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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 documentA NOTE ON LANGUAGE
View the document1. INTRODUCTION
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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
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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
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View the documentCOUNTRY NOTE: CHINA
View the documentCOUNTRY NOTE: INDIA
View the documentCOUNTRY NOTE: NEPAL
View the documentCOUNTRY NOTE: POHNPEI

2.4 Issues In Maintenance of Services of Forests

The wide range in services of forests highlights the diversity of forest “uses,” and reinforces the idea that, for many people, forests have more than economic value. Thus, we are sometimes left with the tension between diverse forest uses, which is intertwined with priorities and the way forests are valued.

The immediate value of forests for timber continues to dominate considerations of forest management by individuals, corporate owners and even governments that represent the public trust. The reasons are many, and include tax policies, ownership of land, tenure issues, economic exigencies, greed, and corruption.

Dwivedi (1992) argues that viewing forests as a “resource” leads to an excessive weight being applied to economic value, and that it is crucial to now search out a new concept of forest “resources.” There are signs that this is occurring. It is possible to see that the concept of “ownership” of forests is changing, in recognition that forests are an important part of the global commons. The public consequently has an important interest in forests and their conservation, not only because of the dependence of life on forests but for other interests such as ecotourism (Woodwell 1993).

Some of the major issues related to services of forests are geopolitical. Though forests are physically located within nation states, issues surrounding their protection go well beyond borders (Maini and Ullsten 1993). This means global geopolitical relations play an important part in the policy context of forestry resource management in the Asia-Pacific region, whether through the calls for international treaties on the banning of hardwoods, green consumerism, or access to the genetic resources of forests by private companies. For Maini and Ullsten (1993), many geopolitical issues can be distilled into four contexts which set the scene for forest management and forest service maintenance:

· The industrialized countries, which are responsible for major deforestation, are advocating strong measures to conserve and protect the world’s forests. Many developing countries are rightly concerned that the industrialized countries’ preoccupation with tropical forest issues is inconsistent with the amount of attention being paid to global warming and forest decline in developed countries.

· Many developing countries view attempts to protect forests by locking up forest resources as an intrusion on sovereign rights.

· The capacity of developing countries to protect biodiversity is dependent on receiving additional funding and technologies from richer countries.

· Many developing countries have expressed concern at the desire of some industrialized countries to gain free access to genetic resources.

Many geopolitical issues are thus related to more general relationships between nation states. It is often suggested that the development of agricultural lands has been at the expense of forests. This process often involves privatizing communally owned forests and grasslands (Repetto 1993). Two major issues related to services of forests arise out of this. First, because the traditional land rights claims of indigenous and local communities frequently are ignored or not included, land at the frontier is often an open access resource. Because of this market failure, the private price of frontier land cannot and does not reflect the value of services performed by forests (Repetto 1993).

The second relates to the argument that one needs to clear-cut in order to open up agriculture. Because clear-cutting is associated with agriculture, and because in many countries of the Asia-Pacific there are high levels of rural poverty, it is relatively easy to suggest that poor people are the cause of some forest destruction. Just how much depends on the ways in which researchers interpret their information and the paradigms they use, the level of poverty and so on. But this approach, which has been highlighted in research in countries such as Nepal and India, often fails to look at the causes of poverty. Therefore, the emphasis on the relationship between agriculture and forest use may provide only a partial picture, and therefore a partial solution.

Social and cultural issues vary across regions and across cultures within regions. The Asia-Pacific region shares with other regions this diversity, only some of which can be addressed here:

· Issue: inter-generational responsibilities and the rights of forest dwellers, indigenous people and communities living in and around forests and who are dependent on them. There are a number of specific components under this issue, including relocation and resettlement of populations, perceptions by the state (that are reflected in policies) that local or indigenous people are “backward” because of their beliefs and/or level of socio-economic development, and the uses of indigenous knowledge and issues associated with the transfer of intellectual property rights.

· Issue: the impact of forest destruction on norms and values of indigenous and local cultures as well as the impact of cultural change on forest use by these people. In many cultures within the Asia-Pacific, shrines and initiation rite ceremonies, taboos and other cultural values have developed to protect trees, shrubs and the sacred places themselves. Whilst this protective function has religious or spiritual significance, it also acts as an important mechanism for the reinforcement of local cultural values and, often, as a mechanism for conflict resolution. The destruction of forests, the relocation and resettlement of forest dependent communities and broader processes of social change serve to undermine these value systems and their broader community function.