Education, Capacity Building and Awareness Raising

Sustainable development is always based on long-term considerations. The goal of the UNWTO Consulting Unit is therefore to achieve an increase in understanding and know-how amongst the stakeholders resulting in a long-term change of attitude and behaviour leading to an improved performance of tourism development and biodiversity conservation in tourist destinations in the long run. 

Topics related to the integrated management of biodiversity and tourism, including processes and methods being implemented need to be communicated to the local people, to stakeholders in tourism and biodiversity management as well as the tourists. It is thus necessary to provide for education and awareness-raising activities that are designed to meet the needs of different target groups within the destination. 

For identifying the needs for education and capacity building measures, it is important to review existing capacities among relevant stakeholders and organisations at an early stage, e.g. through stakeholder meetings and needs assessments. The trainings and capacity building measures target mainly local partner NGOs, local experts and stakeholders in pilot sites. The topics can range from general biodiversity conservation, sustainable tourism, product development and marketing to skill development trainings for local entrepreneurs. It may further be necessary to provide training workshops on cultural, social and biodiversity-related aspects of environmental conservation and tourism development. Besides trainings, other capacity building measures, including coaching processes and consultations should be integrated in every project.