Ecotourism News on the Web:
International Year of Ecotourism Launched at UN Headquarters (full text available)
From United Nations Environment Programme
NEW YORK The global importance of ecotourism, its benefits as well as its impacts, was recognized today with the launching here of the International Year of Ecotourism by United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Louise Frechette.
Hosted by the Year's two international coordinators -- the World Tourism Organisation (WTO/OMT) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) -- the UN Headquarters event involved the participation of several government ministers, heads of intergovernmental organizations, and representatives of leading industry associations and non-governmental groups.
In 1998, the UN General Assembly decided to observe 2002 as the International Year of Ecotourism, offering an opportunity for interested local and national stakeholders to review the social and environmental benefits that the ecotourism industry can offer host countries when suitably developed. With a series of global and local events, publications and discussion platforms, beginning with today's launch, the Year will be a time to review the ecotourism industry's effect on biodiversity, its potential contribution to sustainable development, its social, economic and environmental impacts, and the degree to which regulatory mechanisms and voluntary programmes are effective in monitoring and controlling those impacts.