Dreamcatcher South Africa NPC
Role in programme(s):
Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism
I founded Dreamcatcher South Africa NPC almost 3 decades ago, to improve quality of life and well being for community and environmental health, to address poverty, inequality, lack of diversity in tourism in South Africa and a real concern for environmental integrity. I spent almost 10 years researching and visiting tourist destinations across Southern Africa. I found that the majority of people were not involved or benefitting from tourism business and tourism destinations were developed and run in isolation excluding the local people whom I view as the ultimate custodians of the environment. If sustainability is what we seek for sustainable futures, today. There is a real imperative to get this right now. Through the development and over-marketing of a few areas, there was and still persists, a lack of geographical spread and a real danger of over-tourism, and along with it, environmental degradation, pressure on infrastructure and waste management which impacts on environmental and community health. For our planet to survive, we needed an integrated approach nurturing co-responsibility and co-accountability to create tourism destinations and equity to address social justice and environmental integrity. Not finding any models on how to develop local tourism in local environments leaving neither people and the environment behind: I embraced the UN SDG's in 2000 and used them collectively to address challenges and innovate them into solutions for more equitable and sustainable living. 21 years later I am humbled and glad I committed to it, as after struggling mightily those days, as though many listened politely to my talk and made promises, I did not experience any real changes - on the contrary tourism business as usual. So the UN Goals have become my goals and that of the predominantly women and youth enterprises on our projects. Today our collaborative, integrated tourism models are making an impactful difference to community and their local environment. Ahead of the curve my experience may be able to contribute.
Climate Action Plan Pending