Committed to Sustainable Cities and Human Settlements for All

In Special Consultative Status with ECOSOC

--Eco Forum Global Annual Conference Guiyang 2015--

Theme Forum on (Asian) Sustainable Tourism and

Human Settlements Construction

Huangguoshu Consensus

On 27-28 June 2015, we gather in the city of Anshun, the home of Tunpu Culture and the world largest waterfall group, for the Theme Forum on Sustainable Tourism and Human Settlements Construction. After two-day discussions, we reached the following consensus:


We are aware:

1. A better living environment has been the pursuit of generations of human beings. Sustainable tourism can reduce resource consumption and environmental pollution, alleviate poverty and create jobs. Sustainable tourism and human settlements construction should be mutually promoted and integrated.

2. With global shifts in "middle class" populations to Asia present new opportunities for tourism development and economic benefits. Simultaneously, tourism development of has imposed enormous strains on the natural resources and cultural heritage, and place huge challenges on the government and businesses.

3. Providing effective and affordable public services for all, fully supporting and promoting sustainable, inclusive human settlement construction is the major challenge facing Asia of today and tomorrow.  Currently, more than half of the world's urban population live in Asia, ranking first among the continents. Among the 28 global mega-cities with population of over 10 million, 16 is in Asia, 6 in China. China is implementing eco-civilization oriented new-type urbanization strategy, and Anshun is one of the pilots.

4. The international community will adopt the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the end of this September, aiming for people, planet and prosperity and seeking to strengthen universal peace in larger freedom. In the current discussion paper, article 11 proposed to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.

5. The conservation and restoration of natural and cultural heritage is of great importance for tourism and human settlements. There exists irreplaceable charm in the natural mountains, waters, rich ethnic culture, historical and cultural heritage, architectural features and unique handicraft.

6. Local government plays an important role in sustainable tourism and human settlements, and will continue to play the significant role in the implementation of post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the new climate agreement and the New Urban Agenda that will be adopted during "Habitat III".

7. The traditional Asian culture of equality, “unity of man and nature”, “learning from nature” and “the virtue of diligence and thrift” have great implications on the transition towards sustainable development in Asia and the world.


Our recommendations for sustainable tourism and human settlements construction include:

1. Effective policies and laws are the basic approach to ensure the implementation of eco-civilization, the realization of being resource-efficient and environmentally-friendly, and the balance of economic, social, environmental and cultural dimensions.

2. Underscoring that shaping the culture of sustainable development is key to sustainable development; promoting the traditional Asian culture of equality,  thrift, “unity of man and nature”, “learning from nature” and advocating the abstemious, resource efficient and healthy lifestyles. 

3. Stressing scientific planning and design, fully acting  on the concept of “people-oriented” and “sustainable development”;  taking comprehensive consideration on space, resources, infrastructure, economy, environment and society; improving the planning process to involve all the stakeholders; using laws to protect the planning and design outcomes and ensuring their authority, seriousness and continuity.

4. Promoting sustainable use of natural resources, protecting biodiversity, minimizing disturbance to the ecosystem, emphasizing harmony between the built environment and nature, developing green energy-saving buildings and encouraging the use of local materials, increasing the proportion of renewable energy use, expanding the applicable and affordable green technology and improving the standard of intelligence.

5. It is a must to protect the natural and cultural heritage and diversity, and pass on traditional practices. Local culture and ethnic characteristics should be incorporated into the built environment.

6. Sufficient inclusiveness should be displayed. The basic rights of every resident and tourist must be respected and protected, in particular, the needs of the poorest and those living in the communities and villages with inadequate services should be met, including providing provision of accessible infrastructure for people with disabilities.

7. It is crucial to incorporate advanced and appropriate standards. The initiative for International Green Model City (IGMC) jointly advocated by GFHS and UNEP includes twelve basic principles, such as ”net zero carbon”, “zero waste”, “sustainable environment”, etc., and has established a set of criteria and indicators as well as rating system, which is believed to generate positive benefits to the green low-carbon human settlements and scenic areas.

8. Urban and rural renovation can bring vitality for tourism and human settlements, and reduce the waste caused by major demolition and construction. The city's historic center and old industrial area is helpful to protect traditional architecture and cultural heritage, while providing a perfect space for business and cultural creativity. Through improving the indoor environment and facilities, and retaining the original characteristic architectures, the rural area can be upgraded to comfortable space with countryside features and modern life.

9. Accelerating innovation from practices and experiences, such as institutional innovation, model innovation, technological innovation and service innovation, and enhancing comprehensive competitiveness.


Our recommendations for sustainable tourism include:

1. Developing a more cohesive mechanism for regional cooperation on sustainable tourism;  integrating sustainable tourism principles and planning into national and local development plans;  incorporating sustainable tourism criteria into investment decision-making; extending the concepts and practices of sustainable tourism delivering a quality outcome for consumers, destinations and the business of tourism; underpinning policy with good research; using investor and operator resources more efficiently and working on engaging the private sector in mainstreaming sustainability into tourism.

2. Making complete environmental laws and regulations and strictly implementing them; strengthening the environmental education on the public; fully recycling and harmlessly disposing the waste in the scenic areas; discharging the waste water legally; controlling the entry of gasoline-powered vehicles into the core area to ensure good air quality.

3. Eco tourism should be protectively developed, to reduce our impact on ecosystem and wildlife. Tourist attractions should regulate the receiving capacity based on the carrying capacity of the environment, and disclose in advance tourist information to guide the rational perception of traveling.

4. The government should make policies to price the natural assets, bringing the environmental costs into the costs of tourism products and services and contributing to environmental protection and fair competition.

5. The government should make policies to promote sustainable consumption and production, facilitate green public procurement and product label including the origin of the products, how they are produced, as well as the ecological footprint.

6. Encourage the local people to play a bigger role in the sustainable tourism industry which not only provides customers/tourists products and services with local cultural characteristics, but also helps alleviate poverty and facilitates the development of regional economy.


Our recommendations for sustainable human settlements include:

1. Developing compact cities and towns in Asia; reducing infrastructure investment, resource consumption and carbon emissions; implementing urban growth boundary; ensuring a reasonable allocation of economic resources and public services, and controlling the urban sprawl and population expansion; developing cities and towns, urban and rural areas, in a coordinated way.

2. Urgently integrating planning and management; breaking down departmental limitations; providing more effective public service for all; expanding partnerships, like the PPP model.

3. It is urgent to provide adequate housing for all in Asia. The government is obliged to take the excessively rising housing price under control, providing affordable housing for the low-income groups and the young and improving the happiness index of urban residents.

4. Protecting natural ecosystems; providing for the residents appropriate green space and public space with better accessibility; contributing to people’s wellbeing, social interaction and better quality of life.

5. Mixed-use (living, shopping, education, work, recreation and others)planning is critical to human settlement construction, and beneficial to reduce unnecessary travel and congestion, and save time and resources.

6. Developing public transport; reducing traffic accidents and casualties; encouraging green mobility including walking, cycling, etc., promoting electric mobility and advanced technologies, like driverless taxi.


Huangguoshu, Anshun, China

June 27-28, 2015