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Agenda 2030
Agenda 2030


Civil Society Organisations demand fundamental change within the current tourism model.
In a joint declaration with partner organisations from all over the world, Naturefriends International request the tourism industry to transform its business model. Tourism development needs to be fair, consider future consequences and show responsibility towards the environment and the people it affects.

2017 is the „International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development“. This emphasizes the importance the United Nations give the tourism industry for the achievement of the development goals, which were defined for the 2030 Agenda in 2015 by the international community. “In order for tourism to create sustainable development, the industry needs to realign its priorities while travellers become aware of their role within the process”, Andrea Lichtenecker, Executive Director of Naturefriends International, emphasizes. “The tourism industry needs to transform according to the development goals of the 2030 Agenda, ensure that international human right standards are being kept, include the local community in the destinations and take environmental protection seriously.” Everybody is needed – the industry, political bodies, as well as the tourists.

Mamadou Mbodji, Vice-President of Naturefriends International and President of the African Naturefriends Network, was part of the group which developed the Berlin Declaration on “Transforming Tourism” before the international travel trade show ITB in Berlin. He sees the need for social justice and solidarity within the industry: “The majority of profits in the international tourism industry are created at the expense of the local community within the destinations. In many cases people are exploited, human rights are ignored and nature is destroyed. International air travel contributes massively to climate change, while the consequences affect mostly the people in the global south.”

Berlin Declaration on „Transforming Tourism“: Moving away from the exploitative tourism model
„Being fair, considering the future consequences of our actions in addition to taking responsibility for the environment and the local community, needs to be in the centre of tourism development“, explains Andrea Lichtenecker. Together with 30 participants from 19 countries, representing non-governmental organizations, people’s movements and academia, Naturefriends International developed the Berlin Declaration on “Transforming Tourism”, which was presented at ITB. The declaration identified specific core principles and recommendations to create a fair and sustainable tourism in the future.

This includes:

  • Free, prior and informed consent for the local community in destinations before and during tourism development. The inclusion of vulnerable parts of the community, as well as strengthening and supporting human rights defenders, needs special attention.
  • Social security, living wages and career opportunities for the local workforce as well as the support for local tourism initiatives.
  • Sustainable production and consumption patterns which protect the environment and the climate while human rights are respected.
  • Stop the growth-cycle: It is not the growth of the industry that creates sustainable development and abolishes the current, exploitative tourism model, but the development of a socially and ecologically viable tourism.

The full delcaration: 

Support the request for tourism for sustainable development!
Everybody – individuals or organisations - who cares about fairness and sustainability within the tourism industry, is called to sign the Berlin Declaration “Transforming Tourism” and to actively support the needed change within the tourism model. 

Internet platform regarding tourism and the 2030 Agenda development goals
In addition to the Berlin Declaration, nine international NGOs, including Naturefriends International, have overseen the creation of the online compendium „Tourism in the 2030 Agenda“. The authors from different countries show how tourism can support a sustainable development and which challenges have to be conquered in order to achieve the necessary changes. 

Naturefriends International (NFI) is the international umbrella organisation of the Naturefriends movement, uniting over 50 member organisations and approximately 350,000 members. The focus of NFI’s work is on creating and implementing sustainable development of the environment and society. NFI is member of the “Green 10”, a coalition of ten leading environmental NGOs active at the EU level.

The Naturefriends Climate Fund provides all Naturefriends with the opportunity of supporting climate protection projects by African Naturefriends as a compensation for trips with the plane or car - and thus of contributing personally to more climate justice. 100% of the contribution payments go into specific local measures to mitigate the impact of climate change and/or contribute to climate protection. 


Cornelia Kühhas
Naturefriends International, PR
Tel.: +43 (0)1 89 23 877-41