Welcome to the Biodiversity and Tourism Network

Case Studies

The following is a series of various biodiversity and tourism related case-studies

1. Institutions
2. Baseline Information
3. Vision & Goals
4. Legislation and Control Measures
5. Impact Assessment
6. Tourism and Coastal Zone Management
7. Decision-making
8. Monitoring and Reporting
9. Education, Capacity-building and Awareness-raising
10. SCBD and WTF Case Studies



Chilean tourism policy leaders have sought to analyze the ecotourism business sector in terms of its competitive elements, while looking at what government can do to support private business in prioritized zones. This approach appears to be successfully integrating tourism policy development into local development planning at the municipal level, while maintaining a focus on the productive partnership between the private sector and government. Chile has also systematically reviewed legislation needed to monitor environmental impacts of tourism, not only within municipalities but across municipal boundaries. This policy framework for action appears realistic and on target. Some key points that were discovered in this process for governmental policy leaders are as follows:

• Tourism must be seen as part of an integrated local development plan which includes agriculture, and industry.
• The agenda setting process can be used as a means to coordinate action with local municipalities to rationalize tourism planning policies at the local level.
• New legislation was required to evaluate the environmental impact of tourism projects in rural areas that have been targeted for ecotourism development.
• The new system of environmental impact analysis looked at impacts on ecosystems that cross municipal boundaries, and a new form of “supramunicipal” review and cooperation was established for wetlands, watersheds, etc.
• Implementation is linked to planning for municipal functions, such as Communal Development, Regulatory Planning, and Local Ordinances.
• Policy has established a system of monitoring indicators for the development of tourism within national territory which is being linked to the national tourism development.

Baseline Information - Case Studies

Slovak Republic

Stiavnica Hills Protected landscape Area

A review of Baseline Information in the Stiavnica Hills, a Protected landscape Area (PLA) in the Slovak Republic that is popular with domestic tourists, found that the several institutions which are responsible for the management of biodiversity and nature protection, have little knowledge about existing information sources and documents held by other departments or institutions, and that communications channels were poor. Furthermore, their priorities for information collection did not specifically include the interactions between conservation objectives and tourism or other economic activities. Because of this it was difficult to develop a comprehensive regional management strategy that integrated tourism issues into biodiversity conservation and environmental protection plans. Good information was available about ecosystems, flora and fauna for the Stiavnica Hills PLA, but information about visitor numbers, their interest and activities, the main places visited within the PLA, was more limited—often based on personal observations and small surveys—and needed to be updated with more comprehensive research. No indicators were available that could be used to assess the effects of tourism on the flora and fauna in different areas of the PLA, or to take impact management to counteract any damage to biodiversity that might be resulting from tourism.16


Tayrona National Park
Download the Case study of the Tayrona National Park in .pdf

The Tayrona National Park, located in the Atlantic coast of North Colombia, covers an area of 15,000 hectares, of which 3000 hectares are in marine areas. Although the Tayrona National Park does not contain indigenous reservations, it is part of the ancestral territory of the indigenous groups who live in the Sierra Nevada of Santa Marta. In 1982, UNESCO declared the combined area of Sierra Nevada of Santa Marta and the Tayrona National Park as a Biosphere Reserve, demonstrating the importance of the region in relation to conservation and regional development. Due to its easy access, its location and the beauty of its landscape with a system of bays or protected creeks and large beaches, the Tayrona National Park is one of the most visited areas of the National Park System, and attracts both national and international visitors. A review of Baseline Information undertaken in the Tayrona National Park, Colombia, found that:17

• Scientific information has been accumulated that can help to determine appropriate levels of tourism within the different zones that have been established within the park for management purposes. The particular types of tourism that are most suitable within each zone have been identified, as well as zones which should be free from tourism. However the park does not have sufficient detailed information for the assessment of ecological and socio-cultural impacts;
• The Tayrona National Park management has good information about marine and coastal ecosystems, taxonomic lists on endemic, exclusive, migrating and endangered species for the park as a whole. This information has already been used for zoning the park, and for the classification of the coastal ecotourism sites. It could also be applied to develop management criteria for avoidance or prevention of damage that can result from tourism, and for education and publishing purposes to raise the awareness of tourists about the sensitivity and ecological importance of the places they visit;
• A wide range of policies and regulations for ecotourism activities were already in place, including some information about the evolution of the ecotourism market, opening up the possibility of setting up projects to develop ecotourism for which there would be a demand in the market. However, studies about ecotourism markets were felt to be insufficient;
• No indicators had been established that could be used to assess and monitor the social and cultural impact of ecotourism, and more information was needed on the scale of tourism’s economic contribution to local communities associated with the park. Establishment of indicators would assist in implementation of management actions to counteract any damage to biodiversity that may occur through tourism, and to adjust and plan tourism activities;
• A framework was needed to allow the exchange of information between traditional indigenous knowledge and scientific-technical knowledge, so that such knowledge could be integrated into assessments of plans for tourism development, and in evaluations of the effects of existing tourism. Overall, more information was needed for all the planning levels and decision making.

Vision & goals — Case study


The Great Barrier Reef: The 25 Year Strategic Plan

In 1994, The 25 Year Strategic Plan for the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area was produced to provide strategies for managing and preserving the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area for a 25 year period.19 The Strategic Plan gave everyone who has a stake in the Reef ’s long-term future a say in how the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area is to be managed over the next 25 years. This approach will ensure the Reef remains in a healthy state and can be enjoyed by future generations. From the beginning, emphasis was placed on the concerns and opinions of all stakeholders. These included governments, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, conservationists, scientists, recreational users and established Reef industries such as fishing, shipping and tourism. Overall, the Strategic Plan was endorsed by almost 70 organizations representing all levels of government, recreational and commercial users, conservation and scientific groups and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. The overall vision for the Plan states that in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area in 25 years there will be:

• A healthy environment: an Area which maintains its diversity of species and habitats, and its ecological integrity and resilience, parts of which are in pristine condition;
• Sustainable multiple use;
• Maintenance and enhancement of values;
• Integrated management;
• Knowledge-based but cautious decision making in the absence of information;
• An informed, involved, committed community.

To realize this vision, the plan identifies eight broad strategy areas:

• Conservation;
• Resource management;
• Education, communication, consultation and commitment;
• Research and monitoring;
• Integrated planning;
• Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Interests;
• Legislation;
• For each of these broad areas, the Plan provides the Rationale, 25-Year Objective, 5-Year Objectives and strategies to fulfil these objectives.

Legislation and Control Measures — Case Studies


SMART Voyager

The SMARTVoyager® certification program, which aims to minimize the impact of tour boats in the Galapagos Islands, has developed from an initiative by an Ecuadorian conservation group and the Rainforest Alliance. The program was designed by the Corporación de Conservación y Desarrollo (CCD), an Ecuadorian nonprofit organization with experience in ecotourism and ecolabels, and was launched in May 2000. Working with scientists, conservation experts, tour operators and others, CCD developed standards for the maintenance and operation of tour boats. Tour companies that wish to participate invite a team of specialists aboard their boats to evaluate the vessels according to the guidelines. The tour boat certification program is guided by an advisory committee—comprised of the Ecuadorian Minister of Tourism, scientists, park officials and representatives of the tourism industry. The International Galapagos Tour Operators Association, representing the companies that manage tourism in the islands, supports the program by distributing information to the tour operators and the tourists themselves.

Boat operators must plan and control the consumption, supply and storage of materials taking into consideration the well being of tourists, workers, local communities and conservation of natural ecosystems. Boats must follow a waste-management plan, including reduction, reuse, recycling, and adequate final treatment and disposal of all wastes. Tourists must be guided in their involvement in protecting natural resources and local cultures, in accordance with these standards to avoid impacts and collaborate with the island conservation programs. The tourist operation must guarantee the safety of all involved individuals. The tourist operation activities must be planned, monitored and evaluated, taking into consideration technical, economic, social and environmental factors.

Boat operators pay for audits and the use of the ecolabel. The criteria will be revised annually in an open, transparent, inclusive and documented process. Certification contracts are for one year; boats must be inspected at least annually. SMARTVoyager auditors can guide boat operators to a variety of expert sources of information and technical services.


The Blue Flag Campaign

The Blue Flag Campaign is an EC funded program to certify the quality of beaches and marinas, mostly for the quality of bathing water. It is run by the Foundation for Environmental Education in Europe (FEEE) and operated at national level by satellite offices from FEEE. The main partners are the European Commission, United Nations Environment Programme, World Tourism Organisation, the International Life Saving Federation, and other institutions on national level.

The Campaign started in France in 1985 and expanded into a European programme in 1987. FEEE is currently exploring the possibility for extending the Campaign to South East Asia, the Caribbean, Southern Africa, Canada and the United States.

The award is currently based on 27 criteria for beaches and 16 criteria for marinas, covering four aspects of management: water quality, environmental education and information, environmental management, and safety and services. Some criteria are imperative, whereas others are guideline criteria. Some of the criteria are compliance with health and safety legislation, others encourage pro-active visitor management. The applicant will be the management unit responsible for the site, in the case of beaches it will be the municipality or council, whereas for marinas it will be their owner, either the public or private sector. Criteria are verified through site visits throughout the summer season and at times before the season, carried out by the national organisation and the Blue Flag co-ordination. The bathing water quality data are controlled by the national environmental protection agency. If some of the criteria are not fulfilled during the season or the conditions change, the Blue Flag will be withdrawn. The Flag is awarded per summer season; in practical terms this is one year.

Impact management — Case studies

Slovak Republic

Impact management in Stiavnica Hills PLA

Impact management in the Stiavnica Hills PLA includes use of educational trails to manage visitor flows. These help to keep visitors away from the more sensitive parts of the PLA. Several projects including a geological trail linked to historical mining activities that used to occur in the region, development of new educational trails, and restoration of existing paths, will enhance the effectiveness of this visitor management technique. As well as the park administration, a number of local NGOs and museums are involved in the development and maintenance of these trails and associated visitor education activities. The PLA administration has powers to notify the local district authorities in cases of unacceptable or illegal impacts (e.g. illegal building activities), although it has not as yet proved possible to address the issues of holiday cottages that have been illegally constructed in the past.

The PLA administration is incorporating maximum limits for tourist numbers—determined using the limits for acceptable change approach—into the current management zones for the site. These limits can be applied to regulation of future development in the PLA. Impact management strategies are assisted by the fact that there are only a few access roads to the PLA region, and that most visitors visit just a few tourism sites that are already well defined—mainly around several lakes and countryside museums.

Recommendations made for improving impact management in the PLA include:
• D evelopment of a clear management plan for nature conservation and establishment of a set of guidelines for future development of tourism compatible with the nature conservation management plan for the PLA
• D evelopment of visitor management plans for specific tourism areas within the PLA, incorporating information and interpretation provision, and fine-scale zoning to create the sustainable co-existence of important habitats and tourism activities.

Soufrière, St. Lucia

Impact management and zoning in a Marine Protected area

Soufrière lies on the south West Coast of St. Lucia in an area which is popular with tourists. By the early 1990s the local fishermen felt there was an additional pressure on their livelihoods from the increasing number of tourists: for example, fishermen were having to deal with yachts when hauling their nets, and trap fishermen were in conflict with divers over damage to their gear. The Department of Fisheries therefore embarked on a process of participatory community management to resolve these issues and seek a favourable outcome for both the fishing community and the tourism industry, by bringing together all local stakeholders to prepare a zoning plan for what became known as the Soufrière Marine Management Area.35 The plan’s objectives were to restore fisheries productivity and fish stocks, and to separate conflicting activities. Four strictly protected areas (no-take zones) were identified and separated from areas where fishing was permitted. Specific yacht mooring areas were also identified.

The strictly protected areas were seen as a way of building up fish stocks to contribute to the fisheries in the adjacent zones. The management scheme was also designed to reduce conflict by separating the tourism and fisheries and to support the local fishing activity by establishing areas where fishing had priority. Part of the running costs of the area come from user fees paid by divers and mooring fees by yachtsmen and there are also small grants for specific projects. There was some initial compensation to fishermen for lost fishing grounds and a strong educational programme which informs users of the importance and role of the management scheme. This effort has meant that zoning scheme is respected.

One important outcome has been a dramatic increase in the overall amount of fish present as measured by fish biomass—the total weight of live fish found in the area. This has tripled for commercially important fish in the no-take areas. The most popular areas for fishing have therefore become the boundaries of these areas where there is a ‘spill over’ of fish into adjacent grounds. With more and bigger fish in the strictly protected areas, these zones are becoming increasingly popular with divers and snorkellers and therefore benefiting the tourist industry as well as the livelihoods of local fishermen.

Tourism and Coastal Zone Management - Case Study


The island of Barbados is a Caribbean regional leader in the development and implementation of Integrated Coastal Management with an ICM Plan that covers the entire coastline, supporting legislation, and an investment programme aimed at enhancing environmental quality. To facilitate this, the Barbados government has established a Coastal Zone Management Unit within the Ministry of Health and the Environment. Compatibility between economic and environmental interests is part of this strategy and the government of Barbados has recognised that continued benefit from tourism is dependent on the provisions to visitors of an acceptable natural and built environment. Actions relating to tourism are integrated with policies and actions for other sectors such as nature conservation, fisheries, and maintenance of water quality, within the ICM plan.36 Some examples are:

• Set back limits for coastal construction and redevelopment: For example at the Casuarina Beach Club where tourist accommodation was set back from the sandy beach. This decision allowed landscapers to design walkways and hotel facilities in a sympathetic manner, creating a visually attractive area and ensuring that the infrastructure did not impact on the active beach area. Two major benefits are the maintenance of the natural coastal defence and maintenance of a more natural secluded feel to the hotel which is an attraction to guests.
• Beach stabilising structures to retain or enhance beaches: Almost all the major beaches on the south coast are held in place by beach forming/retaining structures. This approach of shoreline stablilisation has been successful because there is a good supply of sand from Cobblers and Bow Bells Reef. Of the nineteen beach profiles monitored on the south coast up to the mid 1990’s, twelve showed a significant trend to accumulate sand and sediments, six showed no trend and one showed erosion. Between 1954 and 1991 the beach area on the south coast has increased by 35%.

Decision making — Case study

The Bahamas

Mitigation Measures

The Bahamas is an archipelago made of many different islands. The two major centres of development are the islands of New Providence and Grand Bahama. The other less-developed islands are referred to as the Family Islands. It is on these islands that specific mitigation measures are recommended by The Bahamas Environment, Science and Technology (BEST) Commission, to use through the appropriate legislation is applied when decision making processes are considered. These recommended measures are detailed below:

General Recommendations

The development projects should be requested to produce EIAs designed:

(1) a. to identify and assess the significance of potential impacts (positive and adverse) to living and nonliving components of the environment resulting from the proposed activities, and socio-economic impacts stemming from environmental threats; and
b. to recommend measures for eliminating or reducing the risk and magnitude of adverse environmental affects (mitigation) and for detecting adverse effects in time to correct them (monitoring).

The developers should be advised that accurate factual submissions make for faster approvals. The descriptive documents highlighting only benefits slow the process down.
Points (1) (a) and (b) should apply to potential positive and negative impacts on air quality, terrain, surface and groundwater quality, as well as terrestrial and marine ecosystems.

(2) a. Minimum setback from the shoreline
Without a wave and surge (coastal engineering) analysis to determine the maximum shoreline intrusion and subsequent shoreline erosion under high tidal wave and wind actions, it is suggested that a minimum setback of 100 feet from the high mean sea level be considered. The results of the appropriate studies may allow for shorter setbacks to be considered.

b. Standards for the protection of dunes
For the same reason referred to in (2) (a) above, it is suggested that a minimum setback of 75 feet from the crest of the dunes be considered. The integrity of the developments depends on the maintenance of the existing dune structure and vegetation. Dune crossovers should be kept to an absolute minimum and be located in areas where there is minimal impact on the dune structures and vegetation.

c. Designated programs for the disposal of dredged material
With the absence of a dredging impact analysis or modeling to simulate the tidal hydrodynamics and sediment transport/dispersion, dredging and deposition of dredged material must not be allowed in any areas where terrestrial and/or marine ecosystems are impacted. This includes the impact resulting from the migration of sediment caused by dredging operations.

d. Specific measures to reserve fish and bird nursery areas
These areas should be covenanted and reserved as special ‘preservation’ or ‘conservation’ zones. Management of these zones should be through The Bahamas National Trust.

e. Specific management protocols for mangrove wetlands
In the absence of an analysis of the sheltered intertidal mangrove ecosystems, there should be no intrusion into the mangrove wetlands. These lands should be reserved as special ‘preservation’ or ‘conservation’ zones in association with The Bahamas National Trust.

f. Minimum density requirement
These should be as stipulated by the Department of Physical Planning through The Bahamas Building Control Code. The Bahamas Government may make special provision for lower densities on Family Islands and Cays based on the development area.

g. Performance bond
It is a standard practice in civil works construction contracts to require contractors to post performance security either in the form of:
(i) a Bank guarantee in the amount of ten (10) percent of the contract price; or
(ii) a performance bond in the amount of twenty-five (25) percent of the contract price.

h. Mitigation of impact especially when removing or altering the landscape by providing offsetting or compensatory measures
The developer must supply design and operational measures to prevent or mitigate potential impacts related to the construction, operation and maintenance phases of the project.

i. Groundwater abstraction rates
The extraction of groundwater for domestic and/or commercial purposes should not be allowed without a permit from the appropriate Government agency (i.e. the Water and Sewerage Corporation). The Corporation will know where the viable groundwater resources are and the quantity of groundwater available for extraction.
In applying for a permit, the Corporation may require the developer to undertake hydrogeological investigations. The proponent must provide estimates of water requirements for construction, domestic, commercial and emergency demands, including future water needs.
The developer must conform fully to the requirements of the Water and Sewerage Corporation for the abstraction and distribution of water. The Corporation either directly or through a Franchise Agreement with the developer should provide the water. This matter should be negotiated directly with the Corporation with the results presented for final approval before the development can proceed.

j. Standardized environmentally sensitive waste disposal system
The developer must be required to submit specific details on water recycling, conservation and wastewater handling being proposed for the project. The water treatment and disposal system being proposed must be described in detail.

k. Mitigation of environmental impact
The dredging activity must be monitored prior to dredging as well as throughout the dredging process by conducting water-sampling tests. This system will allow for monitoring of the effects of the dredging operation and thus evaluation of the mitigation measures in place.
Timing of the dredging operation must coincide with the time of year that will minimize impacts on marine resources.
Turbidity curtains, or other sediment control equipment, are to be utilized to limit secondary sediment impacts to adjacent sea grass beds and near shore reef areas.

l. Program for the disposal of dredged materials
All dredged material must be held in upland settling ponds before transfer to the spoil containment area.
The dredged material must be placed on an impervious surface at the upland containment site.
The dredged material must be separated, cleaned and stored before land use or use as fill.
Dredged material that has been separated, cleaned and stored may be used for habitat restoration or as landfill cover for solid waste. Clean fine-grained sands may be used for parks and recreational areas.

m. Solid waste disposal systems
The solid waste disposal system must be targeted to recover cardboard, mixed paper, wood waste, inert material and materials of high visibility, including scrap metals, plastics and glass.

n. Fueling facilities
No fuel storage or refueling activities may take place at any marina without specific additional approval for these activities. Such additional approval will require the berming or bunding of all storage areas, contingency oil spill plans, emergency spill containment and clean-up chemicals and equipment, and a detailed plan for their use. Fueling practices will also have to be submitted.

o. Disposal facilities at marinas
All marinas must have in place shore disposal facilities for sewerage and solid waste. No disposal in harbours or coastal areas will be allowed. No disposal of solid waste in Bahamian waters will be permitted.

Monitoring — Case Studies


Visitor monitoring at Müritz National Park

The Müritz National Park is located in the north-eastern part of Germany. Visitors can access the national park from many sites. A visitor monitoring scheme was established in 1999 to identify the magnitude of visitation per day and over the season, where visitors go and what they do (i.e. how they move around the park: walking, biking, canoeing, horse-back riding).39 This is being done by counting visitors at 15 determined sites on 15 determined days throughout the year. Besides calculating the approximate total number of visitors per year, the results indicate a spatial distribution of tourists and their main activities. The visitor monitoring is repeated at full scale every three years; usually visitor surveys are being done at the same time. Sample checks are made annually.

Special monitoring of biodiversity indicators (species and habitats) are being enacted on sites identified critical to visitor impact, for example around the crane resting areas and the habitats along the waterways for canoeing. Following the monitoring results, visitation to the crane resting areas has been adapted and the crane monitoring now reflects the effectiveness of the management measures. Similar adaptive changes are currently being discussed in a multi-stakeholder forum concerning canoeing.

Sri Lanka

Development of indicators for tourism and tourism impacts at Beruwala

Beruwala consists of two villages, Moragalla and Kaluwamodera. The area is approximately 15 square kilometres and located on the west coast of Sri Lanka, 60 kilometres south of Colombo. In 1998, the Beruwala area had a collection of 13 hotels and 12 licensed and unlicensed guesthouses along the beach in the two villages. The total population of both villages is approximately 45,000. At the time of the study, Beruwala had about 1300 rooms available for accommodation and a total of 583,469 guest nights (data from 1999). Of these guest nights, over 90% were by international tourists, primarily interested in sun and sand, although there are many cultural and ecological attractions nearby.

There were two objectives for the UNWTO case study of Beruwala: first was to determine the key risks to the sustainability of the tourism industry of Beruwala; and second to use this study as a demonstration of the identification, evaluation and use of indicators of sustainable tourism in general. Indicator preparation was undertaken by consultants, with assistance of members of the Ceylon Tourism Board, who undertook the field work and site interviews, while the actual selection of the indicators was carried out by local participants during a three-day workshop. The workshop participants were briefed about the process and the criteria, presented with key destination facts and given a site visit to the key areas of concern. Then, in three working groups, the participants focused on the development of candidate indicators.

The final list of selected indicators was divided into six different categories; environment, society, economy, product quality, management and community planning. The UNWTO also suggested measuring certain indicators separately for specific ‘hot spots’ within Beruwala which included the beachfront area and the lower reaches of the Bentota River where tourists from the adjacent resort use the river. It was suggested that for these areas indicators such as intensity of use should be measured to supplement the destination-wide indicators.

Beruwala indicators list  
Environmental Issues Indicator
Waste management
• Water quality (seawater)
• Garbage
Water quality (E.coli, biochemical oxygen demand, heavy metals)
Number of truck loads of garbage removed from beach/day
Sea water quality Water contamination in river and off the beach
Sewage systems Volume treated Volume discharged by hotels (treated or untreated)
River and beach erosion
Loss of soil/sand
Changes in vegetation coverage and beach configurations
(using aerial photographs)
Lack of Drainage
• Flooding
• Mosquitoes
Number of flooding events/waterlogged areas
Tourist environmental awareness and expectations Measures of tourists’ environmental awareness and expectations (see also social issues)
Drinking water contamination Freshwater quality (including bacterial counts, hardness, heavy metals)
Social issues Indicator
Local involvement in tourism industry Percentage of all direct tourism jobs held by local residents
Unemployment Statistics from census/government surveys
Economic issues Indicator
Tourist numbers (baseline data) Tourism industry statistics: totals, occupancy levels (by month)
Lack of dependable hotel supply and materials from local suppliers Purchases
Number of contracts with local suppliers
Wages in tourism relative to other sectors Salary scales
Product Quality Issues Indicator
Tourist safety Percentage of tourists comfortable leaving hotel at night
No. of daytime complaints to police/CTB regarding safety
Exit survey of tourists perception of safety (theft, harassment, vehicle safety, danger etc)
Touts/beach boys No. of complaints regarding harassment
Exposure to Sri Lankan culture
Scarcity of “real” high quality products
Complex indicator of cultural integrity of tourism offerings (classification system)
Percentage of tourists who are satisfied with their level of contact with Sri Lankan culture during their visit (Q)
Access to destination
Road congestion
Time to get to destination
Access to health facilities No. of complaints from operators (and tourists) about health care facilities
Perceived quality of tourism product Attitude survey on perception of value for money
Quality of the beach experience Garbage counts/quantity of garbage and other waste on beach (see also environmental issues)
Tourists perception of cleanliness of beach (exit Questionnaire)
Tourism Management Issues Indicator
Unlicensed and uncontrolled tourist services Enforcement of licensing
Density of motorboats on Bentota river Number of boats (each type) on river at peak time (see also environmental issues)
Density of boat traffic in mangroves Number of boats (per hour) in mangrove on peak days
Stray animals (also a quality of tourism issue) Number of animals loose on beach/hotel grounds
Community Planning Issues Indicator
State of planning for Beruwala Presence/absence of integrated plan (including key elements)
Public access to beaches Access roads per km of beach
Local perception of level of access to beach for community
Environmental awareness Level of pollution on riverbanks
Local awareness (and tourist awareness) of environmental issues (questionnaire)
Level of communication/ coordination between authorities Number of joint projects

At the time of the indicator project there was no significant planning in Beruwala and no authority to oversee data collection. Additional challenges resulting from the departure of the consultants before the data was collected by the local authorities. The strengths and weaknesses of the indicators and their methodologies are seldom seen until they are properly piloted, and in this case implementation revealed difficulties in data collection, ambiguity in indicator wording (is a greater number of garbage trucks removing rubbish from the beach an indication of a move toward or away from sustainability?) and differences in definitions, which might well have been resolved had the process not been so rushed.

Education, capacity-building and awareness-raising — Case Study


Addressing impacts of deforestation associated with fuelwood use in the tourism sector in Kenya’s Maasai Mara Reserve

In the Maasai Mara Reserve—one of Kenya’s main tourist destinations—tree loss is critical, and local Maasai women may have to travel every two days to collect the 30-40 kilos of fuelwood used by a family of five every day. About a quarter of tourist camps and lodges in the Mara use fuelwood for cooking and to heat water. Lodges are estimated to use up to 540 tonnes of wood each year, and since they collect fuelwood from as far away as 30 km, their effects cover large areas. An NGO, Friends of Conservation (FOC), is helping to address this problem by setting up forestry training units from which around 15 Maasai people (male and female) “graduate” each year. They are trained in raising seedlings and producing firewood, and are provided with help in marketing the wood to tourist establishments. All who have passed through the FOC training have found local jobs in forestry and some have set up their own businesses to sell wood to camps and lodges.45

FOC’s own staff aim to produce around 70,000 seedlings a year for reforestation projects and to set up new enterprises, and the organisation has created a seed bank of indigenous species and buys seeds collected by local people. FOC also organises the sale and free distribution of seeds to schools for seedling production, while raising particularly difficult seedlings themselves at their nurseries at each of its three centres, providing seedlings for free distribution to community projects or public institutions. The seedlings are also available for sale to private enterprises, such as lodges or tented camps. FOC has supported private individuals to develop woodlots to grow sustainable supplies of wood for use in construction of houses, lodges and fences, and to provide fuelwood for cooking, heating and light and other commercial purposes.

Recently FOC has started to work on reducing demand for fuelwood—for example FOC’s Women’s Officer is currently training women and young girls to produce fuel-efficient mud-stoves. FOC has also developed waste briquettes which can be used as fuel in mobile camps and small lodges/tented camps, where they are currently being tested. During 2001–2, FOC encouraged various tourism outlets to switch their fuel source from wood and charcoal to other forms, such as gas, paraffin, chardust briquettes, or solar energy. As a result, a number of tourist facilities have moved away from using wood and charcoal as fuels.

For more case studies on :

-Tourism in Protected Areas
-New Destinations and Trends
-Getting Local Communities Involved
-Public-Private Partnerships
-Economic Impact and Scenarios
-Quality in the sector of tourism - models and experiences in evaluation
-Strategic Destination Management
-Promoting local sustainable development

Please visit :

The WTF web page on the
Third Annual Summit of the World Tourism Forum for Peace and Sustainable Development : Destinations 2006

The SCBD web pages on:
Guidelines - Case studies

Biodiversity and tourism related case-studies

How to Post a Case Study

In order to present a Case Study in this section, members of the network are welcome to use this template and send it to the Forum Discussions.