Fwd: [WCPA General] INTERVIEW WITH PAUL EAGLES ON Ecotourism and Wildlife.
>X-Original-To: lgardne@...[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
>Date: Thu, 27 May 2004 10:42:12 +0200
>From: SHEPPARD David <DAS@...>
>Subject: [WCPA General] INTERVIEW WITH PAUL EAGLES ON Ecotourism and
>Thread-Topic: INTERVIEW WITH PAUL EAGLES ON Ecotourism and Wildlife.
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>Dear WCPA Members
>Please find attached an interview between an Italian journalist and Paul
>Eagles, Head of the IUCN/WCPA Tourism Task Force, on the topic of
>Ecotourism and Wildlife.
>Copied for information - maybe there may be some useful material for your
>If you want more information on tourism and protected areas please visit
>the WCPA website, where you can download the publication: Sustainable
>Tourism in Protected Areas"
>Head, IUCN Programme on Protected Areas; and
>Secretary-General 2003 World Parks Congress.
>Direct Line: ++41 (22) 999-0162; Web:
>From: Paul F. J. Eagles [mailto:eagles@...]
>Sent: 26 May 2004 17:21
>Cc: SHEPPARD David; r.bushell@...
>Subject: Ecotourism and Wildlife.
>I understand that you are an Italian freelance journalist writing a story
>for the Italian weekly magazine "Panorama" about the risks to the wildlife
>caused by ecotourists. David Sheppard of the IUCN head office has asked me
>to reply to your questions. I will reply to each question in turn.
>Question: Ecotourism has clear benefits for poor countries, for example.
>But is it a really sustainable activity?
>Answer: Ecotourism has clear benefits for all countries that practice the
>activity in a sustainable fashion. The activity is very sustainable when
>properly managed The key issue is that of management. There must be
>competent and effective management for the activity to provide maximum
>positive benefits and minimum negative benefits.
>Question: Do you know other cases of species particularly disturbed by
>tourists (change of behaviors, physiological damages, diseases caused by
>human beings, etc.)?
>Answer: There is a very large body of literature dealing with these
>issues. Disturbance of the wildlife varies in severity from minor
>behavioral change to major change involving injury and death. One key
>aspect of ecotourism is that the people interested in observing wildlife
>are concerned about the welfare of the individuals. Therefore many of the
>ecotourists are active lobbyists in developing and implementing codes of
>conduct and management activities. Another important issue is what level
>of impact is considered to important. Is a minor behavioral change, say
>moving in another direction, important?
>Question: On the contrary, do you know cases of particularly well-managed
>areas where the animals do not suffer the presence of visitors? What has
>been done in these areas to avoid interferences?
>Answer: Most of the world's parks and protected areas do a good job of
>managing their wildlife. The biggest problems for the managers are
>poachers, illegal loggers, illegal miners and farmers. The impacts caused
>by these groups are much more negative than those caused by tourists.
>Question: What should be done to avoid damages to the biodiversity caused
>by people who - on their intentions - visit an area to protect it?
>Answer: The most effective way to avoid damage is a well funded and
>effective park management. I can not emphasize this too much. There must
>be effective management.
>Question: Do you think that scientists should collect data on the animals
>before admitting tourists and then monitor the same animals and - if
>something wrong is noticed - stop the tourism?
>Answer: It is not feasible to have all tourism start only after scientists
>collect data. There are many schemes available that allow for ongoing
>monitoring and evaluation of tourism. For example the Limits of Acceptable
>Change process allows for ongoing monitoring that inputs into decision making.
>Question: What could happen to countries whose economy is strongly based
>on ecotourists if it would be demonstrated that it isn't a sustainable
>Answer: If a country's economy is based on ecotourism, as for example
>Tanzania, it is essential that the wildlife populations be maintained. If
>tourism or any other activity damages the wildlife populations to a
>considerable extent then the tourism will be damaged. It is this link
>between tourism and conservation that makes ecotourism such a positive
>force. The wildlife populations must be maintained if the tourism is to be
>sustained. And in many countries the tourism is essential for the
>wildlife. For example, it is the tourism fees and charges that pays for
>the wildlife management. I call this the virtuous circle of ecotourism.
>People, tourism and conservation are all linked in a positive circle. Each
>depends on the other.
>Question: What kind of rules should be respected?
>Answer: The answer to this is very complicated. For full and effective
>wildlife management and ecotourism there must be a management structure
>involving competent staff, effective laws, finance, marketing and
>monitoring. I would like to refer you to our book on this subject.
>Sustainable Tourism in Protected Areas: Guidelines for Planning and
>Management. This can be found at the IUCN Web Site at:
>http://www.iucn.org/themes/wcpa/pubs/guidelines.htm#tourism. This book is
>the result of 5 years of preparation and is one summary of the available
>literature and experience on effective sustainable tourism in parks and
>I hope this answers your questions.
>Paul F. J. Eagles, Professor,
>Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies,
>University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. N2L 3G1
>Telephone: 519-888-4567 ext. 2716.
>Personal Web Page: http://www.ahs.uwaterloo.ca/~eagles/
>Chair, Task Force on Tourism and Protected Areas,
>World Commission on Protected Areas,
>World Conservation Union (IUCN).
>Task Force Web Page: http://wcpa.iucn.org/taskforce/tourism/tourism.html
>To contact the list owners: wcpa_general-owners@...
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