BIODIVERSITY FOR SUSTAINABILITY A. Raschi CNR-IBIMET With contribution of H.Hamele ECOTRANS The term sustainability is nowadays widely used, but what does it mean? Sustainable development: a development that guarantees future generations, by preserving and incrementing the local capital (environmental, human, social, infrastructural (Moseley, 2004) Touristic sustainability: a careful use of touristic resources, that guarantees their future availability (Jenkins, 1991) Sustainable development in tourism aims not only to satisfy the current needs, but also to protect and improve the environment, promote economic equity, and improve people’s life, by cooperating to integrate conservation, cultural integration and participation (Inskeep, 1991) "sustainability is improving the quality of human life while living within the carrying capacity of supporting eco-systems“ (IUCN/UNEP/WWF 1991) BIODIVERSITY The Convention on Biological Diversity was one of the outcomes of Rio Earth Summit (1992), and defines Biodiversity as “the variability among living organisms from all sources including inter alia terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecosystems and the ecological complexes of which they are part…diversity within species, between species and of ecosystems”. The aim of the Rio convention is not only to “conserve”, but to pursue “sustainable use” and “equitable sharing of benefits” BIODIVERSITY IS A DYNAMIC CONCEPT, AS ECOSYSTEMS AND POPULATIONS CAN MOVE IN DEPENDENCE OF NATURAL AND ANTHROPIC CAUSES With agriculture and gardening man has diffused alien species: ALL THESE ARE NOW CULTIVATED IN EUROPE From Iran From America From Japan From China ON THE OTHER HAND, INDUSTRIAL AGRICULTURE REDUCES BIODIVERSITY EACH FARM WAS A MOSAIC OF DIFFERENT CROPS Traditional landscape PLANTS ARE MORE AND MORE UNIFORM, AND LANDSCAPE AS WELL (but tourists seem to appreciate anyway OTHER CHANGES IN BIODIVERSITY CAN BE CAUSED BY CLIMATE CHANGE SO, HOW CAN TOURISM IMPACT ON BIODIVERSITY? EASY TO DEFINE IN GENERAL TERMS, BUT SITUATION IS DIFFERENT FROM SITE TO SITE BECAUSE: -TOURISM IS A COMPLEX ACTIVITY -ECOSYSTEMS ARE COMPLEX, AND THEIR INTERNAL DYNAMICS ARE KNOWN ONLY IN PART. - POLICIES ARE BASED ON VALUE JUDGEMENTS, THAT ARE IN NTURN BASED ON THE PERCEPTION OF RISK, ON INTERESTS AND ON SOCIAL CONSTRUCT OF NATURE. - THIS LEADS TO FACE AN ADDITIONAL PROBLEM: CONFLICTS Many impacts on nature /ecosystems /biodiversity have been widely analyzed, well known and documented! Degradation and destruction of ecosystems Reduce /avoid restrictions in protected areas because of tourism development (example Mallorca), or reduction of protected areas surface Indirect Tourism infrastructures – often in protected areas, hotspots of biodiversity CO² and other Greenhouse Gas emissions contributing to Climate Change Emissions, waste, waste water, noise (e.g. lakes, rivers, coasts, beaches), Transport infrastructure, e.g. roads, airports, parkings These parks’ shape is designed to keep some touristic towns out of the protected areas Beach biodiversity Beaches are biodiversity hotspots, and are very dynamic These parks’ shape is designed to keep some touristic towns out of the protected areas Beaches are biodiversity hotspots, and are very dynamic And where does the wastewater go? Not to mention about shipwrecks in national parks What impacts does tourism have on biodiversity? Overexploitation of natural resources Exeedance of the carrying capacity of a landscape /destination Exploitation of wild life without respecting rules /scientific advise, without well trained guides Lack or no acceptance of management plans / land use plans Recreational activities with high impact on biodiversity, e.g. heli skiing, Offering /promoting activities against animal welfare (zoos not fullfilling international standards, dolphinarios . High water consumption in regions with water shortage Acceptance of selling illegal products (e.G. CITES) Purchase of unsustainable produced products (food, souvenirs etc.) What impacts does tourism have on biodiversity? Invasive Species Design of premises (hotel outdoor facilities) with non native plants Introduction of non native fish species for fishing Emissions /Contamination Climate Change Cruise Ships (e.g. water tanks), souvenirs (e.g. galapagos turtle) Alien species used in gardens. Some are invasive Alien species reach the Mediterranean through Suez, And with cuise ships This fish, introduced for sport tourism, Is destroying all local fauna in Italy Bears, reintroduced on the Alps, are putting at risk Sheep farms survival, and tourism itself. Wild boars introduced for hunting is reproducing out of control Creating serious damage to agriculture 2. Screening of the Standards/Certificates/Awards in Tourism Standards: coverage of biodiversity aspects in analysed standards (in %) Special commitment of the company towards Biodiversity 3% Access and BenefitSharing: 7% Dissemination of invasive alien species 7% Degradation/destruction of ecosystems 38% Overexploitation of natural resources 24% Loss of species 21% 2. Screening of the Standards/Certificates/Awards in Tourism No. of biodiversity aspects listed in standards Special commitment of the company towards biodiversity 9 ABS: involvement of local initiatives, local community support of the protection of Biodiversity 24 Dissemination of invasive alien species 25 Loss of species 71 Overexploitation of natural ressources 81 Degradation/destruction of ecosystems 128 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 3. Discussion of Exemplary Criteria from the Standards and Conclusions Input: Exemplary criteria found in the screening Criteria to prevent degradation /destruction of ecosystems Green Globe, EETLS: Biodiversity Conservation. Criteria: The business contributes to the support of biodiversity conservation, including supporting natural protected areas and areas of high biodiversity value. Quality Coast: D2 Protection of sensitive environments The destination has a system to monitor the impact of tourism on sensitive environments and protect habitats and species. Green Key: XI.5 The establishment provides activities for raising awareness, focused on sustainable development, environment and nature in or around the premises (G). Various international Standards require: “The business contributes to the support of biodiversity conservation …”. This is a useful approach, but Standards should include an indication regarding cuantitiy and quality of support. But, what does the customer understand about biodiversity? Very little! As usually he is not a specialist/scholar This is well shown by the informative material of rural tourism enterprises Mountains Campania Tuscany Valleys Sunset Sunflowers Trees Light Cereals Olive trees/ Vineyards Forests Nature Hills Green 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 Elements used to describe the environment. Countryside means nature, but in a very generic way Sunflower is a very evocative tool to Promote rural tourism Campania Tuscany Terra/from the land Tuscan The text refers to typicality, nature And other concepts that have little to do with an intensive crop. Natural Typical Traditional Home made Flavours Genuine Valorisation 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 ON THE OTHER HAND, NOT ONLY NATURAL BIODIVERSITY,BUT ALSO AGRICULTURAL BIODIVERSITY CAN BE AN ASSETT FOR AN ENVIRONMENTALLY CONSCIOUS TOURISM: SOME EXAMPLES: The promotion of traditional cereals, often taking place in feasts, and fostering the creation of short production chains Chestnut: from international market of imported fruits to local productions and transformation techniques To the creation of local cooperatives, able to promote local biodiversity among tourists, to create jobs and to be real development agents As about natural biodiversity, tourists are sedom able to go beyond aestethical appreciation. Studies performed in African National Parks show that mainly big charismatic species attract tourists (lion, elephant…), while in marine environments the appreciation of biodiversity does not go beyond 20 species. BUT GOOD RESULTS CAN BE ACHIEVED ON A LOCAL BASIS: The Caldara di Manziana, near Roma, a very peculiar biodiversity spot, is visited by thousands of visitors every year. Other similar sites are unknown and used as rubbish dumps A similar site became part of the local touristic offer Entrance to the path leading to the site In conclusion, apart of what customers may know and think, biodiversity is a value in itself, as part of the local capital. Its protection can go with its transmission to visitors. So, tourism can have an informative/educational role and promote the local heritage. But first of all, the local capital (natural, agricultural, human etc) must be known by the local stakeholders/agent BECAUSE THERE CANNOT BE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT WITHOUT THE KNOWLEDGE AND THE CONSCIOUSNESS OF THE VALUE OF LOCAL HERITAGE THANKS FOR YOUR ATTENTION!