From the Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism [1] to the Net Zero Roadmap for Travel & Tourism [2], the industry is taking on the decarbonisation challenge and giving itself net zero toolboxes. We have officially entered the Decade of Decarbonisation.

Has the industry equally and forcefully entered the United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration [3]? From forest to farmlands, mountains, grasslands and urban environment, nature and ecosystem services are at the center of hospitality processes providing food, filtering water and air and regulating heat in the cities. The industry monetizes the natural beauty of destinations and regularly damages or destroys habitats, sealing ground with infrastructure development. Hospitality developments can be done differently of course, and existing hospitality businesses can prevent, halt and reverse the degradation of ecosystems, paying back into the upkeep and restoration.

Decarbonisation and biodiversity restoration are two sides of the same coin, but are we acting accordingly?

For the year ahead, what are three actions you recommend the industry to implement which have a dual goal of tackling climate change and biodiversity loss?

Sources

[1] One Planet (2021). Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism. https://www.oneplanetnetwork.org/programmes/sustainable-tourism/glasgow-declaration

[2] WTTC (2021). A Net Zero Roadpamp for Travel & Tourism. World Travel and Tourism Council & UNEP https://wttc.org/Portals/0/Documents/Reports/2021/WTTC_Net_Zero_Roadmap.pdf

[3] UNEP & FAO (2021). Decade on Ecosystem Restoration 2021-2030. https://www.decadeonrestoration.org/

Jonathon Day
Jonathon Day
Associate Professor and Graduate Program Director School of Hospitality and Tourism Management
Megan Epler Wood
Megan Epler Wood
Principal, EplerWood International
Marloes Knippenberg
Marloes Knippenberg
CEO of Kerten Hospitality
Celine Vadam
Celine Vadam
Founder & CEO of WE(i) Think
Nadia Ibrahim
Nadia Ibrahim
Head Of Consultancy at Farnek Services LLC
Eric Ricaurte
Eric Ricaurte
Founder at Greenview

1) Offer less beef. 2) Waste less beef. 3) Eat less beef.

Bastienne Bernasco
Bastienne Bernasco
Senior lecturer at Saxion UAS
Arjan van Rheede
Arjan van Rheede
Senior Research Fellow in Sustainability at Hotelschool The Hague
Dan Ruben
Dan Ruben
Director, How to Green Your Hotel
Sarah Habsburg-Lothringen
Sarah Habsburg-Lothringen
BA Hons, PGCE & MSc, Tourism Training Specialist & Business Mentor for Small, Independent Hotels
Andreas Koch
Andreas Koch
Managing Director at blueContec GmbH
Elena  Cavagnaro
Elena Cavagnaro
Professor of Sustainability in Hospitality and Tourism at Stenden University of Applied Sciences
Sam Laakkonen
Sam Laakkonen
Contingent Managing Director - Sustainability at Techstars
Marco Bevolo
Marco Bevolo
Founder of Marco Bevolo Consulting
Franziska Altenrath
Franziska Altenrath
Co-Founder at TUTAKA

Decarbonization measures should always be channeled through a profound assessment of biodiversity and ecosystem impact. The reason we are facing a climate crisis is our disregard and exploitation of natural resources. The destruction of ecosystems is what brought our carbon cycles out of balance in the first place. Now, fixing the problem with the same attitude around technology and eternal growth does not seem like the best strategy going forward. 1) Understand the impact of your business on species and ecosystems and create expertise/capacity on it 2) Minimize your negative impact, maximize your positive impact 3) Channel your decarbonization measures through a broader impact assessment including impact on biodiversity and ecosystems.

Nicolas   Dubrocard
Nicolas Dubrocard
Founder & Director, Audit Diagnostic Solutions Tourism
Willy Legrand
Willy Legrand
Professor at IU International University of Applied Sciences Germany
Peter Varga
Peter Varga
Assistant Professor at EHL Hospitality Business School
Frauke  Fischer
Frauke Fischer
Founder, Agentur Auf!

First of all: It's great that you have taken up this topic so prominently! Thank you for that.Biodiversity and ecosystem services are not only victims of man-made climate change, they offer on the other hand perfect so-called nature-based-solutions to counteract it. Ecosystems store huge amounts of carbon and via photosynthesis turn it into building materials (like timber), (plant) food, coastal protection systems (like mangroves) and much more. If not only the tourism sector, but all economic sectors would understand this better, if we finally develop functioning mechanisms for the valorization of biodiversity and ecosystem services, then we will also be able to meet the challenges of the climate catastrophe.