United Nations hears Initiative for Sustainable Tourism (SIDS) through La Francophonie & Seychelles
Almasalla- Arab Travel Portal News – The Climate change impacts and more broadly the sustainable development issues that are seen as being major challenges for the Small Islands Developing States (SIDS) were at the forefront of a meeting at the United Nations on Monday the 23 June. Minister Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister responsible for Tourism and Culture was leading a delegation made up by Ambassador Marie-Louise Potter, the Seychelles Permanent Representative to the United Nations and Ambassador Ronny Jumeau, the Seychelles Ambassador for Climate Change and Small Island Developing States were all working with the International de La Francophonie (IOF) to co-organise and to chair the meeting.
In the framework of the Samoa Conference preparations, which is to be held from the 1st to the 4th 2014, the International Organisation of La Francophonie (IOF) is working to develop an initiative on sustainable tourism within the SIDS members.
This meeting as the opportunity for the Republic of the Seychelles to highlight its achievements in the Sustainable Tourism framework. Minister Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister for Tourism and Culture said as he delivered his Keynote Address to the Conference that Seychelles wanted to be seen as good custodians of what the islands had been blessed with. "We have today over 50% of our total land area declared protected zones as Nature Reserves, we have appointed an Ambassador to only work with other interested parties on the climate change issue, we have claimed our tourism industry to get our people more involved because without our people we cannot have sustainable tourism that can be consolidated for the long term, we have give our culture its rightful place in the tourism development of our country and when we speak of culture we speak of our people which we are putting at the centre of our development, we are continuing with the program of Wildlife Clubs in our schools to ensure our younger generations are developing the interest in appreciating what we have in order to protect what we have, we are training our people to join our tourism workforce through the building of a brand new tourism academy and last but not least we are extending our hand for the developing of partnerships in the region through the Vanilla islands and in Africa through the new African Union tourism initiative, we have launched our very own Sustainable Tourism Brand because we want to get our hotels who walk with us down this road to be seen and noticed" said Minister Alain St.Ange.
Ambassador Marie-Louise Potter who opened the Sustainable Tourism Meeting at the UN said that she was committed to working with other like minded representatives and Ambassador Ronny Jumeau was the one mandated to moderate the lovely meeting full of comments and questions from the floor.
Minister St.Ange appealed to L’Organisation de La Francophonie to get the SIDS group around a table for a meeting before the Samoa Meeting and to help countries protect their cultural heritage by working with Unesco to simplify the procedures for achieving Unesco World Heritage Sites Status.
Minister Alain St.Ange said as he met the press after the United Nations Meeting that he was happy to have flown to New York for this meeting. "We are here because we are putting our money where our mouth is. We believe in Sustainable Tourism and we stand to be counted with all those who are like us serious and committed partners of this change of mindset" the Seychelles Minister said.