The SDGs, or Sustainable Development Goals, championed by the United Nations, are being worked on around the world and in various fields. The travel industry is no exception. It’s important to note that tourism is unique because it plays a principal role in enacting all 17 Sustainable Development Goals. You can find out more about the 17 SDGs by reading how tourism contributes to the UN’s SDG’s. If you are wanting to travel more sustainably and implement the Sustainable Development Goals this list is for you.
The Sustainable Development Goals is a list of 17 goals developed by the United Nations in 2015. The hope is that this list will be accomplished by 2030. These goals include initiatives such as, no poverty, zero hunger, responsible consumption and production, and partnership for the goals. Each goal has a list of more attainable, less global, initiatives. You may be wondering, but what can I do? Well, tourism has the unique ability to contribute to all of the UN’s SDG goals both directly and indirectly. Implementing a few SDG good practices while traveling can make a huge difference.
Good Practice 1: Pay attention to initiatives related to climate change or women’s rights on your travels
This simple good practice can help contribute to several SDG goals. These initiatives help with gender equality, as tourism is one of the sectors with the highest number of women involved in the industry. This good practice also helps bring awareness to climate action, and education.
Before your trip you can join an organization such as, Sustainable Travel International, to help reduce your tourism carbon footprint. Or visit a city like Copenhegan, Denmark, which is implementing a strategic sustainable framework and has the world’s most ambitious climate policies.
Travel to Uganda where Uganda Community Tourism Associated (UCOTA), is helping to empower women through accomodation services, handcraft enterprises, and dance/drama performances. Or Nepal, where you can hire a female trekking guide thanks to the initiatives of Empowering Women Of Nepal.
In total by doing this good practice you would be contributing to 7 different SDGs including: quality education (4), gender equality (5), decent work and economic growth (8), reduced inequality (10), sustainable cities and communities (11), climate action (13), and partnership for goals (17).
Good Practice 2: Stay in places that use sustainable practices
Many of the hotels and resorts that use eco friendly practices help with the Sustainable Development Goals. The largest of the SDG goals being responsible consumption and production, as many of the sustainable resorts help encourage a global shift toward sustainability. They do this by farming and growing their own produce and food sources on site. This falls under the zero hunger goal, the spurring of agricultural productivity by promoting the production and sale of local produce. It may seem like a small goal but it makes a large impact.
Visiting a place such as the Feynan Eco Lodge in Jordan where they provide the local community with the opportunity to replace the copper mines with the option for sustainable economic benefits. They do this by using solar power, composting and recycling, as well as employing locals. As mentioned above, most food at the Feynan Eco Lodge is locally grown and sourced by nearby villages. Read this to find out more about the Feynan Eco Lodge.
To find eco friendly accomodations with sustainable certificates, such as Green Key, Earth Check you can use search engines such as Travel Myth or Trip Advisor’s Green Leaders Program and choose eco friendly filter.
In total by enacting the good practice of staying in places that use sustainable practices you are contributing to 7 SDGs including: affordable and clean energy (7), decent work and economic growth (8), sustainable cities and communities (11), responsible consumption and production (12), climate action (13), and partnership for goals (17).
Good Practice 3: Take An Eco Tour That Is Organized By An Sustainable Tour Company
Enjoying nature at your destination is one of the most sustainable ways to travel, and this good practice assists with several of the SDG goals. Including life below water, which helps conserve and preserve fragile marine ecosystems and serves as a great vehicle to promote the blue economy. Life on land is one of the Sustainable Development Goals that encourages tourists to enjoy majestic landscapes, immaculate forests, and the rich biodiversity that this planet has to offer.
A wonderful way to enjoy nature is through an eco tour, such as, AndBeyond, a luxury sustainable safari tour operator. They’ve gone above and beyond with investing back into the local community and environment. AndBeyond has installed an electrical micro-grid in Botswana and they’ve implemented responsible travel practices that look after land, local people and animals. They offer a range of luxury African safaris in 11 countries with 29 camps and lodges that all employ locals. For more information about why we should take an eco tour, check out 10 reasons to take an eco tour.
In total taking an eco tour will help contribute to 10 of the SDGs including: no poverty (1), clean water and sanitation (6), affordable and clean energy (7), decent work and economic growth (8), sustainable cities and communities (11), responsible consumption and production (12), climate action (13), life below water (14), life on land (15), and partnerships for the goals (17).
Implementing any and all of these good practices will aid in seeing the UN’s SDG goals to fruition. These may seem like simple practices, and they are, but they will make a world of difference in the long run. Apply these good practices the next time you travel to help meet the Sustainable Development Goals in 2030.
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