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Sonoma Sustainable Tourism Observatory Signs Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism

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(Date: November 23, 2021) – Wine-tourism authors Pamela Lanier and Jessica Hughes announced today that their organization, the Sonoma Sustainable Tourism Observatory, has become a signatory of the Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism.

The Glasgow Declaration encourages the acceleration of climate action in tourism by securing commitments to reduce emissions in tourism by at least 50% over the next decade and achieve Net Zero as soon as possible before 2050.

“Sonoma has been a leader in the field of sustainability for many years and our work at the Observatory can offer powerful examples of knowledge, actions, and insights in sustainable tourism,” Lanier stated. “When we set out to write Healthy Vines, Pure Wines, we were initially exploring how wine and tourism intersect as the industrial pillars of our region.”

“Through interviews with winemakers committed to reducing their CO2 emissions and using environmentally beneficial methods, we discovered that the wine industry is a vanguard of how business sectors can adapt sustainable methodologies without sacrificing profit or efficiencies.” Hughes noted.

In 2017, Sonoma Sustainable Tourism Observatory became an accredited member of UN World Tourism Organization’s International Network of Observatories focusing on areas such as the ongoing and recurring drought conditions, climate change responsiveness and resilience, and the ways in which state parks can connect communities.

At this summer’s IUCN World Conservation Congress in Marseille France, the Observatory team worked with colleagues to pass Motion 130, Strengthening sustainable tourism’s role in biodiversity conservation and community resilience. Presently the Observatory is working on a comprehensive global analysis on carbon offsets within the tourism sector with an emphasis on traveler-facing options.

The need for a globally consistent approach for climate action in tourism has been made clear, notably through research into CO2 emissions carried out by UNWTO/ITF and released at the UNFCCC COP25 in December 2019. This showed that transport-related emissions from tourism were forecast to increase by 25% by 2030 from 2016 levels, against the current ambition scenario. 

In 2020, the OnePlanet Vision for a responsible recovery of the tourism sector was adopted with the aim of emerging from the COVID-19 crisis both stronger and more sustainable. Climate action is a central element of the Vision, which calls for monitoring and reporting CO2 emissions from tourism, promoting the introduction of science-based targets, accelerating the decarburization of tourism operations, and engaging the tourism sector in carbon removal.

The Glasgow Declaration will be hosted within the OnePlanet Sustainable Tourism Programme’s website, along with ongoing research and resources.

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