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Kaikoura to be Green Globe approved

November 15, 2004

Kaikoura to be first town in the world to be Green Globe approved

Kaikoura will become the first town in the world to gain full Green Globe status when it receives its certification on November 23.

Chairman of Green Globe Asia Pacific Sir Frank Moore, Tourism Minister Mark Burton and Kaikoura mayor Kevin Heays will attend the official function at Kaikoura later this month.

The South Island seaside village was benchmarked to measure its environmental and social performance two years ago and has finally achieved all its targets to become Green Globe certified.

No other town in the world has earned Green Globe certification though the Bali Tourist Corporation - a group of hotels - achieved the status recently.

Green Globe is the world's only global tourism certification programme. It has a system to achieve and sustain environmental and social targets.

Kaikoura is leading the way for other local authorities in New Zealand and worldwide. The town demonstrated a zero waste policy as part of its sustainable approach.

It will be hosting the 2005 international zero waste conference in New Zealand next April.

A total of 1.4 million people visit the South Island whale-watching resort each year though the town has just 3483 residents and tourist numbers are rising.

Sustainable tourism has been the key to Kaikoura's success story, district council chief executive Stuart Grant said today.

``For Kaikoura, Green Globe has provided a marketing advantage as it tells tourists that we are concerned about our environment and have taken steps to improve it.

``We want to be seen as the sustainable eco-tourism capital of New Zealand,’’ he said.

Green Globe benefits were economic, in reducing costs and improving efficiencies by using less energy.

Kaikoura was recognised as being in a unique situation where it could lead the way in New Zealand and other countries by creating a sustainable environment for future generations to enjoy, Mr Grant said.

``We would like to see other towns and districts take up the Green Globe challenge too.’’

To earn Green Globe certification, Kaikoura adopted zero waste, looked at its CO2 emissions and worked with Environment Canterbury to encourage businesses to be more environmentally efficient.

The town had to measure its environmental performance against energy, water use, solid waste production, water quality, resource conservation, greenhouse gas emissions, air quality, travel, tourism and biodiversity.

``We have been through this process three times and have achieved it three times. We are the only community in the world to do that,'' Mr Grant said.

Kaikoura hosted the world's first international Green Globe conference earlier this year.


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