Mar 3, 2013

Brazil - Eco Sustainability - Joining the Dots.

Our journey into South America has continued - visiting the World Heritage listed Iguacu Falls in Brazil was beyond awesome. Likewise on the Argentine side of the Iguazu Falls.

And of course the Magellanic Penguins and Sea Lions in the Patagonia in the areas of Puerto Madryn and Puntas Arenas etc. And it is clear that EcoTourism is an important part of the economies in these areas. To be honest I can't recall seeing so many people with Digital SLR Cameras with 200-300mm telephoto lenses as I did at Punta Norte, near Puerto Madryn in the wild Argentine Patagonian coast. All keen to get their own penguin or sea lion shot... not to mention a whale!

At the Agenda 21 activities on Rio in 1992 and 2012, the importance of the Environment has been recognized, as well as at the various International Intergovernmental Climate Change meetings, the COP's, ( Council of the Parties) eg at Cancun Mexico several years ago. NGO's and colourful protesters attend as well to lobby the various government representatives from around the world.

Back in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, Agenda 21, the International approach to the Environment was initiated under Gro Bruntland, then leader of Norway- with the message communicated in "Our Common Future" - its ethos inspired from First Peoples -

'we do not inherit the earth but instead hold it in trust for future generations.'
This 1992 Agenda 21 initiative led to the beginning of a a change in philosophy - The Precautionary Principle - in assessing prospective development projects.

So with millions of people visiting these world heritage listed areas in South America each year, it's no surprise that management systems have been initiated to protect the environment. A water pipeline in the Iguacu Falls area displayed its ISO 14001 certification. ISO9001 certifications are also displayed at various tourism businesses - like Hotels. Recycling bins are plentiful at tourist sites to deal with waste - and cruise boats have Ocean Care to discourage tourists from throwing waste into the sea.

So in order to improve the environment we need the protestors to raise awareness, sympathetic governments and also strong NGO organizations. But also groups like ISO and its member organizations to develop confident accreditation systems such as ISO14001 - to help deliver the outcomes desired by
communities, as we face challenges such as climate change- global warming.

Listening to our guide in Patagonia he shared of the changes already occurring. Frogs now exist there, whereas previously they did not prior to the climatic and eco changes that have already occurred.
The reality is that there is still much work still to be done by ISO and its member organizations with all the environmental challenges. And the guardians of Quality cannot treat such issues as Externalities to be ignored in Quality systems. The March 2013 meeting of ISO TC176's committees in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, has some big issues to address.

No comments: