ES 295 - Ecotourism and the Environment Exam Notes

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Wilfrid Laurier University
Environmental Studies
David N Morris

ES 295 Exam Notes Module One Excursionist – travel to a destination within their usual country of residence hat meets designated distance thresholds relative to their normal place of residence Stayover – persons who make a journey of at least 40 km away from their residence the must involve at least one overnight stay Nature-based tourism – any type of tourism that relies on attractions directly related to the natural environment Cultural tourism – primary emphasis on the cultural component, where are this element is secondary in ecotourism Adventure tourism – an activity or product generally incorporates 3 components  An element of risk  Higher levels of physical exertion  Use of specialized skills 3S tourism – reliance on sea, sand and sun  Fits under nature-based Alternative and Mass Tourism  A – a model of small scale tourism that is intended to provide a more appropriate alternative to mass tourism  M – large scale tourism, implying participation by the mass or bulk of a society’s population Hybrids  ACE – describes amalgams such as trekking that combine these three elements of adventure, culture and ecotourism  NEAT – describes the combination of nature-based, ecotourism and adventure tourism Biocentric  An approach that focuses on the welfare of he natural environment. Some argue that a biocentric approach is also ultimately anthropocentric to the extent that the survival if humans depends on the maintenance of a viable natural environment Anthropocentric  An approach that focuses on the welfare of humans Status quo sustainability – sustainability in which ecotourism or other activities maintain the status quo Enhancement Sustainability – in which ecotourism and other activities result in net improvement’s to the quality of the natural environment, as achieved though donations, volunteer activity and so on Western environmental paradigm – describes the scientific paradigm as it pertains to its perception of the relationship between humans and the natural environment Non-environmentalists are people who do not consider environmental issues to be important either from a policy perspective or in terms of their personal behaviour Traditionalists – whose attitudes and behaviour adhere closely to the dominant western environmental paradigm Cultural creatives are committed to the environment and engage in substantial green consumption and behaviour on a daily basis Veneer environmentalists tend to vacillate between higher and lower states of green awareness and consumption Hard ecotourists is associated with a strongly biocentric attitude that entails a deep commitment to environmental issues Soft ecotourists display significant anthropocentric tendencies and hence tend to be dominated by the veneer environmentalist segment Gender – males used to do ecotourism more, but now women make up half of the percentage Age – older people generally bird watch Module Two Attractions  comprehensive tourism o holistic approach (nature-based, cultural)  minimalist ecotourism o elemental (nature-based) Learning  Comprehensive ecotourism o Deep understanding  Minimalist ecotourism o Superficial (shallow) understanding Sustainability  Comprehensive ecotourism o Enhancement-based, global, environmental and sociocultural  Minimalist ecotourism o Status quo-based, site-specific, environmental only Historical Pressure  Our impression of the history of Africa and mega fauna is the image of the mal big-game hunter standing over his kill and posing for a photo opportunity  Image has been used for past centuries  Evident with the big-game hunting trip by the former president Theodore Roosevelt in 1900s  Image has been severely rejected by many Hunting and Ecotourism  Debate how importance of hunting as a supplement to local economies Kenya  Initiated a no-hunting policy in 1977  Animal populations would rebound and provide increased revenue through ecotourism  Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) South Africa  Allows hunting, has one of the stronger records of successful wildlife recovery  Develop a sustainable approach to hunting and ecotourism  Cant shoot an animal that is breeding  Sport hunting produces significant income through hunting fees Parks and Protected Areas  Public lands usually managed by a public authority  Parks roles have changed, phases include: o Protection of preservation o Conservation o Recreation Wilderness  The US wilderness act of 1964 identifies wilderness as o An area where the earth and its community of the life are untrammeled by man o Wild, self-organizing, autonomous and not controlled or manipulated by humans  Wilderness is an area: o Where humans do not remains; they are just visitors o Where one can find solitude and exhibit primitive skills Category 1a: strict nature reserve – area of land/sea possessing some outstanding or representative ecosystems, geological or physiological features/species available for scientific research/enviro monitoring Category1b: wilderness area – large area of unmodified/slightly modified land/sea retaining natural character without significant habitation, which is protected/managed Category 2: national park – natural area of land/sea, designated to protect ecological integrity, exclude exploitation, and provide a foundation for spiritual, scientific, educational, recreational and visitor opportunities Category 3: natural monument – areas that contains one or more specific natural or natural/cultural feature which is of unique or outstanding value bc of inherent rarity Category 4: habitat/species management area – area of land/sea subject to active intervention for management purposes Category 5: protected landscapes/seascape – area of land/sea coast where interaction of ppl and nature over time has produced an area of distinct character Category 6: managed resource protected area – area containing predominantly unmodified natural systems, managed to ensure long term protection Which group of tourists are more likely to experience wilderness areas?  soft ecotourists Which categories are most important to ecotourism? Why?  Categories 2 and 3 because they accommodate both environmental preservation and compatible forms of recreation as primary management objectives What is internal zoning? Describe this management strategy.  The mechanism through which diverse activities, such as interpretation centers and wilderness bushwalking are accommodated What restricts the potential of category III parks for ecotourism? Module Three Impacts  Natural resources – tourism development can put pressure on natural resources when it increases consumption in areas where resources are already scare  Pollution – tourism can cause the same forms of pollution as any other industry: air emissions, noise, solid waste and littering, releases of sewage, oil and chemicals, even architectural/visual pollution  Physical impacts – attractive landscape sites, such as sandy beaches, lakes, riversides, and mountain tops and slopes, are often transitional zones, characterized by species-rich ecosystems o Typical impacts include the degradation of such ecosystems Waste residuals  Impact of building and generation of wastes o Direct/deliberate on-site ecological stresses, such as the removal of vegetation, site levelling and water flow disruption  Tourist activities o People go deeply into undisturbed areas, large concentrations of soft ecotourists around interpretation centres, nearby hardened trails  Can lead to wildlife stress and the inadvertent introduction and diffusion of exotic species  Wildlife observation, hiking and diving, Wildlife observation  Dall sheep’s heart rate increases by up to 20 beats per minute upon the approach of hikers, also elevated stress levels become apparent at a distance as much as 150m  Woodland caribou spend more time standing and being vigilant in the presence of ecotourists in the stressful winters, at the expense of time spent in vital foraging and relaxing activity  Resting behaviour and socialising of bottlenose dolphins is disrupted in the presence of sightseeing vessels  In east Africa cheetahs are considered particularly sensitive to viewing by vehicle-based tourists and hyenas and baboons have learned to track tourist vehicles to locate and steal cheetah kills Hiking, Diving and Camping  Fig. 4.4 o Tree damage and soil erosion/exposure have a linear relationship o Organic litter loss, soil compaction, tree seedling loss, vegetation composition change an vegetation loss have a curvilinear relationship  Trampling o 1 – there is still insufficient information to predict or model the impact of different types and levels of hiking in different types of environments o 2 – the sensitivity of different ecosystems to the effects of trampling varies enormously o 3 – if trampling is heavy enough, death of plant cover and local soil erosion will occur in any ecosystem o 4 – if trampling ceases, soil and vegetation will recover to at least some extent, although this may take some time, depending on the ecosystem o 5 – travellers using mountain bikes and horses usually cause far more damage then hikers o 6 – in most cases, the direct effects of trampling do not extend beyond the actual track and do not continue to grow if trampling stops Indirect Costs and Environmental Impacts  Effects of induced environmental restructuring o Physical developments undertaken to support ecotourism, such as housing constructed for employees of an ecolodge, or a road that is widened in response to increase traffic caused by these employees  Exposure to less benign forms of tourism o When ecotourism in introduced to remote location, the site becomes vulnerable to the eventual intrusion of less benign forms of tourism  Problems associated with the economic valuation of nature o Poses ecological risk o An entire setting or habitat should ne interpreted and experienced as a single interrelated ecosystem, but in reality many ecotourists are only interested in observing specific charismatic megafauna Fixed carrying capacity – area is usually a biocentric construct that gives priority to ecological protection and thus functions as an internal category Ib area within the ICUN classification system Flexible carrying capacity – carrying capacity can be continually increased to accommodate increased demand, as long as the visitation curve remains below the escalating carrying capacity threshold Zoning – regulations that demarcate specific areas for different types of land uses and the development standards to be applied within each land use zone Module Four  What is the difference between backstage and front stage space? o Backstage: space where local culture is retained for unselfconscious consumption within the community o Front stage: where an adapted version of local culture and behaviour is self-consciously provided for tourist consumption  Which type of ecotourism is more likely to deal with backstage space and what are the consequences? o Hard ecotourists – creating potential for social and cultural disruption o Or volunteers residing for a long period of time  How can the issue of intrusion be reduced? o By promoting the ‘authenticity’ of the destination as an attraction and by integrating ecotourism accommodation and other services into the community in a way that merges or confuses frontstage/backstage spaces Disposition of an Elite Alien Value System  Why does Weaver describe ecotourism as a form of neo-colonialism? o Because the flow of wealthy ecotourists from the developed countries to the less developed by the extensive involvement in ecotourism there of entrepreneurs and aid agencies from developed world o Entails a high degree of dependency on the wealthy countries for funding, markets, capital, skills and knowledge  What evidence does he use to support this comment? o Marketing reinforces this Eurocentric dominance when it emphasizes travel to ‘remote’ and ‘unspoiled’ destinations where ‘primitive’ cultures with their ‘traditional’ and ‘authentic’ lifestyle eagerly wait to be ‘discovered’ by the intrepid whit tourist explorer”  What did Wheeller (1994) mean when he described ecotourists as ego- tourists? o Someone who travels more to enhance their own status and self awareness than to engage in any genuine dialogue betw
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