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Preserving Biodiversity via Ecotourism


... mountain gorillas Saving Coral Reefs Becomes a Tourism Priority (NY Times) Economic impacts of reef based ecotourism Australia s Great Barrier Reef ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Preserving Biodiversity via Ecotourism

  • Preserving Biodiversity via Ecotourism
  • The last word in ignorance is the person who
    says of an animal or plant What good is it?
  • - Aldo Leopold

Preserving Biodiversity through Ecotourism
Biodiversity and ecotourism
  • Why is ecotourism considered, when implemented
    effectively, an ideal solution for preserving

Biodiversity and ecotourism
  • Ecotourism begins to holistically address the
    primary causes of biodiversity loss
  • Poverty, irresponsible resource consumption, lack
    of ecological accountability

Ecotourism and biodiversity
  • Successfully implemented ecotourism can
  • Provide economic alternatives to consumptive use
    of resources for vulnerable biodiversity rich
  • Engage and empower local communities
  • Encourage sustainable use of resources
  • Promote positive social, economic, cultural and
    environmental partnerships and solutions

Biodiversity Hotspots (deforestation)
What do you think of when you envision Ecotourism?
  • What is ecotourism and have you visited or
    participated in it?
  • What is the difference in mass tourism and

Ecotourism Defined
  • What is a good definition for ecotourism?
  • United States Ecotourism Society
  • Responsible travel that conserves the
    environment and sustains the well-being of the
    local people
  • How shall we define ecotourism?
  • Ecologically sustainable tourism to natural areas
    which facilitates greater understanding of local
    culture and environmental conservation through
  • The ecotourism phenomenon is complex and while
    definitions may vary, it consists of local
    communities, education, environmental
    conservation and economics

Ecotourism Defined
  • Origin of ecotourism term
  • Arguably in 1976 with Budowskis Tourism and
    Conservation article, only since the 1980s
  • Negative impacts of tourism prompted interest
  • Several definitions of ecotourism list benefits
    to local communities as a requisite
    characteristic. What constitutes a local
  • Ecotourism falls under the umbrella of
    nature-based tourism
  • Overlaps with other tourism segments like
    cultural, adventure, indigenous, agri-tourism

Ecotourism and biodiversity preservation
  • Developing ecotourism to preserve biodiversity in
  • Ecotourism mountain gorillas

Ecotourism Biodiversity in the News
  • Saving Coral Reefs Becomes a Tourism Priority
    (NY Times)
  • Economic impacts of reef based ecotourism
  • Australias Great Barrier Reef alone draws about
    1.9 million visitors a year, supporting a 4.2
    billion industry
  • According to the Nature Conservancy, the annual
    economic value of coral reefs to world tourism is
    9.6 billion

Ecotourism Biodiversity in the News
  • The worlds second-largest barrier reef, the
    Mesoamerican Reef in the Caribbean, is seriously
    endangered by coastal development, runoff and
  • The cruise industry is a particular area of
    concern, since ships regularly disgorge crowds of
    passengers into fragile coastal areas that strain
    to absorb the impact
  • The nonprofit group Conservation International
    began a program called the Mesoamerican Reef
    Tourism Initiative, which aims to address the
    threat that mass tourism poses to the
    Mesoamerican Reef by engaging hoteliers,
    developers, cruise lines and local governments in
    Mexico, Belize and Honduras

Ecotourism Biodiversity in the News
  • Buzzword of the Year Eco-tourism (NY Times 2006)
  • Impressed by the success of countries like Costa
    Rica and Ecuador a growing number of regions
    across the globe are turning to eco-tourism as a
    strategy for economic growth
  • Omar Bongo, the president of Gabon has set aside
    about 10 percent of the country's landmass for 13
    national parks
  • Over the last four years, at least 48 countries
    have created or started to define a national
    strategy for eco-tourism development
  • Wisconsin Department of Tourism will begin
    testing a new certification program designed to
    encourage hotels and tour operators to reduce
    their environmental impact ISSUE?

Ecotourism Biodiversity in the News
  • Four Questions on Ecotourism (CNN 2006)
  • Are the destinations youre patronizing doing
    their part to protect the environment, aid the
    local community and educate travelers
  • As of 2006 nearly 100 groups offer various
    "eco" certifications and memberships ISSUE?
  • Author encourages vacationers looking to spend
    time and money in an environmentally conscious
    manner should ask
  • How do you conserve resources?
  • How do you protect plants and animals?
  • What do you do to help the community?
  • What ecotourism activities do you offer?

Ecotourism Biodiversity in the News
  • Indigenous Group in Amazon Bans Logging, Mining
  • Wai Wai group has 200 members located in remote
    southern Guyana, near the border with Brazil, on
    2,400 square miles of tropical forest and savanna
    nearly half the size of Connecticut
  • The Wai Wai group in Guyana, backed by government
    decree and a U.S.-based conservation
    organization, has banned miners and loggers from
    its section of the Amazon jungle
  • Pursue an economic strategy based on ecotourism,
    research and traditional crafts
  • It is habitat to rare animals including the
    jaguar, blue poison frog, and scarlet macaw

Ecotourism Biodiversity in the News
  • 1 million dollar trust set up by Washington based
    conservation International (TREND)
  • The Wai Wai were the first indigenous group to
    receive ownership of traditional lands through a
    government program in the former Dutch and
    British colony
  • Native groups now hold a total of 93 titles,
    accounting for 14 percent of Guyana's land mass,
    said Carolyn Rodrigues, the country's minister of
    Amerindian affairs
  • The Wai Wai became the first group to declare
    their territory a Community Owned Conservation
    Area, as recognized by government legislation

Ecotourism Concepts
  • How is ecotourism different from nature-based
  • Why are benefits to local communities an
    essential characteristic of ecotourism?
  • Experiential degradation
  • Can cause the loss of novelty, seekingnew areas
  • What is the Recreation Opportunity Spectrum?

Issues in Ecotourism
  • How will global warming affect the ecotourism
    industry, and vice versa? What responsibilities
    do we have as ecotourists with regard to
    minimizing our carbon footprint?
  • ISSUE The very act of ecotourism can harm the
    biodiversity it seeks to protect
  • Do you see the proliferation of the ecotourism
    industry in ecologically sensitive areas (i.e.
    Antarctica) as a troubling trend? Why?

Ecotourism on the Ground
  • Problems facing ecotourism
  • Promotes preservation of natural resources but
    also threatens to destroy the resources on which
    it depends
  • Greening of the marketplace
  • Is sustainable ecotourism possible?
  • Will access to fragile natural areas eventually
    be prohibitedto preserve the ecological
    integrity of a region?

Ecotourism on the Ground
  • What is the problem with successful ecotourism?
  • Will ecotourism be a cure-all for preserving
    biodiversity in developing countries?

Ecotourism on the Ground
  • Global tourism struggles to shrink environmental
    footprint (Fox)
  • Tourism executives are urgently trying to shrink
    tourism's oversized environmental footprint
  • International travelers are expected to nearly
    double to 1.6 billion by 2020
  • By 2020, International travel will spawn 2.5
    billion tons of carbon dioxide, the main
    "greenhouse" gas blamed for global warming up
    from 506 million tons in 1990
  • "Voluntary initiatives don't work," said Anita
    Pleumaron with the Bangkok-based Tourism
    Investigation and Monitoring Team. "Governments
    will have to take responsibility and enforce

Ecotourism on the Ground
  • Lessons from Niihau
  • Where is Nihau
  • deep ecotourism very tightlycontrolled
  • Retained culture
  • Sustainable, only leave island for medical
  • Endangered species of plants and animals

Biodiversity and ecotourism
  • Ecotourism begins to holistically address the
    primary causes of biodiversity loss
  • Poverty, irresponsible resource consumption,
    ecological accountability
  • Remember the components of ecotourism
  • People (operators, local community, tourists)
  • Environment (preservation, sustainability,
  • Economics (profitable, shared, local investment)
  • Educational (instill conservation ethic in

  • Alternative to ecologically consumptive
  • Raises conservation awareness in local community
  • Economic infusion of foreign revenue
  • Money over ecological carrying capacity
  • http//
  • Ecotourism may play a critical role in
    biodiversity and habitat preservation via

  • Unregulated nature tourism leads to
    overexploitation of resources
  • Unsustainable destination practices
  • Perceptions fear loss of land
  • Leakage foreign capital bankrolls
    infrastructure and
  • Exploitation of local workforce, poor paying jobs
  • Tourism can be unstable
  • War, crime, recession, terrorism, disease
  • Greenwashing
  • Affects on indigenous cultures
  • Commodification of culture

Ecotourism pros v. cons
  • How could the development of ecotourism in the
    Amazon create impacts in the following
  • Economically
  • Environmentally
  • Culturally
  • Socially

Ecotourism cons
  • Economically
  • Leakage foreign capital, money leaves area
  • Exploitation of local workforce, poor
    paying/menial jobs
  • Tourism can be unstable (can be unstable source
    of income)
  • War, crime, recession, terrorism, disease,
    natural disaster
  • Uneven distribution of benefits
  • Environmentally
  • Unregulated - leads to overexploitation of
  • Money over ecological carrying capacity
  • Unsustainable destination practices green,
  • Greenwashing

Ecotourism cons
  • Culturally
  • Commodification of culture, loss of language
  • Affects on indigenous cultures loss or dilution
    of authenticity
  • Acculturation
  • Homogenization of cultures (increased cultural
  • Locals continue previous resource consumption
    activities (could be in economic and
    environmental as well)
  • Socially
  • Perceptions fear loss of land, takeover by
  • Conspicuous consumption
  • Distribution of benefits (not everyone
  • Community strife (classes, money)

Ecotourism cons
  • Are indigenous cultures being taken advantage of
    in ecotourism scenarios?
  • Is the demise of cultural identity inevitable or
    the fault of ecotourism or is it inevitable?

Ecotourism pros
  • Economically
  • Infusion of foreign revenue
  • Employment, actual money
  • Provides other economic opportunities purchase
    power, ability to sell wares, other financial
    opportunities, entrepreneurship
  • Environmentally
  • Protects habitat, ecosystems, BIODIVERSITY
  • Slows down deforestation, fragmentation
  • Alternative to ecologically consumptive
  • Raises conservation awareness in local community,
  • Altruism

Ecotourism pros
  • Culturally
  • Places a value on the preservation of culture,
    language, customs
  • Community and cultural pride
  • Socially
  • Education, health care, opportunities
  • Gain status in community
  • Provide for family, ease hardships of day-to-day
  • Develop infrastructure (buildings, roads,

Ecotourism and biodiversity
  • Do you think most developing countries aspire to
    have the way of life of developed countries?

Ecotourism examples
  • Cavo Sidero, Crete

Ecotourism examples
  • Cavo Sidero, Crete 1.6 billion Eco Lodge
  • 6000 acres of pristine island coast, year-round
  • 5, five star hotels (approx 2,500 beds), 474
    villas495 townhouses and apartments
  • 45-hole golf complex, water sports facilities
    athletics stadium, tennis and equestrian centers,
    Theatre and arts complex, retail facilities,
    conference and exhibition facilities Independent
  • 2 million Euros on an environmental study
  • desalination and wastewater treatment plants
  • golf courses will be filled with local grasses

Ecotourism examples
  • Greek government strongly supports the project,
  • Built environment minus the trails, nature areas
    and 3 golf courses will only take up 1 of the
    6000 acres
  • Scientists say Greece's water reserves could
    dwindle by a quarter by 2030 because of rising
    temperatures and a decrease in rainfall
  • Situation is especially sensitive in Crete, which
    faces chronic droughts and where half of the
    island is at risk of desertification
  • Is there confusion of ecotourism vs. green
  • How do we determine eco-authenticity of
  • http//

Ecotourism examples
  • Example of successful implementation of an
    ecotourism scenario - Next lecture

Things to Remember
  • The ecotourism phenomenon is complex and while
    definitions may vary, it consists of local
    communities, sustainability, environmental
    conservation and economics
  • Ecotourism may play a critical role in
    biodiversity and habitat preservation via

Any Questions?
  • Humanity is exalted not because we are so far
    above other living creatures, but because knowing
    them well elevates that very concept of life

  • - E.O. Wilson