FOCUS: “Preserving a valuable Natural Heritage: Mitigating threats and promoting sustainable management of coastal and marine areas”
Building on last year COP21 in Paris, and the recent signature of the Paris Agreement in New-York, the Embassy of France to Sri Lanka and the Maldives held, on the 7th June 2016, a seminar focusing on Natural Heritage and Promoting Sustainability:
“Preserving a valuable Natural Heritage: Mitigating threats and promoting sustainable management of coastal and marine areas”
On the occasion of World Environment Day and World Oceans day, the Embassy of France to Sri Lanka and the Maldives held a half-day conference to raise awareness about the risks and potentials of tourism expansion, and to exchange on innovative solutions to combine economic growth with environment conservation, such as to make it a component of tourism strategies in Sri Lanka. The objective of the event wa indeed to emphasize the opportunity to incorporate eco-friendly practices in the tourism sector, and to prompt a culture of protection and promotion of Sri Lanka natural heritage.
The discussion more particularly focused on coastal and marine areas. Experts and professionals from France and Sri Lanka shared experience and good practices on management and preservation through presentations and concrete case studies. This very practical approach aims at engaging decision makers from the private and public sectors, as well as tourists itself, in order to mitigate negative impacts and to develop a more sustainable approach to tourism.
The first part of the seminarfocused on identifying threats and solutions for the preservation of Natural Heritage - perspectives from France and Sri Lanka. Presentation took place as follow:
* Challenges to Preserve the Coastal Environmental Quality in relation to the Aquatic Environment
by S.A.M.AZMY, Head of Environmental Studies Division, NARA
- Management and protection of French coastal and marine areas, examples of legal tools and integrated management for the development of sustainable tourism on coastal natural sites
by Céline DAMERY, Europe and International project officer, Conservatoire du Littoral
Experts’ presentations were followed by a panel discussion animated by Mr Hugues REYDET, Economic Counselor of the French Embassy, on Eco-friendly tourism initiatives and their impacts on environmental conservation.
-* Developing new green tourism activities: examples of sustainable tourism tours in Sri Lanka Emmanuelle
by GUNARATNE, Founder - Peddlars Trails (Pvt) Ltd
-* Pioneering the eco-friendly luxury hospitality industry in Sri Lanka: the development of a green philosophy that satisfies both tourists’ demands and the local community
by Charitha ABEYRATNE - Founder - Chief Executive, Saraii Village
-* Developing an eco-friendly perspective in travelling : the newly launched CSR branch of travel agencies in Sri Lanka
by Timéo ALLALOU, Expert-voyage Shanti Travels
-* Nurturing tourism as a catalyst for employment and the development of collateral activities: the development of skills-building and qualification schemes (boat construction and cruising activities) to respond to the increasing needs of the tourism sector
by Alexandre SEUX, Building a Future Foundation
The panel was followed by a Q&A session inviting the audience to raise issues and ask questions to the invited experts and professionals of the tourism industry.
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