by IDollente on 29/09/11 at 5:20 am
Palawan is known for its pristine environment that is why it is one of the best ecological destinations. As travelers, there are ways how we can contribute to the aims of the local economy.
Image via Wikipedia
Image via Wikipedia
Palawan is the second largest province in the Philippines. The capital, Puerto Princesa City is located in the middle part Palawan. The province is known as the “last ecological frontier” due to its rich marine and forest resources.
Strategic Environmental Plan for Palawan Act
To address the growing population and the problems associated with it, Republic Act 7611 was enacted in 1992 known as the Strategic Environmental Plan for Palawan Act (SEP). According to the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development, its overall philosophy is derived from the concept of Sustainable Development.
Ecotourism is a management tool defined as a low impact, environmentally sound and community-participatory tourism activity in a given natural environment that enhances the conservation of biophysical understanding and education and yields socio-economic benefits to the concerned community. It is one of the fastest-growing industries especially for third-world countries. If there are positive impacts brought about by ecotourism, there are negative impacts as well if not planned and managed properly.
Palawan as an Ecotour Destination
Over the years, the province of Palawan is being known as one of the places to visit if you are looking for an ecotour destination. It offers pristine beaches and natural environment you can enjoy. Some of the places mostly visited by tourists are the Underground River National Park, El Nido Beach Resorts, Coron Islands, and the Tubbataha Reef.
How To Be a Responsible Traveler
Ecotourism aims to give travelers and tourists a glimpse of the places they visit. The success of this industry lies not only on the hands of the management, but also on the cooperation of the tourists as well. As a traveler, it is beneficial on the host destination if we can support them byt doing little things such as:
1. Research and do your homework.
Take the time to check the operator’s legitimacy. Be informed about the area you will visit through booklets, websites, brochures, etc. Read about the basic principles of ecotourism. Read about the local policies of the place. Like for example in Palawan littering is a crime.
2. Take only photos, and leave nothing but footprints.
Corals and stones are natural relics. Resist the urge to get souvenirs and take photos instead. There are souvenir stores available for items you can take home.
3. Buy local products.
Locally made products are being sold mostly in ecotourism destinations to support and provide livelihood opportunities to the locals and communities. You can buy Kasuy products, honey, etc.
4. Conserve resources.
One of the negative impacts of ecotourism is waste generation. Use face towels instead of tissue papers. Another known impact is energy consumption. Turn of lights and air conditioning units when not in use.
5. Walk whenever possible.
It’s not only a good exercise but it will give you the chance to explore and appreciate the place more. Take time to converse with local vendors and gain cultural knowledge as well.
6. Eat available local food.
Most often than not, local people offers variety of their specialties. Take the chance to taste food and beverage available. In Puerto Princesa Crocodile Farm, crocodile meat is now being sold.
Be a little sensitive to cultural differences. Ecotourism is interactive and cultural exchange is inevitable.
Nothing beats a well-spent vacation. Thinking of a next destination? Remember, we can support any destination by being a responsible tourist.
Anderson, R. 2006. Going Green. Earth Action Network, Inc. p.52.
The Sustainable Tourism. http://www.gdrc.org.
Palawan Council for Sustainable Development. http://www.pcsd.ph