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ECO-TOURISM & THE CARIBBEAN Protecting Natural Assets and Enhancing Sustainable Development in Small Economies by T. Jennifer Edwards Specialist in Sustainable.

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Presentation on theme: "ECO-TOURISM & THE CARIBBEAN Protecting Natural Assets and Enhancing Sustainable Development in Small Economies by T. Jennifer Edwards Specialist in Sustainable."— Presentation transcript:

1 ECO-TOURISM & THE CARIBBEAN Protecting Natural Assets and Enhancing Sustainable Development in Small Economies by T. Jennifer Edwards Specialist in Sustainable Tourism, The Bahamas Regional Policy Briefing no.7 Building Resilience in Small Island Economies: From Vulnerabilities to Opportunities Hotel Victoria, Pointe aux Piments, Mauritius, 23-24 April 2012

2 Presentation Outline 1.The Eco-Tourism Sector Background, Nature & Linked Concepts Size, Potential & Products 2.Caribbean Eco-Tourism Eco-Assets & Top Eco-Destinations 3.Key Caribbean Eco-Tourism Initiatives a)CTO/EU/CRSTDP Good Practices Project 4.Case Initiative: The Community Baboon Sanctuary, Bermudian Landing, BELIZE 5.Conclusion: Caribbean Eco-Tourism, Enhancing Sustainable Development

3 ECO-TOURISM: BACKGROUND Emerged as a move from the MASS BEACH TOURISM of the 60s & 70s Took off in the 80s & 90s in response to a wider environmental awareness in western consumerist society. The message being ENVIRONMENT, CONSERVATION & SUSTAINABILITY with reduced negative impacts A move to: – More diverse & specialised forms of tourism with tourists also engaging in recreational, sporting and adventure activities – Learning about local cultures – Increased interests in the Natural Environment Special interests in the Natural Environment has resulted in one of the most popular Tourism terms today, i.e. ECO TOURISM

4 Eco-Tourism: Early Concept Focused on travel to undisturbed or uncontaminated natural areas with the specific objective of studying, admiring and enjoying the scenery with its wild plants and animals, as well as any existing cultural manifestations (both past & present) Demand-Led, Market-Driven New or Alternate Tourism Product BUT..... The concept omitted anything about the needs of the host countries or communities

5 Eco-Tourism: Current Concept International Eco-Tourism Society: “Responsible travel that conserves natural environments & sustains the well-being of local people” IUCN “Environmentally responsible travel & visitation to relatively undisturbed natural areas, in order to enjoy & appreciate nature (& any accompanying cultural features - both past & present) that: – promotes conservation & sustainable development – has low visitor impact, and – provides for beneficially active socio- economic involvement of local populations”

6 Nature of True Eco-Tourism Experiences An Authentic Eco-Tourism Experience constitutes 4 common elements: – The use of the natural environment (including cultural features of the environment), i.e. Enjoyment of nature – Education & Interpretation – Ecological & Cultural Sustainability, i.e. Conservation for continued future enjoyment – Benefits to the local community

7 Other Concepts Linked to Eco-Tourism Nature Tourism Eco-Community or Community Tourism Soft Adventure Tourism Green Tourism Edutainment Volunteer-Tourism Eco-Lodge/Environment Friendly Tourism Cultural & Heritage Tourism Agro Tourism

8 The Eco-Tourism Sector: Size & Potential UNWTO 2020 Forecast International Arrivals 1.6 Billion Long Hall travellers 378 million Early Studies by USTTA Nature Tourism expenditure - $12 billion in 1988, i.e. 7% of all international travel earnings. In 1989 this figure jumped to 14 billion dollars, a 16.6% expansion. International Centre for Ecotourism Research, Griffith University, Aus. Eco Tourism - 5% of the International Tourism Market Adventure Travel Society 2003 Eco adventure has a sectoral annual growth rate of 10-15% US Travel Data Centre 2009 78% of American travelers consider themselves “environmentally conscious” 54% believed that individuals themselves have the greatest responsibility for preserving and protecting the environment They believe that travel service suppliers should be good stewards of their environment

9 Caribbean Tourism & Eco-Tourism CTO member countries : 1% of the world’s population but attract 3% of global tourism arrivals & expenditure; Dependent on Tourism to sustain livelihoods more than any other region of the world; Tourism is the main foreign exchange earner & employs 1/3 of the labour force; Eco-tourism offers an opportunity to bring benefits to the wider community.

10 Popular Eco-Tourism Products Eco Tourism deals with PRODUCT, MOTIVATION, MARKET SEGMENTATION ECO-TOURISM : EXPERIENCES/PRODUCTS/ ACTIVITY Bird WatchingRiver/Waterfall Bathing Wildlife Watching e.g. whales, turtles, monkeys etc. Sightseeing to natural wonders e.g. mountains, breathtaking sceneries Diving e.g. deep sea, caverns, reefs (5-7 million divers worldwide) Heritage Sites/Cultural Events Hiking & TrekkingFishing e.g. fly-fishing/ bone-fishing Kayaking/CanoeingEco Lodging Rafting/TubingMarine, Animal, Ecology Study Horseback RidingVolunteerism CyclingHome-Stays/Local Foods Photo SafariCamping SailingZip Line Tours

11 The Caribbean: Eco-Assets A Nature Lover’s Dream Land & Sea National Parks Landscape ranging from Volcanic mountains, lakes & limestone cliffs to lush green hills, mangrove swamps, deserts and forests Rare native bird species - Dominica, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Barbuda, Montserrat, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Grenada Wild Life Diversity Accompanying Culture & Heritage

12 Top Eco-Tourism Branded Destinations in the Caribbean National Parks Rivers & Lakes Forests Bird Watching Horseback Riding Canopy tours Rainforest Aerial Tram Pristine Marine Environment The Nature Island of the Caribbean Among the top in Eco-Tourism TOBAGO: Eco-tourism Award Winner Certified Eco-Lodges & Green Hotels

13 Other Caribbean Destinations with Eco-Tourism Packages Blue Holes, Creeks, Marine Reserves Dense Forests, Rivers, Waterfalls, Rolling Hills Rich in Nature & Well Preserved Caribbean islands' 2000 Ecotourism Award for its Heritage Tourism Program Volcano, Coral Reefs, Heritage Trail Picturesque Scenery, National Park Eco Hotels & River Tours Volcano, Fruits, Flowers, Birds Biodiversity, Jungles, Rivers, Eco-Lodges Dominican Republic Waterfalls, Deserts

14 ACTIVITY: A 50-75 minute discover tour of a Banana Plantation in Martinique by Train; CLEAR BLUE MARTINIQUE An environmentally friendly way to raise awareness about the protection of flora and fauna underwater while introducing the great sport kayaking

15 The BEST OF DOMINICA through the EYES OF A COMMUNITY I am: Beauty Unspoilt Culture Preserved A Hiker’s Paradise Volcanic Peaks Boiling Waters Sparkling Waterfalls Rushing Streams Rainforest Canopies Underwater Champagne Springs The trailhead to adventure and discovery, unlike any other Caribbean destination; I am celebrations of Music, Art and Flowers I am Nature’s Island I am Dominica.

16 Eco-Tourism/Community Initiative in The Caribbean CTO/EU/CRSTDP: Good Practices in Community-Based Tourism in the Caribbean (2003-2008)

17 Portsmouth India River Tour MAIN ECOTOURISM ACTIVITY A 1-mile guided up-river tour with nature interpretation. Bush Bar en route for ‘dynamite rum’ MARKET Cruise Passengers; French Day Trippers from Martinique & Guadeloupe; Tour Operators, Yachters, Tourists, Schools and Residents TOUR GUIDES 30 male members who are certified tour guides and have local wooden boats. GOOD PRACTICES: Environmental impact management Greater local appreciation of biodiversity; Stronger management of natural resources; Improved infrastructure (retaining wall) to prevent erosion. Socio-Economic Impact Significant impact on local livelihoods; Tour fees 2006 were US$80,000; Job creation and income-generation for river guides and souvenir vendors; Reinvestment of profits into other local enterprises (e.g. housing construction & guest accommodation) Increase in skill levels in tour guiding, hospitality services, business management and organisational development.

18 ARGYLE WATERFALLS, TOBAGO Roxborough Estate Visitor Services Cooperative ECOTOURISM ACTIVITY 20-minute walk along gently undulating nature trails through the rainforest to reach the waterfall with uniformed guides MARKET Cruise Passengers; Domestic and Stay- Over Visitors GOOD PRACTICE/IMPACT US$8,000/mth Trail upgrade Profits shared: 16 members- 50% females Guides are trained Falls are well maintained and tourism impacts are managed by the cooperative Garbage management introduced to reduce negative environmental impacts Plans to diversify to offer –guest house, cocoa estate tour etc. KEY LESSON LEARNT: The use, development and management of common property resources for community benefit can create new income-generating activities and improve environmental management when there is effective organisational capacity at the community level

19 THE COMMUNITY BABOON SANCTUARY Bermudian Landing, Belize NOTEWORTHY The Sanctuary has engineered a big increase in the Howler Monkey’s primate population and allowed other wild life to repopulate the area SCANTUARY OPERATION Completely Community-run, Grassroots Conservation Operation managed by a group of women SIZE/LOCATION: 8 Villages along the Belize River Valley (20 sq. Miles), 30 miles from Belize City ENDANGERED SPECIES Howler Monkey called Baboons ECOTOURISM ACTIVITIES: Visitor Centre- Exhibits and Wildlife History 1-hour guided nature tour- flora, fauna, medicinal plant River Canoe Tours Night Hikes Birding (200 bird species) Horseback riding Croc Night Tour Stay at Local Eco-Lodges/Bed & Breakfast Eat Local Foods, Organic livestock, Fruits & Vegetables Sale of local farm produce, local souvenir, food preserves, bags, embroidery

20 Nature Resort Howler Monkey Lodge ALTERNATE LIVELIHOOD From slash & burn farmers to Tilapia Backyard Farming Organic Vegetables Organic Corn from farmers feed chickens Pig rearing Food preserves Handicraft & embroidery TRAINING/OTHER GOOD PRACTICES Land management Alternate farming methods- mixing good farming practices with the needs of wildlife ACHIEVEMENTS Began in 1985 with 12 landowners in Bermudian Landing (assistance from WWF) By 1988 there were 75 landowners in 7 villages Now has 240 members Howler population grew from 840 in 1985 to 1,000 in 1988 Broad leaf forest and trees are protected (40-50 species) Aerial bridges protect monkeys from traffic accidents Deers are reappearing and birds are more abundant (59 recorded in 1989 to 250 today) 150 Children are given the tour annually Local Guide Aerial Bridge

21 1. Revenues derived from: Development of national and regional parks and reserves, as major attractions for tourists; Utilizing archaeological and historic sites as tourist attractions which may have otherwise deteriorated or disappeared 2. Increased environmental awareness among the local community 3. Improvement of Environmental Quality 4. Conservation of important natural areas and wildlife, including marine environments; 5. Synergies and Linkages that occurs with other economic sectors and communities, e.g. with agriculture and with local groups Caribbean Eco-Tourism: Enhancing Sustainable Development

22 ECO-TOURISM & THE CARIBBEAN EXPERIENCE Protecting Natural Assets and Enhancing Sustainable Development in Small Economies COMMENTS & DISCUSSIONS Regional Policy Briefing no.7 Building Resilience in Small Island Economies: From Vulnerabilities to Opportunities Hotel Victoria, Pointe aux Piments, Mauritius, 23-24 April 2012

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