is a Sri Lankan national with an educational back ground
in Zoology and Wildlife Management. Since 1986 he has been
directly associated with the work of the activities of the
World Heritage Convention, Biosphere Reserves, Man and the
Biosphere (MAB) Program and many other ecological and environmental
sciences and protected areas initiatives of UNESCO.
He facilitated close co-operation between Ecotourism Australia
and the UNESCO World Heritage Centre between 2000-2004.
Currently the Director of the Division of Ecological and
Earth Sciences, the International Secretary of the MAB Program
and the UNESCO focal point for biodiversity activities,
he is encouraging the use of UNESCO designated sites such
as World Heritage areas, biosphere reserves and geoparks
as globally significant areas for learning sustainable development
practices including adaptations to climate change.
Ecotourism Futures and Changing Climates
Many travelers and tourism enterprises are committed
to minimizing their carbon foot-print. Conservation organizations
place dollar values for offsetting green house gas emissions
and reallocate funds generated to finance important climate
change mitigation actions.
The theme of this year's ecotourism Australia conference,
i.e. building on natural advantages, could stimulate scenario
building to visualize shifts in natural and cultural values
resulting from climate change in landscapes and lifestyles
and their significance for tourism futures.
Possible business development and partnership building opportunities
that may be emerging via such shifts are illustrated through
some examples from selected countries with whom UNESCO co-operates
in a range of environmental and ecological sciences programs
UN World Tourism Organization and other tourism industry
partners may encourage dialogues and discussions on ecotourism
futures and climate change.