The Johannesburg Plan of Implementation (JPOI) signed by all governments at the UN World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in 2002, called upon governments to "change unsustainable patterns of consumption and production". The Plan specifically called for governments to develop a 10 year framework programme (10YFP) to accelerate the shift to sustainable consumption and production (SCP) patterns.
In response, an inaugural meeting of the First International Expert Meeting was convened in Marrakech, Morocco to develop the 10YFP. UNEP and UNDESA served as joint meeting coordinators of what was known as the "Marrakech Process" involving global task forces leading a network of regional round tables and project activities from 2003 - 2009. Among the seven (7) task forces appointed, one, led by the Government of France was developed to address tourism sector impacts. The International Task Force on Sustainable Tourism Development (ITF-STD) implemented actions through its network of partners to promote sustainable tourism, through pilot projects, tools and highlighting best practices.
During the sixth international meeting held in February 2010 in Chantilly, France, the ITF-STD partners decided that it was necessary to establish a broader institutional and financial base through the creation of a UN Type II Partnership registered by the UN Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD).
In January 2011 in Costa Rica, The Global Partnership for Sustainable Tourism was launched as the institutional successor to the former ITF-STD (photo above), in order to continue and expand the successful work of this Task Force, and to build on its work and momentum. The Global Partnership inherited the ITF-STD's completed programme of work that involved:
- A membership of 18 countries and 25 organizations
- The development of capacity building tools
- Policy recommendations and guidelines
- 40 successful projects supported by the ITF-STD