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International Climate Initiative – Transforming Tourism Value Chains

Project aims

Tourism is vitally important to small island developing states (SIDS), yet these destinations are among the first to suffer when it comes to tourism’s environmental impacts. This project, “Transforming Tourism Value Chains in developing countries and Small Island Developing States (SIDS) to accelerate more resilient, resource efficient, low carbon development” will find ways to reduce tourism’s carbon footprint and make it a more efficient industry in terms of water and energy use.

The project is led by UN Environment and supported by €5 million from the International Climate Initiative on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU). The Travel Foundation is the lead implementing partner in both Mauritius and Saint Lucia, while other agencies lead in the Philippines and the Dominican Republic. The four islands have been selected primarily because tourism is an essential part of their economies.

The four-year project will transform activities and services along the whole supply chain, looking at three areas within the tourism sector: accommodation, food/beverages, and events. If a dish is served, for instance, we will be examining how the food was produced and how it travelled to the restaurant. The Travel Foundation is collaborating with UN Environment, the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP), the Technical University of Denmark (DTU), and local partners including tourism ministries.

From start to finish, the aim is to reduce carbon emissions and improve resource efficiency by implementing low carbon development actions. We will first uncover “hotspots” in tourism operations across the value chain, to identify and prioritise opportunities for resource efficiencies.  This will lead to national action plans with specific targets for emission reductions and resource efficiency. Participating stakeholders will benefit from tools to help measure their environmental impact, expert advice, communication campaigns, training and capacity building. There will also be a series of policy recommendations aimed at enabling and incentivising a greener, low carbon future for tourism.

Ultimately, the project aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from at least 100 businesses linked to tourism.

This project is part of the International Climate Initiative (IKI). The German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) supports this initiative on the basis of a decision adopted by the German Bundestag.

Hotel garden watering


Current Activities

  • Identify and engage stakeholders in Mauritius and Saint Lucia

  • Train local tourism sector stakeholders on use of supply chain mapping tools

  • Conduct supply chain mapping within the hotel and food and beverage sectors in Mauritius, and within the accommodation sector in Saint Lucia

  • Review the policy environment in Mauritius and Saint Lucia to identify strengths, weaknesses and barriers that may affect the transition to low-carbon, resource-efficient development

  • Organising and hosting inception workshops, and facilitating the setup of a national stakeholder advisory group in both destinations


Sustainable supply chains will help tourism businesses tap into new and expanding markets of sustainability-oriented travellers, strengthen resilience, attract investment, stay ahead of standards and regulations, increase technical capabilities and improve community relations.