Friday, August 14, 2009

Shark Reef Marine Reserve - an Ecotourism Project?

Click on image for plenty of interesting detail!

Juerg says, it is!

And I agree!
The relevant page (10) of the paper say this.
According to The International Ecotourism Society, ecotourism is responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the wellbeing of local people.
In this sense, the SRMR is an ecotourism project providing sustainable tourism that rests on the “three pillars” of sustainability and as such “meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (Brundtland, 1987;Diedrich, 2007; Townsend, 2008).

The value of marine reserves is undisputed for enhancing marine tourism and for raising consciousness of the need for, and the benefits of marine conservation. The SRMR is no exception to this (

The main purposes of protected management areas include preservation of species and genetic diversity, protection of specific natural and cultural features, tourism and recreation, education, sustainable use of resources from natural ecosystems, maintenance of cultural and traditional attributes and scientific research.

Based on the primary management objectives of the project, the SRMR is an International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) category II MPA, functioning mainly for the protection of ecosystem and recreation and designated to
(1) protect the ecological integrity of an ecosystem for present and future generations,
(2) exclude exploitation or occupation inimical to the purposes of designation of the area, and
(3) provide a foundation for spiritual, scientific, educational, recreational and visitor opportunities, all of which must be environmentally and culturally compatible (IUCN, 1994).

But the work is not finished.
Quoting Jameson, Tupper, and Ridley (2002), “In this day and age, with all the stresses imposed on coral reefs and other marine environments, an area is not magically or instantaneously ‘protected’ via anMPA designation process – protection must be fought for – and it may never be attained”.

Actions are more important than concepts and definitions.
The SRMR project will only be successful if future divers enjoy a unique and exclusive diving experience in the marine reserve and compensate the traditional fishing rights holders for having this privilege. This way, it will hopefully serve as a pilot project for future privately or community-initiated, locally implemented and managed marine reserves.
There you have it!

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