opens with the Japan Recovery and Asia Outlook Forum (in association with PATA) in Sendai City, the provincial capital of the Miyagi Prefecture and a focal point of last year’s disaster recovery efforts. The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) fully supports Japan in this recovery process, and as a mark of the commitment to this expressed by its Members, has decided to open its 2012 Global Summit in Sendai, followed by a plenary Global Summit session in Tokyo.

Given the events of the last decade from America on September 11 2001 to Japan on March 11 2011, dealing with the unusual is increasingly becoming business as usual in the Travel & Tourism industry.

According to the Annual Global Climate and Catastrophe Report published by Impact Forecasting, 2011 was one of the most active years on record in terms of instances of natural catastrophes.

So, what are the best ways to manage a crisis? This session will look at how the Tohoku region, other countries, and the Travel & Tourism industry have handled crisis management. Reflecting on the earthquake and tsunami of 11 March 2011:

What is the progress update for Tohoku?

What has been achieved in terms of infrastructure redevelopment and what lessons have been learned?

How has the nuclear situation in Tohoku been managed?

How have other countries responded to and recovered from crises?

How have members of the Travel & Tourism industry dealt with crises such as terrorism, pandemics, the Icelandic ash cloud, natural disasters, and political uprisings?

How do news anchors cover a crisis and what is the importance of communications in marketing your way out of disaster?

Sendai Airport_3/11

Sendai Airport_ 3/11.Photo courtesy of Telegraph UK.

These questions and more will be answered by speakers including news anchors and representatives from Japan Association of Travel Agencies, the Pacific Asia Travel Association, major airlines, hotels and cruises.

Highlighting Hiraizumi, Matsushima and Sendai, after the disaster on the road to recovery.

Ninety minutes’ drive from Sendai brings visitors to the UNESCO World Heritage sites at  Hiraizumi – home to the Chusonji temple precinct , and the fabulous  Konjiki-do (Golden Hall) of Chusonji Temple, the first National Treasure Building in Japan, built in 1124. Before leaving  Hiraizumi, guests will appreciate the sight of the unparalleled Jodo Gardens and visit the Arahama area affected by the earthquake in Sendai.

Sendai before & after tsunami by NY Times.

Sendai before & after tsunami by NY Times.

An alternate tour, Matshushima. After visiting the Arahama area affected by the earthquake in Sendai, guests can visit Matsushima –  a small bay dotted with more than 260 pine-clad islands beautifully, and one of Japan’s celebrated “Three Views”.

Visit Japan campaign.  Today Japan is taking a united stand against the challenge of the tremendous damage caused by the 2011 Tohoku-Pacific Ocean Earthquake followed by the massive tsunami on 11 March 2011, and by the nuclear power plant accident triggered by the tsunami.

Sendai Cherry Blossom Viewing.

Sendai Cherry Blossom Viewing.

Following the earthquake and tsunami in March 2011, WTTC commissioned its research partner Oxford Economics to develop scenarios for the recovery of Japan’s Travel & Tourism. These scenarios are updated on a quarterly basis.

The scenarios, based on research into the recovery times of previous crises, now show that recovery has been in line with the lowest impact scenario and that domestic and international tourism is returning to normal quicker than expected.

Sendai City itself, although in parts affected by flooding following the tsunami, is now wholly prepared to host the Global Summit.

For more information visit the websites of:

Japan’s Tourism Information Websites

Japan National Tourism Organization

Tokyo Convention & Visitors Bureau

Tokyo Metropolitan Government

Miyagi Prefecture Tourism Division

Sendai Tourism & Convention Bureau

Source: World Travel & Tourism Council.

Watch the awesome video of Sendai Road to Recovery – click here.

Sustainability Guru Asia Pacific supports the World Travel & Tourism Council’s Environment Initiative, with its Sustainable Tourism programs and projects in the Philippines: The Coron Initiative , The Boracay Initiative & The Negros Initiative . Environmental, Social,  Good Governance & Resilience Capacity building programs  & training include Disaster Preparedness & Management for both public and private local stakeholders/proponents. Sustainability Guru Asia Pacific is working towards green economy for the grass roots, in cooperation with Zero Carbon Resorts, Green Hotels and The Clean Blue Asia Pacific. 

World Travel and Tourism Council -WTTC Global Summit 2012

Posted in Conventions & Exhibitions, Ecotourism, Events, News, Lifestyle, Good Governance, Inkaterra, MICE Meetings, Responsible Travel, Sustainable Events, Sustainable Tourism, Travel with tags , , , , , , , on March 24, 2012 by Sustainability Guru

WTTC Global Summit in Sendai & Tokyo Japan

Sustainability Guru Asia Pacific is honored to be invited to the WTTC Global Summit, with Inkaterra, Peru’s leading provider of luxury and sustainable hospitality. Inkaterra has been recognized for the second time since 2010 by Tourism for Tomorrow as one of the three finalists in the “Conservation” category. The Tourism for Tomorrow Awards are organized by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) and the winner will be announced at the WTTC’s Global Summit in Tokyo from April 16-19, 2012.

WTTC Tourism for Tomorrow awards at the Global Summit

This is the most influential Travel & Tourism event of the year, bringing together almost 1000 industry leaders, to tackle some of the most pressing issues facing Travel & Tourism today.

Attendance at the Global Summit is by invitation of the World Travel & Tourism Council and the Global Summit Host Committee only, and is reserved for those who lead Travel & Tourism enterprises and organisations in the private sector, or participate in public sector policy and support of the sector.

Atsutoshi Nishida, Chairman of the Board, Toshiba Corporation, and Chairman of the WTTC Global Summit 2012 Host Committee, welcomes delegates to Japan:

WTTC Global Summit Japan 2012

“Japan has developed a distinct travel culture that is permeated with the spirit of hospitality. I want to make this year’s WTTC Global Summit a fusion of this unique culture and Japan’s cutting edge technology. The Global Summit will take place in April – a wonderful time of year in which spring can be enjoyed to the full, and the cherry blossoms – the symbol of Japan – are in full bloom. I look forward to hosting you all during the time of year in which the heart dances its most. You are all very welcome to Japan. ”

The 12th annual WTTC Global Summit will be held in two locations:

WTTC Global Summit Plenary

Sendai City (16-17 April 2012). A year after the Tohoku region was devastated by the earthquake and tsunami of 11 March 2011, the Global Summit commences with the Sendai Recovery and Asia Outlook Forum (in association with PATA) to be held in Sendai City, the provincial capital of the Miyagi Prefecture and a focal point of last year’s disaster recovery efforts. It is the largest city in the Tohoku Region of Japan, is situated in the center of Miyagi Prefecture. It has prospered as the capital of the Date” feudal clan’s territories since Date Masamune reigned over this district and built Aoba Castle at the beginning of the 17th century. Explore the site of Sendai Castle ( or Aoba Castle) or rest and relax in the neighborhood of Mt. Aoba-yama, which has been transformed into a gracious public park. Sendai is known as “The City of Trees.” The main streets, Aoba-dori and Jozenji-dori, are lined with rows of beautiful zelkova trees, Ichiban-cho-dori Street, which crosses Chuo-dori Street and runs parallel to Aoba-dori Street, is a shopping area. A local market, with many smaller stores lining the side streets, make for a delightful shopping excursion.

WTTC Global Summit Tokyo 2012

Tokyo (17-19 April 2012). The plenary session of the 12th Global Summit will then be held in Tokyo and will examine, amongst other subjects, the role of Travel & Tourism as a driver of economic and social advancement at a time of global turbulence. The Global Summit will take place at International Convention Centre Pamir, Tokyo. As one of the great world cities, Tokyo offers everything a visitor can dream of, ranging from modern skyscrapers to traditional temples, 5-star restaurants and numerous bars and restaurants serving cuisine from every corner of Japan and the world. Whether you are enjoying the springtime display of cherry blossom, shopping for cutting edge consumer electronics or following the latest Tokyo fashions in the many department stores – Tokyo has something for everyone. The Global Summit will be held in Shinagawa district in the southern part of Tokyo, conveniently located to all major attractions of  Tokyo.

For more information on the Speakers line-up, click here.

Sustainability Guru Asia Pacific supports the World Travel & Tourism Council’s Environment Initiative, with its Sustainable Tourism programs and projects in the Philippines –The Coron Initiative , The Boracay Initiative & The Negros Initiative . Environmental, Social,  Good Governance & Resilience Capacity building programs  & training include Disaster Preparedness & Management for both public and private local stakeholders/proponents. Sustainability Guru Asia Pacific is working towards green economy for the grass roots, in cooperation with Zero Carbon Resorts, Green Hotels and The Clean Blue Asia Pacific. For more info, please visit our Society for Sustainable Tourism & Development Inc. website or contact SSTDI.

Photos & text source: WTTC Global Summit 2012.

Disaster Preparedness: Before a calamity occurs

Posted in Coron, Environment, Events, News, Lifestyle, Good Governance, Sustainable Living, Western Visayas with tags , , , , , , on March 4, 2012 by Sustainability Guru
Philippine Disaster Hazards and corresponding agency-in-charge

Philippine Disaster Hazards and corresponding agency-in-charge

“Do we have to wait until a disaster overwhelms us before we make the radical changes necessary to protect our world for future generations? If we act now there is much that can be saved which will otherwise disappear forever.” ~ John Gummer

In these times of global warming and climate change, one is never prepared enough for the mighty forces of nature or in some cases, man-made disasters, such as the Fukushima Nuclear Plant or in Southern Philippines’ Cagayan de Oro flash flood tragedy caused by illegal logging. For those especially in vulnerable and hazard zones like Japan & Philippines, every one must be aware and be prepared.

Here are the six basic disaster preparedness at home that you must ensure:

1. Check safety around your house

  • Organize flowerpots and propane tanks to prevent toppling, and check the intensity of block walls and roof tiles.Before disaster occurs: Check your house for safety measures!

Before a disaster occurs: Check your house for safety measures!

The DOST- PHIVOLCS call for compliance to building code after the earthquakes in the Philippines. Read article here. 

2. Discuss with your family and household member about disaster measures:

Discuss disaster preparedness with your family. Seriously.

Discuss disaster preparedness with your family. Seriously.

Prepare a pinch, saw, scoop, jack, flashlight, etc. (These may be  expensive to purchase all on you own, but you can discuss and share with your neighbors to prepare these. At least you have a set of equipments ready!)

3. Prevent injuries caused by broken glasses.

Prepare slippers and sneakers close at hand

Prepare slippers and sneakers close at hand. For a blackout at night, keep them in place.

Be ready with rescue equipments

4. Prepare rescue equipments. Prepare a pinch, saw, scoop, jack, flashlight, etc. These might be expensive, so share with your neighbors the cost and the use.

5. Prepare an emergency packAfter a disaster, supply of essentials may stop for a few days. Plan for quantity of stockpiles and storage for essentials to be taken out in case of emergency.

Essential emergency supplies list

  • Food and water (roughly 3 days of food for entire family and 3 liters
    Each family MUST HAVE: Survival Pack.

    Each family MUST HAVE: Survival Pack.

    of water per person a day)

  • First-aid kit, medicine, etc.
  • Portable radio, flashlight, batteries
  • Cash and valuables
  • Clothes

6.  Join Disaster Prevention drills

Ain't done the drill yet? Just DO IT.

Ain’t done the drill yet? Just DO IT.

In preparation for an emergency, create a cooperative structure with neighborhoods on a routine basis.

  1. Discussion
  2. Join disaster prevention resident groups
  3. Join disaster prevention drills

If you don’t have, organize one with your neighborhood or community pronto!

“We are now running out of time, and the question now is not what is happening to the climate, but how bad will it be before the world starts doing enough?”  ~ Jonathon Porritt

Source: Tokyo Metropolitan Government Disater Prevention Information.

“First, climate change is the greatest long-term threat faced by humanity… All countries will be affected, but the poorest countries will be hit hardest. Secondly, the costs of inaction far outweigh the costs of action.” ~ David Miliband

The Philippines is situated along two major tectonic plates of the world – the EURASIAN and PACIFIC Plates. Aside from this, it has 300 volcanoes – 22 as active, an average of 20 quakes per day, 20 typhoons a year, five (5) of these destructive and 36,289 kilometers of coastline vulnerable to tsunami.  The responsibility for leadership rests on the provincial governor, city and town mayors and Barangay chairmen in their respective areas.

Know more about the Philippine National Disaster Risk Reduction & Management Center and how it should work for you and your community!

Philippine disaster profile. Learn the lessons

Philippine disaster profile. Learn the lessons.

Learn the lessons of past disasters. The Philippines is not short of earlier numerous grants, programs and initiatives in disaster education and management. Share the National Disaster Risk Reduction & Management Framework and how it should serve your community better. Be mindful and demand from your public officials on the information and skills. Seek the mass media support and use social media in raising awareness, care and vigilance.

The Coron Initiative , The Boracay Initiative & The Negros Initiative  are Sustainable Tourism, Conservation and Social Responsibility frameworks being implemented in Coron, Calamianes Islands & Western Visayas with institutional partners Zero Carbon Resorts, Green Hotels & Clean Blue. Sustainability Capacity Building and Training programs for cities, communities and destinations  include Good Governance and Disaster Prevention and Management. For more info, visit our Society for Sustainable Tourism & Development Inc. website or contact SSTDI on how we can help.