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2002 Sustainable Development of Ecotourism Web Conference rss

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International Year of Ecotourism

FLICKR ALBUM: International Year of Ecotourism


The Sustainable Development of Ecotourism Conference took place in April 2002 and attracted more than 900 participants. We prepared the Final Report for the World Ecotourism Summit.

The organizers of the International Year of Ecotourism - the World Tourism Organization and the United Nations Environment Programme - asked Ron Mader, webhost of Planeta.com website, to organize the e-conference.


The online event took place online in April 2002. The conference allowed stakeholders who have not been able to attend the previous regional conferences to voice their comments and present case studies.

IYE

More than 900 stakeholders from 97 countries participated in this e-conference, representing international, public and private organizations, NGOs, academic institutions and local communities. During the event, more than 100 messages, received from around 30 countries, were posted and archived for future reference.

Participants shared information through case studies, specific examples and field experiences, and recommended resources for those interested in ecotourism issues.


SUMMARY OF DISCUSSIONS

Throughout the four-week conference there was a thoughtful dialogue about the complexities of ecotourism. Several participants indicated that the process leading up to the World Ecotourism Summit and the Summit itself present a major opportunity to promote mutually reinforcing relationships that exist among tourism operations, conservation, and local community development.

As ecotourism has dramatically captured the attention of people around the world, there are many expectations of what ecotourism can offer for a particular locality, as well for larger regions and in the global environmental movement. There was a plethora of discussion about definitions that should be used in this field.

There was also a healthy dialogue about the type of ecotourism that can and should be promoted. Discussions drew from the complexities of ecotourism regulation, certification, product development and marketing. Of note were repeated comments and dialogue about positive and negative impacts of tourism on communities and local people.

There is a growing concern that ecotourism is such a powerful force driven by the world's largest industry and participants stressed that it is essential that the ecotourism sector remains a low impact niche

Several participants questioned whether travel could be considered a sustainable activity, because of basic environmental impacts associated with the use of motor vehicles and aircrafts. These questions led participants into a productive dialogue about available information resources as well as the need for continued study and development of action plans.

FORMAT

The conference was organized around the four themes defined for the IYE process.

1. Ecotourism Policy and Planning: The Sustainability Challenge
2. Regulation of Ecotourism: Institutional Responsibilities and Frameworks
3. Product Development, Marketing and Promotion of Ecotourism: Fostering Sustainable Products and Consumers
4. Monitoring Costs and Benefits of Ecotourism: Ensuring Equitable Distribution among all Stakeholders

Two cross-cutting issues were discussed throughout the dialogue:

The sustainability of ecotourism from the environmental, economic and socio-cultural points of view.

Involvement and empowerment of local communities and indigenous people in the ecotourism development process, in management and monitoring of ecotourism activities, and in the sharing of benefits resulting from it.

CALENDAR

April 1 - 5: Ecotourism Policy and Planning
April 8 - 12: Regulation of Ecotourism
April 15-19: Product Development, Marketing and Promotion of Ecotourism
April 22-26: Monitoring Costs and Benefits of Ecotourism
April 26-May 1: Preparation of Final Report
May 19, 2002: Presentation of the Report at the World Ecotourism Summit

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FEATURES

g IYE+10: Evaluating the International Year of Ecotourism
g IYE+5
g International Year of Ecotourism Resource Guide
g Reflections on the International Year of Ecotourism
g Reflections on the Quebec Ecotourism Summit
g Sustainable Development of Ecotourism Web Conference

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g International Year of Ecotourism
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YAHOO ARCHIVES

b IYE Ecotourism
b 2002 Ecotourism

WIKI

g IYE
g How is your conference green?
g Toward Effective Communication in Responsible Travel and Ecotourism
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