001_Global12_Forethought_V4

Global issue 12

Forethought A load of greenwash? Rita Payne, Editorial Director A oping countries, and the primary export of one third of related activities.hope is that tourism will begin to tip the economic balance bycreating alternative jobs and providing benefi ts from tourism-ccording to the Worldwatch Institute, tourism is a majorforeign exchange earner for over four fi fths of devel- the world’s most distressed economies. Under the leadership of India, with its vast population and diversity of terrain, plant Mexico’s President Felipe Calderón, this year’s G20 communi- and animal life is having to deal with the impact of rapid qué saw its leaders highlight for the fi rst time the importance of urbanisation and other effects of modernisation. Aline Dobbie, tourism as an engine for growth. author of a trilogy of books on India (The Peacock’s Call, The Given that the sector has fared better than most in the global Tiger’s Roarand The Elephant’s Blessing), reports on pioneer- fi nancial crisis, who could blame governments for chasing, in ing resorts and hotel owners who are prepared to take on the these straitened times, a quick buck from a ready market? In challenge of providing eco-sensitive facilities and reducing this issue ofGlobal, we seek to answer that question by asking their contribution to urban pollution. Dobbie detects, however, another: who’s really picking up the tab? a degree of political lethargy in the country, and suggests that While some might accuse Mark Watson, executive director arguably the largest national tourism industry in the world of Tourism Concern, of wishful thinking in making the claim would benefi t enormously if the government adopted a more that people would enjoy their holidays more if they were as- methodical and vigorous approach to both regulating and pro- sured that no one had been displaced from their land or that lo- moting ‘Incredible India’. cal people were not being exploited, there is a perceptible and Meanwhile, there is concern about growing instability in the increasing demand for that ‘once in a lifetime experience’ to Maldives, which has long been a primary tourist destination come with a clear conscience as standard. There is some way in the Indian Ocean. In an interview withGlobal, the ousted to go, however, warns Fiona Harvey, environment correspond- former president of the Maldives, Mohamed Nasheed, warns ent at theGuardian, who urges us to look beyond the blurb of that the country is in danger of losing its authority in advocat- self-styled ecotourist destinations. An independent assessment ing action on climate change. Mr Nasheed was removed from of the environmental, social and cultural impact of tourism in power in February this year and replaced by his vice-president, the developing world is long overdue, she says. Mohammed Waheed Hassan. In response, the current vice- Against this pessimistic backdrop, it might seem odd to president, Mohammed Waheed Deen, shows the other side of claim that tourism can drive conservation. But with the launch the picture. His government is anxious to reassure foreign tour of the Kalahari-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area, Af- operators that, despite the political uncertainty, the tourism rica’s largest, the early signs are that fi ve countries – Angola, industry can continue to fl ourish in the Maldives. Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe – have managed Whatever their political persuasion, it seems that successive to align the interests of local people, wildlife, the environment leaders of this developing country, long regarded as a suc- and tourists. Steve Felton of the World Wildlife Fund explains cessful high-end tourism model, can agree on one thing: the how this collaboration is allowing elephants and other wildlife tourists and their dollars (and, increasingly, their yuan, rupees, to move freely between park and communal land and across roubles and reals) must keep checking in. The challenge for national borders. It also recognises that small-scale farmers the Maldives and many countries like it is to ensure that local have a deep-rooted and realistic fear of wildlife which might culture, vulnerable communities and fragile ecosystems do not devastate their crops or prey on their domestic animals. The check out. global issue 12 www.global-briefi ng.org Nexus Strategic Partnerships Editorial Sales & Marketing DirectorSimon Goodlad Alexander House, 1 Milton Road Consultant EditorsRichard Synge, International Relationships Manager Anne Wolf Cambridge, CB4 1UY, UK Elissa Jobson, Anver Versi Client LiaisonYvonne Gertenbach, Tom Scott Phone +44 1223 353131 Sub Editor Caroline Hunt DistributionAlan Grant Fax +44 1223 353130 Editorial Assistant Jessica Murphy Design and layout Henrik Williams The views and opinions represented in this magazine are not necessarily those of Letters to the Editor editor@global-briefi ng.org Production Manager Chrissie Eaves-Walton the institutions to which they are affi liated, and should not be attributed to Nexus Enquiries Research Hannah Cochrane, George Marrows Strategic Partnerships or the Commonwealth Secretariat. While every effort Advertising advertising@global-briefi ng.org WebNik Mason, Julia Schmidt interviewees, the publisher does not accept responsibility for errors, omissionshas been taken in all cases to represent faithfully the views of contributors and Subscriptions subscriptions@global-briefi ng.org Publishing exploring the challenges facing the world: while it includes Commonwealth news, aspires to bring Commonwealth values to bear inGlobalor their consequences. PublisherSmuts Beyers it is an editorially independent publication. Editorial DirectorRita Payne ISSN 2042-3985 global fourth quarter 2012 www.global-briefing.org l1


Global issue 12
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