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Kaikoura Becomes World's 1st Green Globe Certified

Kaikoura becomes world’s first township to be Green Globe certified

Kaikoura will later this year become the first township in the world to gain full Green Globe status.

Kaikoura was benchmarked to measure its Green Globe attitude two years ago and has achieved all its targets to become certified at a special event before Christmas.

No other town in the world has earned Green Globe certification thought the Bali Tourist Corporation – a group of hotels and a village – achieved the status recently.

Kaikoura is clearly the first community in New Zealand to earn Green Globe status. Green Globe is the world’s only global tourism certification programme. It aims to set a system responding to major environmental problems facing the planet as well as seeking to achieve environmental, social and cultural improvements at global, national and local level. Kaikoura is leading the way for other local authorities in New Zealand. 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 visited the South Island whale-watching resort of Kaikoura last year. 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 people of Kaikoura are not only concerned about their environment but they are also taking steps to improve it.

``We have the potential to not only become the eco-tourism capital of New Zealand but also a truly sustainable future and such a future is one that will benefit everyone.’’ Green Globe benefits were economic, in reducing costs and it also improved efficiencies in using less energy.

Kaikoura is in a unique situation where we can lead the way in New Zealand and other countries in creating a sustainable environment for future generations to enjoy.

Mr Grant said he hoped other local authorities would follow joining them by securing community Green Globe status.

The steps Kaikoura has taken include adopting zero waste, looking at its CO2 emissions and encouraging businesses to be more efficient.

The town has had to measure its performance against compulsory environmental indicators such as energy, water use, solid waste production, water quality, resource conservation, greenhouse gas emissions, air quality, have an environmental policy in place, and biodiversity.

``We have had to look at things like the social well being of the community and the number of truck accidents on the state highway involving chemical spills.

``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. Copyright 2004 Word of Mouth Media NZ

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