14 May 2020 - NW559
Gondwe, Dr M to ask the Minister of Tourism
What progress has her department made in rolling out the National Tourism and Climate Change Response Programme and Action Plan?
1. The Department developed and approved a Tourism and Climate Change Response Programme and Action Plan in 2011. The programme addresses both climate change mitigation and adaptation measures within the tourism sector.
2. The implementation of the Action Plan was implemented over three years in phases, i.e. 2012/13, 2013/14, and 2014/15 financial years. The final year of the implementation of the Action Plan was the 2014/15 financial year.
The Response Programme and Action Plan were designed to deliver on the following Five (5) outcomes:
2.1 Improved understanding of the vulnerabilities of tourism to the physical impacts of climate change in order to build resilience and adaptive capacity of the industry;
2.2 Reduced Tourism related greenhouse gas emissions;
2.3 A fully informed tourism industry through consistent and effective industry outreach and communications;
2.4 A nationally consistent, inclusive and cooperative approach to implementation; and
2.5 Maintaining effective climate change messaging and positioning in our key markets.
3. Reduced Tourism related greenhouse gas emissions - Mitigation measures:
Significant progress was made in the implementation of the Action Plan. The following measures were implemented to ensure that the outcomes specified above are achieved.
3.1 The department has a Tourism Resource Efficiency Programme that focuses on energy efficiency, water efficiency and waste management in the tourism sector.
3.2 The department is currently completing a pilot project on Tourism Resource Efficiency Training for unemployed youth. One Hundred and Eighty (180) unemployed youth were trained by the National Cleaner Production Centre – South Africa (NCPC – SA) on Resource Efficient Cleaner Production and the Fundamentals of Energy Management. The trainees were placed for a period of six (6) months with tourism establishments across the country. During their placements, trainees assisted establishments to better manage their energy and water use.
3.3 The department has a Green Tourism Incentive Programme. The incentive, which is implemented through the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), is designed to assist tourism businesses to implement energy and water saving measures in their establishments
4. Improved understanding of the vulnerabilities of tourism to the physical impacts of climate change in order to build resilience and adaptive capacity of the industry - Adaptation measures:
4.1 The department has a Tourism Adaptation Project (TAP). The project seeks to build the resilience and adaptive capacity of the tourism sector to the impacts of climate change.
4.2 In 2012, the Department partnered with the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) and the GIZ (German Development Agency) to conduct a Baseline Assessment of the impact of Climate Change on Tourism. A Basic Vulnerability Guideline was developed to assist tourism attractions to assess their vulnerability to climate change.
4.3 Currently, the department has partnered with the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment (DFFE) and the GIZ to conduct risk and vulnerability assessment of twenty-seven (27) tourism sites across the country. A three–year Tourism Adaptation Implementation Plan will be developed as part of this project. The project would have been concluded at the end of March 2020, however, due to the nationwide lockdown as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the final stage of the project was not completed.
5. A fully informed tourism industry through consistent and effective industry outreach and communications - Communication andOutreach:
5.1 The department continues to raise awareness on both the contributions of tourism and its vulnerability to the impacts of climate change.
5.2 Information booklets on tourism and climate change are distributed to stakeholders. Furthermore, awareness is raised through capacity building and information sharing sessions.
6. A nationally consistent, inclusive and cooperative approach to implementation – intergovernmental coordination:
6.1 A Tourism and Climate Change Task Team was established in 2010. Its mandate was to develop the Response Programme and Action Plan. It consisted of representatives from provincial and local Government, business, NGOs, and academia.
6.2 Guidelines for the development of Provincial Tourism and Climate Change Action Plans were also developed to assist Provinces to customize their response programme. This is important in that climate change impacts are not uniform across the country.
6. Maintain effective climate change messaging and positioning in our key markets – green marketing
A carbon-offset programme for the tourism sector was developed. There has been limited work done in relation to green marketing. The department will work with South African Tourism (SAT) on positioning of South Africa as a green or carbon neutral destination.