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During the fifth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, which was held in Nairobi from 15 - 26 May recently, the crucial issue of sustainable use was discussed and 3 decisions (V/15, V/24 and V/25) were adopted.
Please find them attached.
It is now important to integrate those decisions in our future work programme with the ultimate goal; that we develop guidelines or guidance for integration in policies of all the nations of this globe.
So the real question is:
What is the real definition of sustainable use in practice in the different sectors and policy fields ?
That is why I need urgently:
1.case-studies on the subject and experience in this field,
2.the composition of draft guidelines for practical- and policy- application
3.funds to organize a workshop on this item, for example in Mozambique, Africa,
4.Anlysis of the case-studies,
5.and to prepare real guidelines
May be we could cooperate in this effort !
with kind regards,
Secretariat Convention on Biological Diversity
393 St. Jacques , Suite 300
Montreal, Quebec, Canada H2Y1N9
Tel. +514-288-2220 Fax: +514-288-6588
V/15. Incentive measures
The Conference of the Parties,
Acknowledging the importance of incentive measures in achieving conservation and sustainable use of the components of biodiversity, Recognizing that biodiversity provides global services to humankind that are not captured and adequately recognized by current economic relations, patterns and policies,
1. Establishes a programme of work that promotes the development and implementation of social, economic and legal incentive measures for the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity, in synergy with specific programmes of work, in order to:
(a) Support Parties, Governments and organizations in developing practical policies and projects;
(b) Develop practical guidance to the financial mechanism for effective support and prioritization of these policies and projects;
2. Decides that the activities of the programme of work should result in the following:
(a) The assessment of representative existing incentive measures, review of case-studies, identification of new opportunities for incentive measures, and dissemination of information, through the clearing-house mechanism and other means, as appropriate;
(b) The development of methods to promote information on biodiversity in consumer decisions, for example through ecolabelling, if appropriate;
(c) The assessment, as appropriate and applicable to the circumstances of Parties, of the values of biodiversity, in order to internalize better these values in public policy initiatives and private-sector decisions;
(d) A consideration of biodiversity concerns in liability schemes;
(e) The creation of incentives for integration of biodiversity concerns in all sectors;
3. Requests the Executive Secretary to collaborate with relevant organizations, such as the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, the United Nations Development Programme, the United Nations Environment Programme, and IUCN-The World Conservation Union, in order to engage in a coordinated effort, and undertake through such an effort, as a first phase:
(a) To gather and disseminate additional information on instruments in support of positive incentives and their performance, and to develop a matrix identifying the range of instruments available, their purpose, interaction with other policy measures and effectiveness, with a view to identifying and designing relevant instruments, where appropriate, in support of positive measures;
(b) To continue gathering information on perverse incentive measures, and on ways and means to remove or mitigate their negative impacts on biological diversity, through case-studies and lessons learned, and consider how these ways and means may be applied;
(c) To elaborate proposals for the design and implementation of incentive measures, for consideration by the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice at its sixth or seventh meeting and by the Conference of the Parties at its sixth meeting;
4. Decides to integrate actions on incentives in thematic work programmes and ensure synergy with activities on sustainable use, noting that incentive measures are essential elements in developing effective approaches to conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity especially at the level of local communities;
5. Requests the Executive Secretary to promote coordinated action on incentives with other international biodiversity-related agreements and relevant organizations, noting specifically that the joint work plan of the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Convention on Wetlands for the period 2000-2001 (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/5/INF/12) includes consideration of incentive measures;
6. Urges Parties and other Governments to explore possible ways and means by which incentive measures promoted through the Kyoto Protocol under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change can support the objectives of the Convention on Biological Diversity.
V/24. Sustainable use as a cross-cutting issue
The Conference of the Parties,
Recognizing that conservation of biodiversity is a global service to humankind and is not captured and adequately recognized by current economic relations and patterns,
Recognizing also that conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity is essential to the survival of species and also benefits humankind particularly those people who are dependent on biological resources for their livelihoods,
Further recognizing the importance of integrating, as far as possible and as appropriate, the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity into sectoral or cross-sectoral plans, programmes and policies, and recognizing the importance of addressing this issue in national biodiversity strategies and action plans, in accordance with Articles 6 and 10 of the Convention on Biological Diversity,
Taking into account the decisions of the Conference of the Parties and the ecosystem approach,
Noting the synergies between the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity,
Noting also that the highest levels of biodiversity often occur in the less economically developed regions,
Recognizing the harmful effects of war and poverty on the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity especially in regions rich in endemic species, and the need for mobilization of financial and technical resources for the rehabilitation and restoration of affected bio-ecological zones,
Noting the important linkages with the programmes of work on indicators (decision V/7) and incentive measures (decision V/15), and that appropriate indicators and incentive measures are essential elements in developing effective approaches to the sustainable use of biological diversity,
1. Requests the Executive Secretary to invite organizations involved in sustainable-use initiatives, and other relevant organizations, to gather, compile and disseminate through the clearing-house mechanism and other means, case-studies on best practices and lessons learned from the use of biological diversity under the thematic areas of the Convention, drawing on the experience of Parties, Governments, relevant organizations, the private sector and indigenous and local communities;
2. Commends to the Executive Secretary the process being used to develop the ecosystem approach and requests him, together with relevant organizations, to adapt and immediately initiate that process for relevant work on sustainable use;
3. Requests the Executive Secretary to assemble, in collaboration with relevant organizations, drawing from an assessment of the case-studies referred to in paragraph 1 above, and the process referred to in paragraph 2 above, practical principles, operational guidelines and associated instruments, and guidance specific to sectors and biomes, which would assist Parties and Governments to develop ways to achieve the sustainable use of biological diversity, within the framework of the ecosystem approach, and to present a progress report for consideration by the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice prior to the sixth meeting of the Conference of the Parties;
4 Invites Parties and Governments to identify indicators and incentive measures for sectors relevant to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity;
5. Invites Parties, Governments and relevant organizations to undertake appropriate actions to assist other Parties, especially developing countries and countries with economies in transition, to increase their capacity to implement sustainable-use practices, programmes and policies at regional, national and local levels, especially in pursuit of poverty alleviation. Appropriate actions may include:
(b) Assistance to Parties in the identification of sectors where priority action is required;
(c) Assistance to Parties in the development of appropriate action plans;
(d) Information dissemination and appropriate technology transfer under mutually agreed terms;
6. Urges Parties, Governments and organizations to develop or explore mechanisms to involve the private sector and indigenous and local communities in initiatives on the sustainable use of biological diversity, and in mechanisms to ensure that indigenous and local communities benefit from such sustainable use;
7. Recognizes that sustainable use can be an effective tool in imbuing value to biodiversity, and invites Parties to identify areas for conservation that would benefit through the sustainable use of biological diversity, and to communicate this information to the Executive Secretary.
V/25. Biological diversity and tourism
The Conference of the Parties,
Recognizing the increasing importance of tourism for social and economic development at local, national and regional levels,
Recognizing also that sustainable tourism depends on community involvement and participation,
Recognizing further that communities should benefit from sustainable tourism,
Recognizing also that tourism is closely linked to the preservation of a healthy environment, which in turn is an essential element of tourism development and helps to raise public awareness on some biodiversity issues.
1. Endorses the assessment of the interlinkages between biological diversity and tourism contained in the annex to the present decision, which includes:
(a) The economic importance of tourism and its interrelationship with the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity;
(b) The potential impacts of tourism on biological diversity, including economic, social and environmental impacts;
2. Accepts the invitation to participate in the international work programme on sustainable tourism development under the Commission on Sustainable Development process with regard to biological diversity, in particular, with a view to contributing to international guidelines for activities related to sustainable tourism development in vulnerable terrestrial, marine and coastal ecosystems and habitats of major importance for biological diversity and protected areas, including fragile riparian and mountain ecosystems, bearing in mind the need for such guidelines to apply to activities both within and outside protected areas, and taking into account existing guidelines, and requests the Executive Secretary to prepare a proposal for the contribution on guidelines, for example by convening an international workshop;
3. Decides to transmit the assessment of the interlinkages between tourism and biological diversity to the Commission on Sustainable Development, with the recommendation to the Commission on Sustainable Development to incorporate the assessment in the international work programme on sustainable tourism development;
4. Recommends to Parties, Governments, the tourism industry and relevant international organizations, in particular the World Tourism Organization, to consider this assessment as a basis for their policies, programmes and activities in the field of sustainable tourism, and encourages them to pay particular attention to:
(a) The unique role of ecotourism – that is, tourism that relies on the existence and maintenance of biological diversity and habitats - and the need to develop clear strategies to develop sustainable ecotourism sectors which provides for full and effective participation and viable income-generating opportunities for indigenous and local communities;
(b) The need to develop, with all the potential stakeholders, strategies and plans, based on the ecosystem approach and aiming at a balance between economic, social, cultural and environmental concerns, while maximizing opportunities for the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity, the equitable sharing of benefits and the recognition of traditional knowledge, in accordance with Article 8(j) of the Convention, and seeking to minimize risks to biological diversity;
(c) The need for long-term monitoring and assessment, including the development and use of indicators to measure impacts of tourism on biological diversity and consequently to improve strategies and plans for tourism activities;
(d) Tangible benefits to the local economies, such as job creation and the sharing of benefits arising from the sustainable use of biological diversity for tourism purposes. In this regard, small and medium-sized enterprises can play a major role;
(e) The need to develop sustainable tourism which is an important mechanism for the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity, and to meet the expectations of all stakeholders, while encouraging responsible behaviour on the part of tourists and the tourist industry, tourism enterprises and the local population;
(f) Awareness-raising, information-sharing, education and training of tourism operators and their staff and sensitization of tourists on biological diversity issues and technical and capacity-building at the local level, which enhance the goal of the respect and the conservation of biological diversity and its sustainable use;
(g) The fact that in order to contribute to the sustainable use of biological diversity through tourism, there is a need to implement a flexible mix of instruments, such as integrated planning, multi-stakeholder dialogue that includes indigenous peoples, zoning in land-use planning, environmental impact assessment, strategic environmental assessment, standards, industry performance-recognition programmes, recognized accreditation bodies, ecolabelling, codes of good practice, environmental management and audit systems, economic instruments, indicators and limits regarding the carrying capacity of the natural areas;
(h) The importance of the involvement and the need for the participation of indigenous and local communities and their interface with other sectors in the development and management of tourism, as well as their monitoring and assessment, including of cultural and spiritual impacts;
(i) The importance of the understanding of the values and knowledge of use of biological diversity held by the indigenous and local communities and the opportunities these offer for sustainable tourism and the support of local tourism;
5. Endorses the work of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice on tourism as an example of sustainable use of biological diversity by exchanging experiences, knowledge and best practices through the clearing-house mechanism, and encourages Parties, Governments and relevant organizations to continue to submit to the Executive Secretary case-studies in this regard;
6. In order to contribute further to the international work programme on sustainable tourism development under the Commission on Sustainable Development process with regard to biological diversity, and, in particular, to the review of its implementation, which will be carried out in 2002, requests the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice to transmit its findings, through the Executive Secretary, to the Commission on Sustainable Development at its tenth session;
7. Encourages Parties, Governments, the tourism industry and relevant organizations to undertake activities including local capacity-building, that would be supportive of the preparations for both the International Year of Ecotourism and the International Year of Mountains, as well as activities of the International Coral Reef Initiative, and, in particular:
(a) Urges the tourism industry to work in partnership with all stakeholders and to commit to work within principles and guidelines for sustainable tourism development;
(b) Encourages Parties and Governments to complement voluntary efforts by establishing enabling policies and legal frameworks for the effective implementation of sustainable tourism.
ASSESSMENT OF THE INTERLINKAGES BETWEEN TOURISM AND BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY
I. THE ROLE OF TOURISM IN THE SUSTAINABLE USE OF BIOLOGICAL RESOURCES
1. The sustainable use of the components of biological diversity is one of the three objectives of the Convention on Biological Diversity. For the purposes of the Convention, "sustainable use" means "the use of components of biological diversity in a way and at a rate that does not lead to the long- term decline of biological diversity, thereby maintaining its potential to meet the needs and aspirations of present and future generations" (Article 2). This definition of sustainable use is consistent with the concept of sustainable development as elaborated in the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development and Agenda 21, whereby "sustainable development" meets the needs and aspirations of the current generations without compromising the ability to meet those of future generations. Sustainable development cannot be achieved without the sustainable use of the world's biological resources. The concept of sustainable use is grounded in Article 10 of the Convention on Biological Diversity, on sustainable use of components of biological diversity, and in Article 6, on general measures for conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity.
2. Sustainable tourism is developed and managed in a manner that is consistent with Agenda 21 and the ongoing work on this matter as promoted by the Commission on Sustainable Development. As such, sustainable tourism includes such aspects as sustainable use of resources, including biological resources, and minimizes environmental, ecological, cultural and social impacts, and maximizes benefits. For sustainable patterns of consumption and production in the tourism sector, it is essential to strengthen national policy development and enhance capacity in the areas of physical planning, impact assessment, and the use of economic and regulatory instruments, as well as in the areas of information, education and marketing. Particular attention should be paid to the degradation of biological diversity and fragile ecosystems, such as coral reefs, mountains, coastal areas and wetlands. Ecotourism is a new, growing sector of tourism, which relies on the existence and maintenance of biological diversity and habitats. While it may require less infrastructure construction and facility-building than conventional tourism, proper planning and management are important to the sustainable development of ecotourism and to prevent threats to biological diversity on which it is intrinsically dependent.
A. Economic importance of tourism
3. Tourism is one of the world's fastest growing industries and the major source of foreign exchange earnings for many developing countries. The receipts from international tourism grew at an average annual rate of 9 per cent for the ten-year period from 1988 to 1997, reaching $443 billion in 1997. Tourist arrivals worldwide increased by 5 per cent per annum on average during the same period. / According to WTO, tourism receipts accounted for a little over 8 per cent of total world exports of goods and almost 35 per cent of the total world exports of services in 1997. The breakdown of the travel account balance shows that the industrialized countries as a whole are the net importers of such services, while the developing countries as a whole have been increasing their surplus. The surplus for the latter group of countries widened steadily from $4.6 billion in 1980 to $65.9 billion in 1996, offsetting more than two thirds of their current account deficit in 1996. The travel surplus has widened steadily in all developing regions in the past decade. Economies in transition recorded a deficit of $3.5 billion in 1995, which swung back to a surplus of $1.5 billion in 1996. 4. From the production point of view, tourism contributes around 1.5 per cent of world gross national product (GNP). / Tourism is also a major source of employment, the hotel accommodation sector alone employing around 11.3 million people worldwide. / Furthermore, tourism based on the natural environment is a vital and growing segment of the tourism industry, accounting for $260 billion in 1995. / In a number of developing countries, tourism has already overtaken cash-crop agriculture or mineral extraction as their major source of national income. /
B. Tourism and environment
5. The global social, economic and environmental impacts of tourism are immense and highly complex. Given that a high percentage of tourism involves visits to naturally and culturally distinguished sites, generating large amounts of revenue, there are clearly major opportunities for investing in the maintenance and sustainable use of biological resources. At the same time, efforts must be made to minimize the adverse impacts of the tourism industry on biological diversity.
6. Historical observation indicates that self-regulation of the tourism industry for sustainable use of biological resources has only rarely been successful. This is due to a number of factors. First, as there are many individual operators, local environmental conditions may be viewed as a type of common property resource. It will not be in the interests of any individual operator to invest more than his or her competitors in maintaining the general environmental standards in the resort. Similarly, operators are very likely to "export" their adverse environmental impacts, such as refuse, waste water and sewage, to parts of the surrounding area unlikely to be visited by tourists. This reaches its most extreme form in so-called "enclave" tourism, where tourists may remain for their entire stay in an artificially maintained environment isolated from its surroundings.
7. Second, international tourism operates in an increasingly global market in which investors and tourists have an ever-widening choice of destinations. Indeed the search for new and novel areas and experiences is one of the major engines driving the tourism life-cycle. Moreover, much of the tourism industry is controlled by financial interests located away from tourist destinations. When environmental conditions begin to deteriorate in a given location, operators are likely to shift to alternative locations rather than to invest in improving those conditions.
8. Finally, the international tourism market is fiercely competitive, much of it operating on low profit margins. Operators are therefore often extremely reluctant to absorb any additional costs associated with improving environmental conditions, and instead will often find it economically expedient to shift their area of operation rather than face such costs.
C. Potential benefits of tourism for the conservation of biological diversity and the sustainable use of its components
9. Despite the potential negative impacts, and given the fact that tourism generates a large proportion of income and that a growing percentage of tourism is nature-based, tourism does present a significant potential for realizing benefits in terms of the conservation of biological diversity and the sustainable use of its components. This section addresses the potential benefits of tourism. Among the benefits are direct revenues generated by fees and taxes incurred and voluntary payments for the use of biological resources. These revenues can be used for the maintenance of natural areas and the contribution of tourism to economic development, including linkage effects to other related sectors and job-creation.
10. Revenue creation for the maintenance of natural areas. The most direct means of exploiting tourism for the sustainable use of biological resources is through the harnessing of some proportion of tourism revenues for that end. This may be achieved either through a generalized environmental tax on tourists or particular tourism activities or by charging fees for access to biological resources, the revenue from which can then be used for their maintenance. The latter procedure generally means charging entrance fees to national parks and other protected areas, but also includes fees for activities such as fishing, hunting and diving. Voluntary payment from visitors can also assist in conservation and management of places they visit. It may include donation, membership, sponsorship, merchandise and practical tasks.
11. There are several notable, and evidently expanding, specialist tourism sectors, where participants may be willing to pay such fees. There is growing interest in tourism programmes that involve tourists in biodiversity observation and monitoring to support conservation programmes. The largest single specialist sector at present is probably bird-watching, although it is not clear whether bird-watchers as a group are in fact any more willing to pay than less-specialized tourists. In marine-based wildlife tourism, scuba-diving represents an important specialist sector. The specialist sector which appears to show the highest willingness to pay is sport hunting, where very large licence fees can be charged under some circumstances. It must also be recognized that these fees and taxes can also be used as measures to regulate the level of access to concerned sites and biological resources. In addition, the prospect of their continued revenue generation provides a direct incentive for the maintenance of the populations or ecosystems. One potential negative aspect of specialist tourism, however, can be the relatively low level of local community involvement since relatively few local people will be involved as specialist guides or park managers.
12. The contribution of tourism to economic development. Whether tourists are paying access fees or not, they have a major economic impact on the areas that they visit. Tourist expenditures, in net terms, generate income to the host communities by, for example:
(a) Funding the development of infrastructure and services. Tourism also stimulates infrastructure investment, such as construction of buildings, roads, railroads, airports, sewage systems, water-treatment facilities and other tourism-related facilities. Existing infrastructure may also be used in a manner which benefits local communities, where the tourist is using the facility in one way, while the community uses it in another. For example, a school may gain revenue from its use as a campground or conference venue. Improved and cheap transport services might also be brought to local communities by increased tourism;
(b) Providing jobs. Tourism generates job opportunities in the sector and offers various related business opportunities derived from tourism. People involved in tourism activities may become more conscious of the value of conserving their natural areas;
(c) Providing funds for development or maintenance of sustainable practices. Increasing revenue flows in a region may also allow development of more sustainable land-use practices, by allowing, for example, farmers to use improved rotations and some level of fertilizer input, rather than relying on slash-and-burn cultivation to restore soil fertility through fallow periods;
(d) Providing alternative and supplementary ways for communities to receive revenue from biological diversity. Tourism can also provide a viable economic alternative to unsustainable production or harvesting practices or other activities deleterious to the environment, particularly in marginal areas, helping to eradicate poverty;
(e) Generating incomes. In some areas, low-input and small-scale agricultural activities that result in both an attractive environment and the maintenance of high levels of biological diversity can also offer an opportunity for tourism. Sale of products (souvenirs, crafts and arts) derived from sustainably harvested natural resources may also provide significant opportunities for income-generation and employment. Tourists who have experienced a country associated with clean and green values may be encouraged to select products from that country.
13. Sustainable tourism can make positive improvements to biological diversity conservation especially when local communities are directly involved with operators. If such local communities receive income directly from a tourist enterprise, they, in turn, increase their evaluation of the resources around them. This is followed by greater protection and conservation of those resources as they are recognized as the source of income.
14. Public education and awareness. Tourism can serve as a major educational opportunity, increasing knowledge of natural ecosystems and local communities amongst a broad range of people, in particular by tour operators and guides with specialized training in biological diversity conservation, indigenous and local communities. Such education may be reciprocal. In some parts of the world, local people have become more aware of the uniqueness of their local biological resources, for example the presence of endemic species, through the advent of tourism. Better-informed tourists are more willing to pay for the access to natural sites. Tourism can also provide incentives to maintain traditional arts and crafts and opportunities to learn about different cultures. Furthermore, tourism may, under some circumstances, encourage the maintenance or revitalization of traditional practices that are favourable to the sustainable use of biological resources and that would otherwise be in danger of being lost.
II. POTENTIAL IMPACTS ON BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY OF TOURISM
15. In considering the role of tourism in the sustainable use of biological resources and their diversity, it is important that the potential adverse impacts of tourism are fully considered. These are roughly divided into environmental impacts and socio-economic impacts, the latter generally being those imposed on local and indigenous communities. Although such impacts on biological resources may be less easy to quantify and analyse systematically, they may be at least as important as, if not more important than, environmental impacts in the long term. Section A below addresses the potential adverse impacts on environment, while section B contains the potential socio-economic impacts.
A. Environmental impacts
16. Use of land and resources. Direct use of natural resources, both renewable and non-renewable, in the provision of tourist facilities is one of the most significant direct impacts of tourism in a given area. Such use may be one-off or may be recurring. The most important are: (i) the use of land for accommodation and other infrastructure provision, including road networks; and (ii) the use of building materials. Strong competition for the use of land between tourism and other sectors results in rising prices, which increase the pressures on, for example, agricultural land. The choice of site is also an important factor. Generally preferred "attractive landscape sites", such as sandy beaches, lakes and riversides, and mountain tops and slopes, are often transitional zones, normally characterized by species-rich ecosystems. As a result of the construction of buildings in these areas, they are often either destroyed or severely impaired. / Deforestation and intensified or unsustainable use of land also cause erosion and loss of biological diversity. Due to lack of more suitable sites for construction of buildings and other infrastructure, coastal wetlands are often drained and filled. Construction of marinas in certain sites and water-based tourist activities can also impact on ecosystems and even coastal coral reefs. In addition, building materials are often extracted in an unsustainable manner from ecosystems. Excessive use of fine sand of beaches, reef limestone and wood can cause severe erosion. / Furthermore, creation of congenial conditions for tourists may often entail various forms of environmental manipulation that may have consequences for biological resources beyond the limits of acceptable change.
17. Impacts on vegetation. Direct impact on the species composition of vegetation on the ground layer can be caused by trampling and off-road driving. Off-road driving is often carried out in ecosystems perceived as a low value, such as deserts. Deserts are fragile ecosystems which can be seriously damaged by a single passage of a motor vehicle. Plant-picking and uprooting by plant collectors and casual flower-pickers can also lead to loss of individual species. Passage of tourism vehicles, particularly in high volumes along popular routes, and associated vehicle pollution also have adverse effects on vegetation, resulting in a loss of vegetation cover. Furthermore, forest fires may be caused by the careless use of campfires. The choice of sites for construction facilities can also affect vegetation patterns and species diversity. /
18. Impacts on wildlife. Wildlife tourism and other types of nature-oriented tourism may have a number of direct impacts on natural resources. The severity of these impacts is variable and has rarely been quantified for any specific cases. Actual or potential impacts include: (i) damage caused by tourism activities and equipment; (ii) increased risk of the spread of pathogens from humans or companion animals to wild species; (iii) increased risk of introduction of alien species; (iv) disturbance of wild species, thereby disrupting normal behaviour and conceivably affecting mortality and reproductive success; (v) alterations in habitats; and (vi) unsustainable consumption of wildlife by tourists.
19. One of the direct effects on wildlife of unregulated tourism may be the depletion of local populations of certain species caused by unregulated hunting, shooting and fishing. Uneducated divers and tour operators can cause extensive damage to coral reefs through trampling and anchoring. Tourists and tourist transportation means can increase the risk of introducing alien species. In addition, the manner and frequency of human presence can cause disturbance to the behaviour of animals, in particular, noise caused by radios, motorboat engines and motor vehicles. Even without much noise, some waterfowl can be agitated by canoes and rowing boats. Construction activities related to tourism can cause enormous alteration to wildlife habitats and ecosystems. Furthermore, increased consumption of wildlife by tourists can affect local wildlife populations and local fisheries as well as the amount available for consumption by local people. Souvenir manufacturing using wildlife, in particular such endangered species as corals and turtle shells, can also seriously affect those populations.
20. Impacts on mountain environments. Tourism has for many years been focused on mountain areas, which provide opportunities for hiking, white-water rafting, fly fishing, para-gliding and winter sports, especially skiing and related activities. Pressures from these activities on biological resources and their diversity are enormous and include: erosion and pollution from the construction of hiking trails, bridges in high mountains, camp sites, chalets and hotels. There has been increasing awareness of and publicity on the negative effects of tourism on mountains. The Kathmandu Declaration on Mountain Activities was adopted as long ago as 1982 by the International Union of Alpine Associations, in order to address these pressures on the fragile mountain ecosystems and to call for improved practices. The Convention on the Protection of the Alps, signed in 1991, and its Protocol on Tourism are the first international legal instruments addressing the potential risks associated with mountain tourism. The case-study on the Annapurna Conservation Area project also points out the difficulty in managing increased tourism activities in the fragile mountain ecosystems.
21. Impacts on the marine and coastal environment. Tourism activities may have major impacts on the marine and coastal environment, the resources they host and the diversity of those resources. Most often, those impacts are due to inappropriate planning, irresponsible behaviour by tourists and operators and/or lack of education and awareness of the impacts by, for example, tourist resorts along the coastal zones. But sometimes decisions for tourism development are based only on the potential economic benefit, in spite of the known potential damage to the environment, as in the case of various coral reef resorts. Coastal erosion often affects many coastal infrastructures that have been built for tourism purposes. However, it is often those very infrastructures that have altered dune-replenishment processes (causing beach erosion), modified local currents by building harbour-like structures (causing, for example, the smothering of superficial corals), and led to eutrophication through inappropriate positioning of the resort sewage systems and the often absent treatment of the water discharged. In open waters, shipping for tourism purposes has sometimes been found to cause pollution due to intentional release, and to carry alien invasive species into new environments.
22. While the impact of tourism on coastal resources may already be a serious issue, the degradation of these resources may cause the impoverishment of their diversity, as in the case of mangrove ecosystems adjacent to tourist resorts. This may have significant ecological and economic implications for and displacement of local populations.
23. Impacts on water resources. Freshwater, in general, is already facing growing demand from agriculture, industry and households in many parts of the world. In some locations, such as in many small island developing States, additional demand from tourism, which is extremely water-intensive, is an acute problem. / The extraction of groundwater by some tourism activities can cause desiccation, resulting in loss of biological diversity. For the quality of water, some activities are potentially more damaging than others. For example, use of motorboats can lead to beach and shoreline erosion, dissemination of aquatic weed nuisances, chemical contamination, and turbulence and turbidity in shallow waters. / The disposal of untreated effluents into surrounding rivers and seas can cause eutrophication. It can also introduce a large amount of pathogens into the water body, making it dangerous for swimming. Naturally nutrient-rich ecosystems, such as mangroves, can perform buffer and filtering functions to a certain extent. /
24. Waste management. Disposal of waste produced by the tourism industry may cause major environmental problems. Such waste can generally be divided into: sewage and waste-water; chemical wastes, toxic substances and pollutants; and solid waste (garbage or rubbish). The effect of direct discharge of untreated sewage leading to eutrophication, oxygen deficit and algal blooms has already been pointed out. 25. Environmental impact of travel. Travel to and from international tourist destinations causes significant environmental impacts through pollution and production of "greenhouse" gases. A high proportion of international tourist travel is by air. Such travel is believed to be the most environmentally costly per passenger-kilometre, although the true costs are difficult to assess accurately, as are the impacts on biological resources and their diversity.
B. Socio-economic and cultural impacts of tourism
26. Influx of people and related social degradation. Increased tourism activities can cause an influx of people seeking employment or entrepreneurial opportunities, but who may not be able to find suitable employment. This may cause social degradation, such as local prostitution, drug abuse and so forth. / In addition, due to the unstable nature of international tourism, communities that come to rely heavily on tourism in economic terms are vulnerable to the changes in the flow of tourist arrivals and may face sudden loss of income and jobs in times of downturn.
27. Impacts on local communities. When tourism development occurs, economic benefits are usually unequally distributed amongst members of local communities. There is evidence suggesting that those who benefit are often limited in number and that those who benefit most are often those who were at an economic advantage to begin with, particularly landowners who can afford the investment. Specialist tourism can also involve a relatively small segment of a local community, possibly removing contact of the larger community with the resources in question. In the case of foreign direct investment, much of the profit may be transferred back to the home country. Therefore, tourism can actually increase inequalities in communities, and thus relative poverty. In addition, tourism increases local demand for goods and services, including food, resulting in higher prices and potentially decreased availability for local people. Such trends are often more prevalent where there is a lack of consultation with the peoples and communities involved in tourism.
28. A more direct example of where tourism may conflict directly with the needs and aspirations of local peoples is where the latter are excluded from particular areas given over to tourism, or at least have their rights of access severely curtailed. This is most likely to occur in protected areas created to conserve wildlife. In most cases, however, the designation of such areas as protected, and the exclusion of local people from them, have preceded the development of tourism in such areas, rather than having been a product of it. On the other hand, as in the case of the Maldives, direct conflict can be avoided by isolating the tourism industry from the bulk of the indigenous population. This isolation has been possible in the Maldives because of the availability of a large number of uninhabited islands that can be developed into tourist-resort islands. /
29. Impacts on cultural values. Tourism has a highly complex impact on cultural values. Tourism activities may lead to inter-generational conflicts through changing aspirations of younger members of communities who may have more contact with, and are more likely to be affected by, the behaviour of tourists. Furthermore, they may affect gender relationships through, for example, offering different employment opportunities to men and women. Traditional practices and events may also be influenced by the tourist preferences. This may lead to erosion of traditional practices, including cultural erosion and disruption of traditional lifestyles. Additionally, tourism development can lead to the loss of access by indigenous and local communities to their land and resources as well as sacred sites, which are integral to the maintenance of traditional knowledge systems and traditional lifestyles.
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