St. Kitts and Nevis and Antigua and Barbuda Sign the Glasgow Declaration During SIDS4

A high-level stakeholder event “Regenerative Tourism for Resilience,” held during the Fourth International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS4), culminated in the historic signing of the Glasgow Declaration.

The event, focusing on the necessity of regenerative tourism in the face of climate change, aligned perfectly with the goals of the conference.

Chaired by Virginia Fernandez-Trapa, Programme Coordinator of the Sustainable Tourism and Resilience Department at the UN World Tourism Organization, the event underscored tourism’s critical role in Small Island Developing States (SIDS), where it accounts for up to 70 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in some nations. 

It was noted that SIDS saw a remarkable recovery in 2023, with tourism rebounding to 92 percent of pre-pandemic levels, outpacing global rates. Despite these promising figures, SIDS remains vulnerable to climate-related disasters, highlighting the need for resilient tourism strategies.

The discussion also explored policies and initiatives that promote regenerative tourism, such as ecosystem restoration, community inclusion, and innovative financing like nature-based solutions and blue carbon initiatives.

Minister of Tourism for Antigua and Barbuda, the Hon. Charles Fernandez opened the session by emphasising the importance of regenerative tourism for resilience. 

“For Antigua and Barbuda, as a SIDS heavily dependent on tourism, regenerative tourism is crucial for our resilience, policy development, and financial strategies,” he stated. He highlighted ongoing initiatives to complement regenerative tourism and suggested that investment incentives should prioritise environmentally friendly projects and sustainable practices over traditional methods.

Sylvestre Radegonde, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Tourism for Seychelles, also addressed the event, stressing the importance of sustainable growth. 

“Unsustainable tourism can threaten our long-term sustainability. Regenerative tourism addresses this by focusing on community and environmental impacts,” he remarked.

In a historic move, Antigua and Barbuda, represented by Minister Fernandez, signed the Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism. 

St. Kitts and Nevis, represented by Diannille Taylor-Williams, Director at the Ministry of Tourism, signed the declaration during the high-level panel discussion.

The Glasgow Declaration commits the tourism sector to align with global climate goals. It promotes an integrated approach to mitigation and adaptation, supporting tourism ecosystems and destinations in building resilience to climate risks and transitioning towards regenerative and circular practices.

First announced at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow in November 2021, the Glasgow Declaration has gained significant traction, especially during the SIDS4 Conference held in Antigua and Barbuda in 2024.


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