TOURISM103Above: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moonvisits Kyon Da Village in MyanmarLeft: Environmentallyresponsible tourism is oneof the new growth poles ofthe Green EconomyRight: Dr Taleb Rifai iseager to promote the eco-tourism messageissues. With hundreds of millions of people travellingthe world each year, the tourism industry can raiseawareness through leading the change in products andservices, thereby stimulating the reorientation inproduction and consumption patterns so desperatelyneeded. Ultimately, it will be the choices and actionsof billions of individuals that steer the world along amore climate-friendly path. GLOBAL ACTION FOR GLOBALCHALLENGESThe Green Economy represents a multidimensional,multi-stakeholder shift in our global economic andsocial framework. We need a new mindset; we need tocome together with a common vision and sharedtransformational goals. In Italy last year, G8 leaders agreed to an aggregategoal of reducing their own emissions by 80 per cent ormore by 2050. As we approach COP 16 in Mexico,Canada's G8 Summit is an opportunity for makingprogress on this critical and urgent issue, namely inregards to the financial support for developingcountries as they reduce their own emissions andadapt to the consequences of climate change. In Copenhagen, developed countries agreed to provideup to US$30 billion from 2010 to 2012 in "new andadditional" financing, and also to jointly mobilizeUS$100 billion annually by 2020 from a variety ofsources. Finding ways to provide this financing iscritical to building trust at global climate talks. As theUN specialised agency for the promotion ofsustainable tourism development, UNWTO iscommitted to demonstrating tourism's contribution to the green transformation and its role in facing the climate change challenge and the povertyimperatives. nrecession, poverty and climate change. Aside fromcalling for the strengthening of the resilience of thetourism industry and stimulating its sustainablegrowth, the Roadmap specifically highlights thecontribution of tourism to a low carbon, resourceeffective economic regime. The sheer economic dimension and profound socialimpact of tourism make it a natural lead change agentin the transition to the Green Economy. Providingmillions of jobs worldwide and generating as much asUS$3 billion in services exports per day, the industry iswell-placed to encourage investment and humanresource development in sustainable tourisminitiatives. In the green transformation, new skills will be needed,new green jobs will emerge and tourism can beinstrumental in providing employment in sustainableactivities. Tourism can also be at the forefront ofreconfiguring businesses and infrastructure to deliverfairer and greener returns on investments. Tourismtransport, infrastructure and buildings are primarygreen policy targets. This green investment will go along way towards maximising tourism's contribution toeconomic recovery, decent job creation and reducingthe threats of climate change. Particular attention must be paid to how thedevelopment of green jobs and green tourisminfrastructure investment can be extended todeveloping countries in an affordable and viable way. Itis essential that substantial financial support and lowcost-technology transfers are provided to thesecountries to maximise their involvement in the GreenEconomy Initiative. Perhaps tourism's biggest contribution to the GreenEconomy is its ability to promote a green tourismculture and raise public awareness of environmentalBIOGRAPHYDr Taleb Rifai was elected Secretary-General of theUNWTO on May 12, 2009. Prior to that, he was DeputySecretary-General of the UNWTO and, from 1999 to2003, the Jordanian Minister of Tourism and Antiquities.His other posts included that of the Director of Jordan'sEconomic Mission to Washington, the Director-Generalof the Jordanian Investment Promotion Corporation andthe Chairman of the Jordan Tourism Board. Dr Rifai alsoserved as the Minister of Planning and InternationalCooperation from 1995 to 1997, when he was activelyinvolved in policy making and developing investmentstrategies. Dr Rifai was responsible for founding Jordan's firstArchaeological Park in the ancient city of Petra, incollaboration with UNESCO and the World Bank, andother projects in Jerash, the Dead Sea and Wadi Rum.
" "THE WHO ESTIMATES THATAROUND 150,000DEATHS NOWOCCUR IN LOW-INCOMECOUNTRIES EACHYEAR FROM FOURCLIMATE-SENSITIVEHEALTHOUTCOMES nless we act decisively, the impact ofclimate change on human health will beprofound and devastating. The WHO iskeen to bolster public confidence inclimate science and get the international negotiationsback on track.While the Copenhagen conference last December wasa setback, it has created an unprecedented platformfor raising awareness of climate change impacts onhuman health. A momentum has been created thatnow needs to be built upon. The emerging economiessuch as Brazil, China, India and South Africa have alldeclared their intent to take action along with SmallIsland States and the developed economies.According to WHO's scientific review of modelingevidence, the earliest and most severe health impactsof climate change will be seen in developing countries,where undernutrition is already widespread and thehealth system infrastructure is weak. Climate-sensitiverisk factors and illnesses are currently among the mostimportant contributors to the global burden of disease;these include undernutrition (estimated to kill 3.5million people per year), diarrhoea (2.2 million) andmalaria (0.9 million).We are already seeing many negative healthconsequences of the changing climate and it isobvious that the "business as usual" approach willhave some profoundly adverse effects on global health. A strong and equitable climate change agreement,on the other hand, would have undeniable healthbenefits. Feasible improvements in environmentalconditions, for example, could reduce the globaldisease burden by more than 25 per cent. The WHObases this assessment on a large and coherent bodyof peer-reviewed theoretical, observational andmodeling evidence. This evidence points to the fact that the warming ofthe planet will be gradual, but the effects of extremeweather conditions - more storms, floods, droughtsand heat waves - will be abrupt and acutely felt. TheWHO estimates that around 150,000 deaths nowoccur in low-income countries each year from fourclimate-sensitive health outcomes: crop failure andmalnutrition, diarrhoeal disease, malaria andflooding. Almost 85 per cent of these deaths are inyoung children.Of major concern is the fact that climate changethreatens to reverse progress made towards theMillennium Development Goals (MDGs). Povertyreduction, health and environment targets cannot bemet while climate change exacerbates malnutrition,disease and injury. On a positive note, robust measures to reducegreenhouse gas emissions (GHG) in the transport,electricity generation, household energy, food andagriculture sectors, in both low- and high-incomesettings can improve health, often in substantial ways. Reducing GHG from energy consumption andtransport systems, for example, would help addresssome of the largest and fastest growing global healthchallenges and the greatest drains on health sectorresources such as acute respiratory infections,cardiovascular disease, obesity, cancer, and diabetes.Such action would also help address big diseaseburden issues including outdoor air pollution(800,000 annual global deaths); traffic accidents (1.2million deaths); physical inactivity (1.9 milliondeaths); and indoor air pollution (1.5 million deaths). Right: Director of thedepartment of public health andenvironment, at theWHO, Dr Maria P. NeiraHEALTH BENEFITS OF TACKLING CLIMATE CHANGE104HEALTHDR MARIA NEIRA, DIRECTOR, DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENT, THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANISATION (WHO)U