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ES295 Lecture Notes - Gossling, Dune, Land Degradation

5 pages201 viewsWinter 2012

Environmental Studies
Course Code
Rob Milne

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Module Three: Mountain Biomes
Tourism Impacts
Natural Resources
oWater Resources
Water, and especially fresh water, is one of the most critical
natural resources. The tourism industry generally overuses water
resources for hotels, swimming pools, golf courses and personal
use of water by tourists.
oLocal Resources
Tourism can create great pressure on local resources like energy,
food, and other raw materials that may already be in short supply.
oLand Degradation
Important land resources include minerals, fossil fuels, fertile soil,
forests, wetland and wildlife. Increased construction of tourism
and recreational facilities has increased the pressure on these
resources and on scenic landscapes.
oTransport by air, road, and rail is continuously increasing in response to
the rising number of tourists and their greater mobility.
oIn areas with high concentrations of tourist activities and appealing natural
attractions, waste disposal is a serious problem and improper disposal can
be a major despoiler of the natural environment - rivers, scenic areas, and
oConstruction of hotels, recreation and other facilities often leads to
increased sewage pollution. Wastewater has polluted seas and lakes
surrounding tourist attractions, damaging the flora and fauna.
Physical Impacts
oThe development of tourism facilities such as accommodation, water
supplies, restaurants and recreation facilities can involve sand mining,
beach and sand dune erosion, soil erosion and extensive paving. In
addition, road and airport construction can lead to land degradation and
loss of wildlife habitats and deterioration of scenery.
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oConstruction of ski resort accommodation and facilities frequently
requires clearing forested land. Coastal wetlands are often drained and
filled due to lack of more suitable sites for construction of tourism
facilities and infrastructure.
oDevelopment of marinas and breakwaters can cause changes in currents
and coastlines. Furthermore, extraction of building materials such as sand
affects coral reefs, mangroves, and hinterland forests, leading to erosion
and destruction of habitats.
Long Term Impacts of Tourism
Biological Diversity
Biological diversity is the term given to the variety of life on Earth
and the natural patterns it forms
It threatens our food supplies, opportunities for recreation and
tourism, and sources of wood, medicines and energy.
It interferes with essential ecological functions such as species
balance, soil formation, and greenhouse gas absorption.
It reduces the productivity of ecosystems, thereby shrinking
nature's basket of goods and services, from which we constantly
Ozone Layer
The ozone layer, which is situated in the upper atmosphere (or
stratosphere) at an altitude of 12-50 kilometers, protects life on
earth by absorbing the harmful wavelengths of the sun's ultraviolet
(UV) radiation, which in high doses is dangerous to humans and
Climate Change
Climate scientists now generally agree that the Earth's surface
temperatures have risen steadily in recent years because of an
increase in the so-called greenhouse gases in the atmosphere,
which trap heat from the sun. One of the most significant of these
gases is carbon dioxide (CO2), which is generated when fossil
fuels, such as coal, oil and natural gas are burned (e.g. in industry,
electricity generation, and automobiles) and when there are
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