Navigation – Plan du site
Dossier : The changing world of coastal, island and tropical tourism

Achieving Sustainability of Natural Resources and Obtaining Economic Goals. Tourism’s Pandora’s box

Atteindre la durabilité des ressources naturelles et les objectifs économiques. La boite à pandore du tourisme
Novadene Miller

Résumés

L'industrie du tourisme a réalisé que les objectifs de protection de l'environnement et les objectifs de l'économie ne sont souvent pas compatibles. Ainsi, des pays comme la Jamaïque dont le principal soutien économique est le tourisme économique sont à la recherche de méthodes écologiques de leurs comptes et les politiques nationales. Systèmes de subsistance Cependant socio-économiques de la population locale sont souvent en conflit avec les politiques de développement durable. En outre, ces systèmes de subsistance pour gagner leur vie sont souvent pas réglementés et tombent en dehors des structures formelles de gouvernance et des systèmes de régulation et des politiques durables. Cet article examine cette boîte de Pandore dans le cadre de la Jamaïque, pays de cockpit en mettant l'accent sur ​​l'eau, ressource naturelle utilisée à la fois par le secteur du tourisme et de la population locale.

Haut de page

Entrées d’index

Index géographique :

Jamaïque
Haut de page

Texte intégral

Introduction

1This article examines the natural resource dilemma in the tourism industry within Jamaica. It examines the theoretical foundation of the quest to balance the economic gains of the tourism industry and the use of natural resources. In particular the paradox of greening of tourism activity to account for damage induced by the tourism sector. In comparison to the lack of regulatory policies and intervention at national and sub national levels for the socioeconomic livelihood systems of the local population.

2Tourism is considered to be the most important engine of growth and development in Jamaica (fig.1). The industry is the country’s major foreign exchange earner. Tourism represents 70 % of Direct Gross Value Added by Industry at Basic Prices in 2009. The supporting sectors of tourism such as accommodation represent 95.1 %, food and beverage 22.1%, passenger transport services 78.4%, transport equipment rental 82.5%, travel agencies and other reservation services 99.8% recreational, cultural and sporting activities 49.9 (Statistical Institute of Jamaica, 2009).

Figure 1. Geographic location of Cockpit Country (Jamaïca)

Figure 1. Geographic location of Cockpit Country (Jamaïca)

3There is a clear thrust in the “greening of national accounts” and measuring the welfare costs of resource depletion and environmental degradation (World Bank, 1991). Debates contend the implementation of policy instruments for environmentally sustainable development to be continuously improved to include subsidy reduction, targeted subsidies, environmental taxes, user fees, deposit-refund systems, tradable permits, and international offset systems (World Bank, 1997). There is a clear responsibility of the state to foster human development and encourage an institutional environment which is conducive to economic growth, implements social policies and provide incentives for ecologically appropriate behavior (World Bank World Development Report, 1997).

4This suggests regulation of natural resources is beyond the market's capacity. Economic priorities within the sector of tourism often override ecological priorities. According to this perspective renewable resources should be utilized at rates less than or equal to the natural rate at which they can generate and should also optimize the efficiency with which non-renewable resources are used, subject to substitutability between resources and technological progress Pearce et al.,1990: 24). This perspective has therefore left a precedence of the environment being regarded as a commodity. Herman Daly posits sustainable development can be operationalized in terms of natural capital (Daly, 1992: 10). Daly posits that for renewable resources the consumption should be limited to sustainable yields. While for nonrenewable resources the rule is to reinvest the proceeds from nonrenewable resource exploitation into investment in renewable natural capital. This will result in a constant maintenance of natural capital.

5Some theorists even categorize the response to the concept of sustainable development as strong or weak sustainability. According to Daly, weak sustainability focuses on only maintaining total capital intact. He further argues this is weak as it is based on generous assumptions on the substitutability of capital for natural resources in production. However, strong sustainability requires maintenance of both manmade and natural capital intact separately, with the assumption that they are not really substitutes but complements in most productive functions (Daly, 1992: 250). Thus sustainable development as posited by the Brundtland Report requires distinction between the basic needs and the extravagant needs. Sustainable development is also about sufficiency as well as efficiency. Furthermore “the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” can be interpreted as requiring either strong or weak sustainability thus the pervasive issue of substitutability is resurfaced. Sustainable economic development should therefore imply technological progress that increase resource productivity and reduce pressure on natural capital stocks (Daly, 1992: 253).

1. The Tourism Dilemma

6Norgaard insists that economic models do need to meet the challenges of future generations to ensure they will inherit an approved capital stock and better technology that will equip them to substitute resources and overcome scarcity which is a fundamental argument of sustainable development (Noorgard, 1994). Notwithstanding the thrust in the tourism sector within the framework of sustainable tourism development planning, one can argue the sector has failed to acknowledge that resources bear a relationship to each other in the natural environment, as part of environmental systems. Thus sustainable tourism planning often use market mechanisms, which fail to allocate environmental goods and services efficiently because environmental systems are not divisible and therefore do not reach equilibrium positions and incur changes which are irreversible.

7Case study: Water Dilemma Example
It is true the tourism paradigm acknowledges damage is possible to the environment .For instance, the World Tourism Organization clearly states, Nature in the form of mountains, beaches, tropical forests, desserts, or influenced by anthropogenic activity of humans (landscapes, cultural heritage, etc.) which are also an attraction for visitors. Furthermore WTO posits tourism contributes to irreversible damage to the environment through pressure on fragile ecosystems, by construction of resorts or roads that destroy the natural sites and heritage, through pressure exerted on land, air and water and through diverse processes of all kinds that generate pollution, deforestation, discharge of residuals, erosion, etc. Moreover international standards of WTO admonish initiatives at a national and sub national levels to generate indicators to analyze, monitor or evaluate environmental implications of tourism development in specific areas (World Tourism Statistics, 2008: 77). It is clear there is a call for priority regarding tourism sustainability issues.

Figure 2. Water cycle

Figure 2. Water cycle

8However this system records the direct link between the cost of tourism degradation and the environment and does not account for the damage by livelihood systems of the local population which serve the tourism sector. It focuses on two principal objectives: Firstly the incorporation of tourism as a specific industry and classification of the consumers within the hybrid flow account of environmental accounts. Secondly, the “Greening” of the tourism GDP derived from the Tourism Satellite Account, which includes consideration of the cost of the degradation of the environment and the use of the natural capital by tourism. As well as expenditures that set out to prevent degradation in the tourism industry.

2. Livelihood System Dilemma

9For instance in Jamaica , the largest labour force employer is the Wholesale & Retail , Repair of Motor Vehicle & Equipment sector, followed by Agriculture, Hunting , Forestry and Fishing sector ,Construction, and Hotel Restaurant and Services (Statistical Institute of Jamaïca, 2009). Each of these sectors has a direct impact on the quality of natural resources and the health of the ecosystem. Furthermore, these sectors include portions of the population who are self employed or small size business units which operate independent of national formal structures and rules. Thus their activities are often not regulated and the damage not accounted for within the green account system.

  • 1 Global Water Supply and Sanitation Assessment Report 2000

10Case Study: Water Cycle
For instance, livelihood activity of the local population can lead to inequality of the hydrologic equation .This influences the quantity and quality of natural water resources available to current and future generations. According to the World Health Organization while total supply of water in the Caribbean is approximately 85% of the population the total sanitation coverage is slightly lower at 78%.Furthermore, WHO report highlights large disparities between urban and rural areas, with an estimated 87% of the urban population with access to sanitation coverage, however only 49% of the rural population benefit from sanitation facilities. Moreover, with regards to water supply, 93% of the urban populations have coverage, while only 62% of the rural population is covered.1

Figure 3.Cockpit country Area (Jamaïca)

Figure 3.Cockpit country Area (Jamaïca)

11Water quality statistics on Cockpit Country, indicate high levels of nitrate of natural water for which the principal contaminators are not the tourist, but due to the local population waste practices. It must be noted that Cockpit Country (fig.3) is a 600 km2 area significant as a habitat for many endemic species. Most of the karst remains forested; however there are communities which live in the immediate vicinity. Furthermore, agricultural, domestic and industrial pressures are mounting. Even though this area has a high level of hydrological and biological significance, the effective conservation of the Cockpit Country is laissez-faire and minimal (Sean et al. 2001). In contrast to the tourism sector which has put in place environmental conservation practices such as privately owned waste systems. The rural area also lacks sanitary landfills in the rural areas, which also encourages the use of fire at disposal sites (photos 1-8).

Photo 1. Community without spring in the Cockpit also without a reserve tank in current use

Photo 1. Community without spring in the Cockpit also without a reserve tank in current use

Source: N. Miller, 2011

Photo 2. Water tank in ulster spring

Photo 2. Water tank in ulster spring

Source: N. Miller, 2011

Photo 3. Contaminated spring in Ulster spring Cockpit Country

Photo 3. Contaminated spring in Ulster spring Cockpit Country

Source: N. Miller, 2011

Photo 4. Contaminated water tank in Spring field Cockipt (Jamaica)

Photo 4. Contaminated water tank in Spring field Cockipt (Jamaica)

Source: N. Miller, 2011

Photo 5. Farmer creates access to water for the community by creating access to sinkholes

Photo 5. Farmer creates access to water for the community by creating access to sinkholes

Source: N. Miller, 2011

Photo 6. Farmer dependent on agriculture grows bees to monitor the ecosystem

Photo 6. Farmer dependent on agriculture grows bees to monitor the ecosystem

Source: N. Miller, 2011

Photo 7. Local community build tanks to stock water

Photo 7. Local community build tanks to stock water

Source: N. Miller, 2011

Photo 8. Natural spring not used by population due to depth

Photo 8. Natural spring not used by population due to depth

Source: N. Miller, 2011

Conclusion

12Treatment of organic waste is also a crucial factor, as organic waste from “manure” cross contact with water sources. Water quality indicates high levels of phosphate concentrations, due to soil erosion. This adds significant amounts of suspended phosphate to streams, linked to the local population. The water quality statistics reflect high levels of chloride, linked to the contamination of water by domestic activities such as washing. Samples indicate high levels of Faecal Coliform and high levels of Biochemical Oxygen demand due to organic pollution.

13There is a clear need for a revision of national planning and sub national environmental units to regulate the cost of damage by the local population to natural resources that disturb ecosystems which are part of the tourist attraction. It is clear sustainable livelihood systems must be examined to balance the socioeconomic needs of the local population and the health of the ecosystem.

Haut de page

Bibliographie

Chenoweth, S., M. Day, S. Koeng, J. Kueny and M. Schwartz (2001). 13th International Congress of Speleology 4th Speleological Congress of Latin América and Caribbean 26th Brazilian Congress of Speleology.

Daly, H. (1992). “Steady State”, Economics, London, Earthscan.

Noorgard, R. (1994). Development Betrayed The end of Progress and a Co Evolutionary Revisioning of the Future, London, Routledge.

Pearce, D. and R. Kerry (1990). Economic of Natural Resources and the Environment, London Harvester, Wheatsheaf.

Statistical Institute of Jamaica (2009). Tourism Direct Gross Value Added by Industry at Basic Prices Table, Kingston.

World Bank (1991). “Expanding the Measure of Wealth. Indicators of Environmentally Sustainable Development”, Environmentally Sustainable Development Studies and Monographs Series, Washington D.C

World Bank (1997). “Five Years after Rio. Innovations in Environmental Policy”, Environmentally Sustainable Development Studies and Monographs Series, Washington, D.C.

World Bank World Development Report (1997). The State in a Changing World, Oxford, University Press.

World Tourism Statistics (2008). International Recommendation for Tourism Statistics.

Haut de page

Notes

1 Global Water Supply and Sanitation Assessment Report 2000

Haut de page

Table des illustrations

Titre Figure 1. Geographic location of Cockpit Country (Jamaïca)
URL http://etudescaribeennes.revues.org/docannexe/image/5297/img-1.png
Fichier image/png, 261k
Titre Figure 2. Water cycle
URL http://etudescaribeennes.revues.org/docannexe/image/5297/img-2.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 80k
Titre Figure 3.Cockpit country Area (Jamaïca)
URL http://etudescaribeennes.revues.org/docannexe/image/5297/img-3.png
Fichier image/png, 488k
Titre Photo 1. Community without spring in the Cockpit also without a reserve tank in current use
Crédits Source: N. Miller, 2011
URL http://etudescaribeennes.revues.org/docannexe/image/5297/img-4.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 236k
Titre Photo 2. Water tank in ulster spring
Crédits Source: N. Miller, 2011
URL http://etudescaribeennes.revues.org/docannexe/image/5297/img-5.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 168k
Titre Photo 3. Contaminated spring in Ulster spring Cockpit Country
Crédits Source: N. Miller, 2011
URL http://etudescaribeennes.revues.org/docannexe/image/5297/img-6.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 268k
Titre Photo 4. Contaminated water tank in Spring field Cockipt (Jamaica)
Crédits Source: N. Miller, 2011
URL http://etudescaribeennes.revues.org/docannexe/image/5297/img-7.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 116k
Titre Photo 5. Farmer creates access to water for the community by creating access to sinkholes
Crédits Source: N. Miller, 2011
URL http://etudescaribeennes.revues.org/docannexe/image/5297/img-8.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 228k
Titre Photo 6. Farmer dependent on agriculture grows bees to monitor the ecosystem
Crédits Source: N. Miller, 2011
URL http://etudescaribeennes.revues.org/docannexe/image/5297/img-9.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 216k
Titre Photo 7. Local community build tanks to stock water
Crédits Source: N. Miller, 2011
URL http://etudescaribeennes.revues.org/docannexe/image/5297/img-10.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 152k
Titre Photo 8. Natural spring not used by population due to depth
Crédits Source: N. Miller, 2011
URL http://etudescaribeennes.revues.org/docannexe/image/5297/img-11.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 122k
Haut de page

Pour citer cet article

Référence électronique

Novadene Miller, « Achieving Sustainability of Natural Resources and Obtaining Economic Goals. Tourism’s Pandora’s box », Études caribéennes [En ligne], 19 | Août 2011, mis en ligne le 15 août 2011, consulté le 23 novembre 2017. URL : http://etudescaribeennes.revues.org/5297 ; DOI : 10.4000/etudescaribeennes.5297

Haut de page

Auteur

Novadene Miller

CEGUM, centre de recherches en géographie, Université de Lorraine, Doctorante, novadene@yahoo.com

Haut de page

Droits d’auteur

Licence Creative Commons
Les contenus d’Études caribéennes sont mis à disposition selon les termes de la Licence Creative Commons Attribution - Pas d'Utilisation Commerciale 4.0 International.

Haut de page
  • Logo Université des Antilles
  • Logo DOAJ (Directory of Open Access Journals)
  • Logo ERIHPLUS (European Reference Index for the Humanities and Social Sciences)
  • Revues.org