CIFAL-Jeju Organises Workshop on Ecotourism for a Sustainable Future of the Asia-Pacific
In March of 2019, UNITAR’s Affiliated International Training Centre for Authorities and Leaders (CIFAL) organized a 4-day workshop on ‘Ecotourism for a Sustainable Future of the Asia-Pacific’ in Jeju, South Korea. The event took place from March 20th to March 23rd and included 21 participants and 5 topical experts from various government departments, international organizations, universities and NGOs throughout the Asia-Pacific region.
This workshop was timely as environmental conservation and wildlife preservation concerns remain global challenges impacting ecosystems. Consequently, central and local governments are facing difficulties in developing appropriate policies and initiatives that both enhance the economic environment of their communities while simultaneously and sustainably protecting their culture, heritage, and environment. Ecotourism has the potential to stimulate economic growth, social equality, and environmental protection, which are all appropriately the three pillars of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.
Resource experts were on site during the workshop to share their expertise. We had the honor of hosting Dr. Mihee Kang, Asia-Pacific Director at the Global Tourism Council and GSTC Country Representative for the Republic of Korea; Dr. Paul Rogers, Director of Planet Happiness, a global project focused upon UNESCO World Heritage sites; Dr. Natarajan Ishwaran, Editor-in-Chief/ Professor for the Environmental Development Journal (Elsevier)/ International (UNESCO) Centre on Space Technologies for Natural and Cultural Heritage [HIST]; Dr. Yunseon CHOE, Tourism Management Research Professor at Kyung Hee University; and Mr. Reza Pahlevi, UNITAR CIFAL Jeju Best Practice Award Winner and Programme Officer from Aceh Besar Culture and Tourism Department.
Countries represented in the workshop included Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Laos, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Philippines, the Republic of Korea, Taiwan, and Vietnam. The workshop served as a platform to enhance the capacity of decision makers within the tourism space to make informed decisions on policies and sustainable strategies for ecotourism efforts in their respective countries. Presentations focused on key topics including tourism as an economic development tool, identifying natural and cultural resources for ecotourism development, monitoring and evaluation of ecotourism projects, and the concept of ecotourism in relation to the UN’s SDGs.