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UNWTO-Led Project Helps Fight Climate Change in Indonesia

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The UNWTO-led Sustainable Tourism through Energy Efficiency with Adaptation and Mitigation Measures (STREAM) project, which concludes this week in Indonesia, is supporting the tourism sector in the popular tourism destination of Pangandaran in West Java in reducing its energy footprint and adapting to climate change.

A collaboration between UNWTO and the Indonesian Ministry of Tourism and Creative Industries, which have been working together in Pangandaran to revitalize tourism to the area since the 2006 tsunami, STREAM is a practical example of how the tourism sector can engage local communities to be part of the solutions to fight climate change.

Among the project achievements are the implementation of energy efficiency and renewable energy measures in several hotels and restaurants, and the development of a Low Carbon Planning Software Tool that helps to visualize and develop low carbon tourism in the area.

The project has also launched comprehensive rehabilitation programmes to restore and protect Pangandaran’s mangrove forests and coral reefs – over 1,400 coral segments and 38,000 mangroves were planted.

One of the key components of the project is the engagement of local communities. More than 2,000 people from various organizations and community groups are currently involved in mangrove conservation, including 450 school children participating in the ‘Mangrove Ambassadors Programme’. As of April 2014, most project initiatives were fully or partially run and monitored by local partners.

Márcio Favilla, UNWTO Executive Director for Operational Programmes and Institutional Relations, said, “For tourism, climate change is not a remote event, but a phenomenon ‎that already affects the ‎sector. Seeing the results achieved by STREAM, it stands clear that this project is an exceptional example of how tourism can be an effective tool in the fight against climate change, protecting natural resources while leading to inclusive development of local communities and fruitful cross-sector cooperation.”

In order to also engage tourists visiting Pangandaran in the fight against climate change, STREAM has promoted several green tourism activities. By experiencing Pangandaran in solar powered boats or on locally produced bamboo bikes and actively participating in the mangrove planting, tourists get a deeper understanding of their impact and how sustainable tourism can benefit host communities. The project has also launched the initiative ‘Stimulating Behavior Change through Rewarding Programme’, exploring the best ways to encourage hotel guests to adopt climate friendly actions during their stay, such as rewarding the reuse of towels with a complimentary mangrove planting voucher.

Part of the International Climate Initiative and supported by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety, STREAM has been developing a global approach to low carbon tourism in Pangandaran since 2011.The project will function as a lighthouse example in the fight against climate change which can be replicated in other destinations. In order to facilitate knowledge exchange and transfer, guidelines and best practices from STREAM will be published later this year.

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