Environment

There once was a beautiful tropical island afloat in the pale blue waters of the Caribbean called Bimini, immortalized by Ernest Hemingway in his well-known novel “Islands in the Stream.” Luxuriant coral reefs and mangroves provided safe refuge for bountiful marine life including a myriad of fish,...
Extreme weather events such as heat and drought, torrential rains and cyclones are increasing due to global warming. They lead to major destruction, economic damage and loss of human lives. The poor run even higher risks of falling victims to extreme climate conditions, says Sabine Minninger. This...
With high emissions, enormous growth rates and a lack of binding reduction targets, the bunkers threaten to undermine global efforts to mitigate climate change, writes Annegret Zimmermann. It is therefore more urgent than ever to address aviation and shipping at the highest level of climate...
Since the end of the 19th century, the increasing anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, including carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O) and halocarbons, in the atmosphere have had accelerating impacts on the natural greenhouse effect and thereby caused anthropogenic climate...
With a share of about 40 percent, oil dominates global energy supplies. Maintaining living standards or even improving them requires increasing supplies of cheap oil. However, ‘Peak Oil’ – the actual end of cheap oil – is in direct contradiction to this. It questions the projected growth of the...
Aerotropolis projects are among the largest megaprojects pursued by governments and corporations. These airport centric developments destroy farmland and forests, and act as economic enclaves, fostering corporate growth and excluding host communities. All over the world, developments called an ‘...
As air travel contributes significantly to climate change, tour operators need to address the challenge of reducing the carbon footprint of their operations. As Petra Thomas reports, Forum anders reisen, a German tour operators' association for sustainable tourism, has been supporting offsetting by...
By Christina Kamp When tourists pay to "offset" their emissions from air travel, an equal amount of emissions needs to be reduced elsewhere. These reductions must be real and additional. The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) allows countries like Germany to meet part of their reduction commitments...
Forest protection is not suitable for market-based CO2 offsetting, says biologist and forest activist Jutta Kill. She explains the dangers forests are facing over time, which may turn them from carbon sinks into sources of carbon emissions. Such dangers include forest fires and natural decay after...
By Christina Kamp In many parts of the world, forests are cut down and degraded. Climate change increases the urgency of effective forest conservation. Sustainable solutions for forest protection are hard to find – and need to suit local conditions. The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) may be a...
The Sri Lankan government promotes the country’s image of a peaceful and prospering holiday destination – despite Sri Lanka’s gruesome past. As Angela Mattli shows in her article based on a more comprehensive report by the Swiss Society for Threatened Peoples, after 26 years of civil war the human...
Some of Myanmar’s flagship sites such as Bagan, Inle and Kyaiktiyo, are already under environmental and social pressure from the effects of tourism, which is affecting the livelihoods of local inhabitants and long-term viability of these places as tourism destinations. The Danish Institute for...
Der Klimawandel stellt die Tourismusbranche vor enorme Herausforderungen. Effizienzverbesserungen im Flugverkehr oder bei Kreuzfahrtschiffen reichen nicht aus, um die Emissionen des Tourismussektors auf ein klimaverträgliches Maß zu reduzieren. Die internationalen Klimaverhandlungen haben zwar zur...
Larger vessels, new ports, private islands – the booming cruise industry is expanding further, as Ulrich Delius reports. However, cruise tourist receiving countries, many of them small island developing states, do not always benefit from the boom. Jamaica has constructed a new cruise terminal at...
The aviation sector has been experimenting with jatropha as one of the agrofuel solutions of the future and still goes on to promote it. Experiences in India, however, have shown that jatropha has had serious side effects and has not fulfilled expectations. To find out what went wrong, we...
Tourism consumes a lot of water, often compromising local people's right to this scarce resource. This year's World Tourism Day on 27th September will take place under the motto "Tourism and Water: Protecting our Common Future".
As tourism in Bali enjoys a robust period, the island is struggling to cope with diminishing water resources that have been overexploited to meet the increasing demand for clean water for tourist-related facilities, while the industry has done little to solve the problem, a study concluded....
(Berlin, 07.05.2013) The new paper of Bread for the World in cooperation with Carbon Market Watch focusing on aviation and equity especially looking at aviation in carbon markets has been published. You can find it here: http://www.brot-fuer-die-welt.de/fileadmin/mediapool/2_Downloads/...
According to all reliable scientific scenarios, the Mediterranean is one of the world's regions where the effect of climate change will be most pronounced, together with Central America, the Caribbean and large areas of the Indian and Pacific Oceans. Temperatures have already started to increase...
This study focuses on the climate change adaptation of the tourism sector in Cambodia. Climate change adaptation has come into focus since it has generally been realised that climate change impacts are certain and inevitable, see reports such as the Stern report, in 2006, and the IPCC report, in...
With climate change and increasing natural disasters, coastal protection has become a burning subject. Large amounts of funds have been allocated for coastal protection, which leads to corruption and the setting of wrong priorities. Coastal conservation has become a money-making business for...
It is being opposed to "business as usual", at least rhetorically: the "green economy" – one of the subjects on top of the agenda of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) in June 2012. The concept, however, fails to question the prevailing growth paradigm and seriously neglects...
The Rio+20 conference might be a new chance to stress that a global policy change is overdue. However, there is increasing evidence that governments will not succeed in setting the right course for sustainable development, says Michael Frein (German Church Development Service). The current...
The EU's unilateral move to include aviation into the European Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) has met with fierce resistance from a large number of countries, including many developing ones.
(Bonn/ Durban, 09.12.2011) FTTSA and Tourism Watch,  together with partners from the global North and South, called for binding negotiations on mitigation of emissions caused by aviation. Tourism interest groups were called to engage constructively at the UN climate summit in Durban, instead of...
The churches in Germanyhave established a carbon offsetting "climate collection" to support mitigation projects in developing countries and Eastern Europe. These projects are designed in such a way as to compensate emissions caused in Germany. It is an attractive approach, as it usually works out...
At a side event organised in Durban on the occasion of the recent climate negotiations, representatives of civil society, the tourism industry, government and the World Tourism Organization discussed the nexus of tourism and climate justice. Sabine Minninger reports on the discussion which...
(24/11/2011) In the run-up to the climate negotiations in Durban, South Africa, an international alliance of civil society organisations has called upon negotiators to seriously and objectively address the role of tourism. The alliance points out that it is irresponsible to exclude aviation on...
By Elizabeth Peredo Beltran There is a rebellious movement growing across the planet protesting the unfair impacts of climate change. We must listen to the voices of peoples and listen to the voice of nature herself reminding us that something is really very wrong in how we do inhabit the planet...
In the international "Atmosfair Airline Index", a comparative study conducted by Atmosfair, the German Lufthansa has achieved only efficiency category D. As Sabine Minninger reports, the index is based on several indicators and identifies airlines that emit less CO2 per kilometre than others....
Due to the high leakages in tourism, stagnation instead of economic growth in the aviation sector would not seriously affect developing countries. As Antje Monshausen summarises, a study by the World Development Movements and the New Economics Foundation, London, has shown that a mere quantitative...
By Christina Kamp Pacific islands countries are among the most vulnerable to climate change, which becomes a life and death issue in the Pacific. The impacts of climate change vary according to the geographical formation of each country. To find out how climate change is affecting people's lives...
The debate on an air ticket levy by the German Government and the current developments of the UN climate negotiations are still ongoing. Because of this, the Church Development Service (EED) invited economic, scientific and development experts to discuss the issue of climate financing.
By Sabine Minninger The German Government's latest resolutions for consolidation of the federal budget also contain plans for an air ticket levy by 2011. However, aviation is increasingly arousing interest on an international level, as it provides a fresh new source of finance for climate...
By Christina Kamp Lufthansa, along with a few other airlines, is looking at agro fuels to reduce aviation emissions. The fact that Lufthansa's plans include Jatropha has led to protest by environmental organisations who point out that Jatropha and similar plants can not be grown in a sustainable...
Benin - the small country at the Gulf of Guinea - is known as a travel destination rather among francophone travellers. With its hospitable population and its scenic, historic, and cultural treasures, Benin is one of the insiders tips for West Africa. However, the country is also struggling with...
Mount Cameroon attracts up to 1,000 mountaineers per year, from all over the world. A few years ago, German NGOs supported an integrated project for biodiversity conservation and ecotourism. A lot of challenges remain, as Jean Claude Tsafack reports. The local population lives in poverty,...
By Christina Kamp In order to draw attention to the dramatic loss of biological diversity, the United Nations declared 2010 the International Year of Biological Diversity. This year's World Tourism Day will also be held under this banner. The objective of significantly slowing down the global...
On the occasion of the climate negotiations in June 2010 and the Tourism European Network meeting, both held in Bonn, EED Tourism Watch organised a side event on "Climate justice and tourism - Myths surrounding tourism and climate policies" at the University Club in Bonn. The report of this...
(Bonn, 30/06/2010) The recent decisions taken by the German government in order to restore the federal budget also include a tax on air tickets to be levied from 2011. Even though only two percent of the world's population take flights at all, aviation is a significant contributor to global...
By Christina Kamp They are getting bigger and bigger, more modern and even more luxurious, and the environmental standards are also improving. However, we wanted to know from "cruise junkie" Ross A. Klein why cruise ships continue to be such a problem for the environment and why developing...
On the occasion of the 15th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC COP 15) in Copenhagen, "Respect - Institute for Integrative Tourism and Development" (Vienna, Austria) and partners have published a brochure on tourism and climate change. As...
Tour operators currently find themselves in a dilemma: On the one hand, they recognize that climate change mitigation is essential for protecting their economic success in the long term. On the other hand, a net reduction of their corporate emissions would "cannibalize" their core business in the...
By Imtiaz Muqbil  COPENHAGEN: An energetic two hour discussion on the issue of climate justice and tourism produced few answers to some of the long-standing and perplexing questions facing the growth of travel & tourism but did end with an agreement that civil society and the public and...
(Bonn, 16.12.2009) Eine engagierte Debatte, moderiert von Imtiaz Muqbil, führten am 10.12.2009 während den Klimaverhandlungen in Kopenhagen Vertreter tourismuskritischer NGOs zusammen mit Luigi Cabrini, dem Leiter der Abteilung Nachhaltige Entwicklung der Welttourismusorganisation der Vereinten...
By Amélie Vignaud The tourism industry must act immediately to reduce its emissions and to operate a broad paradigm shift, from profit-centred strategies to people-centred ones, says a position paper developed by civil society groups and NGOs on the occasion of the UNFCCC talks from 29th...
By Alfredo Quarto and Jim Enright News of the tsunami on 26 December 2004 shook the world by the sheer number of deaths and severity of this unprecedented natural disaster. However, time passing has eased memories and we are now slowly forgetting the human tragedy that greed and...
On the occasion of the climate conference COP 15 in Copenhagen, respect in cooperation with EED-Tourism Watch, Naturefriends International and other partners illustrate backgrounds and perspectives on the role of tourism in international climate politics. The publication shows that the...
The volume "Trends and Issues in Global Tourism 2009" is based on panel discussions and presentations made at the ITB Congress "Market Trends & Innovations" in March 2008, which had a focus on climate change. The book presents the concept of "zero footprint", which it says would work only if...
A partnership programme between the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) and the University of Oxford addresses the impacts and challenges surrounding climate change, tourism, the environment, and economic development and community livelihoods across the Caribbean Basin, using an...

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