The Year of Green Ecotourism
EnviroCitizen.org has found that a great deal of information has been written about green sustainability and ecotourism, but there is very little consensus about its real meaning. This is due to the different forms of ecotourism activities that are offered by different operators and are practiced by a larger array of vacationers as well as travelers. While there isn't really a concrete definition given to the term ecotourism, its general features and characteristics are shown below:
1. It is a nature-based form of tourism.
2. It contains interpretation and educational features.
3. It is generally organized for small groups by small and specialized, locally-owned businesses
4. It minimizes negative impacts to natural, social, and cultural environment.
5. It supports the protection and conservation of natural areas.
The less awareness about ecotourism is the main reason why the United Nations General Assembly designated 2002 as the Year of Ecotourism or the International Year of Ecotourism.
The International Year of Ecotourism has the following objectives:
1. Generate greater awareness of ecotourism among public and private authorities, the civil society as well as the consumers in order to contribute to the preservation, conservation, protection of both the natural and cultural heritage in rural as well as natural areas. It also caters to the improvement of living standards and lifestyles of people living in those areas.
2. Disseminate techniques and methods for the management, planning, monitoring and regulation of ecotourism to ensure its long-term sustainability.
3. Promote social exchanges of experiences in ecotourism.
Background of the Year of Ecotourism
In July, 1998, the ECOSOC or the United Nations Economic and Social Council proposed to all the members and participants of the UN General Assembly to make year 2002 the International Year of Ecotourism. This year designation was considered by the ECOSOC members as a form of encouragement for all the intensified cooperative efforts given by the government; regional and international organizations, including non-governmental organizations in order to achieve all the goals and objectives of Agenda 21 for the promotion and the protection as well as for the development of the environment.
To recognize the importance of ecotourism, the UN General Assembly accepted the proposal in December, 1998 and declared the year 2002 as the Year of Ecotourism. The CSD or the Commission on Sustainable Development as well as other venues are advised to carry out that year as the Ecotourism Year. EnviroCitizen.org hopes that every year will be a wonderful for ecotourism and that consumers will continue to make green choices such as opting for ecotourism over contemporary travel.