Need to protect coral reefs focus of new outreach effort by UN

“Coral reefs are a major tourist attraction in many coastal areas, and protecting them is essential not only for the environment but also for the tourism industry,” said Jacqueline Aloisi de Larderel, Assistant UNEP Executive Director. “We believe that by raising awareness and so changing the behaviour of tourists and local tourism industry workers alike, the damage to coral reefs can be reduced.”The first product in the information campaign, a wall calendar, is being distributed today to the 1,500 representatives of hotels attending MarketPlace – the largest travel and trade exhibition in the wider Caribbean region – taking place in Cancun, Mexico.Each month the calendar, produced in association with the Caribbean Alliance for Sustainable TourismThe outreach effort, which also aims to promote 2002 as the International Year of Ecotourism, will include a “passport” explaining the main biological and ecological features of coral reefs, a children’s quiz, a poster and a boaters’ chart with information on how to manage solid waste and holding tanks as well as refuelling and anchoring practices.

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