Australian tour operator joins global Tourism Declares community
In 2017 Echidna Walkabout published our Position Statement on climate titled “Act Now : Stop Climate Change”. Our headline graphic was this frightening chart:
Now, on the eve of one of recent history’s most important climate gatherings, COP 26 UN Climate Change Conference (Glasgow – November), we have consolidated our position by joining hundreds of other concerned members of the travel industry in a global community, Tourism Declares a Climate Emergency.
Echidna Walkabout commits to the following five actions:
- Develop a ‘Climate Emergency Plan’ within the next 12 months, which sets out our intentions to reduce carbon emissions over the next decade (much of this work we’ve already achieved).
- Share an initial public declaration of our ‘Climate Emergency Plan’, and update on progress each year (this blog post is our official Declaration)
- Accept current IPCC advice stating the need to cut global carbon emissions to 55% below 2017 levels by 2030 in order to keep the planet within 1.5 degrees of warming. We’ll ensure our ‘Climate Emergency Plan’ represents actions designed to achieve this as a minimum, through delivering transparent, measurable and increasing reductions in the total carbon emissions per customer arising from our operations and the travel services sold by us.
- Encourage our suppliers, partners and aligned government agencies to make the same declaration; sharing best practice amongst peers; and actively participate in the Tourism Declares community.
- Advocate for change. We recognise the need for system change across the industry to accelerate a just transition towards carbon-free tourism.
What we’ve done already
- Produced a Conservation Action Plan which is updated regularly and will form the blueprint for our Climate Emergency Plan
- Set up the not-for-profit Koala Clancy Foundation which has planted 60,000 trees. Echidna Walkabout continues to provide labour, funding, promotion and resources. These trees:
- provide a home not only for koalas but for a myriad of other wildlife
- offset our emissions
- help rehabilitate degraded land
- provide employment for local communities
- We are active members of Future of Tourism including as a Moderator of that community’s online forum
- Initiated Australia’s first conservation travel initiative, Conservation Travel Australia, which advocates to protect Australia’s unique wildlife from climate change through an interlinked pathway: Experience ⇒Learn ⇒ Act. Read more here: “Conservation Travel Australia : tackling climate change”.
- Founding members and sitting on the Board of Australian Wildlife Journeys, an alliance of “in-the-wild” wildlife tour operators across Australia.
- Won a number of awards related to conservation and bio-diversity including:
- Continuous national and international advocacy for urgent climate change initiatives by governments and by travel industry in all media
- Worked closely with local communities wherever our tours travel to implement low carbon and low waste tourism.
Echidna Walkabout to sign the Glasgow Declaration
21st September 2021 was a momentous day for climate action in tourism — the long awaited Glasgow Declaration was released.
Echidna Walkabout will join thousands of other travel organisations to sign this declaration which will then be presented to COP26 in November.
It’s purpose is to influence travel organisation across the globe to commit to a 55% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2030 and to net zero emissions by 2050.
An alliance of highly credible mainstream bodies was instrumental in creating the Declaration including United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP). Read UNTWO media release.
We urge all Australian travel organisations to sign the Glasgow Declaration and will be actively promoting this action throughout the wider Australian travel and hospitality community.
Signatories are invited to join as launch partners from the beginning of October. You can express interest here at OnePlanetNetwork.