LIMA, Peru (eTN) – The World Tourism Day, which was jointly organized by the United Nations World Tourism Organization and the Peruvian government, was celebrated with a very important question in mind: How to confront the climate changes and foster Sustainable Development?

The important event took place in one of the most important museums in South America, the Peruvian National Museum. The ceremony was opened by Peruvian Foreign Trade and Tourism Minister Mercedes Araoz and the UNWTO deputy secretary-general Taleb Rifai, while Geoffrey Lipman, assistant secretary-general, was the think-tank discussion moderator for both sessions.

In the first session, the speakers remarked the necessity of putting the Davos Declaration Process in action. Mr. Renton De Alwis, chairman of Tourism Development Authority from Sri Lanka, mentioned the necessity of crucial changes on education, and that consciousness should be developed at all levels. He explained briefly his successful experience in Sri Lanka by educating their citizens and developing climate-change awareness initiatives.

Peruvian Environment Minister Antonio Brack pointed out that the urgency of having the government and communities working together to develop a sustainable development.

Dr. Donald Sinclair Infrastructure, Transport, Communication and Tourism Coordinator from ACTO (Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization) said that part of the problem was the non-stopping emission of carbon dioxide, and the Amazon countries should promote a partnership with the first world countries, the main producers of green house gas. Third world countries and, especially Amazon countries owning the only lung of the earth, should not seek for help but rather work together with industrialized countries in developing solutions.

For his part, Geoffrey Lipman concluded the session by stating that tourism has to be handled in a smart way. According to him, sustainable development is of paramount concern and that it is the responsibility of countries to work on their sustainability. He also said that not every country has the same reality but their governments and the private industry would probably deal in their own way but following the same principles. “Designing a framework in which climate and travel would go along is important and that we all should share experiences and convey this framework.”