Slow Stories

by Slow Food Bali

Eat Local and Save the World!

Eat Local and Save the World!

Slow Food Bali was honored to be part of a fascinating discussion on Reducing Carbon Emission through Local Food Consumption focused on climate change and the tourism industry. The event was held by the National Council for Climate Change Indonesia at Bambu Indah on April 5th, 2014.

For a wonderful recap of the event, check out Catriona Mitchell’s article on Ubud Now and Then.

For a little bit of background on the issues raised, read on.

Tourism resources are extremely sensitive to climate variability, a changing climate will have profound consequences on tourism flows and subsequently on the important contribution of tourism to poverty reduction and economic development, especially in developing countries. At the same time, tourism also contributes to global warming.

It is estimated that tourism accounts for approximately 5% of global carbon emissions (UN WTO 2011). To achieve sustainable tourism in Indonesia’s development, a synergy between stakeholders is necessary. Along this line, the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy, the National Council on Climate Change (DNPI), WWF Indonesia and the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KADIN Indonesia) signed a Memorandum of Understanding to develop and implement low carbon tourism. Such an objective may be achieved through energy efficiency, renewable energy consumption and a creative economy that supports conservation and promotion of traditional knowledge.

Around 30% of global greenhouse gas emissions come from agriculture and food production. With increased economic growth, the combination of transporting food products, refrigeration, consumer behavior and waste management are also increasing emissions rapidly. Some of the factors that impact climate include the position of products in the food chain, the energy used during the process, the production method, either organically or with chemicals, and how far the food is transported to the dinner table.

All the processes directly increase the carbon footprint of individuals, organizations, activities, and products. Food produced closer to where it will be consumed emits less carbon dioxide related to transportation, is fresher and helps local producers. With reduced food mileage, the need for cooling to reduce spoilage is also minimized. Understanding the resources used for food production will make consumers more aware of the connection between food and climate change so that the choices made will be more climate friendly.

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