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IUCN and the German development agency GIZ today announced a new programme to strengthen the resilience of community-based tourism in and around protected and conserved areas worldwide. Through the programme, the German government is investing up to 17 million Euros to boost the recovery from the impacts of COVID-19 on people and nature.

The programme, which is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and includes implementing partners such as UNESCO and the WWF, will use tourism as an instrument to contribute to sustainable development in developing and emerging countries.

To pilot the initiative, IUCN will work with two World Heritage sites and five other protected areas in Peru and Vietnam to increase the resilience of the community-based tourism sector to future disruptions. This will include engaging local communities and indigenous peoples in developing community-based ecotourism action plans and revising site management plans to include detailed tourism destination and visitor management protocols and guidance.

Through a dedicated ‘cash for work’ scheme under the initiative, local people who are dependent on nature tourism will be able to earn a supplementary income as their community prepares for the return of tourists, e.g. by restoring trails or other infrastructure or by collecting marine plastic. IUCN will also provide training for protected area managers and local entrepreneurs on tourism recovery measures,

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IUCN and German government support post-COVID recovery through sustainable tourism initiative