The IMVF and Tiniguena have just launched the study “Dynamics and impacts of expanding tourism in the Archipelago of Bijagos”, a work of reflection highlighting that tourism is not always synonymous of wealth and development for the countries of the southern hemisphere.
Who will benefit with the development of tourism in the Marine Protected Area Community of Urok? Who will be harmed? Why, how and under what conditions? Based on the analysis to of the Marine Protected Area Community of Urok, the document questions the fairness of the distribution of the economic, social and cultural costs and benefits generated to the site by tourism in the economic, social and cultural issues in this site and assesses the impact that the development of tourism practices poses to the local population.
It is thus aimed to raise awareness on the current threat of the gradual opening of the Urok Islands – where tourist activitytourism is inadvisable by their current management plan – and the consequences that the arrival of new travellers may pose to the community. With the status of a Biosphere Reserve, the Archipelago of Bijagos – where the Urok Islands are located – is rich in biodiversity issues and an inseparable balance prevails between the natural environment and its inhabitants, a fact which now attracts tour operators by the potential economic opportunities of of the local naturalnature, culture and landscape of the archipelago.
Emanuel Ramos, technical assistant technician of the project followed all the research and explains “For anyone who develops a continuous work in on this archipelago, especially on the of islands Urok islands, it is easy to see how tourism has been claiming that in that setting up there, place does not responding to any needs of the community and is not intended for without taking in account local interests. The entire social structure has changed, introduced new ways of doing things were introduced and, contrary to what one would expect, did not generate employment was not generated. This study did not intended intention was not to say “no” to tourism, rather it intends to understand how it can be useful for the community and for the development of the islands. Our goal is that, based on this information, we can find clues as to regulation and to what might be a code of conduct in the protected area of the islands”.
A document written by the CETRI – Tricontinental Centre (Belgium) that providsprovides an conscious vision to on the sustainability of the planet and the democratiszation of world tourism, calling brings attention to the need for regulation of tourist practices in places like Urok to protect economic interests of the local communities and the natural qualities and landscape.
The study “Dynamics and impacts of expanding tourism in the archipelago of Bijagos – Lessons for AMPC Urok” is edited under the “Project Urok Osheni! Conservation, development and sovereignty in the Urok Islands – Guinea-Bissau” project, whose aim is to contribute to strengthening the process of participatory governance that exists in the Marine Protected Area Community of the Urok Islands and eventually build a Model for Sustainable Development and Integrated AMPC. Performed Executed by IMVF in partnership with the NGO Guinean NGO Tiniguena, it is funded by the European Commission and the Portuguese Cooperation.