Geoffrey Lipman, President of the International Council of Tourism Partners (ICTP) was at Rio+20 to launch his new book, “Green Growth&Travelism: Letters from Leaders.” At a UNWTO side event, he presented the first copy to Maurice Strong, the Secretary General of the 1992 Earth Summit, and the person to whom the book is dedicated. Strong has called for a significantly renewed and re-invigorated action by the industry in his preface.
Lipman said: “Maurice, in many ways you have been the inspiration for this project, which is so symbolically launched here at Rio+20. It was 20 years ago during the first Earth summit that you planted the seeds of sustainable development in my mind, when we at WTTC [World Travel&Tourism Council] were talking about the contribution of a hidden industry that was as big as cars, agriculture, and telecoms, and drove 5-10 percent of GDP and jobs.
“Today, I want to present you with some fruits from those seeds.
“This is not a book launch. It’s what I might call an ‘idealog’ – a time or fortune style essay blog from the authors and the great team of editors - 50 contributors, large and small, from inside and outside the sector - leaders who manufacture aircraft; campaign for civil society; explore futures; head governments, ministries, and international agencies; shape transport, trade, development, and capacity-building policies; run airlines, hotels, trains, cruise ships, convention centers, and national parks; provide Internet information, as well as the software that runs it; teach; train; and the like, and all with quite different perspectives and interests, but all with a shared vision - that the most sought-after human economic activity on the planet can seriously help in the transformation to a cleaner, greener, fairer future.
“It is a raft of ideas that point to a brighter future in which travelism - the entire travel and tourism value chain of communities, companies, and consumers - plays a constructive role in the shift to a world based on green growth patterns – low carbon, more conservation, resource efficient, and inclusionary, and with real incorporation of impacts, as well as numbers, into policymaking and frontline action.
Twenty years ago, you challenged us to get into the mainstream sustainable development agenda. You are still challenging us. We have moved slowly - too slowly some would say – but we have moved. Rio+20 gives us the chance to renew commitments and speed up the pace… significantly. We hope the ideas you have inspired in green growth and travelism will help make a difference.”
The dedication reads, “To Maurice Strong, and to each and every individual that makes a modest bottom-up contribution to the sustainable development agenda, because they are the true champions of the green revolution underway.”