‘Planning & Development’ Lecture Friday 21 September, 2012 Commercial and philanthropic opportunities forenhancing wildlife conservation through ecotourism Angus M Robinson, Adjunct Lecturer School of Marketing, Tourism & Leisure CaringCaring for Australia’s Natural and Cultural Heritagesince 1970 for Australia’s Natural and Cultural Heritage since 1970
Lecturer – Angus M RobinsonCertified ecotourism operator.Board member, Foundation for National Parks& Wildlife (FNPW.Chair, Geotourism Sub Committee, GeologicalSociety of Australia.Varied career background in a range ofindustries, including in tourism, executiveroles at Taronga Zoo, Earth ExchangeMuseum, and Mt Hotham Alpine Resort.
Lecture PointsA question of definitions and principlesFoundation for National Parks & WildlifeCurrent Ecotourism related partnershipsAustralian National LandscapesPhilanthropy Opportunities and VisionSummary of Lecture Points
National EstateThe term (‘National Estate’) was incorporated intothe Australian Heritage Commission Act and is usedto describe a collection of buildings and sites thatare worthy of preservation for a variety of reasons.It covers natural environments as well as Europeanhistory and Aboriginal culture.The National Estate includes national parks andother lands reserved for public usage i.e.‘protected areas’.
Understanding Natural HeritageNatural heritage is the legacy of natural objectsand intangible attributes encompassing thecountryside and natural environment, includingflora and fauna, scientifically known asbiodiversity, and geology, landforms and soillandscapes i.e. geodiversity.
‘Geotourism’ incorporatingall types of ‘place-based’ tourism i.e. ‘experiential Cultural Sightseeing tourism’ Tourism Cuisine Heritage ECOTOURISM Tourism Agritourism Indigenous Tourism Boley, B.B. after Thompson, S. 2009
A Question of DefinitionsRecreation activities: Nature tourism – involves travel to unspolied places to experience and enjoy nature Wildlife tourism involves travel to observe animals, birds and fish in their native habitats. Adventure tourism is nature tourism ‘on steroids’ Ecotourism – responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people, defined by a set of principlesSource: Honey, 2008: Ecotourism and Sustainable Development and The International Ecotourism Society, 1990
Seven Principles of Ecotourism1. Involves travel to natural destinations2. Minimises impact3. Builds environmental awareness4. Provides financial benefits and empowerment for local people5. Respects local culture6. Supports human rights and democratic movements, AND7. Provides direct financial benefits for conservationSource: Honey, 2008: Ecotourism and Sustainable Development
Seven Principles of Ecotourism1. Involves travel to natural destinations2. Minimises impact3. Builds environmental awareness4. Provides financial benefits and empowerment for local people
Borneo EcotoursFor every tour that is purchased, travellers willhelp make a difference to the local communityand natural environment in North Borneo.A portion of tour revenue is set aside to fundvarious projects in Kudat, Kinabatangan andKundasang through a non-profit organisation,Borneo Ecotourism Solutions and TechnologiesSociety.A sister company, Sukau Rainforest Lodge alsocontributes RM4.00 since 2000 for everyinternational guest who stays at the lodge.
Seven Principles of Ecotourism1. Involves travel to natural destinations2. Minimises impact3. Builds environmental awareness4. Provides financial benefits and empowerment for local people5. Respects local culture
Seven Principles of Ecotourism1. Involves travel to natural destinations2. Minimises impact3. Builds environmental awareness4. Provides financial benefits and empowerment for local people5. Respects local culture6. Supports human rights and democratic movements
Seven Principles of Ecotourism1. Involves travel to natural destinations2. Minimises impact3. Builds environmental awareness4. Provides financial benefits and empowerment for local people5. Respects local culture6. Supports human rights and democratic movements7. Provides direct financial benefits for conservationSource: Honey, 2008: Ecotourism and Sustainable Development
Australian Definition of EcotourismEcotourism is ecologically sustainable tourism with aprimary focus on experiencing natural areas thatfosters environmental and cultural understanding,appreciation and conservation.Ecotourism Australia believes that the ultimatedefinition of ecotourism is compliance with the corecriteria stated within the Eco Certification Program.
Eco Certification CriteriaIn Australia, ECO Certification has three levels ofachievement which have been developed toaccommodate for a range of businesses and, • their level of commitment to sustainability, dedication/applicability to social and cultural responsibilities, and • the level of interpretation and education involved in the product(s).Currently no specific focus on philanthropy andfunding of wildlife conservation research.
Definition of Philanthropy the desire to promote the welfare of others, expressed especially by the generous donation of money to good causes. a philanthropic institution; a charity.Source: Oxford Dictionary
The FoundationWhen then Premier of NSW, the Hon Tom Lewis MP, firstestablished the NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service,he had a vision of establishing a complementaryorganisation, constituted mainly from the corporatesector, to acquire parks for the Service. Hence the birthof the Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife in 1970.Today the Foundation continues the tradition of growingparks and caring for them and the species that inhabitthem.
Volunteering Land for ConservationThe Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife isthe only organisation in Australia whosephilanthropy is an investment in our publicestate, for all to enjoy.There are tax incentives for landholdersdonating land but the real value is the growthof our national parks and the protection givento our plants and animals cared for under theirmanagement.
1. Foundation AchievementsOver its history the FNPW has added over500,000 hectares to Australia’s nationalreserve system, for the enjoyment of all.The FNPW funds threatened species recoveryprograms. The FNPW has saved animals suchas the Lord Howe Island woodhen, Gould’sPetrel and the Yellow-footed Rock-wallabyfrom extinction.
2. Foundation AchievementsThe Foundation protects our heritage icons assources of inspiration for future generations ofAustralians and visitors from across the world.Some examples of cultural heritage FNPW hashelped protect include the World Heritage OldGreat North Road, Kosciuszko Historic Huts,Fort Denison, and Mungo.Finally, the FNPW involves the community inthe conservation of Australias native plants andanimals through environmental education.
Willandra LakesWorld HeritageArea and MungoNational ParkPleistocene dune system& ancient lake highlighting50,000 years of continuoushuman habitation
FNPW and PhilanthropySince its inception in 1970, the Foundationhas been funding scientifically based projectsfor the benefit of Australian native species.To date the Foundation has saved four speciesfrom extinction and funded projects toresearch and conserve over 30 otherAustralian plant and animal species.
Growing Our National ParksGrowing our parks is essential to safeguardour natural heritage for future Australians.National Parks remain the core of ourprotected land system.The Foundation continues to purchasesuitable land to add to and extend ournational reserves for future generations.
Strategic PartnershipsEcotourism & Protected Areas – Yuraygir Coastal Walk
Philanthropy VisionNow: To act ‘on call’ as an interested sponsor of threatened species wildlife conservation projects which have as their principal objective, the maintenance and/or regeneration of wildlife habitat. These projects can be located either within national parks or within public or private lands in any location in Australia.Future: To undertake these projects in the area in which the ecotour is being undertaken.
Earthwatch Great Otway NP, Victoria Koala Research Program for VolunteersHelp scientists study the response of koalas to climatechange to conserve their habitats and population.Traverse the Great Otway NP while conducting valuableresearch on koala habitats to understand the impact ofclimate change on population and behaviour.During organised expeditions, volunteers will get thechance to work closely with koalas and be involved inall aspects of the research.Leisure Solutions® is a current year sponsor.
Koala ‘Tree Choice’ Gunnedah, NSW Wildlife ConservationKoalas are dependent on selecting the righttree in the right place at the right time.The project seeks to explore the direct effectof climate change on koalas by examining whichparts of the landscape and which tree specieskoalas use, and what condition they are induring a heat wave.
Koala Tree Choice ParticipantsNational Parks & Wildlife ServiceGunnedah Research CentreLandcare NSW IncUniversity of Sydney School of BiologicalSciences & Veterinary SchoolFoundation for National Parks & Wildlife
Gunnedah Natural Heritage Gunnedah Basin Permian Coal Measures and covered byTriassic sediments and rich volcanic derived soils –broad flood plains with class 1 to 5 soils. Mixed dry land eucalypts and Pilliga Scrub varietiese.g. Cypress Pine, Casuarinas etc.Macropods, koalas, profilic birdlife common – KoalaCapital of Australia!European farming settlements, Dorothy Mackellar, andindigenous culture (Kamilaroi peoples etc.)
National Landscape/GSA ProtocolThe Geological Society of Australia and ParksAustralia have recently concluded a protocol toenable the input of geoscience information intoNational Landscapes programs.This protocol has already seen the inclusion of ageotrail project as an endorsed program of theExperience Development Strategy (EDS) for theGreen Cauldron National Landscape.
Scenic Rim – Green Cauldron National Landscape
Travelers Philanthropy - EthiopaThe USAID-funded Ethiopia Sustainable Tourism Alliance,with support from Sustainable Travel International, isproud to introduce the Ethiopia Travelers PhilanthropyFund.The fund opens the door for travelers to give back toEthiopia, ensuring their visits leave a positive impact.The program supports sustainable tourism developmentby connecting travelers to projects that improve theenvironment, boost local incomes, and enhance thedestination for future visitors.
Travelers Philanthropy - EthiopaTour operators are including visits to conservation andcommunity development projects in their itineraries.Travelers can donate to and visit local communities thatare working hard to protect their forests and rehabilitatedegraded land. Visitors can book a trip through one oftheir partnering tour operators and request that theitinerary includes a visit to one/both of the project sites.There are two ways to give – directly to the responsiblenon-profits that have been vetted through the fund or onthe Global Giving website. e.g. plant a tree in a villageor provide an energy saving stove to a family.
Philanthropy Opportunities linked to Ecotourism Royalty payments from tour operators on prorata basis. Corporate sponsorship of part or full project costs. Per unit donations for research costs e.g. pathology tests, GPS collars. Sponsorship of vehicle leases. ‘voluntourists’ e.g. Earthwatch, Conservation Volunteers Australia, World Expeditions etc. http://www.ecotourism.org/voluntourism-guidelines Field Research ‘experiential’ tourism - ‘ecotourists’.
Tauern National Park, Austria and the Endangered Rock Partridge Case Study The two-edged effect of ecotourism, whereby visitors provide revenues for costly conservation efforts, whilst at the same time potentially affecting endangered species, can be managed to ensure species population levels are not affected. Three types of measures were specifically highlighted by the mathematical model: visitor control limiting visitors habitat conservation measures, i.e. expanding buffer zones or creating quiet zones with the help of signposts, and species conservation measures, such as species restocking.Source: Bednar-Friedl, B., Behrens, D.A. and Getzner, M. (2012) Optimal Dynamic Control of Visitors and Endangered Species in a National Park. Environmental and Resource Economics. 52: 1- 22. DOI 10.1007/s10640-011-9515-5.
Lecture Points SummaryBy definition, ecotourism requires a commitment by touroperators and accommodation providers to contribute toproviding direct financial benefits for conservation.Demonstrated opportunities are now readily available forindustry participation.With an increasing level of promotion of ‘nature based’ tourisminto both established protected areas and National Landscapes,more opportunities will arise.In time, it is predicted that eco-certification will directlyembrace wildlife conservation support.The FNPW is one leading ‘not for profit’ NGO which can providea vehicle for ecotourism driven philanthropy.
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