National Geographic Traveller has selected New Caledonia as one of its ‘Best of the World – 2021 Sustainable Destinations’. From carbon-neutral cities in the making to destinations offering a blueprint for sustainable nature and wildlife tourism, this list highlights places in the world that aim to safeguard our precious planet’s natural wonders.
New Caledonia was selected for its undeniable sustainable qualities and for the many initiatives that have been implemented on the archipelago. The magazine particularly highlights the efforts made towards the protection of marine life.*
This recognition is a continuation of the many initiatives already carried out in New Caledonia, which have been rewarded on numerous occasions. In addition to its exceptional lagoon, a UNESCO heritage site since 2008, the municipalities of La Foa, Farino and Moindou became “Station Verte” / “Green Station” in October 2019, making them the first localities in the Pacific to acquire the precious label. (https://www.stationverte.com/)
A unique and abundant biodiversity
With 76% endemic terrestrial flora and more than 20,000 different marine species, New Caledonia’s biodiversity is as rich as it is precious. The conservation of native flora and fauna species such as the cagou or the local tree fern, as well as the conservation of the various ecosystems of the archipelago is a priority for the destination, as evidenced by the creation of the Coral Sea Marine Park (4th largest marine reserve in the world) and multiple terrestrial protected areas (such as the Blue River Park). That is more than a million of km2 of magnificent unspoiled nature to discover!
A tourism friendly conservation strategy
Sustainable tourism is an integral part of the New Caledonian biodiversity conservation strategy. Tourism activities are increasingly geared towards educating travellers about the environment in New Caledonia and the natural heritage’s many treasures. Among positive tourism initiatives, we can highlight the hiking trails such as the GR1 & 2, designed to allow a respectful discovery of the many natural parks or the presence of numerous sustainable accommodation options, offering a stay in perfect harmony with nature.
People and traditions at the heart of the tourism experience
If New Caledonia was selected in the sustainability category, it is also because its commitment to the development and respect of its ancient customs and traditions. Caledonians are proud of the authenticity of their archipelago and cultivate a very strong island identity. They love sharing their story and history with curious travellers, who can choose to immerse themselves in this rich and diverse culture. Diving into the heart of the Kanak way of life is an integral part of discovering the territory.
New Caledonia is committed to becoming a fully sustainable tourism destination, in full respect of its precious environment and the culture of its inhabitants, whilst delivering meaningful tourism experiences and promoting sustainable tourism practices.
*National Geographic Travel – https://www.nationalgeographic.co.uk/travel/2020/11/best-of-the-world-2021-sustainability