Workshop on Biological Diversity and Tourism: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic 2001
The Workshop on Biological Diversity and Tourism was held in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, from 4 to 7 June 2001. It was convened pursuant to decision V/25, paragraph 2, of the Conference of the Parties, in which the Conference of the Parties accepted the invitation to participate in the international work programme on sustainable tourism development under the Commission on Sustainable Development process with regard to biological diversity, in particular, "with a view to contributing to international guidelines for activities related to sustainable tourism development in vulnerable areas, including fragile riparian and mountain ecosystems, bearing in mind the need for guidelines to apply to activities both within and outside protected areas, and taking into account existing guidelines..."
To facilitate the development of such guidelines, the Conference of the Parties further requested the Executive Secretary to prepare a proposal for the contribution on guidelines, "for example, by convening an international workshop".
The main purpose of the workshop was therefore to develop the international guidelines contemplated in decision V/25. The guidelines will assist Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, public authorities and stakeholders at all levels to apply the provisions of the Convention to the sustainable development and management of tourism activities. The guidelines will provide technical guidance to policy makers, decision makers and managers with responsibilities covering tourism and/or biodiversity, whether in national or local government, the private sector, indigenous and local communities, non-governmental organizations or other organizations, on ways of working together with key stakeholders involved in tourism and biodiversity in order to contribute to:
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- Conservation of the ecosystem structure and functioning;
- Sustainable tourism in ecosystems conserving their structure and functioning;
- Fair and equitable sharing of benefits;
- Information and capacity building;
- Restoration of past damage.
Participants in the Workshop were selected among government-nominated experts from each geographic region with a view to achieving a balanced regional distribution. In addition, representatives of competent intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, as well as stakeholders were invited to participate as observers. The Workshop was attended by experts nominated by the following Governments: Argentina, Austria, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Lebanon, Mexico, Netherlands, Pakistan, Philippines, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Russian Federation, Seychelles, Spain, Togo, Tunisia.
Representatives of the following intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations and other stakeholders participated in the Workshop as observers:
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- Intergovernmental organizations: United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
- Non-governmental organizations and other stakeholders: CSD NGO Network, Ecological Tourism in Europe, International People's Biodiversity Network, International Support Centre for Sustainable Tourism, Latina Abya Yala, Rethinking Tourism Project, TUI Group/Preussag Ag, World Wide Fund for Nature International.