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ICTP President tells UN high-level meeting on Gross National Happiness - “we need a green growth roadmap”

ICTP President tells UN high-level meeting on Gross National Happiness - “we need a green growth roadmap” ( BRUSSELS/HAWAII – The International Council of Tourism Partners (ICTP) joined the global movement to make happiness and wellbeing a critical part of the Rio+20 green growth agenda during the “high level” UN meeting on the subject held in New York this week and attended by more than 600 participants from government, industry, and civil society.

The conference considered initiatives such as Bhutan’s developing gross national happiness index, the OECD survey on possible wellbeing indicators, France’s Sarkozy-Stiglitz Commission, and the UK’s on-going national survey on the issue. The purpose of the discussions was to prepare an input to Rio+20 and consider ways in which important issues other than GDP can be reflected in a new fairer economic paradigm.

Bringing travel and tourism to the attention of delegates as an industry that can create more happiness than any other, because it delivers on job creation and poverty reduction, as well as spreading the happiness of human interaction, ICTP President Geoffrey Lipman said that Rio+20 should recognize this fact. He also noted that green growth was not a “silver bullet” to respond to the big social, economic, environmental, and climate challenges of today, and the population-driven resource challenges of tomorrow, but a journey in which every individual and community must engage, but at different paces and from different starting points.

Lipman suggested: “What is important is that everyone is committed to the journey, and what is now needed is an updated global roadmap for sustainable development that could be implemented at local level, which is where the real opportunity for change exists. We have the framework for such a roadmap in the Millennium Development Goals with their 2015 targets for extreme poverty reduction, 2020 when states are focusing on greenhouse gas reduction commitments, and 2050 when we have to stabilize the Earth’s temperature at levels which make climate change tolerable.” He believes this could be one of the lasting legacies from Rio+20.


The International Council of Tourism Partners (ICTP) is a new grassroots travel and tourism coalition of global destinations committed to quality service and green growth. The ICTP logo represents the strength in collaboration (the block) of many small communities (the lines) committed to sustainable oceans (blue) and land (green).

ICTP engages communities and their stakeholders to share quality and green opportunities including tools and resources, access to funding, education, and marketing support. ICTP advocates sustainable aviation growth, streamlined travel formalities, and fair coherent taxation.

ICTP supports the UN Millennium Development Goals, the UN World Tourism Organization's Global Code of Ethics for Tourism, and a range of programs that underpin them. The ICTP alliance is represented in Haleiwa, Hawaii, USA; Brussels, Belgium; Bali, Indonesia; and Victoria, Seychelles. ICTP membership is available to qualified destinations free of charge. Academy membership features a prestigious and selected group of destinations. Members of destinations currently include Anguilla; Grenada; Flores & Manggarai Baratkab County, Indonesia; La Reunion (French Indian Ocean); Malawi, Northern Mariana Islands, US Pacific Island Territory; Palestine; Rwanda; Seychelles; Sri Lanka; Johannesburg, South Africa; Oman; Zimbabwe; and from the US: California; Georgia; North Shore, Hawaii; Bangor, Maine; San Juan County & Moab, Utah; & Richmond, Virginia

For more information, go to: .

PHOTO: Geoffrey Lipman / Image via

MEDIA CONTACTS: Juergen Thomas Steinmetz, Chairman, ; Geoffrey Lipman, President,

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