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ZERO CARBON RESORTs - a new sustainable tourism concept

By Robert Wimmer, GrAT August 06, 2017

Tourism is receiving increased attention as a development option in developing countries but with the vulnerability of developing countries to climate change, it is inevitable to take climate change into serious consideration in the tourism sector. To do this on an SME level a systematic approach had been developed. This proven 3R (REDUCE-REPLACE-REDESIGN) methodology is applicable to all Tourism SMEs whatever innovation stage they have already reached. Building upon the results and achievements of the ZCR1 (2009-2014) project in the Philippines, this project envisages going to the next level of energy efficiency towards a carbon neutral operation. This project will not only continue the replication of ZCR1 strategies in many regions of the Philippines but expand and adapt the method to Thailand. With additional focus on access to finance and match with Green Hotel certification, a cross country exchange of best practices will be facilitated through exchange visits and strong policy dialogue. Through the strong capacity building program, sustainable consumption and production practices of tourism SMEs will be taken up easily and economic returns from achieved savings trigger a high rate of replication.

In 2015 the project “Zero Carbon Resorts” won the Global Human Settlement Award, which is granted by the Global Forum on Human Settlements in collaboration with the United Nations Environment Program in New York. The award is made to municipalities, firms or individuals that set an example with their commitment to sustainable development.

Zero Carbon Resorts - Conserving resources and energy self-sufficiency

In 2009 the GrAT – Center for Appropriate Technology at Vienna University of Technology (headed by Robert Wimmer) started on the development cooperation project “Zero Carbon Resorts” in the Philippines. The project received funding from the EU within the framework of the “Switch Asia” programme. The research team’s aim was to develop sustainable building strategies and appropriate technological solutions for tourist resorts and to demonstrate their value in practice. Up till now locally available resources have hardly been used at all for constructing the resorts on the islands of the Philippines and supplying them with energy. Electricity for building operation, air-conditioning and providing hot water is generated from diesel fuel brought to the islands by boat. As part of the project a demonstration building was for the first time constructed with locally available materials to a resource-conserving design in Puerto Princesa, on Palawan. A key factor here was that local architects, engineers and SMEs were involved.

see more about concepts of Reduce, Replace und Redesign, Building concept and construction materials (>>, Sustainable provision of energy and water.

contacts: Dr. Robert WIMMER,
                  e-mail: GrAT - Austria, Vienna

                  e-mail: GrAT - Manila, Philippines

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