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The Love-Hate Relationship between Climate-change and Tourism

The growing international awareness about the fast pace of climate change taking place on our ‎planet, together with the impacts that such ‎changes are having on the natural environment, on ‎humans and their ‎economic activities have become evident.

Overview

Climate change is real, and African tourism will bear the brunt of it…

Africa consumes a tiny fraction of the world’s fossil fuels, yet it is predicted to shoulder far more than its share of the negative impacts of climate change. Between its size, vast natural resources, and unique weather patterns, the continent is especially susceptible to the effects of rising temperatures.

Without comprehensive measures to understand and address the impacts of climate change, the well-being of both Africa’s wildlife and its people are in jeopardy.

For tourism, climate change is not a remote event, but a phenomenon ‎that already affects the ‎sector and certain destinations in particular. As climate defines the length and quality of tourism seasons, affects tourism operations, and influences environmental conditions that both attract and deter visitors, the sector is considered to be highly‐climate sensitive.

Challenges

The relationship between climate change and tourism is twofold: climate change impacts tourism and tourism impacts climate change. Responsible tourism is the need of the hour. The tourism sector is contributing to greenhouse gas emissions ‎‎ (GHG).‎ ‎

Tourism and travel as a vector of climate change, it accounts for approximately five per cent of global carbon dioxide emissions. By 2035, under a “business as usual” scenario, carbon dioxide emissions from global tourism are projected to increase by 130 per cent. Most of the increase is attributed to air travel but the tourism sector has pledged to substantially reduce emissions.

Africa is home to just 17% of the world’s forests, yet deforestation on the continent is estimated to be four times the global average—and the pace is accelerating. Practices like rapid deforestation combined with excessive greenhouse gas emissions from around the world are all contributing to climate change. Rising temperatures are having a catastrophic impact on the people of Africa, resulting in low water supplies, increased droughts, severe heat waves, heavy storms, and flooding. In 2017 Zambezi Rafting association suspended white water rafting in Victoria Falls owing to five percent water levels increase per day in the Zambezi River. White water rafting is one of the popular activities in the Victoria Falls.

Part of the challenge in addressing climate change is that it can be a difficult concept to understand. Even once people understand the threats climate change poses, it is hard to get individuals, businesses, countries, and communities to change their behavior and adopt new habits, such as using eco-friendly methods in reducing and offsetting greenhouse gas emissions.

Solutions

Preserving Africa’s rich forests and incredibly biodiversity ecosystems are critical to the solution. So is getting people to buy into new, more sustainable practices. There is need to continuously adapt and improve our conservation planning, resource management, and livelihood strategies to strengthen the resilience of Africa’s people, its ecosystems, and its wildlife to climate change.

I think the government should give these companies a levy to pay once a year and use that money to contribute to solving [the problem]. Levying these companies will give them a wake-up call to minimize pollution, and make them realize what they are doing to the environment

United Nations World To tourism Organization has taken more responsibility on climate change and sustainability as they pledged to raise awareness of climate change’s impacts and effects as well as calling for more immediate action to combat climate change and biodiversity.

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