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Held in Kathmandu, Nepal on 22–23 November 2018 with participants from Belgium, Germany, Hong Kong, People’s Republic of China, India, Japan, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, United Kingdom, and United States of America representing 22 organizations to address key challenges experienced by mountain communities; harness opportunities arising from the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and mountain-specific SDG priorities; and identify innovative, community-centric, and resilient livelihood solutions for regional mountain tourism development in the Himalaya;

Recalling the UN General Assembly Resolution 70/1 of 25 September 2015 on “Transforming our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” and the 17 SDGs;

Bearing in mind tourism, mountain, and partnership- specific targets of SDGs 8, 12, 15, and 17;

Noting with great satisfaction the remarks of the Late Honourable Minister Rabindra Adhikari, Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, and Honourable Province Minister Maya Bhatta, Ministry of Industry, Tourism, Forest and Environment, Sudurpaschim Pradesh, Government of Nepal, highlighting the importance of sustainable tourism in the Himalaya for inclusive economic growth to eradicate poverty, adapt to climate change, and enhance regional cooperation;

Considering that mountains are under threat from climate change, resource exploitation, and disasters with potentially far-reaching and devastating consequences for mountain communities;Affirming sustainable mountain tourism as a resilient livelihood solution in preparing communities against climate change impacts;

Reminding ourselves of the significance of sustainable mountain tourism as a game changing tradable service sector for achieving regional cooperation and development outcomes;

We hereby

  • Agree to ensure that environmental and cultural mindfulness will lie at the heart of sustainable mountain tourism development;
  • Recommend real-time data and information sharing for effective tourism and destination management;
  • Encourage the use of information and communication technology to promote inclusive community-based tourism;
  • Agree to encourage the use of indigenous languages and traditional practices in order to instil a sense of pride and ownership of the landscape, particularly among the youth;
  • Agree to empower the youth through opportunities in sustainable mountain tourism;
  • Affirm our commitment to promote women’s empowerment through women-centric sustainable mountain tourism programmes and projects;
  • Agree to harness investment opportunities that are available through innovative financial mechanisms for mountain tourism entrepreneurship;
  • Emphasize the need to build effective public–private partnerships for strengthening sustainable mountain tourism value chains;
  • Stress the importance of research and development to support tourism planning, practice, and evidence-based policy advocacy;
  • Recommend recognition of the implications of tourism agendas and policies from micro-to-macro level perspectives, and vice versa, for sustainable mountain development;
  • Stress the involvement of the private sector in developing policy and innovative, responsible tourism packages;
  • Urge mountain tourism stakeholders to establish science–technology–business linkages to achieve the SDGs;
  • Recommend the strengthening of formal and informal mechanisms at multiple levels to facilitate regional and transboundary cooperation for sustainable mountain tourism;
  • Emphasize the importance of addressing policy challenges that hinder transboundary tourism;
  • Recognize that well-being and people-to-people connectivity through sustainable mountain tourism can bring about peace, prosperity, and stability in the region;
  • Urge to work together for awareness and capacity building of key responsible tourism stakeholders.

The delegates of the International Conference on Sustainable Mountain Development and Tourism endorse this declaration.


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