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- Key Interventions
Here you can find the Key Interventions (Campaigns, Events and Other Interventions) related to this State. These can be sorted year wise. On clicking a Title, you can read online and download the respective Key Intervention.
Here you can find Resources (Papers, Publications and Presentations) linked to this State. These can be sorted year wise. On clicking a Title, you can read online and download the respective Resource. Please do acknowledge EQUATIONS when quoting from or using these resources in any manner.
International Networking and Solidarity
An important workshop on third world tourism organised by Ecumenical Coalition on Tourism (ECOT) (then ECTWT- Ecumenical Coalition on Third World Tourism) in Chiang Mai Thailand in 1984 was the inspiration for EQUATIONS being founded in early 1985. While our mandate was and has remained national, we have engaged internationally in solidarity and in collaboration to meet the commonly held vision of ensuring justice and equity in tourism.
Early conferences “Theological Reflections on Tourism” in Khonkaen Thailand and the Bad Boll Consultation in Germany on “Third World People and Tourism” (both in 1985) took the debate on Third World Tourism. Our first presence and interventions at the ITB, the largest industry “fair” for the tourism industry was in 1987. We have been able to make fairly consistent interventions over the years bringing in southern perspectives in the debates and consultations.
EQUATIONS study in collaboration with Tourism Watch and Werkstatt Ökonomie on the GATS was presented at the ITB Berlin (1995). EQUATIONS representatives have had the occasion to be present at the ITB on many further occasions and given presentations and participated in debates on tourism from the perspective of the developing world. Our work on the GATS in turn led to engagements with the WTO (World Trade Organisation) UNCTAD, IFI’s and we have built strong networks with international NGO’s networks and forums working on trade and globalisation issues. Participation in international strategy meetings on trade and the WTO as well as in several of the WTO ministerial since the mid 90’s have helped in fine-tuning collaborative campaign strategies. Our role has been to bring in issues of tourism into the trade debate, and issues of trade into the tourism debate.
Another long standing association has been with ECPAT - End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes' (which was originally a project of ECTWT in the early 90’s). EQUATIONS own work in the country on the problem of child sexual abuse has also kept our links with ECPAT active and mutually productive. In 2005 we became a member group on ECPAT International and have been an active contributor particularly in the South Asian activities and advocacy.
EQUATIONS has been actively involved with European NGOs concerned with tourism – TEN the Ecumenical Network for Tourism in Europe. In 1991 we participated in the Global Meeting of Tourist Activists, Cyprus. Our engagement with tourism activists in South East Asia was very active particularly in collaboration with ECTWT. The formation of ANTENNA (an Asian Tourism Action Network) was an outcome of these efforts at building solidarity networks bringing together tourism activists from Thailand, Indonesia etc together. However this process could not be sustained. Our research work in India on Golf Tourism contributed to the first International meeting of Anti-golf activists in Penang in April 1993 leading to the formation of GAG’M - the Global Anti Golf Movement.
In 1989, we were invited to present a paper at a meeting of the World Tourism Organisation in Algeria. At an International workshop on tourism towards Global Code of Ethics for Tourism (WTO), EQUATIONS and ECTWT collaborated with TEN the Tourism Ecumenical European Network to develop a position paper. Subsequently, EQUATIONS played an important role in influencing the global code of ethics at meetings of the WTO. More recently we engaged directly with the (now) UNWTO on the issue of its world tourism day theme of Tourism Opens Doors for Women (2007) as well as in the Task Force on the Protection of Children (2009).
In May 1999 The United Nations Commission for Sustainable Development in an exclusive session on tourism introduced for the first time discussions on rights to resources and the need for multiple stakeholder approach. EQUATIONS was the southern co chair of the caucus on tourism represented by Nina Rao, member of our General Body. In that role for two consecutive terms, she played an important role to ensure that the perspectives from the south had the space and voice to influence issues of sustainability principles in development and rights to resources in the context of tourism development.
In 1997, UNRISD (United Nations Research Institute for Social Development) invited EQUATIONS to collaborate on a project on “Emerging National and Regional Tourism in Developing Countries. EQUATIONS paper on “Domestic Tourism in India” formed part of the study. In its publication, The Native Tourist: Mass tourism, Self-reliant Development and the South, 2001– the case study of India was by EQUATIONS.
Our involvement with the critique of the International Year of Ecotourism 2002 was intensive. EQUATIONS organised an International Workshop in New Delhi in September 2001 inviting groups from India as well as several international groups to consolidate our critique and strategies to counter this move. Representatives from EQUATIONS participated in regional meetings as well as the summit in Quebec, Canada in 2002. Subsequently we have also kept on the scanner the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) negotiations at the international level, particularly after our government scuttled the more participatory process of evolving a national biodiversity strategy and action plan. We participated at the 11th meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in December 2005 at Montreal, Canada. We also participated in the 8th Conference of Parties (COP) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) at Curitiba, Brazil in March 2006.
The World Social Forum (WSF) has served as a vibrant space for deepening the reflection, the democratic discussion of ideas, the formulation of proposals, the free exchange of experiences and the articulation of civil society organizations and movements that are opposed to neoliberal globalisation and the domination of the world by capital and by any other form of imperialism. EQUATIONS’ staff has had the privilege of participating in several WSFs starting with 2002 and 2003 in Porto Alegre, Brazil. It was however the Mumbai WSF 2004 which provided a unique opportunity to ‘mainstream’ tourism as a critical development issue for the first time. The interventions on tourism at WSF 2004, Mumbai, were jointly organised by four tourism groups, namely, EQUATIONS (India), Ecumenical Coalition on Tourism (then in Hong Kong SAR- China, at present shifted base to Thailand), Tourism Watch (Germany) and Arbeitskreis Tourismus Und Entwicklung (AKTE) (Switzerland). The theme of the intervention was “Who really benefits from tourism?” The discussions focused on community involvement in decision-making in tourism; community control over resources and benefits; community based tourism initiatives; corporate and social accountability; local self-governance and democratization; international trade, globalization and tourism; and fair trade in tourism.
In the strategy meeting following it, the Global Tourism Interventions Forum (GTIF), a broad alliance of groups and organisations working on tourism issues was formed committed to change the character of global tourism towards a tourism that is just and equitable for people in destinations. A strategic GTIF meeting which we hosted in July 2005 helped to identify issues that the international network would focus on in the coming year and strengthen solidarity on issues like the tsunami.
Again in 2005 when the WSF returned to the Brazilian city of Porto Alegre, the organizations Institute Terramar and Alternative Association Terrazul from Brazil, the Ecumenical Coalition on Tourism (ECOT) from Hong Kong, EQUATIONS from India and the Brazilian Forum of NGO’s and Social Movements for the Environment and the Development (FBOMS), together with the Global Tourism Interventions Group organized a series of events, affirming that “Another tourism is possible!”. The GTIF, in partnership with many local organisations, organised five seminars, which covered different dimensions of impacts and concerns of tourism development. The tsunami, impacts assessment of the GATS on tourism and democratising tourism were key focus areas.
The 6th WSF was a polycentric event in Karachi (Pakistan). EQUATIONS was part of a delegation organised by Ecumenical Coalition on Tourism (ECOT), Hong Kong, under the Global Tourism Interventions Forum banner. A workshop on the theme of “Towards a people-centric tourism in Asia” was organised. We also had an opportunity to participate in the WSF in Nairobi, 2007.
At WSF 2009, in Belem, the lead was taken by Latin American groups working on tourism issues. Brazilian Forum of NGO’s and Social Movements for the Environment and the Development (FBOMS) along with Forum for the Defense of the Coastal Zone in Ceara (North-eastern Brazil), Institute Vitae Civilis for Environment, Development and Peace, Argonautas Environmentalists of the Amazon were the key organisers. A set of workshops on topics such as Tourism, public policy and democratic participation, Tourism, territory and real estate speculation, Community-based tourism networks: Alternative models, resistance and social control and Tourism, climate change and consumption models, were held.
We have been active in the global campaign against golf resorts, against the International Year of Ecotourism, against the Tourism Guidelines in the CBD, and most recently in 2009 worked in solidarity with groups around the world to initiate a global campaign against megaresorts – pointing to the nexus between land grabs and tourism. We have worked in solidarity with many international partners in the tourism network as well as trade, environment and globalization and child protection networks in active solidarity on both specific campaigns as well as broader issues such as climate change, forests, biodiversity, indigenous peoples’ rights and engaging on collaborative research. Tourism Investigation and Monitoring TIM Team (Thailand), Tourism Concern (UK), EED Tourism Watch (Germany), Alternate Tourism Group Palestine, Ecumenical Coalition on Tourism (ECOT) based in Thailand, Tourism Action Group TAG, Philippines, Global Forest Coalition, End Child Prostitution Child Pornography and Trafficking in Children - ECPAT International (as well as various ECPAT member groups in different countries, AKTE, Our World is Not for Sale Network, Carbon Trade Watch, FBOMS, Association of the defence of Kuelap, Terramar Institute, APRN (Asia Pacific Research Network) have been some of the active engagements in the international civil society space in recent years.
Click on the ‘Resources’ tab above to read International Networking related papers, publications and presentations.
Click on the ‘Key Interventions’ tab above to know about International Networking related campaigns, events and interventions.