Becoming a green holiday destination in Asia
The Tourism Earth Lung initiative is launched by the tourism authority of the island, aiming to become carbon neutral holiday destination by 2018. This initiative is influencing the stakeholders and leads them in the effort of stopping deforestation, ensuring the reforestation, encouraging using environmental friendly alternative energy sources, and mitigating pollution through the local and regional effort.
Tourism authorities of the island opine that the completion of the project, Sri Lanka will be the most attractive green holiday destination in Asia. After several months of launching the project, many organizations have come forward to support the project. Some organizations have linked their ongoing green activities to the call-to-action or launched new ones.
A pioneer nature conservation organization which is aiming at reforestation of Sri Lanka Rainforest rescue international and Ruk Rakaganno an organization working on protecting the green cover in the island, are initiated the project “Green Cover with Tem Million Tree”, an effort of planting 10 million trees with the collaboration of Rotary movement of Sri Lanka.
Leading hotel chains of the island are also having taken part in the effort of reaching the green holiday goal, have evolved many programs that help the Tourism Earth Lung project. The projects are conducted with the partnership of various organizations, staff and adopted schools.
The Responsible Tourism Partnership Sri Lanka has also contributed the project by planting trees with the help of Wildlife Conservation Society in Galle. They have successfully archived their target of educating 3,500 school children about the environment, it’s worth and how to protect it with carbon reduction. Same time they have established satellite nurseries for the community in several places in the effort of accelerating the reforestation.
With the success of ongoing Carbon clean Sri Lanka project of the tourism sector, some other sectors also have started their own initiatives to fulfil their commitment to the environment. For instance, the apparel industry launched its effort to protect the green cover under the “Green Garment” program. Ceylon Chamber of Commerce is supporting the energy-saving effort and encouraging using alternative nature-friendly ways to generate electricity. Leading supermarket chain of Cargills has started “Going green” project in the effort of protecting the environment.
People have understood the importance of the natural environment for the survival of mankind with the emerging environmental problems at present. They have understood the importance of a balanced nature for the existence of living being around us. The community contributions in the projects are very high and work together with various organizations in the effort of protecting the island’s green cover.
The project Tourism Earth Lung was highly commended by the Professor Lung Geoffrey Lipman, Assistant Secretary-General of UNWTO, “it is why it is cited in the UNWTO’s Davon Declaration Framework on Tourism and Climate Change as a new model approach.” The project supposed to have a big impact on the tourism industry of Sri Lanka.
The Eco-labelling and Green labelling will attract a niche market for various other products. The project makes some positive impact on the local community as well, planting trees and looking after them creating jobs, providing a lot of activity in addition to other tourism-based activities. It will appeal to green/sustainable tourist, a growing niche market. They’re also the more thoughtful tourist who spends more time in a country. That’s exactly what sustainable tourism is.