STOWE, Vermont, USA – Minister of Tourism, Environment, and Natural Resources, Zambia, Hon. Catherine Namugala, has officially launched the 5th IIPT African Conference: “Meeting the Challenges of Climate Change to Tourism in Africa and the Developing World” to be held in Lusaka, Zambia, May 15-20, 2011.
“Peace contributes to sustainable growth and development as it attracts people from many countries to come to Zambia, and it promotes and supports the belief that every traveler is potentially a peace ambassador,” Minister Namugala said.
The conference is being organized by the International Institute for Peace through Tourism (IIPT) in partnership with the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), and Regional Tourism Organization of Southern Africa (RETOSA).
Minister Namugala said the Zambia government is proud to be hosting the conference, as the theme is very appropriate to Africa, and Zambia in particular, because the effects of climate change are exerting a heavy toll on the entire life chain.
“It is worth noting that climate change is a major threat to sustainable growth and development in Africa, and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. Impacts of climate change include, among others, increased incidence of both drought and flooding, desertification, sea level rise, reduced freshwater availability, decreasing fish resources, cyclones, impacts on food security, all of which have an impact on tourism,” she said.
Minister Namugala emphasized that “we need to preserve peace if we are to see sustainable growth in this sector.”
The aim of the 5th IIPT African Conference is to showcase models of “best practice” in mitigating and addressing the anticipated impacts of climate change to tourism in Africa and the developing world.
Minister Namugala said the conference will bring together leading experts on tourism and climate change, ministers of tourism, senior representatives of UN agencies, senior government officials, senior industry executives from the diverse sectors of the tourism industry, educators, and practitioners from throughout the world.
IIPT International Advisory Board member Dr. Patrick Kalifungwa said IIPT’s mission is dedicated to making travel and tourism the world’s first global peace industry. IIPT has been promoting the key role of tourism in protecting the environment and preserving bio-diversity. He urged all tourism stakeholders to register and participate in sharing experiences and knowledge with Zambian and international experts.
Hotel InterContinental Lusaka is the venue and official hotel of the conference. South African Airways is the official carrier. For more information, please see www.iipt.org .
ABOUT INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR PEACE THROUGH TOURISM
IIPT is dedicated to fostering and facilitating tourism initiatives, which contribute to international understanding and cooperation, an improved quality of environment, the preservation of heritage, poverty reduction, and the resolution of conflict – and through these initiatives, help bring about a more peaceful and sustainable world. IIPT is dedicated to mobilizing travel and tourism, the world’s largest industry, as the world’s first “Global Peace Industry,” an industry that promotes and supports the belief that “Every traveler is potentially an Ambassador for Peace.”
SHOWN IN PHOTO (L to R): Tourism Minister, Catherine Namugala, with Permanent Secretary Lillian Kapulu, and IIPT Ambassador Dr. Patrick Kalifungwa at Golden Bridge Hotel yesterday.