Ms. Reagan introduced the Sustainable Energy for All Forum that will take place this upcoming May at the United Nations. The main objectives of the forum are to address universal access to energy, doubling the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency, and doubling the share of renewable energy. Mr. Sciarratta then discussed ecotourism and some of his involvement with FAF. Through his work, youth interested in activist movements and policy have been able to synthesize and join together through cultural experiences. Mr. Jordan touched upon groups like the International Ecotourism Society that work to unite communities and promote eco-friendly tourism. He stated that people must respect the systems of foreign lands. He used the example of an American throwing away a film wrapper in a small Indian town. This one action can have ripple effects, as the foreign land may not be equipped to further break down that material. In order to pursue sustainable livelihoods, individuals must develop platforms for educational purposes on fair trade, a mindset of less consumption, and land preservation. Dr. Kohona gave a historical presentation on Sri Lanka, which included information about its creation, the purpose of the Cultural Triangle, Buddhism, endemic species, and a multitude of artifacts. Sri Lanka has worked hard to retain the natural beauty of its land. Currently, 22% of land mass is maintained forests, and the government is working to raise this percentage to 30%. Ms. Flake discussed the endeavors of Honduras and its support of sustainable tourism, as 80% of Honduras’s economy is in the tourism sector. Honduras has a diverse ecosystem that includes the largest tropical forest in Central America, coral reefs, canyons, caves, parks, and protected areas. To uphold such rich biodiversity, Ms. Flake stated that the government must create a strategy instilling tourism sustainability.
Meeting: NGO Committee on Sustainable Development General Meeting
Date and Location: 25 February 2015; UN Church Center, New York.
Speakers: Ms. Margo LaZaro and Ms. Yvonne O’Neal, Co-chairs; Mr. Modou Cham, Secretary; Ms. Ornesha Reagan, Special Consultant for the UN Executive Office of the Secretary- General Sustainable Energy for All initiative- SE4ALL Forum and Independent Development Researcher on Eco-tourism; H.E. Dr. Palitha T.B. Kohona, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the UN; H.E. Ms. Mary Flores Flake, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Honduras to the UN; Mr. Patrick Sciarratta, Executive Director of Friendship Ambassadors Foundation, Advisor to the Permanent Mission of Sao Tome and Principe; Mr. Richard Jordan, Representative of the Royal Academy of Science International Trust at the UN
Written by WIT Representative: Paige Stokols
Edited by WIT Representative: Philip Bracey