Project

Sustainable Tourism In and around Protected Areas of Southern and Eastern Africa.

Goal: This project seeks to investigate Sustainable tourism in and around Protected areas in Southern and Eastern Africa.

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Kevin Mearns
added a research item
Literature suggests that land rights restitution agreements in South Africa did not necessarily create a conducive environment for the active participation of local communities in conservation. The research reported on in this chapter reviewed achievements and areas of disagreement relating to land ownership and community participation in management at &Beyond Phinda Private Game Reserve after 2016, following the identification of obstacles such as exclusion from decision-making, breakdown in communication between management and community, power relations, employment opportunities, equity issues, and concerns relating to governance. This chapter provides an opportunity for stakeholders around the game reserve to consider existing and potential threats to conservation and ways to overcome these, and the Bending the Curve model proposed by Muzirambi has been applied as a means to achieve this. This model is based on the use of problems as a springboard for the generation of robust and progressive solutions. The research was conducted with the involvement of &Beyond Phinda Game Reserve and the Makhasa and Mnqobokazi communities in the Umkhanyakude District in KwaZulu-Natal. A qualitative research approach was followed, utilising documentary analysis to contextualise the community dynamics, while primary data was collected through semi-structured interviews with relevant participants selected through purposive sampling. Leadership development, employment of more of the local residents, skills development and transfer and, to a lesser extent, revenue and social development projects were some of the positive developments illustrated by the Bending the Curve model. Lack of active participation in decision-making, poor communication, and lack of skills transfer for decision-making positions were identified as persistent obstacles. As an important tool within the community engagement framework for both the private sector and state authorities, the Bending the Curve model has the potential to make a valuable contribution through providing an insight into difficulties affecting community-based conservation and tourism and potential avenues for their resolution.
Kevin Mearns
added a project reference
Kevin Mearns
added a research item
While the tourism industry as an ideal industry to fast track poverty alleviation in South Africa, the uptake of sustainable tourism practices amongst many players, including small accommodation establishments (SAEs) remains a challenge. The lack of awareness of the benefits and value that sustainable tourism practices may bring, is amplified by the absence of appropriate policies, low collaboration levels, a shortage of capacity to implement sustainable tourism practices and a perceived weak business case for sustainable tourism implementation amongst SAE owners and managers. This paper presents a proposed framework that may be used to support the implementation of sustainable tourism practices amongst SAEs. The framework is a flexible, adaptable and scalable tool that assists in communicating a specific approach that could be utilised by role players including SAE owners, public sector entities, private sector business, industry professionals and community members. The essence of the framework is to support the implementation of sustainable tourism practises amongst SAEs, thus enhancing the overall sustainability of the tourism sector while simultaneously addressing the sustainability of the destination
Kevin Mearns
added 2 research items
Despite the adoption of participatory approaches in addressing socio-economic issues by a number of sectors, including conservation, the top-down approaches seem to appear in nature conservation. Consequently, the poor and the lowers of the society tend to absorb all the negative shocks associated with the heavy hand of top-down approaches. This chapter analyses and discusses the role of institutions in common pool resource management, devolving of property rights to communities, natural resources governance, responsibility and benefit appropriately to the local level. Using document analysis technique, data is drawn from case studies on Communal Areas Management Programme for Indigenous Resources (CAMPFIRE) in Zimbabwe. The data was systematically and thematically analysed and interrogated to derive lessons on possible best community-based natural resources governance in Zimbabwe. The chapter highlights that decentralising governance should not be seen as an end in itself but as a means for creating more open, responsive and effective local government and for enhancing representational system of community-level decision-making. Critical issues on local level governance, power relations, enabling policies, and sustainability, were discussed. It further shades more light on the implementation of community-based natural resource management pro-poor policies and strategies.
At the rural household level the benefits from community-based natural resource management are frequently over-stated and too small to influence local attitudes. For small protected areas this challenge may seem insurmountable. We show although the need for biodiversity conservation may well be appreciated, local actions and attitudes towards the operation of protected areas is less favourable. To help overcome this, the concept of optimising limited available capital, tangible benefits and natural resources to optimise social and human capital is introduced.
Kevin Mearns
added a research item
The tourism industry across the world requires water for basic human consumption, irrigation of gardens and golf courses, preparation of food and drinks, making snow for winter sports and general water activities such as swimming or motorised water sports (Gössling et al. 2012). Tourism and more specifically wildlife tourism is a major source of income and livelihood for many rural communities across southern Africa. Many wildlife tourism lodges across southern Africa are in remote locations where little or no infrastructure exists. These lodges are dependent on natural water sources such as rivers, dams and boreholes to provide their water needs. The staff employed at these wildlife lodges often reside on the properties and as a result of the lack of nearby housing, roads and public transportation must be accommodated by the tourism ventures. Lodges as a result make allowance not only for the tourism venture operations but for the domestic water use of staff members. Lodge managers must make sure that enough water is available at an acceptable water quality to meet these needs of both guests and staff. This paper investigated water quantity use at 31 wildlife lodges across southern Africa ; this paper also provided water quantity use baselines and proposes water use benchmarks for the wildlife lodge industry in southern Africa.
Kevin Mearns
added 2 research items
Environmental interpretation is seen as a vehicle for implementing sustainable development. Heritage sites such as Bushmans Kloof have no significance without the people who created them in the past or people who value them today. The sustainability of rock art tourism is vulnerable to miss use and degradation through poor interpretation and is therefore dependant on the way guides interpret rock art sites. The lack of research on the role of environmental interpretation especially in rock art tourism in South Africa can have a negative impact on the management of this resource in the future. This case study will measure the effectiveness of interpretation of Rock Art sites at Bushmans Kloof to show if effective interpretation aids in the sustainability of rock art as a tourism resource.
Exploring guest book inscriptions towards understanding tourist experience at Mnemba Island Lodge, Zanzibar using Leximancer.
Kevin Mearns
added a research item
The coastal region is of utmost importance to the nation of Zanzibar, providing the majority of the island's GDP through tourism and fishing activities. The coastal areas consist of many sensitive coral reef systems with thousands of fish and coral species, each important in ensuring the health and survival of the reef system. Human coastal populations rely on coral reef fish as a source of food security and income. This is evident in the ways in which ecosystem processes underpin the future ability of reefs to generate ecological goods and services. In order to achieve successful management of these resources, it is incumbent to understand and identify the socioeconomic drivers behind them. It is also important to assess whether there are financial and economic benefits of tourism, and if so, if these economic benefits are to the detriment of the natural environment. This study addresses this issue by conducting an investigation into community fishing practices around Mnemba Island. Semi-structured interviews were held with Mnemba Island Lodge staff, local fishermen and local authorities involved in the fisheries around Mnemba. Participatory observations were also used to support the data collected by the semi-structured interviews. The study has shown that many of the fishermen who fish around Mnemba Island are of the opinion that fish stocks are decreasing and have attributed this to the increase in the number of fishermen and the lack of proper vessels to access deep sea fishing grounds. The study assesses catches bought by Mnemba Island Lodge, Matemwe fishing village and Stone Town fish market and draws conclusions and recommendations for future management of fishing in the area.
Kevin Mearns
added a research item
Tourism in Sub-Saharan Africa has grown considerably in recent years, in fact, 7% of the region's gross domestic product (GDP) is derived from travel and tourism (DeVivo, 2012). Collaborative governance brings public and private stakeholders together in collective forums with public agencies to engage in consensus-orientated decision-making (Ansell and Gash, 2008). This study explores the community voice and engages with the community for its views and opinions. While there was an appreciation for the activities of Phinda and Africa Foundation, the participants expressed their unfulfilled expectations, concerns and made suggestions for a way forward to prevent future conflicts, to establish collaborative partnership and ensure sustainable conservation and tourism. Skewed power relations, lack of participation in decision-making, poor local governance and poor communication strategies were among the main issues raised by the participants. This paper delivers valuable criticisms and suggestions for improvement of private sector conservation and tourism management.
Kevin Mearns
added 3 research items
Advocating the utilisation of visitor book inscriptions to determine visitor experiences and satisfaction: the case of the Mnemba Island Lodge, Zanzibar
Water is one the most important substances on earth as all living organisms require it to survive. It is a vital component for human survival in the form of direct consumption as well as for food production. Water is equally important for the tourism industry as water is utilised throughout the tourism value chain for the provision of services to guests. Many tourism lodges in the wildlife lodge industry in South Africa, Namibia and Botswana are in remote areas where little to no infrastructure exists. These lodges are dependent on natural water sources such as rivers, dams and boreholes to supply their water demands. Another significant aspect of the lodges is that staff have to reside on the property due to the lack of nearby housing, roads and public transport. One of the challenges for the lodges is that residing staff have to use the water for domestic purposes and therefor managers have to ensure that the water quality is of such standard that it does not pose health risks for staff and guests. Water quality management in the wildlife lodge industry is one of the most important, if not the most important aspect of the industry. The authors obtained secondary data in the form of water quality analysis done at the lodges across these three countries. The study investigated whether lodges did water quality analysis at source, tap and wastewater discharge. Furthermore, the results of the water quality analysis were subjected to their adherence to the relevant water quality standards of each country. These results provided important information regarding the comprehensiveness of the water quality analysis. The frequency of water quality testing was also determined as this provides a measure of the adherence of lodges to the legal, concession or company requirements as stated in various standards and procedures. The authors concluded that the current systems can be improved to ensure that water quality is managed more sustainably in the wildlife industry. The biggest concern relates to wastewater discharge, where very little water quality at points of discharge is available, this has the potential to cause pollution and ecosystem degradation.
Kevin Mearns
added a research item
Water is one the most important substances on earth as all living organisms require it to survive. It is a vital component for human survival in the form of direct consumption as well as for food production. Water is equally important for the tourism industry as water is utilised throughout the tourism value chain for the provision of services to guests. Many tourism lodges in the wildlife lodge industry in South Africa, Namibia and Botswana are in remote areas where little to no infrastructure exists. These lodges are dependent on natural water sources such as rivers, dams and boreholes to supply their water demands. Another significant aspect of the lodges is that staff have to reside on the property due to the lack of nearby housing, roads and public transport. One of the challenges for the lodges is that residing staff have to use the water for domestic purposes and therefor managers have to ensure that the water quality is of such standard that it does not pose health risks for staff and guests. Water quality management in the wildlife lodge industry is one of the most important, if not the most important aspect of the industry. The authors obtained secondary data in the form of water quality analysis done at the lodges across these three countries. The study investigated whether lodges did water quality analysis at source, tap and wastewater discharge. Furthermore, the results of the water quality analysis were subjected to their adherence to the relevant water quality standards of each country. These results provided important information regarding the comprehensiveness of the water quality analysis. The frequency of water quality testing was also determined as this provides a measure of the adherence of lodges to the legal, concession or company requirements as stated in various standards and procedures. The authors concluded that the current systems can be improved to ensure that water quality is managed more sustainably in the wildlife industry. The biggest concern relates to wastewater discharge, where very little water quality at points of discharge is available, this has the potential to cause pollution and ecosystem degradation.
Kevin Mearns
added 4 research items
There will always be a demand for local craft and fresh produce from the tourists visiting the lodges close to local communities. The fundamental question is-How can the gap between supply and demand be overcome? If a local community can realise the potential of prosperity lying dormant within a supply chain (SC), in the long-run the financial and social benefits will be well worth it for the local community and a luxury wildlife tourism destination (LWTD). The purpose of the research is to determine if local communities can be included into the last mile logistic distribution system of fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) for LWTD. A detailed literature review will be undertaken, accessing both local and international research on the subject of redesigning a SC of FMCG for a LWTD and the last mile logistic distribution systems for FMCG's. To assess the depth of research that has been done on successful or failed implementation of redesigning a tourism supply chain (TSC) for FMCG. Although this research is still at the conceptual phase it is noted that the research focus area is to determine the possibility of including a local community into the last mile distribution processes of LWTD's. No framework towards maximising local community contribution into the last mile logistic distribution system of the supply chains of LWTD has been found. The relevance to this research, the methodology adopted, aims at managing the paradox that exist between research and the tourism environment. The intention of this research is to inform the tourism environment of the benefits that exists when a local community align with a tourism destination.
A deeper understanding of how to engender community support for conservation is required. Numerous studies have been done on the importance of benefits accruing to local communities, but less on losses and costs incurred by these communities, and the role of intangible benefits and how these may influence attitudes towards conservation. This paper draws from research done at Dinokeng Game Reserve in Gauteng, South Africa, into what engenders support for conservation in the Kekana Gardens community, which borders the reserve. Three key themes are highlighted which cast light on the research gaps. These intangible benefits of communication, custodianship and coming in (access to reserve) could contribute to current knowledge on improving pro-conservation attitudes amongst communities bordering conservation areas, while simultaneously improving human wellbeing in these communities.
Some communities recognise and appreciate the benefits of protected area management while others do not, due to the costs they have incurred over time. "Benefit-sharing" refers to the idea that benefits arising from protected area management, and therefore tourism, should be distributed across a wide range of stakeholders (Heslinga et al., 2017). Many protected areas fall short of delivering tangible benefits that would sufficiently contribute community well-being. This paper aims to elucidate community perceptions on its participation in the management of cost and benefit sharing processes in private game reserves. It is a case study of Phinda Private Game Reserve and its surrounding communities in the Big Five False bay Municipality of KwaZulu-Natal. In-depth, semi-structured interviews, documentary analysis and direct observation were the principal methods applied. Data collected provided substantial insights into the perceptions of local communities on their involvement in decision-making processes of benefit and cost sharing. While Phinda has made remarkable positive impact in community development, issues of skewed power relations, employment opportunities and equity, poor communication strategies and poor governance emerged as the main challenges. The study then offered recommendations for further exploration of critical issues.
Kevin Mearns
added a research item
Tourism worldwide has seen a growing trend in sustainable tourism, waste management forms an important aspects within the sustainability of the tourism industry. Inappropriate waste management can lead to negative environmental impacts and severely damaged ecosystems through water, soil and air pollution. The impacts are not limited to the environment and can affect public health and human safety. Due to insufficient knowledge of waste streams from tourism establishments and Game reserves, the management of the waste streams is more difficult. As a result of this lack of knowledge best operating procedures are difficult to establish and possible sustainability improvements are difficult to implement. This study investigated waste management practices an &Beyond Lodge, Ngala Tented Camp in the Ngala Game Reserve. Waste streams, reduction, and recycling possibilities of waste were investigated and recommendation for the improvement of waste management were made. Data was collected through visual inspection and field investigations on all the relevant waste sources on site, followed by on-site waste segregation to determine waste streams.
Kevin Mearns
added a research item
Eco-labels are an important tool within the tourism industry. They ensure effective management and aim to limit negative impacts on the environment by promoting sustainable development. The Blue Flag award is considered an internationally renowned eco-label that focuses on the sustainable management of urban beaches. The Blue Flag award requires the applicant to achieve high standards in four main criteria, namely: Environmental Management, Environmental Education and Information, Safety and Services and Water Quality. If an applicant applies and achieves the requirements of all four criteria, they are awarded Blue Flag status. Although the Blue Flag programme focuses on Beaches, Boats and Marinas; this research focuses entirely on only the Blue Flag beaches. The Blue Flag programme has been implemented in South Africa for 17 years within in three provinces, namely: Western Cape, Eastern Cape and KwaZulu Natal. Although the Northern Cape does have a coastline and beaches, there are no Blue Flag beaches in the Northern Cape. Coastal tourism is an essential part of South Africa’s GDP hence the need for eco-labels like the Blue Flag programme to attract tourists to the country. There has been no previous formal study to ascertain the preferences and reasons beach users select certain Blue Flag beaches to visit. This research aims to measure the preferences of beach users and the activities that are undertaken at Blue Flag beaches along the South African coastline. Although beach user preferences vary slightly according to province, the top three beach user preferences nationally showed to be clean beaches, the actual beach itself (sense of place) and water quality. All criteria are important and need to be achieved, it is recommended that coastal municipalities need to focus on ensuring good water quality and clean beaches. Blue Flag beach operators need to continue to collect data in order to better understand their beach users to fulfil their needs and improve tourist satisfaction.
Kevin Mearns
added 2 research items
Protected areas are often surrounded by impoverished communities. Biodiversity must be conserved while enabling community members’ livelihoods. Benefit-sharing has been promoted as a means of fostering positive relationships between protected areas and local people, but views differ regarding which benefits have positive results; and which are most valued by communities themselves. This research investigates the attitudes of Khanyayo village towards Mkhambathi Nature Reserve on the Wild Coast of South Africa. A pragmatic, multi-method comparative qualitative approach was followed. Participants were local community members and key staff at Mkhambathi, who work with the community. Individual interviews, focus group interviews and an adapted nominal grouping technique were used, which aided triangulation. Results indicated a range of significant benefits and losses. Tangibles included access to natural resources, employment, infrastructure and training. More intangibles emerged though, such as enjoyment of reserve, involvement in the reserve, communication and environmental education. Losses predominantly related to prohibited or restricted access to natural resources. The comparison between the two participant groups yielded interesting insights. Knowing which benefits are most important to the community and aligning the perceptions of the people and the park staff could improve the relationship as well as enhance successful benefit-sharing.
National parks and protected areas are under dichotomy of pressures. On the one hand, they are faced with increasing economic burdens to become independent from state and donor grants, and on the other hand, they need to fulfil their mandate of conserving the environment for future generations. The South African National Parks (SANParks) is no different. Operating costs for managing 19 national parks are roughly 1 billion rand and requires management to generate 80% thereof in order to meet their primary mandate, i.e., conservation. The question thus arises how to balance these important yet opposing priorities. Interpretation is mooted as a possible solution to strive toward this balance. Through interpretation knowledge is instilled in visitors, attitudes and behaviors are changed, and tourists are encouraged to take care of the national parks and to become more responsible citizens. Added to this, interpretation services add to the visitors’ enjoyment, create loyalty, extend stays, and increase expenditure and revenue for the park. Interpretation is therefore no longer seen as a ‘luxury’ but an essential management function of national parks worldwide and this is also the case in SANParks. This chapter reviews recent developments relating to the renewal or redevelopment of interpretation programs within SANParks.
Kevin Mearns
added a research item
This study investigated the relationship between environmental impact and eco-tourists’ perceptions of it, in the Makuleke Contractual Park (MCP), Kruger National Park. The emphasis was on environmental damage caused by game drive vehicles driving off-road. The study was based on 112 completed visitor questionnaires, with an equal number of foreign and local tourists who completed the questionnaire.Tourists had significantly variable demographic characteristics. Tourists’ environmental perceptions varied, but a significant majority of tourists agreed that off-road driving has a negative impact on the environment. Contradictions exist between what they know or perceive as being damaging and what they prefer to act on. Results indicate a need for improved visitor education on the possible negative impacts of demands for off-road driving. Visitors were required to complete the first section regarding their demographics, followed by indicating their perceptions in sections two to five of the questionnaire on Likert-type scales. The questions were structured in such a way that it would be possible to draw correlations between the tourists’ environmental values and their perceptions on off-road driving.
Susan Snyman
added a research item
The guidelines on tourism partnerships and concessions for protected areas developed were in response to an under-utilized potential of protected areas to utilise tourism as a means to contribute towards the financial sustainability of protected areas and to recent decisions of the CBD on tourism, which invite Parties to “. . . build the capacity of park agencies to engage in partnerships with the tourism industry to contribute financially and technically to protected areas through tools such as concessions, public-private partnerships.”
Kevin Mearns
added a research item
Tourism has the potential to be used as a positive tool for growth in developing nations. In order to gain the most benefit from tourism, planning and management is vital for successful tourism destination development and the attainment of conservation goals. This process should involve all stakeholders who might be affected by tourism and associated developments. In order for collaboration to be effective, there are certain social aspects that need to exist in stakeholder relationships such as open communication, transparency, and trust. Research has shown that these social variables are vital for the successful collaborative management of natural resources, and as such are important to the health of social and ecological systems upon which the future of tourism depends. This article investigates stakeholder relations and how these have influenced the Mnemba Island Marine Conservation Area in Zanzibar, Tanzania. Findings suggest a lack of structure in the working relationships of key stakeholders. As a result, these relationships are strained. Despite the importance of formal agreements and structured relations, these have been difficult to implement due to stakeholder conflict over resource control. Social variables (e.g., trust, transparency) shaping stakeholder relations had a largely negative impact on the health of social and ecological systems. Suggestions for a more detailed investigation into the complexities, challenges, and possibilities for stakeholder working relationships in the Mnemba Island Marine Conservation Area are provided.
Kevin Mearns
added a research item
A comparative study Biodiversity is not a static phenomenon and many variables have an effect on accelerated biodiversity loss. While most of the variables affecting biodiversity loss are caused by humankind, many species are affected by more than one variable simultaneously. Six fundamental causes for biodiversity loss have been identifi ed, namely unsustainable population growth and associated increased pressure on natural resources; a reduced spectrum of agricultural, forestry and fishery products; failure of economic systems to attach appropriate economic value to the environment and resources; inequality in ownership, flow and management of the benefits and utilisation of resources; insufficient knowledge in the application and use of resources; and legislation and institutional systems that promote unsustainable abuse of the environment (Middleton 2003:250). The worldwide loss of biodiversity makes the management of protected areas more important than ever. Protected areas are under increasing pressure to become economically viable and independent of state grants. Tourism creates the mechanism and opportunities for protected areas to increase their economic viability while advancing the appreciation of nature. The management of these protected areas therefore includes the management of visitors. South Africa is the third most bio diverse country in the world. Amongst a variety of nature conservation endeavours nine national botanical gardens are managed by the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI). One of the nine national gardens is the Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden situated in Roodekrans towards the west of Johannesburg. A study was launched to determine preferences of visitors to the Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden by making use of semi-structured interviews. The purpose of the study was threefold. Firstly the study was launched to determine whether visitors to the garden had an increased awareness of the ideals of environmental conservation after their visit to the garden. Secondly, the study determined the spatial preferences of visitors to the garden which was thirdly correlated to the time that they spent at each area. A number of recommendations were made and a comparative study followed twelve years after the initial study in which the implementation of the resultant findings was determined through observation and a comparison of information pamphlets and garden layout maps. It was found that large-scale changes took place in line with the recommendations made after the initial study. These included the demolition of unsuccessful theme gardens and their replacement by topical theme gardens such as water-wise gardens and a garden that attracts butterflies and birds. The educational function of the Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden was greatly improved by adding more information plaques throughout the garden, a new interpretative centre and many additional information pamphlets that had been absent during the initial study. Major structural changes were made, such as the building of an amphitheatre which reduced the negative impact of noise and disturbance surrounding the nests of the Verreaux’s eagles that breed successfully in the garden. The changes undertaken at the garden show innovative improvements in line with the con servation principles outlined by the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI). The evidence of the implementation of research recommendations from the initial study could play a direct role in improving the visitor experience, which would facilitate the economic viability of the Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden in its endeavours to reach its conservation goals. Further research is suggested to continuously determine the areas of preference of visitors in the evolving landscape of the garden to ensure renewed interest of visitors to the garden. If botanical gardens want to succeed in their goal to increase the environmental awareness and consciousness of visitors, continuous visitor and tourism research is required to improve the visitor experiences that will result in drawing visitors in future.
Kevin Mearns
added 3 research items
This paper presents the results of an investigation undertaken on the influence of energy saving on the quality of lighting services on selected hotels in Mpumalanga, one of the nine provinces of the Republic of South Africa. This paper adopted a multiple case study methodology in which eight hotels were selected for in-depth study. Questionnaires, observation checklist, energy meters and a lux meter were used for data collection. Microsoft Excel 2013 was used for descriptive statistical analysis of collected data. Information on input energy consumption for lighting (in energy quantity, cost and carbon foot print) and lighting levels in the selected hotels were analysed. The results show that all the selected hotels were energy saving in their lighting services. However, none of the hotels' lighting services were compliant with minimum standard of 100 lux. This paper concludes by suggesting that tourism and hospitality councils should raise awareness about services standards. Lastly, health authorities should monitor and enforce compliance standards in hotels in order to prevent the health and associated consequences of poor lighting on guests and hotel staff.
Waste handling and disposal within the tourism industry does not receive the necessary attention. This study undertakes a waste characterisation and assessment of the current practices at Mnemba Island Lodge, which is situated on an island off the northwestern tip of Zanzibar (Tanzania). The Lodge is known for its exclusive tourist experience in a pristine natural environment and its contribution towards environmental and conservation programmes. By implementing a recycling and waste management programme the Lodge will expand its commitment towards its vision of " Caring for the Land, Caring for the Wildlife and Caring for the People ". The Lodge will as a result become compliant with National Legislation (Tanzanian Environmental Management Act, 20 of 2004) and local government requirements. The study presents data on the quantities and volumes of waste gathered over the 7-day sample period. The research generated recommendations as well as created a baseline for future benchmarking.
South Africa is a truly unique and majestic country that attracts visitors from around the globe and as a result tourism in South Africa is growing at a rapid rate with recent years providing some of the greatest tourism arrivals the country has ever seen (South African Tourism 2014). Tourism being a large contributor to the South African Economy is however also a threat to wildlife and the natural heritage it is therefore important to develop sustainable tourism practices. This study attempts to characterise the waste generated at Phinda Private Game reserve located in Northern Kwazulu-Natal. The purpose of this paper is to provide an accurate overview of the current waste practices, in order to characterise the waste stream and so doing determine the recyclable component of the waste stream. Current waste management strategies were assessed and possible mitigation strategies recommended to assist Phinda further their sustainability quest.
Kevin Mearns
added a research item
The tourism industry is one of the fastest growing industries worldwide, and its preeminent role as a fundamental contributor to the economic sector cannot be disputed. However, the tourism industry is not as harmless as previously thought, and its presence and growth has resulted in an increase in negative environmental impacts. The success of tourism rests on the quality of the natural environment where it has been developed. The worldwide drive toward sustainable development and the growth in environmental awareness, has placed pressure on tourism ventures to measure and mitigate their environmental impacts. Theory suggests that sustainable tourism indicators (STIs) form an inexpensive, operationally effective tool, available to assist tourism ventures to accurately measure their sustainable performance. This article explores the feasibility of STI’s to accurately assess the sustainability performance of tourism ventures. The study was conducted on two luxury safari camps situated within one of the most delicate ecosystems in the world; the Namib Desert. This article draws on a reflection of the experiences gained from applying STI’s. If STIs could be successfully applied in a highly sensitive desert environment, it signifies that STIs could be useful in assessing the sustainability performance in other tourism ventures.
Kevin Mearns
added 12 research items
Globally, human activities are under pressure to strive towards sustainability. This movement towards greater sustainability is influencing all aspects of our lives on a daily basis including our holiday and travel decisions. This paper presents a portion of the results and findings of a larger study which applied a series of sustainability indicators to a number of community-based tourism ventures across southern Africa. An evaluation framework was constructed making use of a number of sustainability issues and their associated indicators to measure the sustainability of six community-based ecotourism ventures across southern Africa. The evaluation framework was tested for its applicability to investigate the social, economic and environmental sustainability of the six case studies. The utility of the constructed evaluation framework was subsequently commented on and changes recommended. A number of important lessons were leant during the application of the sustainability indicators to the investigated case studies. These lessons provide valuable insights and benefits for the subsequent application of the evaluation framework to future case studies. Besides providing valuable lessons for the application of sustainability indicators to rural base tourism ventures a number of important baselines for future benchmarking of sustainability performance also result from this study.
This paper provides a conceptual framework of community- based nature conservation and tourism (CBC-T). The following themes are guiding discussions in this study, i.e.: land rights of local communities in and around protected areas; community-based wildlife management in close relationship with community- based ecotourism; and benefit-sharing and social development issues. A lot of research has been carried out to elucidate the relationship of indigenous or local communities with the conservation agents (both state and private) responsible for the protected areas. In this study, a discussion of diverse epistemological perspectives from literature is undertaken on community-based conservation and tourism as experienced on the ground. Throughout the world, most of the conflicts have been a result of disagreements on the spatial distribution and allocation of resources, land being one of the most important. Land rights issues of the communities around protected areas are pursued to bring forth what literature has already explored and establish possibilities of any inconsistencies or contradictions and gaps that may have existed. The concept of property rights is also explored to clarify the nature of interactions between local people, conservation and tourism authorities, whether state or private agents.
This paper presents an energy characterisation framework that is based on environmental and carbon management accounting principles and practices that promote green growth in societies. Primary data was collected through survey questionnaires, observation checklists, energy account records, light meters and thermometers. In addition, an exploratory literature analysis was done. The collected data was analysed through descriptive and correlation statistics, aimed at testing the theoretically developed energy saving characterisation framework. The paper revealed that the use of one or two energy saving indicators as a base for characterising services and institutions as being energy saving is misleading. Thus, the paper concludes that energy saving characterisation should be based on a confirmed reduction of energy demand, cost and carbon footprint. However, the paper points out that the selection of energy saving technologies and characterisation of activities as energy saving method can be based on the ability of such an activity to reduce one or more of the three indicators. Ultimately, the adopted framework integrates environmental and carbon management accounting principles and practices.
Kevin Mearns
added a project goal
This project seeks to investigate Sustainable tourism in and around Protected areas in Southern and Eastern Africa.