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Integrating Biodiversity into the Tourism Sector

Background to the Case Study
The United Nations Environment Programme’s (UNEP) Biodiversity Planning Support Programme (BPSP) has a mandate to provide assistance to national biodiversity planners as they develop and implement their national biodiversity strategy and action plans, or equivalent plans, programmes and policies.

The integration of biodiversity into other sectors of the national economy and civil society has been identified as a critical indicator of successful implementation of sustainable development practices and objectives of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).

Tourism is one of the fastest growing economic sectors and has an ecological footprint that reaches to almost every part of the Earth. As such, it has great potential to influence biodiversity conservation and sustainable use, in both positive and negative ways.

Sustainable tourism has been highlighted recently as an area of major concern both within the CBD and was the focus of attention at the recent Conference of parties in Nairobi. In its final decisions, the CoP requested parties to submit case studies of best practise in sustainable tourism

Outside the of the mechanism of the CBD, a large number of other initiatives linking biodiversity and tourism have been undertaken by other organisations, ranging from the World Tourism Organisation and UNESCO to numerous private tourism companies.

Whilst these initiatives are welcome, there is a danger that the sheer volume and diversity of initiatives on biodiversity and tourism becomes a barrier to effective implementation of the right policies at the national level. It has been observed that national biodiversity planners will value any
guidance to assist them to rapidly ‘sift’ through the available information and find that which best suits their particular requirements.

BPSP therefore commissioned this study of the integration of biodiversity into the tourism sector with a specific focus on how best to incorporate ‘global best practice’ into national biodiversity strategy and action plans (NBSAPs). The study has included 12 case studies in selected countries to guide biodiversity planners to the best global information on biodiversity and tourism.

This report presents the findings of the South African Case Study. Download the full report here .

This article is quoted from the Tourism ROY Newsletter published on 2010-04-21.

This article is uploaded by Majbritt Thomsen, administrator on ‘Views On Tourism’.

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Posted in Africa, Best practice, Cooperation and network, Development, Education and qualification, Performance and management, Policy, Sustainability.

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