(APAMO), Association of Protected Areas Management Organizations (2008) ACTION PLAN FOR THE INCLUSION OF BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION IN TOURISM POLICIES. Technical Report.

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    Protected areas have a long history tied to cultural norms and practices. As far back as two millennia ago, there is evidence of protection of natural resources in India. In Europe nearly a thousand years ago, protected areas were tied to the rich and powerful and declared to reserve hunting grounds. An evolution over time allowed for the inclusion and usage of the community providing for visitation purposes (tourism). Early nineteen century evidence of declaration of protected areas arose in the United States, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and South Africa. In the case of Belize, 36% of the land mass is under some terrestrial protective status, while 13% in the marine zone are under some marine protective declaration. The theme of the use and enjoyment by the public runs through the early history of protected areas, fostering a bringing together of people as much a part of the concept, as the land and the natural and cultural resources. This would seem to begin to present a justification for the fundamental goal and objectives of this project. To analyze policies geared at the promotion of the use of enjoyment of these resources by the public in a manner that preserves its value and availability for future years. In short then, allowing for the development of tourism in harmony with the protection of natural and cultural resources. APAMO spearheaded the national evaluation of Tourism Policies in Belize as part of a larger project implemented by Counterpart International and funded by the Critical Ecosystems Partnership Fund. Recommendations and an action plan were developed to integrate Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Development into national tourism policies for Belize. The objective of the project was to complete an analysis of the relevant tourism policy documents achieved via a consultative basis with stakeholders – including protected areas management organization, APAMO officials, and other key national stakeholders. In addition and integrally important is a document as an action plan to aide a process to achieve implementation of recommendations in the area of policy reform for the industry. Belize’s tourism industry saw its roots as a means of economic diversification during a time when the agricultural sector, particularly sugar and bananas were experiencing a down turn. Then like now, the tourism industry was a means to increase foreign exchange, generate new job opportunities and maintain a diversified mix in the economy. Travel tourism has been accepted as an economic activity that has significant ripple effect with national economies, impacting many sectors with its positive effects evident in employment and contribution to GDP. Equally accepted is that tourism is “a double-edged sword” and much of the international debate has now been concentrated on the need to minimize the actual and potential negative impact that is often associated with its development. The discussion of tourism’s impact tends to focus on issues such as overuse of water resources, air pollution, land degradation, waste and litter problems, inadequate sewage treatment, aesthetic pollution, habitat destruction and alteration of ecosystems. Recent debate has now become centered on the opportunities and threats of the industry pose for biodiversity.

    Item Type: Technical Reports (Technical Report)
    Related URLs:
      Publisher: Association of Protected Areas Management Organization
      Keywords: action plan, biodiversity, conservation, tourism
      Subjects: (F) People and the Environment > (FB) Resource Use
      (I) Socio-Economic Information > (IB) Economic Valuation
      (Z) Other or Unspecified
      Publication Sources: (3) Other Source > (3B) NGOs
      Date Deposited: 23 Nov 2010 15:23
      Last Modified: 20 Jan 2011 14:53

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