The Global Peace Association (GPA) and Himalayan Alliance for Climate Change (HIMCCA) have teamed up with Nepal's Ministry of Peace and Reconstruction, Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation, Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Nepal Tourism Year 2011 and Nepal Tourism Board to organize a “Peace, Environment and Tourism” (PET) conference on 20-21 September, 2011 in Pokhara.
This is the first such conference to be organized in Nepal and is expected to facilitate direct interaction and exchanges among the whole spectrum of the stakeholders.
Tourism is important not only for economic development, but also for fostering brotherhood among different societies, cultures and nations. Above all, tourism is important in building peace through cross-cultural and social harmony. However, peace is also a pre-condition for the development and growth in the tourism sector. A growth-led economic development model has caused tremendous pressure on the finite natural resources, leading to alarming rate of environmental deterioration in the world.
Unequal access to resources, including natural resources, and unequal distribution of the fruits of economic development combined with the burden of environmental damages to the level of crisis in some cases, have been the underlying causes of many of the conflicts around the world. Thus, peace and environment have intricate relationship, and tourism is both an instrument and, when unregulated, a casualty of peace. Further, the changing natural environment, more recently the climate change, has added one more dimension in this complex equation between environment, peace and tourism.
The PET Conference will focus, for the first time in Nepalese context, on the inter-relationship among sustainable peace, environmental integrity and tourism. The conference aims to bring together the knowledge, experience and the practices in these three diverse but closely interrelated areas, and to allow researchers, practitioners, policy makers, planners, government agencies, international development agencies, civil society organizations and entrepreneurs to develop common understanding and to advance appropriate policy measures and methodologies to manage these sectors for the benefit to all.
Among the specific objectives the conference will seek to:
- Develop and advocate for innovative policies for sustainable peace and development;
- Explore a new paradigm of tourism development and environmental management for global peace;
- Promote environmental sustainability at local, national, regional and global levels;
- Discuss on the specific opportunities and challenges to tourism development
- Explore new prospectives of social entrepreneurship in tourism;
- Promote ethical and innovative entrepreneurs;
- Encourage corporate social responsibility.
This conference will offer a unique platform for people from various fields to collaborate together and translate knowledge into action through public policies, entrepreneurship and civil society leadership. The event is being organized in Pokhara, a tourism hub of Nepal in the high Himalayas.