Tourism for Nature and Development: A good practical guide
This Good Practice Guide aims to provide stakeholders with the tools to make the tourism sector more biodiversityfriendly, and more socially just. It addresses the links between tourism development, biological diversity conservation, and development / poverty reduction.
The effects of tourism are often compared to that of fire: it can cook your food and heat your home, but it can also burn the house down. Tourism provides employment and income opportunities (some estimates point to 10% of the global job market), can finance protected areas and raise awareness of visitors and hosts, and often has fewer environmental impacts than other industry sectors. On the other hand, it consumes significant amounts of natural resources and can degrade ecosystems, may raise the cost of living for local people, may degrade local culture and sell it as a “commodity”, and its revenues may flow out of the destination with few local benefits.
The ultimate effects of tourism on a community and a destination depend, among other things, on the sensitivity of the environment, the policy and legal framework under which it occurs, the technologies used, and on the capacity of its many stakeholders to manage impacts and steer development towards sustainability (see examples on pages 3-4). The conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity can and must be incorporated into tourism development policies and strategies that bring social and economic benefits to host communities.
This Good Practice Guide aims to provide stakeholders with the tools to make the tourism sector more biodiversityfriendly, and more socially just. It addresses the links between tourism development, biological diversity conservation, and development / poverty reduction. It aims to raise awareness of the suite of sustainable tourism tools which have been tested globally and have demonstrated benefits to biodiversity and development. It is not restricted to any particular segment of the industry – all tourism should be sustainable. Due to the inter-governmental nature of the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (SCBD), the primarily target audience for the guide is government officers and decision makers in the ministries and agencies related to tourism (at global, regional, national and local levels). The material presented can also be useful to corporate and NGO planners, as well as bi– and multi-lateral development cooperation agencies.
The guide will:
▪ Outline the status and trends of global tourism in terms of its effects on biodiversity and development;
▪ Introduce public decision-makers to the available toolbox of techniques, technologies and procedures that optimize the social and environmental contributions of tourism and minimize negative impacts;
▪ Introduce good practices on the interface between tourism, development and biodiversity;
▪ Assist Parties to the CBD in establishing tourism development policies, strategies, plans and projects that consider poverty reduction and biodiversity;
▪ Provide suggestions for organising tourism training and workshop sessions;
▪ Provide a checklist of good-practices to assess the degree to which the recommendations of the guide have been adopted in a specific destination, region, or country;
▪ Provide sources and references where readers can find more detailed information.
*Courtesy of the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (SCBD)