Ecotourism for Sustainable Forest Management in Sri and Challenges in Forest-based Ecotourism in Sri Lanka ... Kerala, India 11 ... The tourism industry of Sri Lanka at present is looking for avenues

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  • Research Studies: Environmental Economic Policy Series No.12November 2009

    Kanchana Wickramasinghe

    Ecotourism for Sustainable ForestManagement in Sri Lanka

    INSTITUTE OF POLICY STUDIES OF SRI LANKA99 St. Michaels Road, Colombo 3, Sri Lanka

  • Research Studies: Environmental Economic Policy Series No.12

    November 2009

    Ecotourism for Sustainable ForestManagement in Sri Lanka

    Kanchana Wickramasinghe

    INSTITUTE OF POLICY STUDIES OF SRI LANKA

  • The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the Institute ofPolicy Studies.

    Copyright C November 2009 Institute of Policy Studies, Sri Lanka

    National Library of Sri Lanka-Cataloguing-In-Publication Data

    Wickramasinghe, Kanchana

    Ecotourism for Sustainable Forest Management in Sri Lanka/ Kanchana Wickramasinghe .- Colombo : Institute of Policy Studies of Sri Lanka, 2009 48p. ; 30cm. .- (Environmental Economic Policy Series No.12) ISBN 978-955-8708-61-3 Price: i. 634.92 DDC 22 ii. Title iii. Series

    1. Ecotourism 2. Forest Management

    ISBN 978-955-8708-61-3 Price

    Please address orders to: Institute of Policy Studies of Sri Lanka 99 St. Michaels Road, Colombo 3, Sri Lanka Tel : +94 11 2431 368, Fax: +94 11 2431 395 E-mail: ips@ips.lk Websi te: www.ips.lk

  • Table of Contents

    List of Tables..................................................................................................................i

    List of Figures.................................................................................................................i

    List of Boxes...................................................................................................................i

    List of Acronyms...........................................................................................................ii

    Acknowledgements......................................................................................................iii

    Executive Summary.......................................................................................................iv

    1. Introduction............................................................................................................11.1 Objectives........................................................................................................21.2 Organization of the Report...............................................................................3

    2. Research Design......................................................................................................3

    3. Ecotourism: Conceptual Framework.......................................................................4

    4. Ecotourism in the Global Tourism Industry............................................................6

    5. Potentials and Prospects for Forest-based Ecotourism in Sri Lanka.........................85.1 Forestry Sector: Potential...................................................................................85.2 Tourism Sector: Prospects................................................................................11

    6. Status of Forest-based Nature Tourism in Sri Lanka...............................................166.1 Case study: Forest-based Nature Tourism in Kudawa........................................186.2 Case study: Forest-based Nature Tourism in Kirinda.........................................18

    7. Status of Forest-based Ecotourism in Sri Lanka......................................................197.1 Stakeholders of Forest-based Ecotourism in Sri Lanka.......................................197.2 Community-based Ecotourism: Case of Ranpathwila Ecotourism Project..........207.3 Ecotourism Project in Illukkumbura ................................................................237.4 Private Sector Ecotourism Projects...................................................................26

    8. Problems and Challenges in Forest-based Ecotourism in Sri Lanka........................27

    9. Policy and Legal Framework for Forest-based Ecotourism in Sri Lanka..................299.1 Concept of Ecotourism: Building Consensus.....................................................299.2 Policies and Legislations, relevant to Forest-based Ecotourism .........................30

    10. Policy Implications and Recommendations...........................................................32

    References.................................................................................................................. 35Annex 1: List of Key Informants Interviewed................................................... ........37

    Annex 2: Definitions of Different Categories of Tourism.........................................37

  • Identification of the Poor in Sri Lanka

    List of Tables

    Table 5.1: Area of Forests held by the FD in 2007, by Category 9Table 5.2: Wildlife Protected Areas by Category in 2008 10Table 6.1: Entrance Fee Revenue Earned by the FD through Nature Tourism (Rs.) 16Table 9.1: Ecotourism Definition among Different Agencies 30Table 9.2: Policy and Legal Documents Related to Forest-based Ecotourism in Sri Lanka 31

    List of Figures

    Figure 3.1: Sustainable Ecotourism Values and Principles Model 5Figure 5.1: Tourist Arrivals by Month 13Figure 5.2: Tourist Arrivals and Foreign Exchange Earnings (1999 - 2008) and

    Forecasts (2009 - 2016) 14Figure 5.3: Percentage Share of Tourist Arrivals to Sri Lanka in 1999 and 2007,

    by Market Region 15Figure 6.1: Revenue Earned by National Parks of Sri Lanka through Entrance Fees

    from Foreign Tourists (Rs.'000) 17

    List of Boxes

    Box 3.1: Nature Tourism Vs Ecotourism 4Box 4.1: Sustainable Ecotourism in Monteverde Cloud Forest Preserve in Costa Rica 7Box 4.2: Ecotourism Certification 8Box 5.1: Community Involvement in Forest-based Ecotourism in Periyar, Tiger

    Reserve, Kerala, India 11Box 5.2: Symbiotic Relationship between Mass Tourism Ecotourism in Thailand 12Box 7.1: Muthurajawela Visitor Centre (MVC) 24

    i

    Ecotourism for Sustainable Forest Managerment in Sri Lanka

  • List of Acronyms

    ii

    List of Acronyms

    CBO Community-based Organization

    CEA Central Environment Authority

    DWLC Department of Wildlife Conservation

    ESSL Ecotourism Society of Sri Lanka

    FD Forest Department

    FGD Focus Group Discussion

    FO Forest Ordinance

    FSMP Forestry Sector Master Plan

    IUCN World Conservation Union

    KNWH Knuckles National Wilderness Heritage

    MCFP Monteverde Cloud Forest Preserve

    MENR Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources

    MoT Ministry of Tourism

    MoU Memorandum of Understanding

    MVC Muthurajawela Visitor Centre

    NFP National Forest Policy

    NEPS National Environmental Policy and Strategies

    NWP National Wildlife Policy

    SLEF Sri Lanka Ecotourism Foundation

    SLANRMP Sri Lanka Australia Natural Resource Management Project

    SLTB Sri Lanka Tourist Board

    SLTDA Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority

    SWH Sinharaja World Heritage

    TIES The International Ecotourism Society

    WCP Wetland Conservation Project

    WTO World Tourism Organization

    YNP Yala National Park

  • Identification of the Poor in Sri Lanka

    Acknowledgement

    The study is funded by the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS). The author wishes to express sincere

    gratitude to the IPS researchers for their valuable comments and suggestions, made at the

    presentation of preliminary findings of the study at IPS in-house seminar. The constructive

    comments and valuable suggestions made on the draft report, by Athula Senaratne, Research

    Fellow and the Head of the Environmental Economic Policy Unit of the IPS are also sincerely

    appreciated. The paper also benefited substantially due to comments and suggestions made

    by the three anonymous reviewers.

    The author is grateful to the key informants who very generously shared their experience and

    provided information required for the study. Contributions made by the participants of the

    focused groups held at selected sites are also highly appreciated. The author would also like to

    acknowledge D.D.M. Waidyasekera for editorial support and Asuntha Paul for formatting.

    iii

    Ecotourism for Sustainable Forest Managerment in Sri Lanka

  • Executive Summary

    Executive Summary

    Problems and Issues in forest management system of Sri Lanka: Deforestation and forestdegradation have become serious environmental issues faced by Sri Lanka today. Forestmanagement system of Sri Lanka has been based on 'command and control' approach, whilealmost 98 per cent of the natural forests are owned and managed by the two state agencies,namely the Forest Department (FD) and the Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWLC).The present system shows a limited involvement of local communities as stakeholders inforest management. It is vital that the society sees the economic benefits of forest conservation,in order to conservation being more meaningful and long lasting. Forest-based ecotourism, anon-consumptive, market-based approach to forest utilization has received a foremost position,due to its prospective economic and environmental benefits.

    Objectives and approach of the study: The study aims to identify the main problems andissues that demand policy attention in developing forest-based ecotourism in Sri Lanka, toidentify the existing management approaches of forest-based ecotourism, followed by anevaluation of their strengths and weaknesses, to review policies and legislation relevant to thedevelopment of forest-b