Although many human activities have thus far caused significant deforestation and degradation of mangroves, it’s not all bad news. Alternative methods and practices within even those systems that are generally forces of destruction can mitigate or even reverse these negative impacts. Shrimp farming and tourism present opportunities to enhance mangrove conservation efforts.
MAP has identified three sustainable alternatives to industrial shrimp farming, two from traditional methods and one with highly intensive technological and capital inputs. The first traditional system is called “tambek,” which combines rice paddies with finfish and shrimp production. The second is the gei wei system, which takes advantage of mangroves as a natural nursery for fish and crustaceans. The modern system is a closed-system approach which does not rely on natural water and resources and recycles materials and waste.
Eco-tourism and Community-based tourism are two alternative travel options for jet-setters. Eco-tourism is a learning experience designed to contribute to sustainable livelihoods of locals with minimal impact. Community-based tourism takes ecotourism to the next level, where travelers often stay with local inhabitants and social, environmental, and cultural sustainability is paramount. Community-based tourism also seeks to enhance community engagement and organization of local projects.
These alternatives do require a change in perspective for these industries, but these options also provide a new and sustainable direction that would allow the industries to continue. Not only are these alternatives advantageous for the industries, they are also advantageous for local and developing communities and for the conservation of mangroves worldwide.
Alternatives to Industrial
kayak ecotourVarious initiatives have arisen in response to tourism’s negative social and environmental impacts.
MAP collaborates with several groups working at the local and regional level to carry out programs in:
Organizations working on Tourism Issues
Ecumenical Coalition on Tourism (ECOT)
Tourism Concern Global Anti-Golf Movement (GAG’M)
Tourism Investigation Monitoring Team (TIM-Team)
Red Latino American FITS 2006 (REDAM 2006)