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An exploitative system

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Aneaka Kellay is an activist who believes that the environmental justice faced by the community in Southall is part of a much bigger picture of exploitation that impacts on poor communities across the world.

The environmental movement is changing. Increasingly, a concern for the environment is being understood as part of a much deeper and more complex set of issues – capitalism, exploitation of people and resources, energy security, geopolitics, human rights and social justice.

For example, the global tourism industry contributes significantly to climate change. But, according to research quoted by Tourism Concern, only the richest 2% of the world’s population have EVER flown.

Bodies such as the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) argue that regulations  to limit the grown of aviation will harm tourism, and therefore harm poor communities that rely on tourism. However, the Ecumenial Coalition on Tourism (ECOT) made up of 20 civil society organisations, believe that the idea that tourism alleviates poverty is a myth, for at least three reasons:
– Income generated from tourism does not necessarily feed into the local and national economy. Instead, much of it goes to foreign tour operators, hotel chains, airline operators etc.
– Natural resources are diverted for use by the tourism industry, to the detriment of local populations.
– Prices at a local level become inflated because of tourism, further marginalising poor communities.

John Stewart of anti-airport expansion group HACAN ClearSkies: