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Tourism and circularity for sustainable development in the Mediterranean - Side event at the Ninth Environment for Europe Ministerial Conference

The side event offered a platform for reflection on sustainable tourism. The sector has significantly contributed to the Mediterranean region’s economic development, but unsustainable practices have taken a toll on marine and coastal ecosystems.

The side event showcased global and regional initiatives: the One Planet Network – Sustainable Tourism Programme, the Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism, the Global Tourism Plastics Initiative (GTPI), the Blue Tourism Initiative for Marine Regions, the EU InterregMed Sustainable Tourism Community and the Mediterranean Ecotourism Consortium. It promoted good practices at national and local levels in Greece and in Balearic Islands, Spain.

This side event was organized within the framework of the Ninth Environment for Europe Ministerial Conference. Ministers of the Environment from across the Pan European region have agreed to promote the transformation of tourism, with key initiatives of the One Planet Sustainable Tourism Programme to serve as their guiding principles. Learn more about the Ministerial Declaration here.

The Agenda of the event is available here.


The side event disseminated recent publications, including practical tools for tourism businesses:

  1. GTPI Plastics Measurement Methodology for Accommodation Providers and Recommendations 


The guidance was developed within the framework of collaboration between UNEP, UNWTO and Sustainable Hospitality Alliance (one of the largest global business associations of accommodation providers), with financial support of the French Government. The methodology sets a common approach for the identification and measurement of weight of plastic packaging and items. It targets accommodation companies but can also be applied to operations of cruise lines. The methodology provides calculation tools to gather data on the level of a property and aggregate it on a company level.


  1. Guidance on Addressing Plastic Pollution through Sustainable Procurement


The guidance focuses on the procurement of plastic items and packaging (and its alternatives) in the tourism sector and aims to provide practical support for procurement practitioners within the range and global reach of tourism businesses that need to address the impact of single-use plastics and packaging within broader sustainable procurement practice.


 Plan Bleu, a UNEP/MAP Regional Activity Centre, present the findings of recent publications: State of Play of Tourism in the Mediterranean; Catalogue of Best practices on Sustainable Tourism in the Mediterraneanand Guidelines for sustainability of the cruise and recreational boating sector.


The presentations are available at the bottom of the page.


Main Takeaways:

  • Underscoring the vulnerability of the tourism sector to external factors, such as the pandemic, ecosystems, and climate change.
  • Highlighting the need for investing on transition towards sustainable and resilient tourism and circularity with financial support to all stakeholders in the tourism value chain.
  • Emphasizing the importance of accelerating sustainable consumption and production (SCP) in tourism policies and practices to address the challenges of pollution, biodiversity loss and climate change.
  • Recalling the fact that transitioning from the current linear models to circular tourism business models requires significant investment and innovation by tourism stakeholders.
  • Highlighting the need to collect data to support evidence-based policy making.



Advancing circularity in the tourism industry though commitments: Global Tourism Plastics Initiative (GTPI) and Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism

Launch of Global Tourism Plastics Initiative practical tools for tourism businesses

Building a sustainable blue tourism in the context of multiple crises – The Mediterranean, the Caribbean and the Western Indian Ocean


Environmental and socio-economic footprint of tourism activities in the Mediterranean region and countries


DestiMED PLUS and the Mediterranean Ecotourism Consortium (MEC)


Circularity and Tourism for Sustainable Development in Greece


Sustainability in the Balearic Islands: the new Law for Circularity in Tourism


Circular Economy at Garden Hotels

Published on October 18, 2022
Event start date
10:46 am
Event end date
10:46 am

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