Sustainable tourism in Palau has become a top agenda on the minds of its 22,000 inhabitants.
The small group of islands has seen visitor numbers soar to over 89,000 tourists, who are mainly attracted by the pristine waters for scuba diving.
Inhabitat has published an article outlining why climate change is such a problem for Palau.
"Palau’s precious marine resources, small size and dependence on tourism make it extremely vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. The dangers of rising sea temperatures threaten the country’s marine ecosystems, coastal communities and important tourism industry. As is the unfortunate case with many vulnerable travel destinations, the large-scale tourist industry — despite providing the main source of livelihood for its residents — is also responsible for a portion of its carbon emissions and threats to local heritage sites."
The two main issues for Palau have been a reliance on imported food and the carbon costs of getting there in the first place.
To reduce this, there is a new pledge to encourage more local food production to become independent of imported products.
There will also be an online platform that allows visitors to calculate their carbon impact of visiting Palau. Tourists will then be able to choose from a selection of conservation initiatives that would offset that footprint.
It’s possibly one of the most organized approaches to making a real difference on the impact of tourism on our climate.