By Alexandra Krauska
By Alexandra Krauska
Rabat – The Dialogue 5+5 Conference met on Monday in Casablanca to discuss the effect of tourism on climate change, releasing the “Declaration of Casablanca.”
The discussion included the ministers of tourism from ten countries around the Western Mediterranean Sea. This is the fourth Dialogue 5+5 conference, which creates a setting for open discussions between ministers.
“This is a very important event,” said the Moroccan Minister of Tourism Lahcen Haddad at the conference. “It’s an event that gathers different countries from the north of the Mediterranean and south of the Mediterranean, and the theme is very important,” Haddad told Morocco World News.
The theme is the impact of tourism on climate change. We think there is a contribution of tourism in terms of transportation – urban transportation and air transport – to gases that produce the greenhouse effect. Therefore, we have signed the declaration,” he added. He hopes that the declaration will alleviate the effects of tourism on the environment and share effective strategies with other countries.
The Declaration of Casablanca is an agreement between the Dialogue 5+5 member countries to acknowledge and minimize the risks to the environment posed by tourism. They agreed to “limit the impact of the tourism activities on the climate,” especially by increasing energy efficiency and improving modes of transportation and reducing water use, and to “collaborate with all national, regional and international institutions for the development of sustainable and responsible tourism.”
The Dialogue 5+5 member countries include five North African countries – Morocco, Tunisia, Mauritania, Algeria, and Libya – and five European countries – Spain, France, Italy, Malta, and Portugal.
“It has to be recognized that between tourism and climate change, there are interactions,” said the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). “Even tourism contributes to the causes of climate change, especially with emissions from tourist transportation and the energy utilized in the installations of the sector.” UNWTO is a United Nations agency that organizes global tourism to promote economic growth, inclusive development, and environmental sustainability.