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UNWTO/Chimelong Initiative addresses sustainable tourism’s potential as a key driver of wildlife protection and conservation UNWTO/Chimelong Initiative addresses sustainable tourism’s potential as a key driver of wildlife protection and conservation

African Countries Embrace UNWTO Biodiversity Goals

African tourism administrations have undersigned the Declaration of Kinshasa which fosters tourism as a driver of biodiversity and environmental protection.

According to World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the declaration is considered a major result of regional action created through UNWTO/Chimelong Initiative on Wildlife Conservation and Sustainable Tourism.

The declaration was undersigned during a recent wildlife and biodiversity protection experience exchange and capacity building conference in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The regional conference served to summarise itinerary training workshops conducted throughout 2017 to encourage local communities and tourism stakeholders to act as champions of biodiversity conservation and environmental protection.

More than 120 people from Niger, Gabon, Benin, Guinea and Democratic Republic of the Congo learned how to design and implement local initiatives on tourism and wildlife in their respective countries, skills which they showcased during the conference. The event welcomed more than 100 participants from the five countries, in addition to Zimbabwe.

Franck Mwe di Malila Apenela, minister, tourism, Democratic Republic of the Congo, underscored the link between tourism development and biodiversity conservation, commenting, “It is not a coincidence that the upcoming UNWTO Agenda for Africa encapsulates it as one of its key priorities.”