Mainstreaming climate Action
Bonito is mainstreaming carbon action to become the first carbon-neutral certified tourism destination.
Brazil’s ecotourism is dominated by landscapes with astonishing biodiversity hotspots and vibrant ecosystems that provide food and shelter for native species.
One of Brazil’s ecotourism “jewels” is Bonito, a small destination in Mato Grosso do Sul, which happens to be on top of the second largest fresh water on earth – The Guarani Aquifer.
As the world continues to recover from the unprecedented shock of the COVID-19 pandemic, rebuilding a more sustainable tourism sector remains a shared responsibility of tourism businesses and destinations worldwide.
At the COP26 climate change conference held in November 2021, the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), and their partners issued the Glasgow Declaration on Tourism and Climate.
In this context, since August 2022, the Tourism Authority of Mato Grosso do Sul (FUNDTUR) has started a relevant effort to certify Bonito as the first Carbon Neutral ecotourism destination worldwide.
According to Bruno Wendling, President of FUNDTUR:
“our goal is to generate new capabilities to proactively and strategically execute GHG management, which will lead to climate-smart tourism products and services and the strategic positioning of Bonito as an international ecotourism destination”.
In practice, this means that Bonito will start the implementation: (i) concrete mitigation actions to avoid and reduce GHG emissions through investments in energy efficiency, renewable energy, and the circular economy. (ii) work on incentives to attract and promote private investment that seeks a positive impact on climate and biodiversity.
Bonito’s climate certification cycle is led by Green Initiative, which was also responsible for the carbon-neutral certification of Machu Picchu.
In addition to supporting Bonito’s carbon footprint analysis, Green Initiative is evaluating the carbon sinking capacity of the local forest within the specific scope of tourist attractions.
With the development of the ability to measure and monitor Bonito’s climate performance, it will be possible to set emission targets, assess progress and, through this, attract investments and climate finance that allow us to boost the international competitiveness of the Bonito destination.
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