As the world comes together in recognition of the plethora of organisms and species that inhabit planet earth, the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) is pleased to join with International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in celebration of International Day for Biological Diversity 2017.
This year, under the theme “Biodiversity and Sustainable Tourism” the CTO is particularly pleased that the global community continues to pay serious attention to the significance of tourism as a driving force for sustainable development.
CTO is acutely aware that the Caribbean is the most tourism-dependent region in the world, but it is not often recognised that there is a direct correlation between our region’s biological diversity and the scale of our tourism activity. Without question, Caribbean tourism products utilize the natural environment for myriad value propositions, and so whether one chooses to engage in whale-watching in Dominica, birdwatching in Trinidad and Tobago, snorkelling in the Cayman Islands or hiking in St. Kitts and Nevis, the biodiversity found in the Caribbean appeals to a wide range of visitors, and creates lasting observational and experiential memories for them to treasure.
In fact, the theme “Biodiversity and Sustainable Tourism” heralds a growing partnership between IUCN and the CTO, with one such output represented through IUCN’s sponsorship of the Biodiversity Conservation Award within CTO’s 2017 Caribbean Sustainable Tourism Awards.
We are remarkably blessed in the Caribbean with un-spoilt natural environments that not only lead to an enviable quality of life for our people, but the development of tourism as an economic pillar that allows us to share our rich habitat with the rest of mankind. It is therefore critical that we recognise and form partnerships with the champions that actively work to maintain balance with our sensitive biological treasures.
CTO and IUCN are pleased to collaborate to raise awareness and promote action towards the important contribution of sustainable tourism to economic growth and to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.
Our actions matter, and CTO and IUCN are pleased to work together to ensure that the Caribbean remains mindful of both our environmental blessings and our responsibilities not just for present enjoyment, but for the benefit of future generations.