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N°33-34, 2016 - Tourism and Natural Resources

Deadline: February, 15th 2016

Tourism and Natural Resources

This edition of Revue Etudes Caribéennes focuses on the links that unite and oppose tourism and natural resources, specifically in southern countries. In a context of increased media coverage of issues related to biodiversity (including threats to it), tourism – particularly ecotourism – is often presented as a mean to reconcile conservation and development. Local authorities, despite the existence of a specific environmental regulatory framework, often have insufficient resources (human, material, financial) to manage the increase of visits to protected areas, and the potential impact of these visits on natural and human environments. In response to this problem, international financial institutions and associated organizations offer to try to find a balance between mass attendance and low volume attendance in order to develop "high quality tourism" in southern countries. Even if this were possible, what criteria can be used to "stop" the development of a tourist site or region for environmental reasons? The “natural” geographic evolution of tourism – in other words, essentially based on the development of nature tourism and accessibility of these resources – already causes huge political and economic problems. Governments (central, regional or local) are hardly able to arbitrate over the long term in a context that would allow finding a balance between tourism development and preservation of natural areas.

The relationship between tourism and natural resources often revolves around two specific objectives: to develop a product with less impact, but at high cost and a target volume of visitors that contributes to economic profits, but that causes the least ecological / social degradation possible. This position epitomizes both the complexity and the many paradoxes of nature tourism development. Social interactions and the expansion of private appropriation of natural and agricultural areas highlight the challenges of managing common resources and their sustainability, especially in the southern countries. In this context, development objectives, natural resources and the strategies of key stakeholders are difficult to reconcile, and the relationship between leading actors do not always correspond with these objectives.

What links exist between the characteristics of the territory and tourism development of natural resources? What are the determinants of tourism development and who are the main actors involved? How does tourism development of a particular case shape (or how is it shaped by) political and economic power? What kind of representation, and in favor of what group of actors, is the result of development by and for tourism - and ecotourism? These questions guide the direction of this particular edition that explores issues motivating the positions of actors, their potential conflicts as well as the resultant territorial dynamics. The strong "potential" tourism development of biodiversity should not obscure the double paradox that results: tourism – and ecotourism - appropriates, destroys and develops territories; it also excludes from these areas all people and activities that do not contribute to its development.

The topic is open to all contributions related to the tourism development of natural resources in the fields of geography, political science, economics, sociology and ecology. This issue will provide an overview of both theoretical and empirical approaches, presenting case studies and critical discussions of the relationship between tourism and the environment.

Key themes

  • The fight against poverty and development

  • Geopolitical and territorial issues

  • Political ecology and environment

  • Co-management and the role of local communities

  • Protected areas and natural parks

  • Ecotourism and nature tourism

  • Rural tourism

  • Perceptions and expectations of tourists

  • Policy and public management

  • Environmental economics

  • Evaluation of ecosystem services

Calendar

  • June 20th, 2015: Deadline of proposal submission

  • January 15th 2016: Deadline of article submission

  • March, 2016: Publication (n° 33/2016)

Coordination of issue

Bruno SARRASIN (UQAM) and Dominique AUGIER (Université des Antilles)

Articles should be sent to

sarrasin.bruno@uqam.ca and doaugier@gmail.com

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