Ref# 2605
Tourism Resilience Partnership
Partners
1. United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR)
2. South Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO)
3. Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP)
4. Griffith University (Griffith Institute for Tourism and Climate Change Response Programme), Australia
5. Lincoln University, New Zealand

The United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) is a potential partner with whom discussions are at an advanced stage. UNWTO is expected to join this Tourism Resilience Partnership by September.

Progress reports/updates
Deliverables
Deliverable Date
(Delivery is contingent on adequate funding). 1. Identify and collaborate with key agencies in the South Pacific working together towards a Strategy for Climate and Disaster Resilient Development for the Pacific (SRDP) to ensure tourism as a major regional economic sector in strategies to strengthen resilience and enable sustainable development. 2015
2.Develop a database of relevant disaster/climate change and tourism projects already occurring or completed in the Pacific and add them to UNWTO’s climate information exchange service; link database to other similar initiatives of ‘stock taking’ currently occurring in the South Pacific 2015
3. Identify new projects that help achieve the objective of the Partnership to advance the policy framework and to develop and disseminate best practice Disaster Risk Management guidelines for a resilient and sustainable tourism sector in the South Pacific (addresses PRTS recommendations under strategy ‘To strengthen the sustainable planning and management of the Pacific tourism sector’). 2015-2016
4. Provide a forum/ and new network to exchange knowledge, ideas, and progress in respective areas relevant to climate change and a resilient and sustainable tourism sector in the South Pacific. Ongoing
Resources
Type Details
Financing (in USD) (Yet to be secured). Identify and collaborate with key agencies in the South Pacific working together towards a Strategy for Climate and Disaster Resilient Development (SRDP) to ensure tourism as a major regional economic sector in strategies to strengthe
Financing (in USD) Develop a database of relevant disaster/climate change and tourism projects already occurring or completed in the Pacific and add them to UNWTO’s climate information exchange service; link database to other similar initiatives of ‘stock taking’ curr
Financing (in USD) Identify new projects that help achieve the objective of the Partnership to advance the policy framework and to develop and disseminate best practice Disaster Risk Management guidelines for a resilient and sustainable tourism sector in the South Pacific (
Financing (in USD) Provide a forum/ and new network to exchange knowledge, ideas, and identify needs and possible activities in respective areas relevant to a disaster and climate resilient and sustainable tourism sector in the South Pacific
Objective & Description
The objective of the Partnership is to advance a policy framework and best practice guidelines for a resilient and sustainable tourism sector in the Pacific (focusing on SPTO member countries). Explicit consideration of knowledge and experience both related to disasters and climate change impacts will be integrated in a holistic approach.

The Partnership will contribute to the sustainable development of SIDS by:
a. reducing risk arising from natural hazards in the Pacific, which is critical to ensure that investments into sustainable tourism development are not compromised;
b. addressing the vulnerability of South Pacific island states to natural hazards (both climate and non-climate related) in which pose substantial risks for their vital tourism industries.

To achieve the above objective, the Partnership will bring together the expertise and support from the following organizations:

1. UNWTO (expected to join by September 2014): United Nations agency responsible for the promotion of sustainable tourism, promoting tourism as a driver of economic growth, inclusive development and environmental sustainability. UNWTO has been actively involved in providing leadership and support to the global tourism sector on climate change matters for over a decade. UNWTO has previously supported the Ministry of Tourism in Fiji to advance its climate change adaptation agenda for tourism.

2. UNISDR: UNISDR`s mandate is "to serve as the focal point in the United Nations system for the coordination of disaster reduction and to ensure synergies among the disaster reduction activities of the United Nations system and regional organizations and activities in socio-economic and humanitarian fields" (UN General Assembly Resolution 56/195). UNISDR is responsible for the Post-2015 Framework for DRR and has technical knowledge to support the private sector in its efforts to reduce risk from natural hazards. In its GAR13, UNISDR acknowledged tourism as a key sector vulnerable to disaster risk, and provided a business case for private sector investment into DRR. It is also one of the key partners in the development of the new Strategy for Climate and Disaster Resilient Development in the Pacific (SRDP).

3. SPTO: Umbrella organization for tourism in the South Pacific, representing 18 Government members and about 200 private sector members. SPTO supports initiatives that help develop capacity of Government and private sector for sustainable tourism, including those related to disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation. SPTO is currently undertaking a consultation and validation process as it prepares for final endorsement/approval and implementation of the Pacific Regional Tourism Strategy 2015-2019.

4. SPREP: Regional (intergovernmental) organisation for environment in the Pacific with a membership of 26 countries and territories. SPREP has extensive experience environmental management and conservation, sustainable waste management, climate change impacts, adaptation and building resilience to natural disasters in the Pacific. It is the lead coordinator of the Pacific Islands 2005-2015 Framework for Action on Climate Change (PIFACC) and is the executing agency for the region's largest climate change adaptation project (Pacific Adaptation to Climate Change). SPREP is a key partner in the development of the Pacific Strategy for Climate and Disaster Resilient Development (SRDP). It also coordinates implementation of the Pacific Islands Meteorological Strategy and is currently implementing a project designed to strengthen national meteorological services and build community resilience to disasters.

5. Griffith University: The Griffith Institute for Tourism (GIFT) and the Climate Change Response Programme have extensive experience in the areas of sustainable tourism development, climate change impacts and adaptation, disaster management and recovery, climate change policy and tourism in the Pacific islands. Researchers are actively involved in projects working with SPREP, SPTO, the Melanesian Spearhead Group and other organisations

6. Lincoln University: Researchers at Lincoln University have a track record working with both UNISDR and UNWTO, and various agencies in the South Pacific. They are also at the forefront of the social elements of resilience and disaster recovery in New Zealand and will be able to transfer knowledge gained from the Christchurch earthquakes to the tourism sector in the South Pacific islands.
Governance & Coordination Mechanisms
The partnership will be governed through (i) Steering Group and (ii) Coordinating Secretariat.
(i) Steering Group: This Group will be the peak decision making group for the partnership, and consist of representatives from each collaborating organization. It will consider key policy directions for the initiative and would meet once a year face-to-face and at other times via electronic means as deemed necessary.

(ii) Coordinating Secretariat: Will consist of representatives from SPTO and GIFT. It will provide the regular operational and financial management of the initiative.

Implementation Methodologies
In developing implementation methodologies, the Partnership notes that:
a) To be able to respond to disaster and climate change risks in an integrated way, key agencies in the South Pacific are now working together towards a Strategy for Climate and Disaster Resilient Development in the Pacific (SRDP) that will guide regional, national and sub-national efforts to strengthen resilience and enable sustainable development.
b) Tourism is a key economic pillar in many South Pacific nations, and particular consideration of tourism's needs and opportunities related to resilience is critical.
c) Several projects and initiatives already exist in the South Pacific that focus on climate change adaptation or risk reduction. What is lacking, however, is a systematic and inclusive approach to Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) for the tourism sector. Such an approach considers the public and private sector components of tourism, and the needs of tourism-dependent communities.
d) The South Pacific Tourism Organisation, in its current Pacific Regional Tourism Strategy 2015-2019, has identified the need to develop and disseminate Pacific Tourism Disaster Risk Management guidelines. These could be integrated with other guidelines and "best practice" developed for other areas of sustainable tourism development.
Accordingly, the Partnership proposes the following key implementation activities:
1. Ensure integration of tourism needs with the SRDP and adequate representation of tourism organisations in the process;
2. Develop a database of relevant disaster/climate change and tourism projects already occurring or completed in the Pacific and add them to UNWTO's climate information exchange service; link database to other similar initiatives of stock taking currently occurring in the South Pacific;
3. Identify new projects that help achieve the aim above, and draw on partners' expertise and input as required;
4. Collectively pursue funding opportunities to undertake the projects identified as priorities;
5. Meet annually to exchange knowledge, ideas, and progress in respective areas;
6. Ensure cross-fertilisation from initiatives outside the South Pacific will be facilitated; i.e. lessons learned from elsewhere in the world will be shared with South Pacific partners through SPTO channels;
7. Develop and implement programmes to increase the skills of public and private sector tourism partners to increase their resilience to natural hazards and ensure more sustainable development in the Pacific (e.g. business continuity planning, risk assessments and environmental impact assessments etc). Exploring how policy and decision making in the tourist sector, including major infrastructure investments, can make use of online damage and loss databases (e.g. PDaLo managed by SPC), and climate information services including those provided by the SPREP and national climate portals and emerging impact assessment tools.
8. Advocate with the private sector for greater Government efforts to incentivise the tourism private sector to invest in more risk reduction and climate adaptation activities to make their businesses more resilient.
Arrangements for Capacity Building and Technology Transfer
Capacity building and knowledge/technology transfer will happen at multiple levels.

Most directly, and within the South Pacific, capacity building initiatives will be led by SPTO through regional forums and selected country workshops. The other partnership organisations will support SPTO in these initiatives and provide input and expertise.
In addition, UNWTO will build capacity within the South Pacific by providing knowledge gained from other country projects, e.g. in the Caribbean, Indian Ocean or other comparable destinations. In turn, UNWTO will also take insights gained from activities within the South Pacific to share with other international destinations as case studies and/or lessons learnt.

UNISDR maintains extensive networks of organisations and experts in disaster management and risk reduction with strong advocacy skills to work with Governments to influence policy. It is critical to bring this expertise into the tourism domain, and likewise, UNISDR will benefit from this partnership to build capacity of non-tourism organisations and expert to understand better the particular needs of tourism in SIDS. It also has undertaken substantial work to advocate and build the resiliency the private sector tourist industry in Asia with lessons learned transferable to the Pacific (e.g. Hotel certification programs), and has global documents on business resiliency that can be used.

SPREP will bring its considerable knowledge and experience in conservation, risk assessment and adaptation (including ecosystem based approaches) to inform the SPTO work and support the capacity building work, including through communication and outreach and monitoring and evaluation, The significant in-country networks of SPREP will also be harnessed to ensure that relevant stakeholders are well informed on the activities and have opportunity to participate as appropriate. SPREP will also support collaboration with other Council of Regional Organisation agencies as needed.

The two University partners (Griffith University in Australia and Lincoln University in New Zealand) will provide expertise where possible and appropriate and in turn they will include learnings from the initiatives undertaken as part of this partnership in their teaching and capacity building. Collaborations with other tertiary training institutions (e.g. University of the South Pacific) will be explored to maximize capacity building of the next generation of tourism sector participants.
Copyright 2016 United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs