Panama becomes first pilot country for the UN Fund for Climate Neutrality of Tourism

Panama becomes first pilot country for the UN Fund for Climate Neutrality of Tourism

Today it was announced at COP 26 that Panama will be the first pilot country for the United Nations Fund for Climate Neutrality of Tourism

An agreement was signed between the government of Panama, the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), and the Network of Ocean Ambassadors Headquarters (NOAH) to establish Panama as the first pilot country to support the implementation of the United Nations Fund for Climate Neutrality in Tourism. This is an innovative financing instrument promoted by the UNWTO to respond to problems related to the climate crisis. 

Climate change is one of the greatest challenges facing humanity. With this agreement, Panama ratifies its climate leadership and its efforts to conserve and regenerate nature and, at the same time, trigger economic growth through tourism that benefits local communities.   

Together, Panama, the UNWTO and NOAH will support the creation of a Capital Fund that will enable the UN Fund for Climate Neutrality in Tourism and the creation of a Smart Carbon Exchange Market, led by NOAH in conjunction with UNWTO, to empower the exchange of carbon credits in the most efficient way.  

These projects follow UNWTO’s commitment to transform the tourism sector – in cooperation with the UN system, international organizations, UNWTO Member States and the private sector at large – to accelerate the decarbonization of the sector. 

Regarding the concrete initiatives to take place in Panama as a pilot country, NOAH will prepare a study in coordination with the Ministry of Environment to estimate the reserves of “blue carbon” in mangroves and seagrasses of protected areas of the Republic of Panama, as well as carbon stocks in wetlands. Likewise, NOAH will establish in Panama the headquarters of an international Intelligent Carbon Exchange Market (MIIC), as established in a previous Memorandum of Understanding signed between UNWTO and NOAH. 

In this way, UNWTO, NOAH, and Panama together will lead the transition to a zero-emission tourism industry focused on improving people’s lives and ensuring increased prosperity for the tourism value chain.  

Additionally, tomorrow, November 5, Panama will sign the Glasgow Declaration: A Commitment to a Decade of Climate Action in Tourism. As a signee, Panama commits to act now to accelerate climate action and to cut global tourism emissions by at least a half over the next decade and reach Net Zero emissions as soon as possible before 2050. More information on the Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism can be found here