Ecological tourism: what is it

Ecological tourism: what is it

The very concept of "ecological tourism", perhaps, still sounds strange in our country, although in Australia or Finland this kind of recreation is common. How is ecotourism different from hiking in nature? Are you doing the right thing when, under the guise of an ecological one, you buy a tour "By jeep through the pristine corners of the region"? Let's try to figure it out.

"Ecosystem" in Greek means "home, homeland". Therefore, the science that studies the relationship between man and the surrounding nature, at home, is ecology. In the 80s, academician D. Likhachev expanded the concept of ecology, including the ecology of culture, highlighting the role of historical memory, spiritual continuity and emphasizing that for the preservation of human life, the environment created by the culture of his ancestors and himself is no less important (than the natural biological environment). Thus, ecotourism is not only a kind of nature tourism that unites people who travel for scientific and educational purposes and whose sphere of interest is the surrounding natural and cultural environment, but also the opportunity to be an active defender of this environment.

Five Core Principles of Eco-Tourism

1. The object of intellectual and emotional satisfaction should be a natural object (landscape, lake, cave, tree, species of animals, plants, birds, etc.). 2. It is necessary to use natural resources rationally. 3. This type of tourism does not harm the natural environment or provides for a minimal impact on the habitat that does not undermine its ecological sustainability (it is impossible to study a thistle without stepping on the ground and the thistle itself, but you can limit the number of groups and tourists in them, such giving nature time to recover naturally). 4. Care should be taken to preserve the local socio-cultural environment (respect for cultural and religious traditions). five. All of the above should have a positive effect on the economic development of those areas that become objects of ecotourism (the money earned goes to maintain the natural environment, the local population is provided with jobs in the field of ecotourism and, thus, is itself interested in maintaining the natural object in proper condition).

Eco-tourism is not necessarily a hike for physically tough people with a heavy backpack on their backs. It can be quite comfortable, but not at any cost, especially when it comes to untouched nature. This is one of the main tenets of ecotourism. In other words, the proposed tours or routes must comply with the principle of sustainability, which implies:

- the use of environmentally friendly transport - bicycles, non-motorized boats, paragliders, etc. or an environmentally friendly fuel; - organization of halts, bivouacs, toilets, fires, cooking (from ecologically pure local products) in strictly designated places; - competent disposal of garbage (garbage is not thrown away on the route, but collected, after which it goes for special processing); - attraction of tourists to solve local environmental problems (garbage collection, etc.); - picking mushrooms, berries, medicinal plants, any natural souvenirs only in permitted areas; - construction of recreation sites - shelters, huts, hotels, campgrounds, etc. from environmentally friendly materials and so as not to disrupt the normal ecological development of the surrounding landscape.

Eco Routes

If you carefully study the proposals for ecological tourism, it becomes clear that all of them, as a rule, involve visiting specially protected areas (reserves, national parks) and acquaintance with natural monuments (caves, waterfalls, picturesque landscapes, etc. t.), unique species of flora and fauna. The landscapes of ancient estates and monasteries are also objects of ecological tourism. However, they can also be areas with a disturbed ecology, the study of which becomes the purpose of the trip.

In order to choose the right route for a future trip, you need, firstly, to determine its purpose, and secondly, to designate its main object.

As for the first one, here you need to decide whether you just want to admire the beauty of the wild nature and the photo or video tape as a result of the trip will suit you completely or, observing nature, you want to get some kind of ecological knowledge, and maybe you, as a specialist, have your own professional purpose of the trip. The content of the tour, and sometimes the form of its organization, depends on the second. If the purpose of your trip, for example, is birdwatching, then your intended trip will have an ornithological focus. Where and when it is better to "hunt" for birds is determined by what kind of birds you would like to consider and what the ultimate goal of your naturalistic experiments is - admiring or studying birds.

Where to buy an ecological tour

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