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poorer communities, with increased local hiring and sourcing and positive spill-over effects on many other areas of the economy. The direct economic contribution of tourism to local communities would also be increased, maximising the amount of tourist spending retained by the local economy. Finally, a green tourism economy would ensure significant environmental benefits, including reductions in water consumption, energy use and CO2 emissions.Given that international tourism today comprises one billion travelers and hundreds of millions more employed directly or indirectly in the sector, even small changes towards greening can have significant impacts. But to drive these actions, the sector needs the right policies and the right investment.A green tourism agenda for governmentsFor tourism to contribute to social and economic development within the carrying capacities of ecosystems, a set of enabling conditions must be put in place. Governments, leading groups like the G8 and the international community at large have a particularly important role to play in this regard. This is of particular importance to the development agenda given the opportunities generated by tourism for least developed and developing countries. Representing around 45 per cent of the exports of services for least developed countries, tourism often provides them with one of the few competitive options to take part in the global economy. It is little surprise that tourism has been identified by most Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Small Islands Developing States (SIDS) as a powerful engine for poverty reduction and development. Sound regulatory frameworks, public investment and private engagement are all needed from governments in the move towards green tourism. Economic instruments and fiscal policy can be used to reward sustainable investments and practices and discourage uncontrolled tourism expansion. Coordination within government, between all ministries and with local government, is also key to ensuring policy coherence and spearheading sustainability efforts. Perhaps the single greatest limiting factor for greening tourism is lack of access to capital, particularly at a global scale for developing countries, and at national level for all Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), which represent the bulk of the sector. Public financing is essential for jumpstarting the green economic transformation. Governments and international organisations need to facilitate the financial flow to the tourism sector by prioritising investment and spending in areas that stimulate greening. Subsidies and tax incentives are just some of the tools that governments can employ. Through public-private partnerships, governments can help to spread the costs and risks of large green tourism investments. At the same time, government spending on public goods such as protected areas, water conservation, waste management, sanitation, public transport and renewable energy infrastructure can reduce the cost of green investments by the private sector in green tourism. One billion tourists, one billion opportunitiesThere can be no question that reaching one billion international tourists is a major responsibility; a responsibility to meet the needs of today's tourists and host communities while protecting our environment, social values and cultural heritage. Yet, given the size of the sector - and with the correct policies, the adequate business strategies and the right attitudes in place - the potential of one billion tourists for sustainability is enormous. At Rio+20 the green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication is at the heart of discussions. With tourism identified as one of the sectors best able to deliver on the green economy, the missing piece of the tourism puzzle is political commitment, investment and support from governments around the world. It is my hope that as we reach one billion, and in the context of RIO+20, tourism's value is increasingly recognised, not just as an economic force, but as one of the human activities best able to lead a future of fairer, stronger and more sustainable growth. nCredit: UN PhotoTOURISM 135

Green Growth: A Sustainable Future for AllAngel GurrĂ­a, Secretary-General, The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) With a rapidly growing population of more than 7 billion and a precarious recovery from the economic crisis, the world in 2012 faces complex economic, environmental and social challenges. To address them, we must work to boost economic growth, create jobs and protect the environment.To be very clear, we can only accomplish these goals simultaneously by shifting towards "greener" and more innovative sources of growth. In this year of Rio+20, we need to re-think the world economy and come up with new approaches that can ensure inclusive, sustainable growth and development. By 2050, the world population is projected to reach over 9 billion people. According to OECD analysis1, fossil fuels will supply 85 per cent of global energy demand, increasing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 50 per cent and further worsening urban air pollution. With global water demand projected to increase by 55 per cent, competition for it would intensify, leaving over 40 per cent of the world's population living in severely water-stressed river basins.The costs and consequences of inaction could be colossal, both in economic and human terms. To avoid such a grim new world, we urgently need new thinking and greener policies. The OECD Green Growth Strategy will help countries tailor their policies according to their level of development, particular resource endowments and environmental pressures. In addition to country-specific actions, the OECD Strategy also calls for common approaches to address shared challenges, including:n Making pollution more costly than greener alternatives (e.g. with environmental taxes and emissions trading schemes); 136 summation