Posted on 09 February 2017
Tourism has become both an economic growth engine and an important vehicle to help drive development in emerging economies in the Coral triangle region. But this growth has not come without negative impacts particularly at mass tourism destinations. Fortunately, ‘nature-based’, ‘eco’ and ‘adventure’ tourism have also been growing rapidly and seem to provide a real opportunity to harness the global tourism growth trend, whilst minimizing its impact at areas with high conservation value, and at the community and country level.
From November 22-24 2016 in Manila, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) organized the first Green Business Forum (GBF) for Asia and the Pacific with the aim to bring together experts, business practitioners, and key stakeholders to share knowledge and identify avenues for promoting green business solutions in the region.
Throughout two-days, hundreds of participants brought innovations and lessons from around the region illustrating progress in green growth particularly in tackling problems such as pollution, natural resources degradation and biodiversity loss. The GBF was organized around three key sessions: Creating Enabling Policy and Regulatory Frameworks for Green Business, Mobilizing Private Sector Finance, and Green Technology and Business Innovation. The event also hosted a special plenary session and award ceremony on youth and green business linked to ADBs’ Youth for Asia Initiative, launched in 2013 to support young people in contributing effectively to development .
As part of the GBF program, on Thursday November 24, WWF and the ADB Coral Triangle program organized a panel session dedicated to discussing investment opportunities in Nature-Based Tourism development in the region with a focus on marine related tourism destinations in Timor-Leste, Papua New Guinea, and the Solomon Islands. This was preceded by a lunch session engaging a wider selection of Pacific Island Countries representatives to exchange lessons on the opportunities for high-end eco-tourism development.
This is a report of that session.