Posts Tagged ‘sustainability’

German Alumni Summer School on biodiversity and tourism

Biodiversity Management and Tourism Development

Ronda Green, 13th December 2010

I’ve just returned from the 2010 German Alumni Summer School , on Biodiversity Management and Tourism Development held over 8 days in Lombok, Indonesia.

It was a great experience, organized by Dr. Jolanta Slowik of the renowned  Göttingen Universty of Germany. Delegates came from various parts of Indonesia, as well as Philippines, Thailand, India, Cambodia, Vietnam,  Costa Rica, Ecuador, USA (TIES chair Dr Kelly Bircker), Australia *myself) and of course Germany.

Talks and workshops occupied several days, and we also visited a traditional Sasak village on the slopes of Mt Rinjani (the second largest active volcano in Indonesia – sleeping peacefully at the moment) and heard how the local people vaue the Natinal Park as an employer of local guides, and a few of us dived in coral watching hawksbill turtles, trumpet fish and much more. I was also taken by a friend of one of the delegates to a foundation created to help local orphans get a decent education, funded by swimming pool, restaurant and live theatre – a great project I hope we’ll hear more of soon, as well as a new project the same person is planning, involving ecotourism and cultural tourism. A surprise at the hotel in Mataram (which was beautiful but could just as well ahve been in Miami, Fiji or anywhere else tropical) was looking out the window and seeing dragon lizards gliding from palm tree to palm tree!

I was delighted to be an invited speaker at this summer school – Dr Slowik had come on one of my wildlife tours run as a 3-day field trip after the International Ecology (Intecol) conference last year, and asked if I would be interested (I think it took less than half a second to decide yes, very much so). My talks were ” A half-century of ecotourism in Australia, with particular reference to wildlife tourism” and “Biodiversity protection through community ecotourism”  –  the first was of my choosing (within the limits of presenting the Australian experience), the second on request. I also led a workshop (again, on request) on “Tourism development and tropical rainforest,” involving identification of impacts and problems of tourism development and possible solutions, initiative for sustainabe tourism development and conservation of biodiversity, integrating biodiversity management and sustainable tourism development, and implementation strategies to travel agencies, tourist industry, education and policy makers. I greatly enjoyed the interaction during this workshop, and heard many interesting stories then and throughout the week.

All in all a great experience, many interesting and charming people,  and lots to think about.

How can wildlife tourism best help wildlife conservation?

Wildlife tourism and wildlife conservation – are they really partners? Could the relationship be enhanced?

Do you think wildlife tourism can make an important contribution to conservation?

Do you think the benefits can outweigh any negative impacts?

Do you have examples of where wildlife tourism businesses, large or small have really accomplished something?

Do you have some ideas that could be applied by large or small businesses?

Are you concerned at some of the impacts of tourism which might outweigh the good that is done?

Do you think that wildlife tourism, even if sometimes having an impact, could be better than alternative land uses?

Pleas send a comment and let us know your ideas on this topic

New research reports on learning experiences in wildlife tourism

The following represents new research reports on the importance of  learning experiences in sustainable wildlife tourism

These references, along with others,  have been added to the bibliography on the WTA resources pages

Ballantyne, R., Packer, J. and Falk, J. (in press). Visitors’ learning for environmental sustainability: testing short- and long-term impacts of wildlife tourism experiences using structural equation modelling. Tourism Management.
Ballantyne, R. and Packer, J. (in press). Using tourism free-choice learning experiences to promote environmentally sustainable behaviour: the role of post-visit ‘action resources’. Environmental Education Research.
Ballantyne, R., Packer, J. and Sutherland, L. (in press) Visitors’ memories of wildlife tourism: Implications for the design of powerful interpretive experiences. Tourism Management.
Packer, J. & Ballantyne, R. (2010) The role of zoos and aquariums in education for a sustainable future. New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education, 127, 25-34.