A new guide for tourism partnerships and concessions for protected areas aims to enhance the level of financial resources available for conservation management.
The Secretariat of Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN), have announced the new publication – Guidelines for tourism partnerships and concessions for protected areas: generating sustainable revenues for conservation and development.
The guidelines are geared towards protected area authorities, ministries of environment and tourism, policy experts and interested enterprises. They are designed to support protected area authorities and the private sector in their development and use of tourism partnerships and concessioning to contribute financially and technically to biodiversity conservation.
The tourism sector is recognised as the largest global market-based contributor to the financing of protected areas in many countries.
However, most countries currently underuse tourism as a means to contribute toward the financial sustainability of protected areas. The new guidelines aim to assist countries with addressing this gap.
The guidelines were developed as part of a project called ‘Tourism partnerships and concessions in protected areas: Co-operating for success’, executed on behalf of the CBD Secretariat by the Tourism and Protected Areas Specialist Group (TAPAS) of the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas.
Wilderness Safaris Sustainability Manager, Dr Sue Snyman, Vice Chair of TAPAS, together with other members of the group, Dr Anna Spenceley, Chair of the TAPAS Group, and Professor Paul Eagles, developed the new guidelines and ran capacity-building workshops.
Spenceley said: “Our collaborative guideline development process has resulted in an informative tool that builds on previous experience and guidance and is practical and easy to use, which is relevant for protected area managers. We are proud to contribute this advice in the UN International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development.”