Solimar International Declares a Climate Emergency
Alongside over 150 tourism-industry organizations based in dozens of countries, Solimar will work to find regenerative travel solutions to the climate change crisis.
Solimar International has joined its colleagues in signing up to Tourism Declares, an initiative that supports tourism businesses, organizations, and individuals in declaring a climate emergency and working to reduce the carbon footprint of the travel and tourism industry. As a leading sustainable travel consulting and marketing firm, Solimar engages with destinations and community leaders around the world to develop tourism-based initiatives focused on cultural, economic and environmental conservation. Our work in emerging countries has given us a unique opportunity to design strategic plans that empower local workforces and build destinations that are resilient to future crises, from Covid-19 to climate change.
The relationship between travel, tourism, and climate change is both complex and interconnected: while air travel accounts for approximately 2.5 percent of human-induced Co2 emissions, tourism also accounts for 1 in 10 jobs globally. From remote wildlife safaris in Namibia to scuba dives along the most biodiverse reefs on earth in Timor-Leste, each traveler to these destinations helps to fund conservation, provide alternative livelihoods, and ultimately protect the natural ecosystems that will be critical in the fight against climate change. Tourism has the power to transform people into allies and advocates for nature – but as an industry, we must work together to ensure it achieves this goal.
The travel industry must do more to reduce its carbon footprint, from reducing aviation emissions to encouraging more sustainable practices for tourists. Tourism organizations must also actively work to prepare communities and ecosystems to face the increasing number of challenges posed by climate change. The global destinations that Solimar is honored to work with every day, from Tobago to Tanzania, have contributed the least to global greenhouse gas emissions, but will be the first to face the impacts of climate change. We must do everything we can to help them prepare, which is why we are joining in Tourism Declares a climate emergency.
Tourism must be more than just sustainable; it must be responsible and regenerative, helping to build resilience in destinations most likely to be impacted by the changing climate. While actively working to reduce our own carbon footprint as a company, Solimar is also focused on greater collaboration, support, and advocacy for our partners around the world.
As the industry hits the reset button and reimagines its route towards a sustainable future, it is vital that ALL stakeholders are engaged in the climate change conversation. Be it a divemaster on Timor Leste’s Ataúro Island, a safari guide in Ruaha National Park in Southern Tanzania, or a museum curator working alongside the National Park Service in the United States, the future of the industry upon which these jobs depend will be forever changed as the planet warms. Travelers have a responsibility to do all they can to mitigate this impact, and organizations like Solimar have a duty to provide the tools necessary to achieve more resilient destinations, empowered by regenerative travel that celebrates and supports local cultures and ecosystems.
As a member of the Tourism Declares initiative, Solimar International is adopting the following key-steps:
- Developing a ‘Climate Emergency Plan’ within the next 12 months, which sets out our intentions to reduce carbon emissions–both as an individual organization and in the destinations we work– over the next decade.
- Sharing an initial public declaration of our ‘Climate Emergency Plan’, and update on progress each year.
- Accepting current IPCC advice stating the need to cut global carbon emissions to 55% below 2017 levels by 2030 in order to keep the planet within 1.5 degrees of warming. We’ll ensure our ‘Climate Emergency Plan’ represents actions designed to achieve this as a minimum, through delivering transparent, measurable and increasing reductions in the total carbon emissions per customer arising from our operations and the travel services sold by us.
- Encouraging our suppliers and partners to make the same declaration; sharing best practice amongst peers; and actively participate in the Tourism Declares community.
- Advocating for change. We recognise the need for system change across the industry to accelerate a just transition towards carbon-free tourism.
Each member of the Solimar team remains humbled at our good fortune that allows us to work at the forefront of tourism development, and we have made a commitment to utilizing this role to help guide the industry’s ecosphere towards a future that both minimizes the environmental impact of travel and tourism and build destinations that are more resilient to climate change. Initiatives like Tourism Declares are vital in helping the industry achieve a more sustainable future, and empowering the destinations we work with and travel to face our future together.
Please consider also declaring at www.tourismdeclares.com, and follow on @tourismdeclares on Twitter, Facebook or Linkedin