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ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS OF ECOTOURISM

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Title: ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS OF ECOTOURISM


1
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS OF ECOTOURISM
2
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS OF TOURISM
  • Ecotourism involves traveling pristine and
    undisturbed ecosystems (Newsome Moore, 2012).
  • Ecotourism has both negative and more positive
    impacts on the environment, locals and the
    society than mass tourism.
  • Enables the local communities make money because
    it advocates for local ownership as well as the
    management of nearly or all of the services
    utilized by the tourists.
  • This is a case study on impacts of ecotourism in
    Costa Rica.
  • Costa Rica, found in Central America prides
    itself for 95 literacy levels and high life
    expectancy (78 years), high social spending in
    tourism is about 24 of GDP

3
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS OF TOURISM
  • Major ecotourism sites in Costa Rica include
    found in towns such as San Juan, Matina and
    Tarcoles and the Carara National Park.
  • Carara National Park sits on 4,700 ha of land
    Pacific rainforest which is a zones with moist
    forest and wet forest (McKeone, 2011 Dasenbrock,
    2001).
  • It is the most popular because of the
    biodiversity richness and proximity to San Jose
    (Dasenbrock, 2001 McCrory, 2006).
  • It home to several types of species such scarlet
    macaw and Ara macao which fall in the group of
    the most endangered species in the area, which
    are at the verge of extinction due to poaching.

4
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS OF TOURISM
5
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS OF TOURISM
  • Benefits or impacts of ecotourism can be positive
    and or negative.
  • Further classifications of both categories yield
    environmental, social and economic benefits
    and/or challenges (Buchsbaum, 2004 Dasenbrock,
    2001 McCrory, 2006).
  • Positive environmental impacts come in the form
    of protection and preservation of national and
    private parks and reserves and environmental
    education.
  • Protection and preservation of national and
    private parks and reserves is done to protect
    Costa Ricas rich floral and faunal estimated to
    be 850 species of birds, 1260 species of trees,
    1200 species of orchid, 270 species of mammals,
    361 reptiles and amphibians and to crown it,
    Costa Rica has over 35,000 species of insects
    (Weaver, 1999).

6
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS OF TOURISM
  • Many of ecotourism activities take place in
    communities or villages which are nearby to the
    parks, as well as the protected areas.
  • The communities have a huge role to play in the
    security.
  • Trickle down effects of the well-coordinated and
    collective protection of national and private
    reserves are felt in conservation of watersheds
    and soil.
  • Environmental education takes through different
    channels including national parks, lodges,
    operators, private reserves as well as different
    types of ecotourism related activities.
  • It is the cornerstone of ecotourism philosophy.

7
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS OF TOURISM
  • Economic gains of ecotourism, they come in the
    form of opportunities that come in the form of
    conserving the tourism sites, the fees charged by
    tourists to access the areas and payment for the
    services and goods they consume during their
    visits.
  • Ecotourism, entails giving nature its value. This
    is the basic underlying principle of
    environmental economics.
  • According to Honey (1999) and Weaver (1999),
    ecotourism attracts more income compared to
    destructive use land witnessed in Agriculture and
    cattle rearing, hunting and the widely accepted
    mass tourism in Costa Rica.
  • Costa Rica is on a global map in ecotourism
    because its citizens are cognizant of their of
    the great value of their natural resources.

8
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS OF TOURISM
9
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS OF TOURISM
  • Social benefits, are in the form of
    participation from community members in all the
    phases of project planning and implementation.
  • Involvement of the locals has promoted ownership
    of ecotourism projects as well as collective
    responsibility.
  • This has translated to greater sustainability of
    development in the areas adjacent to ecotourism
    sites (Dasenbrock, 2001).
  • The national government has taken it upon itself
    to educate the planners (from both government and
    private organizations) the importance of doing
    so.

10
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS OF TOURISM
  • Negative impacts of ecotourism
  • If unmonitored, can be distressing to the
    environment in what is termed as green-washed
    travel.
  • Environmentalists argue that letting in tourists,
    large numbers is responsible for unrestricted
    development of hotels this unmonitored growth
    will eventually put a stress on the very
    resources.
  • Ecotourism projects tend to be overzealous and
    concentrate tourists to one area bringing about
    degradation of the environment.
  • Ability to handle liquid and solid waste
    management, if strained, can bring about
    increased pollution, destruction of natural
    habitats, degradation of forests and uncontrolled
    erosion (McCrory, 2006 Miller Tangley, 1991).

11
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS OF TOURISM
  • Conclusion
  • There is need for ecotourism to put emphasis on
    reduction of negative impacts via
    institutionalization low-impact construction
    hotels and other amenities, regulated visitor
    numbers at a time and practicing of caution and
    care when interacting with flora and fauna.
  • This will prevent further deterioration of
    ecosystems to unsustainable lengths like the
    Manuel Antonio National Park which is
    characterized by overcrowding, improper planning,
    an over-developed neighborhood, and solid-waste
    disposal difficulties.
  • A degraded environment will turn away visitors
    because the ecosystem upon which it relies on
    ceases be attractive.

12
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS OF TOURISM
  • Ecotourism is a prefect chance to preserve and
    our natural ecosystems and biodiversity that will
    be lost in the event that ecotourism is not
    practiced (Wall, 1997).

13
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS OF TOURISM
  • References
  • Wall, Geoffrey. (1997) Is Ecotourism Sustainable?
    Environmental Management. 21(4), 483-491.
  • Miller, K. and L. Tangley (1991). Trees of Life
    Saving Tropical Forests and Their Biological
    Wealth. World Resources Institute, Washington
    D.C.
  • McCrory, P. (2006). Take nothing but pictures,
    leave nothing but footprints?. British journal
    of sports medicine, 40(7), 565-565.
  • Dasenbrock, J. (2001). The pros and cons of
    ecotourism in Costa Rica. op. cit.
  • Honey, M. (1999). Ecotourism and Sustainable
    Development. Who owns Paradise? Island Press,
    Washington D.C.

14
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS OF TOURISM
Weaver, D. B. (1999). Magnitude of Ecotourism in
Costa Rica and Kenya. Annals of Tourism
Research, 26(4), 792-816. Buchsbaum, B. D.
(2004). Ecotourism and sustainable development in
Costa Rica. McKeone, E. (2011). Ecotourism in
Costa Rica Environmental Impacts and
Management. Newsome, D., Moore, S. A. (2012).
Natural area tourism Ecology, impacts and
management (Vol. 58). Channel View Publications.
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