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Planning Principles (2)

Planning principles (2)
What I want to talk about next is one of the big issues in global politics, and certainly in context of global environmental management. And that is the word sustainability. Now what is it? And one of our problems, like many other aspects of tourism is that, we do not really have recognized definitions. And when we talk about sustainability, we tend to talk about it in the context of the environment. We talk about the acid rain, we talk about global warming, we talk about the melting of the polar ice caps, we talk about the changing rhythm of the monsoons for example. Now all this then is environmental.
So, what in fact we’re trying to say here, this why is sustainability such a big issue. Not only in tourism, but also in manufacturing industry, in virtually every part of human life. Sustainability then is a common theme for discussion. And as I said, in terms of the recent conference in just ended in Katowice in Poland, it’s been a global conference looking at these issues. Now one of the problems of sustainability is that you can argue that nobody starts a business in the belief that it’s going to fold, that it’s going to go to business, going to become bankrupt. You look to start a business looking towards the future, the continuation of it if you like economic continuation.
And I think that’s probably true to say. But the problem is any business, any type of human activity does impinge on the environment. And one of the things we know from the global warming conferences, from the other media reports that as a world. We are facing major environmental changes, which if we cannot do something to control them, is likely to be very injurious to future living. OK, then what does this mean. If we split it down and say, what does it mean. Well, again there are a number of definitions of sustainability, and many people do not agree with them.
But the best known one is this development which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Let me repeat that, development which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Now that was a famous quote which came out of a report called Our Common Futures. But the World Commission of Environment and Development the Brundtland Commission in 1987. And, it’s still prevalent as an issue. But think about this, if you look at the words carefully development, which meets the needs of the present.
So, if you like what they’re asking us to do, if we use water if we use land, if we use fuels, if we use waterways and create effluent, we must be responsible for this. If not we will poison all these things, and future generations will simply not be able to access them. One of the current issues which is very common is the fact that more and more marine research is telling us, that the seas are logged with plastic bags. Plastic litter of all types which are killing fish, killing animals, and obviously is making the water much more toxic than it needs to be.
So, in this sense then what we would try do now is to control our use of fossil fuels, control our programs on waste recycling and waste management, try and control our heating, try control water uses. Because if we don’t, then future generations your children, your grandchildren will not have these resources available. And I think most of us would say, yes, Okay, we agree with that But, it’s a very very big problem. And the big problem is this, that many people now are living according to the World Bank estimate on two dollars a day, Now, if you’re living on two dollars a day, you now can be sure that tomorrow you’ll be alive.
Next week you’ll be alive, Next month you’ll be alive, So, in this sense then, you tend not to think about the future, you tend to think about the now, and then now means am I going to get enough food tomorrow. My family going to be sheltered from the storms. What if the monsoon fails or what if the monsoon comes early? What if my animals die off because of drought? These are really issues, and often to talk to very poor people about the future. To them the future could be next week. This is the reality of this thing. Now, we call this inter-generational equity.
That means if we are responsible about how we use our resources, then they will still be here for our children, and our grandchildren in the future to use them also if we not they will just disappear. And, we know that in many countries, the deserts are encroaching on more and more of the Arable land, we know for example climate change. We’ve seen the most dramatic changes in weather, right throughout the world. I mentioned earlier on about ice polar ice caps beginning to melt and things like that. These are very very important issues which just doesn’t affect the tourism industry, it affects us all in our everyday life.
So, in this sense then trying to look at sustainability, is to be respectful of the resources we have, and to be respectful about how we are use them. And this is a big problem because in many developing countries which are very poor, they cannot afford the technology, the new technology to deal with these particular issues. And, therefore, a lot of things are still being done, which are very damaging to the environment. We find things like the building of the tourism sector resorts, if you like to close to the beach. Or, we find that if you look in some places, hotels have tried to build barriers down to the beach to protect their beaches, as a private beach.
But that of course disturbs the flow of the tides, and can end up with the sand suddenly disappearing of time. So, in this sense then this is an ongoing problem. It’s not something new. It’s been with us a long time. But we’re trying to get some sort of global senses, on how we can deal with these issues. So, when we talk about inter-generational equity, it’s fine for me living in a developing country to say, that I’m going to turn down the heating. I’m going to use less water. I’m going to get rid of my diesel car, get a petrol one. I get rid of a petrol car and I’m going to get an electric one.
This will be better for the environment, but poor people can’t do this. So, if you are looking Asia, I spent quite a bit of time in Thailand And if you go to Thailand or if you go particularly the place like Singapore In the autumn, you see people walking out with masks on their face. Why? Because the prevailing winds coming from Indonesia means that many Indonesian farmers prepare their fields in the traditional way. They cut this slash and burn. So, all this smoke was up into the atmosphere, and has carried on the winds into other parts of of Asia. So, you say well why do they do this.
Why do they use the fertilizers or why don’t they do in a different way? They can’t they don’t have the technology, and they don’t have the the funds to actually implement these things. So, in this sense then, many of the problems stand back to A culture, we’ve always done in this way or B to the lack of funding, and the lack of expertise to find alternative ways of doing things. Now the United Nations then, for many years have had what they call Sustainable Development Goals. And there’s a long list of these, and I can’t recite them all to you. But what they’re trying to do is to say to people look, you know these are our goals.
For example, one or two is to lift everybody ought to poverty on a global basis, make sure that people have not just jobs, but decent jobs that people have access to health care. And a big killer in many countries is dirty water, access to clean water. So, all these things are set out as policies and governments. are encouraged to work towards finding a solution, which will allow them to implement the policy. Now in tourism then we also have things, we have something which we call the tourism sustainability. Agenda 21 as it is properly called.
And what this does then, it helps to say to the tourism industry, if you do this then you’re being more sustainable, in how you’re using resources. So, if you are going to most hotels now, going to your bedroom what you see, you see something on your bed which says, please help us to reduce our use of water and chemicals. And if you don’t want your linen bed cleaning, if you don’t want your towels changed every day, then put these on the bed and we will do it every three or four days. So, the argument is there by not just changing cleaning everyday. It’s saving water it’s saving chemical discharge, and various things like that.
And you find in many hotels now that, you know the corridors was dark except when you walked down them, then automatically the sensor comes on to puts a light on for you that saves electricity. So, all these sort of things then are very very important in indeed. So Agenda 21 for the tourism industry, a list of recommended policies, which help to cut down on the use of resources, and the use of very scarce resources. One of the scarce resources which we never think about is water. You take the average tourists going to a beach resort, they’ll probably take three showers a day, if not three baths a day And in that sense, that’s a massive use of water.
And it could be as a given the case in India, where there water has been diverted from the farmers to, fill swimming pools and things like that. So, there are many things then, which help us to develop more responsible tourism. And it’s this area which confuses is sustainability. We talk about smart tourism and this normally, is controlled by technology. We talk about responsible tourism. So we don’t over develop something, we don’t deplete the resources, we are responsible in how we develop tourism. we talk about environmentally-friendly tourists and tourism. But these things are very very difficult to have. And in that sense then, one of the problems with sustainability is basically.
We don’t know what it means, We have an idea that it looks at what we’re doing now, how we using things our resources now? And if we could continue in this way? Then it’s going to deplete that availability to future generations

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Tourism Policy and Planning

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