Supported by the International Council of Tourism Partners (ICTP), in the aftermath of Rio+20, during the World Conservation Conference held in Jeju South Korea, a small but significant grass roots alliance was formed to support green growth in the travel and tourism sector. Following up on an initiative of the Governor of Limburg Province in Belgium to support a new Green Growth and Travelism Institute (GGTI), the Director of that country’s national park, and world-renowned conservationist, Ignace Schops, signed a collaboration agreement with Professor Geoffrey Lipman, President of ICTP, and Professor Chang Hoon Ko, Director of the Jeju National University’s World Environment and Islands Institute to:
- Cooperate to advance the development of GGTI through a node at Jeju National University focusing on marine and island conservation issues.
- Explore the applicability of the (Re)connection Model designed by Schops in this activity. The model is built on 4 key pillars: (Re)connecting - nature with nature, people with nature, business with nature, and policy with practice.
- Work with ICTP to spread this concept to likeminded destinations.
Dr. Ignace Schops, an Ashok Fellow and Goldman Prize Winner, said: “The essence of (Re)connection is to systematically help communities tackle problems of biodiversity loss, raise awareness for sustainable solutions, generate significant economic benefits, and create extra jobs. By linking Jeju’s island focus with our pioneering national parks work in Limburg and the emerging GGTI network, we will massively extend the potential.”
Professor Chang Hoon Ko added: “Jeju’s culture, heritage, and biodiversity specialities, as well as its great tourism flows, call for creative conservation strategies, and we believe (Re)connection will stimulate that. We need to respect our 1,000-year-old history, our women divers, our unique landscape, and underground water flows, while welcoming increasing numbers of visitors to our beautiful world heritage and biosphere reserve.
Professor Geoffrey Lipman said: “Green Growth is the new paradigm for a shift to a lower carbon, more resource efficient and fairer future. Travelism - the value chain linking visitor, industry, and local community - will be a key driver, and in a place like Jeju, with its huge tourism flows and sensitive ecosystems, (Re)connection is an ideal model.”
See full text of Agreement and Governor of Limburg letter:
The province of Limburg is located in the North-East of Belgium. Since decades this region develops new creative and innovative ideas, takes responsibility for a sustainable future and tries to find local solutions for global problems.
As the Governor of the province of Limburg, I am pleased that the “(Re)connection Model” is included in the new book “Green Growth and Travelism: Letters from Leaders,” launched this summer at the Earth Summit Rio +20 in Brazil. This model is also recognized as an innovative tool at the World Conservation Congress in Jeju.
Therefore, as a green, responsible and sustainable province, we are proud to host the upcoming EUROPARC federation conference in Genk. This conference also celebrates 20 years of European Natura 2000 policy and gathers all major conservation organizations across Pan-Europe.
In this framework, I welcome the idea of the creation of a “Green Growth and Travelism Institute” in Limburg in relation to the development of the World Environmental University and the international exchange of knowledge and expertise.
In the next months I will take the initiative to bring all stakeholders together in order to take important steps for the further realization of the project.
Governor of the Province of Limburg, Belgium
JEJU “GREEN GROWTH AND TRAVELISM” AGREEMENT
Against the background of the formal letter of the Governor of Limburg Province in Belgium:
- Endorsing the (Re)connection model of sustainable development and conservation and its presentation in the book Green Growth and Travelism, released at Rio+20.
- Noting it’s further elaboration at the IUCN World Conservation Conference (WCC) in Jeju, as well as at the Euro-park Federation Conference in Limburg.
- Welcoming, with his support, the planned development of the Green Growth and Travelism Institute (GGTI) in Limburg.
- Taking note of the longstanding interest of the Governor of Jeju Island in the concept of a World Environment University, as advanced by Maurice Strong, and with GGTI as a model approach within that framework.
On the occasion of the WCC in Jeju, the architect of the (Re)connection Model, Ignace Schops, and the President of GGTI and of ICTP, Professor Geoffrey Lipman, have met with Professor Chang Hoon Ko of the World Environment and Island Institute, Jeju National University, and together agreed to:
- Cooperate to advance the development of GGTI
- Look to creation of a pivotal node in Jeju focusing on marine and island
- Explore the applicability of the (Re)connection Model in this activity
- Hold a Summer School at Jeju University in 2013
- Work with the International Council of Tourism Partners (ICTP) to spread this concept to likeminded destinations, committed to green growth and quality.
Chang Hoon Ko
At World Conservation Congress - IUCN