photo by preetamra
The Philippine Department of Tourism's hat has been thrown into ecotourism game for awhile now. They've made it part of their plan for economic development. The country's ecotourism program strives to install processes and procedures that are economically beneficial, socially responsible, ecologically sustainable and advantageous to the local communities by creating jobs and improving living conditions overall. Palawan is the second biggest province in the country in terms of land area and has been recommended by the tourism department as the top eco-destination in the country.
The Ethics of Ecotourism in the Philippines
Around thirty percent of the people in the Philippines live in poverty, and there are 85 million people who live there. That's nearly 25.5 million impoverished and suffering people. In 1991, the The World Trade Organization, the United Nations Development Program along with various organization in the Philippines worked to make the the nation a bastion of ecotourism. It wasn't until 1999, however, that an executive order was passed that helped structure the development of ecotourism.
The Executive Order:
"The State shall develop and promote sustainable tourism while enjoining the participation of the Filipino people in enhancing the growth and competitiveness of the Philippine economy; and,
The State shall ensure the sustainable use, development, management, protection and conservation of the country’s environment and natural resources and cultural heritage for the enjoyment of the present and future generations."
That executive order lead to the development of the National Ecotourism Strategy. The outline of this strategy includes spreading the wealth to the very impoverished rural areas, the conservation of cultural sites, promotion of conservation awareness, educational programs and more.
Eco-Friendly Adventures in the Philippines
There are a variety of eco-friendly activities available for the ecotourist to enjoy: Swimming with whale sharks in the their natural environment or getting out the binoculars and watching for the rare Philippine Eagle or 600 other varieties of birds. A traveler can also go to a jungle environment survival training camp where he or she can be taught to drink from a water vine, cook in a bamboo steamer and dine off a bamboo plate.
The Department of Tourism Recommends The El Nido, Lagen and Miniloc Island Resorts, Club Noah Isabelle and the Bohol Bee Farm. These hotels all carry out environmentally friendly practices: Coastal clean ups, prohibiting the gathering of shells and coral, eco-safe cleanser and many others.