November 12, 2016
The final day of work in Marrakech was a day of presentations on a panorama of small projects from delegates around the world, who came to discuss their efforts to lower the impacts of excess tourism consumption.
Observing the dedication of the delegates was heart warming and the people were all of such impressive, hopeful and tenacious stock. I truly was prospering in this multi-cultural environment and reminded that we live on a planet with so many people who care at a time when our political environment has been very negative and divisive.
What was disappointing though was that despite the quality of the local projects there was very little funding to support them, except to attend the meeting! Does it make any sense to gather year in and year out to applaud responsible examples, even if the resources we are providing them are so slim?
Think of the funds that could be saved if we stopped holding so many congratulatory meetings, and instead focused on leveraging investment in a wide variety of locales to both lower consumption and raise the well being of local residents. Raising funds and attracting finance is never easy, but with focus and determination and the demonstration of genuinely good progress and impacts it can be done.
There needs to be a breakthrough program of well managed, coordinated efforts to raise funds, based on legitimate investment opportunities in projects that can demonstrably lower impacts. The time is now.