GGGI, Norway and the Government of Antioquia work together to strengthen Nature-based Tourism in the region

Antioquia, July, 2022. the Government of Antioquia and the Secretary of Tourism of Antioquia, with the support of the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI), under the second phase of the Colombia-GGGI-Norway Green Growth Program, successfully presented the advances made in the Nature-based Tourism Strategy 2040 and the Strategic Tourism Plan lines in Antioquia. In addition, workshops undertaken in eight subregions made it possible to learn about local perspectives for formulating Antioquia’s Sustainable Tourism Public Policy.

The sessions were held in twelve municipalities of Antioquia and were attended by 441 community leaders, private, educational, and public sectors. The sessions uncovered the public and private initiatives of each subregion, the specific needs of the territories, and good practices of sustainable tourism. These inputs are crucial for the strategies to strengthen nature-based tourism in Antioquia.

This initiative is part of the work in progress that the Government of Antioquia, together with GGGI and the support of Norway, have been carrying out to promote nature tourism in the Department, promoting sustainable and socially inclusive production systems to implement actions and projects toward green growth, emphasizing on deforestation control. The strategy will outline the necessary measures to promote this sector and will serve as input for the Sustainable Tourism Policy in Antioquia, which will have nature tourism as one of the principal axes. The development of the strategy has the support of the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development (Minambiente), the Government of Colombia, the Viceminestry of Tourism, the Office of Green Businesses of Minambiente, the environmental authorities (Corantioquia, Cornare, Corpourabá, AMVA, and National Natural Parks), tourism corporations, and municipal and the government of Antioquia.

Why is Nature-based Tourism important for the department?

Nature-based tourism has an environmental and cultural potential of interest for the national and international market. According to IDEAM data, Antioquia contains 51 types of the 98 types of ecosystems found in Colombia. Likewise, the Santander Bio project affirms that it is considered the most biodiverse territory in Colombia together with the department of Santander. In this sense, Antioquia has the potential to mark an important milestone in the positioning of Colombia as a world reference in its commitment to nature-based tourism.

Currently, Antioquia has five (5) tourism destinations certified in the Sectorial Technical Standard for Sustainability (NTS-TS). Pablo Martínez, GGGI Colombia’s Country Representative, highlights that for this reason nature-based tourism is a bet at the regional level for the reactivation of local economies with high potential of natural capital use, and “contributes tangible and intangible benefits for communities, such as the promotion and protection of local culture, the promotion of environmental awareness and the minimization of the physical, social and negative behavioral impacts of tourism in natural areas”.