Though the travel bug is gnawing away into our ‘dusty musty’ travel bags, we must consider bouncing back all over the world, differently for Mother Earth. Let the opening up of tourism not be a disaster, after all there will be no tourism on a dead planet, writes Vinita Alvares Fernandes.
The Beginning (Bible: Genesis)
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth (formless, empty, dark)
“Let there be light,” there was light separating light from darkness, day from night,
“Let there be a vault (sky) between the waters to separate water from water.”
“Let the water (seas) under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground (land) the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees.”
God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day (sun) and the lesser light to govern the night (moon). He also made the stars.
“Let the water team with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the vault of the sky.”
“Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: the livestock, the creatures that move along the ground, and the wild animals, each according to its kind.”
“Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, male and female he created them.
Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground, everything that has the breath of life in it- I give every green plant for food.” And it was so.
The global Pandemic has indeed taken over the world but what lies deep rooted and a major concern for the future of mankind is Climate Change. Forest Fires, Treacherous Cyclones, Torrential Rain, Carbon Emission out of control, Disappearing Glaciers, and disease. With each passing day the grave future of Mother Earth is becoming stark.
If all this disruption has not been enough to shift trajectory or encouraged mankind to reconsider what their role should elicit to stop inflicting harm and do what Mother Earth needs to heal, then mother Earth will keep hitting back at us.
What have we done to Our Mother Earth?
Has Science taken over nature?
Is greed the dictate of man?
We need to STOP now.
The forecast is that global warming will potentially triple between 2020 to 2050. The main contributor to global warming greenhouse gas emissions are; transportation, (the aviation industry, the cruise ship industry) Electric generation (thermal power plants) Manufacturing (through fossil fuels utilization) Agriculture (releasing of N2O (Nitrous oxide or laughing gas)
The Aviation Industry has been one of the worst hit during the pandemic, but its contribution to global warming is traced back to pre pandemic days. Tourism brings many economic, social and cultural benefits, but it’s time the industry seriously considers its business model and overall purpose in a post pandemic world. We can’t return to past normal.
International Air Transport Association (IATA)- is seeking the airline industry to head back to normal with no mention of environmental sustainability, and while its immediate focus is on recovery (100 million jobs) is understandable the lack of long-term vision for the environment is seriously damaging to the planet.
“The United Nations says it recognizes tourism’s important role in providing incomes for millions of people, but in a recent policy brief, it said now is the time to rethink how the sector impacts our natural resources and ecosystems.”
What we need to understand here is that the industry’s focus must shift from growth and profit to regeneration and restoration of our damaged Mother Earth.
How are Countries, its people and world leaders going to gradually allow tourism dependent economies and businesses to adjust to this shift.
What would be the highest priority changes you’d like to see for tourism to curb Global warming?
- International aviation seeking to improve fuel efficiency by 2 percent by 2050
- Eat local produce.
- Travel close to home on vacation.
- Reduce air travel for business; switch to online platforms: Zoom, Google meet.
- Countries enforce travellers paying a levy upon entering.
- Increase prices of air travel.
- Incentives for domestic tourism.
- Restrictions on flight advertising.
- Curb on airport expansions.
- Businesses should give back to environmental restoration travel experiences like; The Adventure Scientists, The Global Himalayan Expeditions.
“The Paris Agreement (2015) is a legally binding international treaty on climate change. It was adopted by 196 Parties at ‘COP 21’ in Paris.
The Paris Agreement works on a five – year cycle of increasingly ambitious climate action carried out by countries and each country to work out a plan supporting, Long-term low greenhouse gas emission development strategies. (LT-LEDS) By2030, zero-carbon solutions could be competitive in sectors representing over 70% of global emissions.
Five years later- The Paris Convention 2020 – the commitment to keep the global temperature rise to less than 1.5 percent degrees Celsius.
The world is itching to get back to work,
Man is itching for freedom of movement,
Borders are itching to reopen,
Airplanes are itching to spread their wings and fly.
Post COVID, is a golden opportunity for a brighter future for Mother Earth.
Are we going to personally reimage our mindset?
Is the goal of ecosystem restoration your core concern?
Planetary health is inextricably linked to our own well-being!
Let tourism opening up not be a disaster, after all there will be no tourism on a dead planet!