Bartlett Renews Call For A Global Resilience Fund

Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett is urging the international community to unite in establishing a Global Resilience Fund to aid in boosting tourism resilience. The initiative would encourage tourists to take personal responsibility for bolstering the ability to respond, mitigate, adapt, and recover from the impacts of climate-related shocks.

In an address to the Joint 5th Urban Economy Forum and 59th ISOCARP World Planning Congress, Minister Bartlett said: “Imagine if each tourist were to contribute a small tip after every purchase made in their destination. This simple act could potentially generate billions of dollars, crucially needed by nations that are exceptionally vulnerable to climate change but often lack the necessary resources to enhance their resilience.”

Minister Bartlett underscored the unique challenges faced by small island developing states (SIDS), citing factors such as their small size, limited resources, geographical isolation, and heightened susceptibility to climate change. These vulnerabilities manifest as threats like natural disasters, economic fragility, food security concerns, energy dependencies, health vulnerabilities, and biodiversity loss.

In response to these challenges, the Minister said that: “Effectively addressing these vulnerabilities demands a multifaceted approach, including international cooperation, climate resilience initiatives, sustainable development strategies, and rigorous efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

He also emphasized the need for SIDS, including Jamaica, to receive international support in their efforts to build resilience and pursue sustainable development in the face of these extraordinary challenges.

Acknowledging the significant role of tourism in global carbon emissions, with tourism activities contributing approximately 8% of global CO2 emissions and poised to double by 2035, Minister Bartlett emphasized the urgent need for a more sustainable model in the industry.

And he reiterated Jamaica’s unwavering commitment to sustainable tourism and highlighted the country’s climate-responsive policies and initiatives, including the Master Plan for Sustainable Tourism Development, the Destination Assurance Framework and Strategy (DAFS), the Blue Ocean Strategic Framework, the Community Tourism Policy, and the Tourism Linkages Networks Policy.

Within the context of climate action, the Minister emphasized that, alongside government initiatives, individual responsibility is a pivotal component of the equation.

He explained: “Personal responsibility entails supporting policies and initiatives that promote sustainability and equity, and actively engaging with our local governments to hold them accountable for their commitments to climate action and urban development.”

And he concluded: “It also means educating ourselves and others about the importance of climate-responsive planning and sustainable financing,” he added, “so that we can make informed decisions and advocate for change.”