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Ministers agree to advance circularity and climate action in Pan-European tourism

  • Published on December 14, 2022
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 among their guiding principle.


During the Ninth Environment for Europe Ministerial Conference in Nicosia, the two key initiatives of the One Planet Sustainable Tourism Programme, the Global Tourism Plastics Initiative and the Glasgow Declaration on Climate Change in Tourism. were referenced on more than one occasion as important instruments in achieving sustainable tourism.

The Ministerial Declaration of the Ninth Environment for Europe Ministerial Conference stated:

“We encourage member States and other stakeholders in a position to do so to consider joining and committing to actions under the Global Tourism Plastics Initiative, which unites the tourism sector behind a common vision of circular economy of plastics and the Glasgow Declaration: A Commitment to a Decade of Tourism Climate Action.”

Additionally, the official EU statement referred to the Global Tourism Plastics Initiative and The Glasgow Declaration of Climate Action in Tourism as fundamental tools to advance sustainability in the tourism sector in the Pan-European Region;

The UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili, and then Mario Šiljeg, State Secretary for the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Croatia, emphasized the importance of tourism to European economies and highlighted the significant benefits of embracing innovative approaches, and in particular of moving away from traditional value chain relations to adopt more systemic circular production and consumption patterns, including thanks to the support of voluntary commitment mechanisms of the One Planet Sustainable Tourism Programme.

All in all, the Ministerial Conference closed with a strong commitment to policy action for sustainable infrastructure and tourism. The declaration adopted by the delegates recognizes the urgent need to ensure the tourism sector builds back better from the impacts of the pandemic. Central to this mission will be accelerating the shift towards a circular tourism economy, while at the same time reducing waste and ensuring the sector meets its climate action responsibilities.

The side event on Tourism and circularity for sustainable development in the Mediterranean was held on 5 October 2022. Learn more about the side event here.

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