Responsible Tourism: A Maldives Experience

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Harry Masefiled, China Manager, first got involved with Operation Wallacea as a research assistant in Indonesia whilst completing his BSc in Zoology at Durham University. After graduating he worked for Barclays Wealth in London, before leaving city life to pursue his passion for diving and conservation. Since then he’s worked on Opwall expeditions in Honduras and Indonesia, teaching reef ecology and diving. He also spent 18 months in the Maldives as a marine biologist working on manta ray research, turtle rehabilitation, and coral reef restoration projects. He now lives in Shanghai introducing Operation Wallacea to International Schools, whilst continuing to work on various Opwall research sites during the summer.

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Responsible Tourism: A Maldives Experience

  1. 1. Responsible Tourism: A Maldives Experience Harry Masefield harry.masefield@opwall.com Green Drinks Shanghai, 14th Feb 2014
  2. 2. What is responsible tourism? l  l  l  Travel in a way that minimises negative impact on the environment Making sure the local community benefits rather than being pushed aside by big companies making a quick profit Planning development of local resources in a way that will be sustainable long term
  3. 3. Case Study: The Maldives l  l  l  l  An island nation with a population of 300,000 About 1 million tourists per year, staying an average of 7 nights China is already the biggest source, with 200,000 visitors per year Annual revenue of US$2 billion+
  4. 4. What are the major challenges? l  Waste Management l  Coastal Development l  Climate Change Impact
  5. 5. !"#$%&'()*%%"+$(,(-.+/+(0*( %.+1(2*3 %& %) + ,"-./0$% ,"-./0$& ,"-./0$' * ( & ) !"#$% ! !"#$& !"#$' ! !"#$(
  6. 6. Out of sight, out of mind? Thilafushi disposal island
  7. 7. Untreated sewage disposal Sewer outfalls around Male
  8. 8. Coastal development - dredging
  9. 9. ! !
  10. 10. How can you travel responsibly? l  l  l  http://www.responsibletravel.com Reduce your carbon emissions, don't just offset them Actively engage in finding out more about how operators claiming to care for the environment and local sustainability take action
  11. 11. Small steps l  l  l  l  Don’t throw garbage or cigarette filters into the sea or on the beach Don’t collect corals or shells from the beach or sea Don't don’t buy items like corals, sea shells, shark or turtle products Take batteries away with you when you leave
  12. 12. Medium Steps l  l  Be more proactive – for example, ask to participate in beach clean-ups, underwater clean ups, etc. Chose resorts that take social and environmental sustainability seriously: e.g. www.sixsenses.com
  13. 13. Bigger steps l  l  l  Change your lifestyle at home to be more environmentally friendly Travel closer to home, and take the train instead of flying if possible Try alternative holidays where you actively participate in environmental or community related projects:
  14. 14. Thank You www.opwall.com http://earthwatch.org/ http://www.biosphere-expeditions.org/

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