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  • 1. So, in practice, can ecotourism contribute to conservation?
    Or is it simply a marketing ploy, a case of environmental opportunism, a buzzword?
  • 2. Eco-Tourism defined as:
    “Environmentally responsible travel and visitation to relatively undisturbed natural areas, in order to enjoy and appreciate nature (and any accompanying cultural features – both past and present) that promotes conservation, has low visitor impact, and provides for beneficially active socio-economic involvement of local populations. “
    –World Conservation Union’s Commission on National Parks and Protected Area—
  • 3. Ecotourism Paradigm
  • 4. Generation of Revenue
    Potential Direct Value:
    Tourism earned approx. $188, 518 million for developed countries , 4-22% brought in by nature tourism (1995)
    Potential Indirect Value:
    Soil conservation of tree cover in India $100-240/ha
    Carbon Sequestration: $2000-4000/ha
    Costs to manage w/o eco-tourism
    $1-3/ha/year recurrently, up to $18.5/ha/year
    Environmental Damage costs w/eco-tourism
    $0.1-1.9/ha/year (in Costa Rica and Ecuador)
  • 5. Environmental Education
    Some eco-tourism definitions require the philosophy of preservation, (intrinsic vs. extrinsic values) and a biocentricrather than homocentric philosophy.
    Eco-tourism functions as a means to make people more aware of the natural world with or without such ethics.
    Eco-tourism promotes the adoption of an environmental ethic through passive and active learning
  • 6. Local Involvement
    Increased employment opportunities
    Local distribution of tourism revenues
    Improved local infrastructure
    Proximity to markets
    Health care
    Local capacity building, local empowerment
    Improved intercultural relations and appreciation
  • 7. Biodiversity loss and Eco-tourism
  • 8. Protection: How Much and Where?
    At least 12% of terrestrial surface representing all kinds of biomes needs to be conserved according to the World Commission on Environment and Development.
    Currently 5.2% of the earths surface is protected
    Eco/nature-tourism accounts for 15% of all tourism
    60-70 % of the world’s biodiversity is located in Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Mexico, Congo, Madagascar, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Austraila
  • 9. Negative Impacts of Protection
    High opportunity costs due to lost development alternatives and loss of traditional activities
    Local activities in protected areas are often illegal
    Conserving extensive tracts of habitat politically difficult in the absence of sustainable revenue generation.
    Boundaries, alone, may suggest that surrounding areas are free for exploitation
  • 10. Growth
    Ecotourism is outpacing conventional tourism by 15% per year.
    Developing Countries are become more popular destinations
    Demand for undegraded nature will increase
    (will either pressure ecosystems or increase value)
    Costa Rica parks raised admission fees by a factor 0f 10
    Visitor numbers plummeted by 44%
    Total revenues increased substantially
  • 11. The Role of Ecotourism in Conservation
    Panacea or Pandora’s Box
    Oliver Kruger
  • 12. Meta Analysis of 188 Case Studies
    How are ecotourism case studies distributed over continents and habitats?
    What variables are correlated with a study being classified as sustainable by the author? What is the relative importance of these in a multi factor analysis?
    What are the main (+) and (–) effects reported in case studies? Can these be linked to the main reasons for sustainability?
  • 13. Criteria for Cases
    Cases had to be specific to an area and focus on the natural resources of the area
    Report original observations or data
    Published in natural or social science journals
    Purely theoretical studies omitted
    Cases from 1981 to 2001
    Evaluated on ecological criteria alone*
  • 14. To sustain or not sustain…
    Ecological sustainability: the current practice does not pose a risk to the area or species in foreseeable future
    Essentially, does the project meet the minimum requirements to be ecological sustainable?
  • 15. Variables Considered
    Year, Author Type (social or natural scientist) Author Affiliation with Institution of Country (yes or no)
    Continent/Region and Habitat Type (dummy variables = 1 or 0)
    Type of flagship species (7 categories)
  • Variables Continued
    Local Community Involved (yes or no) based on:
    Revenue Sharing Occurs
    Decision Power
    Local Employmenturs
    Investigation method (Purely observational or repeatable method , 0 or 1)
    All of these into Multivariate Regression Analysis to evaluate relative importance
  • 23. Distribution of Cases by Country, Type
  • 24. Distribution by Flagship Species
  • 25.
  • 26. Results
    Of 188 studies, 118 (62.8%) classified as sustainable
    Significantly higher than % expected by chance, R2 = .65
    Dichotomous Dependent Variable (Sustainable or not)
    Best model had 4 significant predictor variables
    4 Variables: Flagship Species Type, Local Community Involvement, Habitat Type, Type of Study
    To check for model robustness, multiple discriminate analysis done, same variables as predictors, 85% of cases classified correctly
  • 27. Contribution to Conservation
    Local community involvement positively correlated
    Africa, Asia, Central America, and coastline negatively correlated
    Flagship species had very low explanatory power in this model
  • 28. Differences in Unsustainable Cases
  • 29. Limitations of this Study
    Publisher bias (more likely to publish + reports)
    Authors of reports might be bias
    Definition of sustainable uncertain
    Obviously limited to ecological sustainability, little indication of economic or cultural sustainability, which could undermine ecological stability in long run
  • 30. Conclusions
    Many factors determine the success of ecotourism projects, thus third party groups are needed to audit specific eco-tourism packages for sustainability.
    Difficult to attain a balance for all stakeholders, all stakeholders must have equal say.
    Ecotourism, if implemented correctly, can be successful and sustainable in very specific situations
    Preservation through Ecotourism is specifically viable in Temperate Forests, Tropical Forests, and Savannah
  • 31. Ecotourism and Conservation are Compatible if….
    Local communities are involved in planning and executing conservation programs, they must support the project for success
    Detailed strategic plans are developed before the project, and monitored throughout (how to market, how many visitors, how resources distributed)
    Limit the tourist #’s (economically, this will increase demand, high inelasticity, consumers willing to pay)
    Have a larger plan supported by nation- need for consistency of laws and policies
  • 32. References Cited
    Kruger, Oliver, 2005. The Role of Ecotourism in Conservation: Panacea or Pandora’s Box? Biodiversity and Conservation 14:579-600.
    Ross, Sheryl, and G. Wall, 1999. Ecotourism: Towards Congruence between Theory and Practice. Tourism Management 20:123-132.
    Stem, Caroline and J. Lassole, D. Lee, and D. Deshler, 2003. How ‘Eco’ is Ecotourism? A Comparative Case Study of Ecotourism in Costa Rica. Journal of Sustainable Tourism 11: 322-346.
    Wight, Pamela, 1993. Ecotourism: Ethics or Eco-sell? Journal of Travel Research 5: 3-9.