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          Fourth Global Long Run Initiative Conference on Sustainable Tourism Focuses on Strengthening Collaborations

          Members of the Long Run Initiative resolved to continue with the implementation of the strategic and business plan launched in 2013, focusing on taking to fruition the activities listed in the four key areas during the fourth Long Run Initiative (LRI) conference, held at Caiman Ecological Reserve, Brazil, from the 14th-17th September 2014.

          The leaders of the global sustainability movement also agreed to explore the possibility of creating regional chapters to further increase collaboration, marketing and localised activities and also to identify other organisations through which the tourism industry could play a more influential role in the global arena.

           

          The 4-day conference brought together members from countries as far apart as Costa Rica, Namibia, New Zealand, Tanzania and Chile to develop a deeper understanding of the challenges facing sustainable tourism and explore ways to expand its influence and impact in creating a sustainable future. 

           

          The focus this year was on strengthening the LRI community as well as enhancing mutual learning and the LRI collective contribution to sustainable development. 

           

          Participants shared their knowledge and experience in the thematic areas of Conservation, Community, Culture and Commerce (4Cs) as implemented at different destinations, and experienced first hand the 4Cs at Caiman.

          The conference also reviewed the progress of implementing and promoting sustainable practices within the various Long Run destinations and was also important in planning the way forward for the initiative. Resolutions made during last year’s conference held at Segera, Kenya were discussed and the following proposals being endorsed by the members:

           

          • Highlighting of areas of best practice within destinations for documentation and sharing with the broader community;
          • Research on relevant topics for knowledge creation based on members’ distinct needs, advantage and experience to serve as role models and trainers on natural resource management;
          • LRI’s continued strengthening of links with SLOW LIFE and the exploration of other options for regional events with members

          During the conference, it was also suggested that the LRI needs to strengthen its online presence, with the Long Run website being the key marketing tool for raising awareness on the initiative’s collective achievements. Members were also encouraged to promote the LRI and raise its profile actively through their websites and other communication tools, publications and activities. 

           

          This year’s host, Caiman Ecological Refuge, is a GER® member of the LRI, thus recognised as a centre of excellence in sustainability. To become recognised as a GER®, members undergo a rigorous assessment using the 4C framework.

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