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close this bookEcotourism and other Services Derived from Forests in the Asia- Pacific Region: Outlook to 2010. (FAO - Forestry, 1997)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentINFORMATION NOTE ON ASIA-PACIFIC FORESTRY SECTOR OUTLOOK STUDY
View the documentACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
View the documentA NOTE ON LANGUAGE
View the document1. INTRODUCTION
close this folder2. SERVICES PROVIDED BY FORESTS
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close this folder2.1 Categories Of Services
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View the documentEcological services
View the documentEconomic services
View the documentSociocultural services
View the documentScenic and landscape services and values
View the documentThe relative importance of the various services
View the document2.2 Relationship Between Services of Forests and Forest Production
View the document2.3 Institutional and Policy Environment
View the document2.4 Issues In Maintenance of Services of Forests
View the document2.5 Summary of Issues Related to Services Provided by Forests
close this folder3. ECOTOURISM
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View the document3.1 Ecotourism, Definitions, Concepts and Visitor Types
View the document3.2 Actors in the Ecotourism “System”
close this folder3.3 Overview of Tourism and Ecotourism in the Asia-Pacific Region
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View the documentTourism in the Region
View the documentFuture Growth in Tourism in the Region
View the documentEcotourism in the Region
View the documentPast and Future Ecotourism Growth in the Region
close this folder3.4 The Dimensions of Ecotourism
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View the documentEnvironmental Dimension
View the documentExperiential Dimension
View the documentSociocultural Dimension
View the documentEconomic Dimension
close this folder4. OUTLOOK: ISSUES, TRENDS, IMPLICATIONS, AND OPTIONS
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close this folder4.1 Preserving Services Derived from the Forest: Protected Area and Social Forestry Approaches
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View the documentProtected areas and their management
View the documentMovements towards a community/social forestry approach
View the document4.2 Need for Increased Research and Utilization of Results
View the document4.3 Importance of Social Issues in Management
View the document4.4 Continued Funding Difficulties in Natural Areas
View the document4.5 Ecotourism Management: Low Level of Funding and Reliance on Simplistic Strategies Like Carrying Capacity
View the document4.6 Growth in International and Domestic Visitation
View the document4.7 Change in the Visitor Market
View the document4.8 Continued or Increased Competition, Particularly for International Visitors
View the document4.9 Importance of Interpretation
View the document4.10 Importance of Partnerships Among Ecotourism Actors
View the document4.11 Greater Private Sector Roles in Management of Natural Areas
View the document4.12 Pressure to Use Natural Areas for Activities that are Not Nature-Dependent
View the document4.13 Professionalization of Operators and Desire to Exclude Those Not Meeting Professional Criteria
View the document4.14 Tendency for Dominance by Larger Operators and Those Located in Regional or National Centres
View the document4.15 Summary of Issues, Trends, Implications, and Options
View the documentREFERENCES
close this folderANNEX - COUNTRY ECOTOURISM NOTES
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View the documentCOUNTRY NOTE: AUSTRALIA
View the documentCOUNTRY NOTE: CHINA
View the documentCOUNTRY NOTE: INDIA
View the documentCOUNTRY NOTE: INDONESIA
View the documentCOUNTRY NOTE: MALAYSIA
View the documentCOUNTRY NOTE: NEPAL
View the documentCOUNTRY NOTE: POHNPEI
View the documentCOUNTRY NOTE: THAILAND

1. INTRODUCTION

Forest resources are central to conservation and development in the Asia-Pacific region. Not only do forests provide a number of ecosystem services to both the region and the world, they also are resources for economic and social development. The region includes a number of forest “hotspots” of environmental importance, as well as several countries undergoing rapid economic development and continued population growth. These forces make it critical that sustainable uses of forest resources be facilitated.

One of the means of facilitating sustainable use of forest resources is ecotourism. There are numerous definitions of ecotourism, and definitional issues are described further in Section 3.1. For purposes of this working paper, ecotourism is defined as “tourism and recreation that is both nature-based and sustainable.”

Ecotourism has been embraced as a tool for generating economic benefits from forests and other natural resources while simultaneously conserving those resources. However, it is not a panacea for sustainable resource use, as benefits have not always been as great as desired while costs have sometimes been greater than expected (Laarman and Durst 1993; Lindberg 1991). The balance of benefits and costs will depend on a variety of factors, including destination appeal and accessibility. However, it also depends critically on how well ecotourism is planned and managed. This working paper provides an introduction to ecotourism and services of forests, together with an outlook and options for future management.

For purposes of this working paper, the products provided by forests are grouped into the following categories:

· timber production;

· special forest products or non-timber forest products, such as rattan and medicinal plants; and

· “services of forests” which incorporates the varied non-physical forest products, as described in Section 2.

This working paper focuses on the third category, and on ecotourism in particular. It should be stressed that though services of forests are less tangible than timber or non-timber forest products, they make highly important contributions to social and economic development.

The working paper is part of the Asia-Pacific Forestry Outlook study, which involves an assessment of the status, trends, and outlook for the forestry sector to the year 2010. Section 2 of the paper provides background on services of forests generally, and Section 3 provides background on ecotourism. These background sections are followed by Section 4, which describes relevant trends and issues, their implications, and options that might be implemented to achieve policy objectives. Lastly, the Annex contains notes on selected countries that provide additional background and illustrate issues.

Naturally, there is substantial variation across countries with respect to services of forests, relevant issues, and future outlook. For example, the concepts and implementation of ecotourism vary across countries, particularly between more and less developed countries. Nonetheless, there are significant commonalties, with general issues and principles relevant in a variety of situations. This working paper provides a discussion of general issues and principles, while also providing some specifics.

The working paper is inherently limited by the lack of ecotourism statistics. This lack partly results from the nature of tourism flows, which are not as easily measured as timber flows. It also results from the lack of common and easily-applied definitions for tourism generally and, especially, for ecotourism in particular. Lastly, the limited project budget precluded site visits or the contracting of country or topic specialists. For these reasons, the working paper primarily provides an overview, though significant effort has gone into providing illustrative details and data wherever possible.

Throughout the paper, the term “natural areas” is used instead of “forest areas.” This usage recognizes that many forestry agencies in the region manage non-forested areas. In addition, the term is used instead of “protected areas” to reflect that not all relevant areas are in public ownership or have legal protection. Nonetheless, many of the sites used for ecotourism in the region are national parks or one of the other IUCN protected area designations.