Hey Friends of the Wild!
Good to see you back here at our blog. We missed you. Were you ecotouring the world? You don’t know what ecotourism is? What?
Well let me tell you! We had a great semester finale here at Noise Pollution, jammin’ to J.Cole (Let’s be serious, Hilary did not enjoy my artist choice) and talking ecotourism! Take a look at his Eco-Rapsheet
Ecotourism is the movement toward low impact tourism that benefits local populations and cultures, while supporting sustainability in an ecosystem. There are ecotourism hot spots all over the world, and a lot of ecotourism in Canada. One of the coolest places in Canada for ecotourism (in my humble opinion) is in Churchill, Manitoba – aka. the Polar Bear Capital of the world. Ecotourism follows specific principles as outlined by the International Ecotourism Society. These principles include:
Build environmental and cultural awareness and respect
Provide positive experiences for both visitors and hosts
Provide direct financial benefits for conservation
Provide financial benefits and empowerment for local people
Raises sensitivity to host countries’ political, environmental and social climate
Social sustainability is a large concept in ecotourism as well as conservation efforts. There is a ‘dark side’ to ecotourism though which stems from the possibility of mismanagement and insufficient ecological management. There also is no real specifications as to who remains responsible for the preservation of ecotourist sites. In Canada many ecotourist sites are research based or run by Parks Canada. In developing countries when foreign groups are brought in to develop ecotourist sites it completely defeats the purpose of social sustainability and empowerment of local populations.
We also discussed voluntourism, or volunteer tourism which we recommend you read about in the Cord.