Spotlight on Sustainable Development 2017

spotlight coverGAAM has contributed a short article about aerotropolis projects to the Spotlight Report on Sustainable Development 2017: Reclaiming Policies for the Public. The report, by the Reflection Group, a global alliance of civil society organizations and networks was launched on 10th July and is being discussed at the High-Level Political Forum, the United Nations’ central platform for follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The GAAM article The ‘Aerotropolis’ phenomenon – high risk development thwarting SDGs was written by Anita Pleumarom, coordinator of Tourism Investigation and Monitoring Team (t.i.m.-team) and appears as a box on page 115 in chapter 11, which relates to SDG (Sustainable Development Goal) 11, to Make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. The SDGs, 17 in total, a set of goals to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all as part of a new sustainable development agenda, were adopted by countries on September 25th 2015. Each SDG has specific targets to be achieved over a 15 year timeframe, by 2030.

The Spotlight report assesses the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, analyzing systemic problems in its realization. Governments recognized the essential role of the public sector, including public finance, in achieving the SDGs. But this role is being undermined by privatization and public-private partnerships (PPS), which have strengthened the grip of corporate power on people’s lives. GAAM’s aerotropolis article outlines how this new form of airport-centric development, driven by a combination of private business interests and state control and spreading rapidly worldwide, works against achieving progress towards the SDGs, as it ‘profoundly subverts the goal of building inclusive, equitable cities’. The report provides a breadth and depth of information to help enable civil society to reclaim public space, and measures that governments should undertake to establish the requisite regulatory and global governance framework.

 

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Tinkering with ‘sustainable or eco-tourism’ hides the real face of tourism

The United Nations has proclaimed 2017 the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, welcoming projected growth in tourism, already one of the world’s biggest industries, as bringing benefits of economic development and eradicating poverty. Yet tourism has multi-dimensional, serious, impacts on people and the environment. Most importantly, it is a major and growing source of climate damaging greenhouse gas emissions, primarily due to energy intensive transportation such as air travel. Even when proclaimed as ‘green tourism or ‘eco-tourism’, tourism often fails to meet the needs of host communities, resulting in widening inequalities, cultural erosion and damage to ecosystems. These social, economic and environmental downsides are examined in an article: ‘Tinkering with ‘sustainable or eco-tourism’ hides the real face of tourism‘.

 

Written by Anita Pleumarom (Tourism Investigation & Monitoring Team) and Chee Yoke Ling (Third World Network), the article was published to coincide with the 2016 High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) that took place in New York from 11th to 20th July. The HLPF on Sustainable Development is the United Nations’ central platform for the follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), adopted at the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit on 25th Spetember 2015. The article is based on a chapter entitled Corporate capture subverts production and consumption transformation by Chee Yoke Ling, published in Spotlight on Sustainable Development 2016: Report by the Reflection Group on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, (11 July 2016, pp.94-100). The report puts a spotlight on fulfillment of the SDGs, looking at obstacles to achievement of the objectives and evaluating the policy approaches.