LETTERS: World Tourism Day

As we approach World Tourism Day on September 27, it is worth reflecting on the absence of tourism workers in the climate action plans of governments in Asia.

While it is important that governments take urgent action to reduce carbon emissions as a major cause of climate change, many of the climate action plans of governments treat climate change purely as an environmental and industrial issue.

Most climate policies today fail to recognize that climate change - and how we respond to climate change – is also an ethical issue involving human rights and justice.

Sustainability is as much about sustaining livelihoods as it is about managing resources. Climate change has a direct impact on the livelihoods of workers and their families, worsening the existing problems of poverty wages, job insecurity and inequality.

This includes tourism workers. From trekking guides in Nepal to luxury hotel resort workers in the Maldives, climate change is dramatically transforming the environment in which people work and live. Yet governments are only talking to business and international agencies about what needs to be done.

Climate change affects tourism peak seasons, making employment more insecure and incomes more unstable. Tourist attractions – from coral reefs to religious heritage sites – are suffering damage from extreme weather that leaves hotels empty.

Climate disasters like flooding leave tourism workers jobless. There is no tourism without tourists. On World Tourism Day, workers are demanding that governments recognize the impact of climate change on tourism, and that the protecting the rights and livelihoods of tourism workers be part of the response.

This needs the independent and democratic trade unions representing tourism workers to be involved in decision-making on climate action plans.

Because the only way for climate action plans to work, is for working people to be part of the plan.

Hidayat Greenfield, via e-mail

Woman PM

Apropos of the news story “Country now awaits a woman prime minister, says Deuba” (THT, September 22, Page 2), Deuba is absolutely correct.

In fact, he spoke my mind. The best candidate for woman prime minister would have been Nani Maiya Dahal, but as we do not know about her whereabouts we could zero-in on Congress woman Sita Devi Yadav for the exalted position.

While choosing a woman prime minister we must ensure that she does not hail from balun-chettri but from Madhesi, Muslim, Janjatis, marginalised and backward classes, the Dalits, the Chepangs and the Rautes.

Deuba must also ensure that none of the existing politicians’ spouses are ever nominated for even prime minster’s valet.

Meanwhile, he should immediately correct gender imbalance in his party and nominate 33 pc women to important party positions without any further delay.

Manohar Shrestha, Kathamandu