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  1. 1. So, in practice, can ecotourism contribute to conservation?<br />Or is it simply a marketing ploy, a case of environmental opportunism, a buzzword?<br />
  2. 2. Eco-Tourism defined as:<br />“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. “<br />–World Conservation Union’s Commission on National Parks and Protected Area—<br />
  3. 3. Ecotourism Paradigm<br />
  4. 4. Generation of Revenue<br />Potential Direct Value:<br />Tourism earned approx. $188, 518 million for developed countries , 4-22% brought in by nature tourism (1995)<br />Potential Indirect Value:<br />Soil conservation of tree cover in India $100-240/ha<br />Carbon Sequestration: $2000-4000/ha<br />Costs to manage w/o eco-tourism<br />$1-3/ha/year recurrently, up to $18.5/ha/year<br />Environmental Damage costs w/eco-tourism<br />$0.1-1.9/ha/year (in Costa Rica and Ecuador)<br />
  5. 5. Environmental Education<br />Some eco-tourism definitions require the philosophy of preservation, (intrinsic vs. extrinsic values) and a biocentricrather than homocentric philosophy.<br />Eco-tourism functions as a means to make people more aware of the natural world with or without such ethics.<br />Eco-tourism promotes the adoption of an environmental ethic through passive and active learning<br />
  6. 6. Local Involvement<br />Increased employment opportunities<br />Local distribution of tourism revenues<br />Improved local infrastructure<br />Proximity to markets<br />Transportation<br />Health care<br />Communications<br />Local capacity building, local empowerment<br />Improved intercultural relations and appreciation<br />
  7. 7. Biodiversity loss and Eco-tourism<br />
  8. 8. Protection: How Much and Where?<br />At least 12% of terrestrial surface representing all kinds of biomes needs to be conserved according to the World Commission on Environment and Development.<br />Currently 5.2% of the earths surface is protected<br />Eco/nature-tourism accounts for 15% of all tourism<br />60-70 % of the world’s biodiversity is located in Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Mexico, Congo, Madagascar, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Austraila<br />
  9. 9. Negative Impacts of Protection<br />High opportunity costs due to lost development alternatives and loss of traditional activities<br />Local activities in protected areas are often illegal<br />Conserving extensive tracts of habitat politically difficult in the absence of sustainable revenue generation.<br />Boundaries, alone, may suggest that surrounding areas are free for exploitation<br />
  10. 10. Growth<br />Ecotourism is outpacing conventional tourism by 15% per year.<br />Developing Countries are become more popular destinations<br />Demand for undegraded nature will increase<br />(will either pressure ecosystems or increase value)<br />Costa Rica parks raised admission fees by a factor 0f 10<br />Visitor numbers plummeted by 44%<br />Total revenues increased substantially<br />
  11. 11. The Role of Ecotourism in Conservation<br />Panacea or Pandora’s Box<br />Oliver Kruger<br />
  12. 12. Meta Analysis of 188 Case Studies<br />How are ecotourism case studies distributed over continents and habitats?<br />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?<br />What are the main (+) and (–) effects reported in case studies? Can these be linked to the main reasons for sustainability?<br />
  13. 13. Criteria for Cases<br />Cases had to be specific to an area and focus on the natural resources of the area<br />Report original observations or data<br />Published in natural or social science journals<br />Purely theoretical studies omitted<br />Cases from 1981 to 2001<br />Evaluated on ecological criteria alone*<br />
  14. 14. To sustain or not sustain…<br />Ecological sustainability: the current practice does not pose a risk to the area or species in foreseeable future<br />Essentially, does the project meet the minimum requirements to be ecological sustainable? <br />
  15. 15. Variables Considered<br />Year, Author Type (social or natural scientist) Author Affiliation with Institution of Country (yes or no)<br />Continent/Region and Habitat Type (dummy variables = 1 or 0)<br />Type of flagship species (7 categories)<br /><ul><li>None
  16. 16. Fish
  17. 17. Reptile
  18. 18. Bird
  19. 19. Charismatic Bird
  20. 20. Mammal
  21. 21. Char. Mammal
  22. 22. Worldwide Flagship</li></li></ul><li>Variables Continued<br />Local Community Involved (yes or no) based on:<br />Revenue Sharing Occurs<br />Decision Power<br />Local Employmenturs<br />Investigation method (Purely observational or repeatable method , 0 or 1)<br />All of these into Multivariate Regression Analysis to evaluate relative importance<br />
  23. 23. Distribution of Cases by Country, Type<br />
  24. 24. Distribution by Flagship Species<br />
  25. 25.
  26. 26. Results<br />Of 188 studies, 118 (62.8%) classified as sustainable<br />Significantly higher than % expected by chance, R2 = .65<br />Dichotomous Dependent Variable (Sustainable or not)<br />Best model had 4 significant predictor variables<br />4 Variables: Flagship Species Type, Local Community Involvement, Habitat Type, Type of Study<br />To check for model robustness, multiple discriminate analysis done, same variables as predictors, 85% of cases classified correctly<br />
  27. 27. Contribution to Conservation<br />Local community involvement positively correlated<br />Africa, Asia, Central America, and coastline negatively correlated <br />Flagship species had very low explanatory power in this model<br />
  28. 28. Differences in Unsustainable Cases<br />
  29. 29. Limitations of this Study<br />Publisher bias (more likely to publish + reports)<br />Authors of reports might be bias<br />Definition of sustainable uncertain<br />Obviously limited to ecological sustainability, little indication of economic or cultural sustainability, which could undermine ecological stability in long run<br />
  30. 30. Conclusions<br />Many factors determine the success of ecotourism projects, thus third party groups are needed to audit specific eco-tourism packages for sustainability.<br />Difficult to attain a balance for all stakeholders, all stakeholders must have equal say.<br />Ecotourism, if implemented correctly, can be successful and sustainable in very specific situations<br />Preservation through Ecotourism is specifically viable in Temperate Forests, Tropical Forests, and Savannah<br />
  31. 31. Ecotourism and Conservation are Compatible if….<br />Local communities are involved in planning and executing conservation programs, they must support the project for success<br />Detailed strategic plans are developed before the project, and monitored throughout (how to market, how many visitors, how resources distributed)<br />Limit the tourist #’s (economically, this will increase demand, high inelasticity, consumers willing to pay)<br />Have a larger plan supported by nation- need for consistency of laws and policies<br />
  32. 32. References Cited<br />Kruger, Oliver, 2005. The Role of Ecotourism in Conservation: Panacea or Pandora’s Box? Biodiversity and Conservation 14:579-600.<br />Ross, Sheryl, and G. Wall, 1999. Ecotourism: Towards Congruence between Theory and Practice. Tourism Management 20:123-132.<br />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. <br />Wight, Pamela, 1993. Ecotourism: Ethics or Eco-sell? Journal of Travel Research 5: 3-9.<br />