Archive for the ‘Sustainable Development’ Category

To further explain my point on my previous post, The LINK: Sustainable Development and Tourism, read on.

ENVIRONMENT.

Last summer, did you went to Boracay? Coron? and all the best beaches in the Philippines? I bet you extremely enjoyed it. I sure did especially when we stayed at Alta Vista de Boracay. Sleek hotel right? Up in the mountains and overlooking the sea. Back then, I didn’t even think of how many trees they have to cut just to build that hotel and where did all those trees go. I didn’t even think of how much water it consumes for its bathroom, swimming pool, kitchen etc. I didn’t even think where they throw their trash.

Well, I guess I should need to ask first the contractor of Alta Vista on their developmental plans. Maybe the trees were reused for furnitures and they planted new trees in exchange. Maybe the water underwent purification so that they can reuse it again. Maybe their trash was segregated into biodegradable and non-biodegradable items and non-bio items were either reused and recycled and the others were dumped properly. AAAHHH If i get those answers from them, it will make my experience a whole lot better.

A nice view from Alta Vista de Boracay during my stay there with ActivAsia

I did enjoy Boracay - the feeling of its fine white sand on my feet was very calming.

During your last trip, can you remember throwing trash on the beach? in the caves? waterfalls? Even small items like candy wrappers or cigarette butts? If your answer is yes, then YOU my friend just contributed to the death of these natural resources because trash doesn’t go away. It just piles up or moves – maybe not in the same place where you threw your trash but I’m absolutely sure it piled up somewhere – in the bottom of the ocean, on the next island or miraculously migrated to Taiwan because of a strong storm.

Tourists can be very harmful to the environment. Just imagine if each tourist takes a bottle of sand as a souvenir – and DOT is saying that we have more than 2 million tourists last year.┬áDo you get the picture?

There is what we call a carrying capacity. GDRC (The Global Development Research Center) defines carrying capacity as the number of individuals who can be supported in a given area within natural resource limits, and without degrading the natural social, cultural and economic environment for present and future generations. The carrying capacity for any given area is not fixed. It can be altered by improved technology, but mostly it is changed for the worse by pressures which accompany a population increase. As the environment is degraded, carrying capacity actually shrinks, leaving the environment no longer able to support even the number of people who could formerly have lived in the area on a sustainable basis. No population can live beyond the environment’s carrying capacity for very long.

On this part, we are failing to see the carrying capacities of our tourism destinations. The government and tourism stakeholders should be the one ensuring on how much the destination can really accommodate in terms of visitors – and not just look into how much money it can generate.

See the impact? Well, not just for Tourism but also in all industries whether its manufacturing, telecommunications, etc. It’s good to ask yourself by now on HOW does your industry affect the environment.

I would appreciate it very much if you can post a comment below if you already have an answer on the HOW question. ­čÖé

NOTE:

I want to make you understand that even in our own ways, we can either destroy or help the environment. So please, on your next travel, be mindful of your trash.

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I have been wanting to take up grad school but my plans were always pushed aside because of other opportunities. But after my FK Project next year, I pray that an opportunity for a scholarship will come my way.

What do I want to study about?

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT (SD)- it is a topic that got my interest after one of our sessions with Mrs. Teresita Suselo, a professor from the Asian Institute of Technology and our FK Lecturer. After the Prep Course, I went on reading more about Sustainable Development on the internet and free journals on the web.

Brundtland Commission 1987 defines Sustainable Development as a “Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”

The way I understand it is that a development is considered sustainable when us, our generation, live a life wherein we are able to attain a good living standard BUT not at the expense of future generations (our sons, grandsons, daughters, granddaughters and so on). It means we should be able to live our life the way we want it while ensuring that the generations after us can have the same opportunity to live a life they want for themselves and it should go on and on for the next generations to come.

Why am I interested in this topic?

Well, there’s a growing hunger inside of me for more learning. I want to become a CHANGE AGENT – that somehow in my own little ways, I can make people know and understand that we (PEOPLE) are actually a grave threat to our own existence because of the consequences of our actions and decisions.

That hunger for learning is actually my first step on how I can help. I want to learn more so that I will be more equipped in integrating Sustainable Development concepts and principles specifically in my field of work, Tourism. One of my professors, Sir Randi Alampay, advised me that it would actually add more value if I take up non-Tourism subjects for my masters since I already have a Tourism background.

Tourism is basking in its glory these days. Everyone wants to travel. Everyone wants to see their country – the world. Everyone wants to have the best experience. So what does the government and private companies do? They develop areas to address the growing number of tourists. They spend so much money in development and promotions just to convince people to come and visit their destinations. I, too, worked for Tourism Promotions and it was indeed a fulfilling job.

It is true that Tourism helps communities because of the jobs and profits that it generates. I have seen how tourism changes the life of the people it touches.┬áBUT as all stories go, there’s always a bad side. Tourism can also be detrimental to the environment, economic and social structures of communities. How can we then ensure that we minimize or moreover negate the threat of Tourism? I will further explain my points for each aspect in my next posts.

Sustainable Development. Author: Johann Dreo, 2006. From Wikimedia.