This is a solution of Institutional Arrangement On Biodiversity Conservation that describes about Developing business


This chapter outlines the theories that guide this study; and reviews related literature on biodiversity conservation, tourism and its socio-economic and environmental impact.The four theories are explained thus:

The Tourism Led Growth (TLG) hypothesis

TLG explains that international tourism generates foreign exchange, increases investment in the local areas, analyses economies of scale, increases income (Song, Dwyer and ZhengCao 2012). The hypothesis emphasizes that tourism can lead to long term economic business growth (Brida et al. 2009). With the view of tourism generated economic growth, economic benefit from the tourism initiative implemented in Benin is measured to determine its profitability and likelihood of growth.

The Structure-Conduct-Performance (SCP) Paradigm

The SCP paradigm presents an important theory for examining the market perspective of the supply from tourism. SCP paradigm proposes that the nature of the market system in which a firm operates determines the conduct of the firm and its overall performance such as its growth and profitability (Song, Dwyer and ZhengCao 2012). Therefore the content of an ecotourism package, the structure and strategies applied in execution of its activities, will influence the overall outcome of the tourism initiative. In the context of this study inclusive ecotourism practise with adequate understanding and involvement of stakeholders roles will give rise to a result oriented ecotourism activity unlike a decentralized practise where stakeholders are not fully involved.


Ecological heterogeneity is based on theoretical framework aggregated from the work of diverse biodiversity conservation managers and scientists; and the cross-cutting theme is “ecological heterogeneity in time and space” (Illuis 2003:504). The theory explains that heterogeneity underlies biodiversity and adaptive management (Illuis 2003)

Ecological Heterogeneity in the context of this study is the outputs of ecotourism activities which is either positive or negative and are produced with time. The result obtained will enable a more adaptive management of ecotourism activity to achieve its aim of conserving biodiversity and improving livelihood, without harming the environment further.

Interactional Theory

The interactional theory according to Wilkinson (1991) sees social interaction as a way by which communities are created, recreated and developed; which aids the fulfilment of emotional and material needs of the community. The interactional theory emphasizes that those relations in community influence the outcome of tourism-led development (Matarrita-Cascante 2010).

This study is based on these theories outlined; the interactional theory highlights the importance of community involvement, the SCP paradigm portrays the importance of outlining the roles of stakeholders as part of the structure of eco-tourism package, the TLG hypothesis illustrates the significance of evaluating economic benefit from tourism; and the Ecological Heterogeneity outlines the output from ecotourism practise which may be adverse in terms of GHGs emission, and aids adaptive management.


Initially, interference in species habitat was caused by the need for food, living space and fuel; recent development in global economy, economic activity and demands from consumers drive the threat to biodiversity globally (Lenzen et al. 2012). According to Dikgang and Muchapondwa (2012), biodiversity provide different services such as provisioning services, regulation services, support services and cultural services and these services improve the economic processes; but unfortunately increasing human population, increasing cultivation and absence of awareness has significantly affected biodiversity (Kingsford et al. 2009). Conservation has been seen by some farmers as a luxury and as an issue of affordability, using different sayings to deter conservation such as “conservation begins after breakfast”; “it is hard to be green when you are in the red” (Conradie et al.2013:334). Kinver (2013) explains that ecologist have to improve their efforts in convincing people on the need for conservation, by identifying why it is important that the environment is adequately managed.

One of the practises that have led to increased loss of species is agriculture; however, none is to blame as increasing populations have led to increasing food demands and therefore the need for agriculture (Duncan 2013). Through agriculture (farming) species all over the world have been destroyed, even measures encouraged by nature reserves are limited and do not seem enough to reduce the cause of farming on biodiversity (Economist 2008).  According to Tisdell (2011), the main driver of agriculture is market failure: increase in markets and expansion of trade areas, which, in turn, hinders conservation approaches through creation of land space. Duncan (2013) argues that even though short term relationship with species look bright, the long term relationship with species currently does not look promising on sustainability. She further explained that for increased conservation of biodiversity as well adequate provision of food for increasing population, expanding agriculture is not a good practise and that intensification in a particular area is more favourable.

The second significant practise is deforestation due to need for timber; loggers have played a significant role in this area (Revkin 2012). However, a switch from cutting of trees to planting of forest trees will go a long way in conservation of species; although this method has been adopted in Africa, Asia and South America, deforestation is still practised in some parts of these continents (Black 2011). An example is in south-western Benin, a country in Africa where the economy is dependent on agriculture, livestock, trade and agro food processing; but where poor conservation practises have increased exploitation of natural resources(BECG 2010).According to Tanaka et al. (2013), this increased exploitation of biodiversity is due to the needs of the people; a core example is the increase in the need for rice in West Africa which inspired expansion of an area in Zou department (Zogbodomey, Benin) for lowland rice cultivation. Therefore, for policy decision to reduce impact on biodiversity, a global perspective should be adopted, which involves all stakeholders, both the local producers and the consumers of the products produced; forming joint decisions channelled towards adequate conservation approaches.


For adequate conservation process a management plan is essential and this should involve all stakeholders, the measures to be taken should be agreed among the stakeholders and, importantly, the approach should suit the ecological requirement of the site(Young et al. 2013). Conradie et al. (2013), states that stakeholder identification is essential in meeting conservation targets as they contribute mostly, and are in better positions to execute plans for conservation of biodiversity. Young et al. (2013) suggested that stakeholders should be formed at a local and regional level; they divided stakeholders into three: Government and Government departmental representatives; users of biodiversity; and the technical and scientific advisers.

Government and Government departmental representatives

Governments play an important role by designing institutions for biodiversity conservation (Nilsson and Persson 2012). Reischl (2012) identified that governments are represented by their institutions on conservation and these institutions should interact, as well as be aimed to address biodiversity conservation issues. More so the support of governments and their representatives are needed for implementation of conservation actions formulated by scientist and practitioners (Arlettaz et al. 2010).

In the case of Benin Republic, CEBEDES (2007) highlighted that there are legal voids in Benin’s rules and regulations which needs to be addressed such as the traditional property rights, also that Benin’s legislative frameworks needs to be revised, updated and enforced; and development of capacity to support institutions are required.

The technical and scientific advisers

Scientific advisers contribute to conservation through their literatures; as they inform practitioners on biodiversity issues and proffer solutions to the problem (Arlettaz 2010). According to Laurance et al. (2012), strong science focused on real world conservation should guide research in biodiversity conservation.

Users of Biodiversity

Policies and programs on conservation have been re-articulated and have tried to focus on accommodating local needs and aspirations; leading ecosystem serving production that has an economic value and provide farmers with incentives and new handcraft, causing them to forgo the practise of over-using the environment (Dressler et al. 2013). But even with the increasing awareness and programs on conservation Rantala et al. (2013) explained that policy implementers and conservationist are yet to fully understand the needs of the people as well as secure the wellbeing of the people whose livelihood depended on the resources they no longer have access to.

The perception of community members and their understanding of biodiversity conservation are essential for the successful business management of biodiversity, as their knowledge will influence their interaction with the environment; and it is important that the local communities are a part of conservation plans made for their area (Vodouhe et al. 2010). The indigenous people have more knowledge of their environment and species that dwell in them, they are better positioned to know what can increase the survival of these species (CEBEDES 2010). Also, results from the fifth World Park Congress (WPC), gathered by the IUCN World commission on protected area (UNEP-WCMC 2012), showed that when assessing the role of local communities and indigenous people in decision making, a consideration of customary and territorial rights is very important. Conservation made easily accessible by the public and are more inclusive, produces better results and, the citizens in communities close to biodiversity to be conserved play vital roles in the conservation process (Kothari et al. 2013). Therefore analysing the roles of various stakeholders in a conservation plan is essential to eliminate conflict of interest and ensure adequate implementation of conservation practises posed.

Stakeholders in the pilot project on Koussoukpa Zogbodomey in Benin

The stakeholders identified in biodiversity conservation following the project in Benin were resource users, administrators, municipalities and Parliament members. The stakeholders’ roles during the research project were to analyse both the benefit of conservation currently implemented, alternative options and work towards implementation. They also assessed the security provided by legal frameworks implemented and the extent to which the institutional arrangements are sustained (CEBEDES 2007). The strategy used in stakeholder identification in the pilot project was to discover institutional and individual partners who were interested in biodiversity conservation in Benin, Costa Rica and Bhutan, and who are willing to share experiences on issues pertinent to conservation debates at local level and among the public (CEBEDES 2007). The stakeholders outlined in table 2.1 were the main actors who participated in the pilot project in Koussoukpa  Zogbodomey Benin (section 2.8). In each organization identified in table 2.1, large amount of players were involved, a comprehensive administrative organization of these players was found to have been crucial to the success of the pilot project (Alladatin 2010; CEBEDES 2010; Floquent, Alladatin and Abdelaziz2010).

Table 2.1        Stakeholders in Koussoukpa Zogbodomey Benin pilot project (Alladatin 2010; BECG 2010; CEBEDES 2010; Floquent, Alladatin and Abdelaziz2010)

Initiating EntityBasic InformationRole
CEBEDES (Benin Centre for Environmental; and Development, Economic and Social )


Sector: Non-Governmental Organization (NGO)

Centre of Operations:


Ownership: National-level


CEBEDE Xudodo acted as the facilitator in the project process.
Supporting EntityBasic InformationRole
AVIGREF (Village association for wildlife reserve management)Sector: NGO

Centre of Operations:



State-level governments

Organization of the Riparian population for the purpose of reserve management.

Sensitize population on the necessity to preserve habitat, flora and fauna.

Ensure that exploitation of natural resources promotes community development. Assist CENAGREF in performing task of control activities.

CENAGREF (National Centre for wildlife management)Sector: NGO

Centre of Operations:



State-level Governments

Manage the Pendjari National Park with the objective of preserving Benin’s ecosystem and biodiversity.

Controls the park and monitors species, park settlement, tourism management and potentials, and anti-poaching.

ECOBENIN (Benin Eco-Tourism Concern)Sector: NGO


Centre of Operations:






Act as major player in the promotion of ecotourism in Tanougou and Kouusoukpa Zogbodomey Benin.
DPNP (Directing Board National Park Pendjari)Sector: NGO

Centre of Operations: Benin


Prevention of path opening with heavy machines.


Institution is defined by North (1990:3) as “the rules of the game in a society or, the humanly devised constraint that shape human interaction”. According to MacDonald (2010)in the World Conservation Congress (WCC) legible institutions and struggles in conservation organizational order are addressed. Institutions limit or encourage the interaction between ecosystem and humans; however there are rules set up to moderate the interaction between social systems and ecological systems (Gatzweiler 2005). Due to the large scale of interaction between ecosystem goods and services, institutional diversity is also essential and more so the diverse governance structures should be fit into the different scales of interaction (Padmanabhan and Jungcurt 2012).

Mongbo (2008) explained that institutional arrangement play significant role in the transformation of Benin socially, focusing on its tourism and national park development; and according to Yami et al. (2009) for new developmental projects towards conservation of natural resources, institutional arrangement in place needs to be evaluated, identifying its weaknesses and strengths; if not sustainable practise may be undermined and finances lost. Barrett, Lee and McPeaks (2005) report that how well a community or nation monitor and enforce its rules and institution on conservation is more important than which rule they adopt; more so rules designed to be flexible are important for the advancement of development and advancement of goals; and the most common problem with communities and developing areas is that the capacity to enforce these rules are often time lacking.

There are different institutions that govern diverse conservation practise and some of this practise are more significant than the others, the most known are the Payment for Ecosystem/Environmental Service (PES), Protected Area method (PA) and the Biodiversity Development Agreements (BDA) which are further discussed in this report; more include the ‘fee-simple purchase’, ‘tradable development rights’, ‘preferential tax treatment for conservation’, ‘land restriction with regulation’. On a broader scale these least common types of conservation fall under the most significant ones listed earlier (Boyd and Simpsons 1999).  Stakeholders also play significant role in ensuring the execution of institutions established for conservation purposes; the institutions will have no effect if not enforced (Floquent, Alladatin and Abdelaziz 2010). Read More : Unit 6 Contemporary Issues In Travel And Tourism


2.5.1 Payment for ecosystem/environmental service (PES)

PES strategy spans over the interest of landowners and the need for biodiversity conservation, creating a more direct conservation model; PES is therefore a conservation system where private landowners are provided with financial incentives to execute conservation practises that protect the ecosystem as well as provide some of its services (Garbach 2012). PES has also been referred to as a direct payment method where conservationist gives incentives to individuals to preserve the ecosystem rather than destroy it (Ferraro and Kiss 2002). Ferraro and Kiss (2002) further explained PES advantage as it being a direct payment approach which is cost efficient, using the principle that the most economical way to acquire something is to pay for it rather than pay for something that looks like it. PES has some identifiable disadvantages,Clement et al. (2010) explained that PES program require funding and may be unsustainable over time. PES may cause conflict due to inequality triggered by payment to some members of the society; and local people may use the conflict as an avenue to fight against conservation (Dressler et al. 2013).

PES have been practised in different countries but significant to this study is the practise in Costa Rica; in Costa Rica the practise of PES caused other likely conservation schemes to be ignored, putting minor importance on agricultural context and concentrated on financial incentives (Vignola et al. 2012).  PES although somewhat effective in conservation of biodiversity in Costa Rica is understood when related to Costa Rica’s national budget; after the first decade in 2006 PES caused a 0.43% increase in the national budget and an increase of 13.3million USD in Costa Rica’s annual budget (Daniel et al. 2012).

2.5.2 Biodiversity Development Agreements (BDA)

BDA connects the interest of biodiversity owners and users through the arrangement of biodiversity prospecting efforts, which according to Kursar et al. (2006:1), biodiversity prospecting is “the investigation of biodiversity as a source of useful medicines or genes and in practice might provide the expected benefits”; but biodiversity prospecting is being used below its potential in biodiversity rich region. BDA’s strategy is to sell successfully conserved products and thereby pay royalties to the host government for each sale; BDA advantages include technology transfer, training, payment and job opportunity (Kursar et al. 2006).

2.5.3 Protected Area (PA)

According to Dudley (2008:8) “A protected area is a clearly defined geographical space, recognised, dedicated and managed, through legal or other effective means, to achieve the long term conservation of nature with associated ecosystem services and cultural values”. Being the cornerstone of biodiversity conservation approach in the world (Gregoire et al. 2007) the aim of protected areas is to limit natural resource exploitation (UNEP 2013). More than 12% of the earth’s land surface is among the world designated protected areas but yet biodiversity loss continues at a higher rate (UNEP-WCMC 2008). Steady increase in ecological isolation have caused forest habitat loss around protected areas explained Gregoire et al. (2005); the degradation of the surrounding area of a reserve can led to changes in soil, in vegetation composition, in its microclimate and perhaps species extinction(Gregoire et al. 2005, Dikgang and Muchaponda 2012).

Lack of incentive to communities where protected area is practised have caused conflict and also caused exploration of non-adequately managed protected areas (Vodouhe et al. 2010, Dikgang and Muchaponda 2012). Another limitation with protected area is the existence of poor payment to staffs, poor infrastructures for workers, in some cases where human settlement are involved, finance is required to adequately settle the people who are being displaced from their habitats (Clement et al. 2010).  Leverington et al. (2010) illustrated that despite insufficient funding and unsatisfactory inventory management, there are positive results showing positive impact of protected area in biodiversity conservation. The Rapid Assessment and Prioritization of Protected Area Management (RAPPAM) have been developed by WWF to monitor effectiveness of protected area as a biodiversity conservation measure (Ervin 2003).

IUCN protected area management categories include: strict nature reserve (ecotourism sites), national parks, natural monument, habitat/species, protected landscape/seascape, and managed resource protected area (Dudley 2008).An example of protected area is the Pendjari biosphere reserve (ecotourism site) which has an area of 480,000 ha, one of the largest protected area groups in West Africa spanning across Niger, Burkina Faso and Benin (Alladatin 2010).


Tourism according to World Tourism Organization (WTO) is ‘activities of persons travelling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business strategy and other purposes not related to the exercise of an activity remunerated form within the place visited. Ecotourism is therefore tourism that is nature-based and managed for sustainability (Gurung and Seeland 2008). The practise of ecotourism is identified in Conradie et al. (2013) as a marker for conservation mindedness. Ecotourism is currently seen as one of the most significant areas in the world economy; contributing extensively to income and welfare of countries (Motavalli 1995, Gossling et al. 2005). The success of ecotourism in countries such as Costa Rica is impressive and has increased the attraction of other countries to adopt ecotourism as a form of economic growth as well as environmental preservation (Higgins 2006).

Despite the benefits of ecotourism, ecotourism has some impacts on the environment explained Gossling (2002) and they include:  land use and land cover, where land is used for road development, erection of building for accommodation and catering services; energy use in terms of transport related activities which led to increased emission of greenhouse gases and global warming. Also biotic exchange and wild life species extinction, through international commerce and live organism trade in; exchange and dispersion of diseases, through transport of infected organism, disease from tourist from new locations; changes in human-environmental relations; and water use.

Furthermore, crucial to tourism sustainability is, fossil fuel use and greenhouse gas emission, which from a global perspective is, the most urgent environmental issue in relation to tourism; transportation, assessing journey level from 60% to 95% in-addition to transport locally; accommodation and tour activities (UNEP 2011). Tourist industries and organization in tourism business fear that energy prices may cause decline in countries’ economic welfare through eco-tax payment (Gossling et al. 2005).


2.7.1 Benin

Benin is a country in West Africa, bordering Nigeria, Burkina Faso and Togo. Benin is small in size with an area of 112,700 sq. km and a population of 9,877,292; Benin has been described as one of the poor countries in Africa with most of the population dependent on agriculture for their livelihood, although cotton production and regional trade is practised (CIA 2013). In West Africa, Benin is popularly known for its most heterogeneous flora and fauna even though resource identification is yet to be completed (Mongbo 2008). The economy of the country is still underdeveloped and according to 2012 estimate, has a GDP of $15.84 billion (CIA 2013).

2.7.2 Benin economy

The decline previously recorded in Benin’s economy was gradually reversed since 2010; in 2012, a 3.8% of growth was estimated and is projected to increase in 2013 and 2014; one of the areas of focus for achieving this growth is the elimination of hindrance in its agricultural practises and natural resource mining (African Economic business Outlook 2013). As found in Song et al. (2012) and Conradie et al. (2013) this action may deter biodiversity conservation approaches which aim at preserving the environment via reduction of agricultural practises, however, either practise (agriculture or biodiversity conservation) may become a priority depending on its potential to improve Benin’s economy.

Records also hold that rapid deforestation is experienced in Benin, with increasing population; and consequently Benin has lost about 70,000 hectares of forest per year between 1990 and 2001; every year at least 1,600km2 of tree formation are converted to farmland (BECG 2010). More so about 280 plant species which represents 10% of the flora are threatened; however global strategy explains that a minimum of 60% of the threatened species require conservation in a protected area (Houehanou et al. 2012).

2.7.3 Benin’s biodiversity conservation practise

Inconsistency in the implementation of conservation plans is prevalent in Benin and absence of corrective actions are still unknown (CEBEDES 2007). Benin’ s rich natural resource protection have not produced benefits like conservation in Costa Rica, and institutions managing its natural resources are weak and most times bypassed by the habitants, causing increase in biodiversity depletion. Therefore, there is need for institutional products development and its enforcement; involvement of the habitants of these areas in the institutional formation to eliminate the lack of compliance. Also the institutions should favour the populace if not they are not likely to be sustained. Conservation practise likely to favour Benin is Protected area services specifically tourism (CEBEDES 2010).

Protected area management is currently practised in Benin, covering about 20% of the national area, example include the Pendjari national park, transnational W park, Gazetted forest, community protected wetlands, sacred forest (Houehanou et al. 2012).  Houehanou et al. (2012) observed that although this reserve is well managed and has increased tourist attraction in Benin, focus is more on conservation of the wide range of animals in the reserve than the vegetation present because the former provide more financial resources than the latter.

2.7.4 Zogbodomey: Lokoli-Hlanzoun Swamp/Koussoukpa Swamp in Benin

Zogbodomey in the South-Western Benin is where the heart of the Lokoli-Hlan River lies (Figure 2.1).

Figure 2.1:       The Hlan river (Floquent 2010)

Figure 2.2        Map of Zuo Department (Zogbodomey community) (Tanaka et al. 2013)

The Hlan River is a swamp forest with an area of about 500acres interspersed with wild Macabo Taro, as shown in Figures 2.1 and 2.2 above. The site spans across Dome, Zogbodomey and the Toffo community, but most of the river is developed in the Koussoukpa one of the administrative district in Zogbodomey Benin (Alladatin 2010).

A large number of plants and animal species habit the swamp forest; some of the plant species include: Alstonia congensis, Syzygium owariense, Hallea ledermannii and Nauclea xanthoxylon and some animal species are Lutra maculicollis, cercopithecus aethiops tantalus,and Atilax paludinosus.Some of these species are under threat, while some are rare and endemic; also some are used by the population as food (Floquent, Alladatin and Abdelaziz2010).The population of the area that covers the Hlan forest is summarised in Table 2.2.

Table 2.2:                    Population in the study area   (Floquent 2010)










The Zogbodomey economy is based on agriculture, livestock, trade and agro food processing; 80% of the population is dependent on agriculture, maize and groundnut are the main crops cultivated, however, vegetables, cassava, cotton, cowpeas, soybean and rice are grown as well. Most of the enterprises in Zogbodomey refine the products from agriculture (BECG 2010). The people also practise livestock production on pigs, poultry, goat, rabbits and sheep. Increasing exploitation of biodiversity is due to the needs of the people and the dependence of their livelihood on agricultural practises (Tanaka et al. 2013).


2.8.1 The Project Initiative and Approach

The Project was designed to address biodiversity conservation challenges by drawing experiences from Costa Rica, Bhutan and Benin, identifying opportunities, options and designs adoptable at community, municipal and National levels (CEBEDES 2007). Lessons were drawn for three types of protected areas: gazetted forests, national parks and community protected areas.One of these community protected areas is the Hlanzoun swamp forest in Koussoukpa Zogbodomey community. Significantly one of the project’s objectives was to contribute to the protection in the Hlanzoun swamp forest through ecotourism promotion using initiatives from practise in Bhutan and Costa Rica (Floquent 2010).

2.8.2 Project Activity

Different activities were carried out during the project. CEBEDES (2010) reports that an exchange trip was organized with AVIGREF for some people in Hlanzoun to visit Pendjari National Park in Benin for an experience of the practise in the biosphere reserve; this in essence is to influence the Hlanzouns’ perception on ecotourism, train and teach them on ecotourism practise. Also a visit to the Tchaourou, Toui and Kilibo (TTK) forest was organized to assess the conservation activity in the forest. An Ecotourism centre was set up in the koussoukpa Zogbodomey Benin and a forum of discussion for results obtained from project was planned. However this project was stopped at the initiation of ecotourism in the Koussoukpa Zogbodomey Community in Benin and there has not been any analysis on the economic impact of the initiative (CEBEDES 2010). See more : Managing Financial Resources Decisions Assignment


2.9.1 Economic impact

According to Meffe (2008) one of the drivers of biodiversity loss and destruction is economic growth. The kuznet curve which is an inverted U was used to explain the relationship between income per capita and environmental quality: environmental degradation (biodiversity loss) increases alongside increasing income and at some point environmental degradation decreases (Kuznet 1955). In this scenario the income per capita explains the economic impact while environmental quality is biodiversity state. Although Czech (2008) suggests that in a macroeconomic situation, the kuznet curve is seen as a fallacy and is not exactly important. Also, Dietz and Adger (2002) hypothesised that the relationship between biodiversity conservation and economic growth cannot exactly be assessed within the Kuznet hypothesis framework; explaining that due to the current rate of species extinction, biodiversity loss may slow at some point of rise in income but cannot be reversed.

Agriculture is deemed the foundation of economy and the main activity which impacts on biodiversity, examples include, farming, logging, livestock rearing and mining (Czech 2008). As ecosystem is used the output in the economy also increases, as illustrated in Figure 2.3. However, biodiversity conservation with incentives also gives rise to increase in economy, as in the case of Costa Rica where most of its conservation practises led to increase in the country’s finances especially ecotourism which is now the main source of finance in Costa Rica (Floquent and Abdelaziz2010).Kursar et al. (2006) recognised that the challenge of integrating biodiversity conservation has been identifying its economic value and thereby justifying its implementation.

Figure 2.3        GDP produced over time from ecosystem input (Czech 2008)

Analysis of economic impact of biodiversity conservation plans for a country, region or community should have incentives for the habitants and on the long run enhance economic development; research have shown that ecotourism is expected to yield economic benefits such as creation of jobs, increase goods and services supply, enhance building maintenance and generate revenues for the government through tax (Kirkby et al. 2010). Therefore, tourism brings about changes usually observed in economic growth (Matarrita-Cascante 2010).

2.9.2 Social impact

Social features include attitudes, connectedness via groups and networks, relations of trust, exchanges of goods, knowledge and social norms (Moon, Marshall and Cockline 2012). According to Mkapa  in the UN GSSD expo (2013) for a successful sustainable development and green economy achievement, development must be inclusive, meaning everyone at different levels must be involved; he further explained that incentives to host community is also one of the keys. This inclusive sustainable development will led to activities such as environmental education, lecture presentations and public and media relations; and they are to be incorporated in the biodiversity conservation project plan and will in turn impact the social economy positively as well enhance social concerns (Lee and Iwasa 2012). Conservation practise that positively impacts users and owners of biodiversity motivates people participation. Moon, Marshal and Cocklin (2012:293) stated that “conservation policies that maintain or improve landholders, personal circumstances, and promotes pro-environmental norms may result in increased participation and thereby conservation outcomes”.

2.9.3 Environmental impact

Environmental Impact Assessment(EIA) is essential in identifying the specific conservation strategy useable for different threatened species (Safont et al. 2012). Also Gontier et al. (2006) explained EIA as a tool to be applied in planning biodiversity conservation practises; various activities and processes are involved in conservation implementation such as infrastructural development; these practises differ and may have diverse impact on the environment. Therefore it is possible to analyse the possible impacts of any kind of activity on biodiversity through defining biodiversity’s composition, key processes and structure; and explaining how projects programs affect biodiversity components (Slootweg and Kolhoff 2003).

Intact forest ensures reduced carbon emission into the environment and hence increased carbon credits (Kursar et al. 2006) and one of the side effects of expanding land use for agriculture is increased greenhouse gas emission (Gelfand et al. 2011).Vegas-Vilarrubia, Nogue and Rull (2012) stated that species extinction and species distribution shifts increases global warming and vice versa. Slootweg and Kolhoff (2003) further explained as shown in Figure 2.4, that in analysing a large project the following must be put into consideration: firstly the program which may be a biophysical intervention will give rise to a biophysical change which may be changes in its recipient’s characteristics (example soil, water, flora and fauna, air) secondly, each biophysical change may cause a link of second-order and higher-order biophysical changes: lastly biophysical change may cause on-site changes (influence in the area of project) and off-site changes (influence outside the area of project).

Figure 2.4        Project impacts and changes (Slootweg and Kollhoff 2003).


Global warming also recognised as global climate change is as a result of increased concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere (Choaqun 2011). Global warming is now evident and CO2 is the main contributor, expected to account for 60% of the GHG emission in the next century (Dhillion and Wuehlisch 2013). CO2 emissions are caused by burning of fossil fuel, consumption of goods and services, activities that destroy the natural vegetation (Davies and Caldeira 2010). As illustrated in figure 2.5, Africa’s forested area, contributes 21% of the global carbon stock, which is analysed to monitor the trends in climate change (FAO/UN 2011). Other gases, the non CO2 ‘Kyoto gases’ contribute to global warming and they include chlorofluorocarbons (CFC), nitrous oxide and methane; these gases contribute one-third of CO2’s GHG emission but they have high global warming potential, for example methane accounts for 3.7 times the global warming of CO2(Meinshausen et al. 2009). Tourism contributes to global warming through the emissions from accommodation, transport and activities; and as at 2005 tourism contributed 5% to CO2 global warming (Scott 2008).Through the 20th century global warming has increased by 0.8oC and is projected to rise by 1.4 to 5.8oC, as shown in Figure 2.6. This has caused the increased focus on a low carbon economy,reducing pollution, carbon emission and energy consumption; and all over the world, measures and strategies to reduce the accumulation of GHG in the atmosphere are been analysed (Choaqun 2011).

Figure 2.5:       Africa’s carbon stock in forest Biomass (FAO/UN 2011)

Figure 2.6        Surface temperature change and Kyoto-gas emissions (Meinshausen et al 2009).


Although researchers have commented that climate change impacts tourism negatively, it is important to note that ecotourism also increases climate change, through GHG emission from accommodation, catering services, transport and some other tourism activities (Perch-Nielson, Sesartic and Stucki 2010). Also UNEP (2013) identified that one of the main challenges of tourism is the growth in its energy consumption and GHG emissions. Filimonau et al. (2013) confirms that the footprint of tourism through GHG emission is obvious, as shown in table 2.3, therefore in the quest to reduce climate change and ensure sustainable development through green practises like ecotourism, plans to reduce emissions of GHG impact of tourism are also essential.

Table 2.3:                    Tourism CO2 contribution (Scott 2008).

Tourism contributes about 4.4% of the global CO2 emission and a growth rate of 3.2% per year up to 2035 has been projected for emissions. Climate change is fast rising and to avoid its danger there is need to reduce emissions by 3% to 6% per year starting from 2015 (Peeter and Dubois 2010).

Filimonau et al. (2013) further mentioned that measurement of GHG emitted per activity is therefore inevitable. GHG emissions measurement against the economic impact of ecotourism helps determine if ecotourism is actually alleviating environmental issue or increasing it; this measurement can be through eco-efficiency calculation which measures the amount of GHG per unit of revenue generated (Gossling et al. 2005). GHG intensity calculation is another method of measurement, which, analyses GHG emission against value added by an economic activity, which in this case is ecotourism (Perch-Nielson, Sesartic and Stucki 2010). Munday, Turner and Jones (2013) explained that measurement of GHG is also viable as recently, data used in tracking tourism consumption have been improved such as the Tourism Satellite Account (TSA), World Tourism Organization (WTO) and World Bank.

Although Becken (2008) stated that climate change challenge caused by tourism is an avenue for tourism to stir towards being more strategic, systematic and sustainable. Weaver (2011) proposed that the view on climate change issues from tourism will hamper the productivity of a sustainable tourism; explaining that tourism and its climate change challenges are not fully understood, and possibly no solution may be discovered. However, more research in sustainable development will always be followed by research on climate change for achievement of more sustainable development (Scott 2011).

As a form of solution Butler (1980), Middleton and Hawkins (1998), SAIC (2006) and Serrano-Bernardo (2012) suggested different models as an effective means to monitor environmental issues. However their suggestion varied in different ways, while SAIC (2006) focused on discussing the Life Cycle Assessment, Butler (1980), Middleton and Hawkins (1998) focused on assessing tourism destination cycle and tourism carrying capacity, further Serrano-Bernado (2012) stated the possibility of adopting the SAIC (2006) cycle for all tourism activity. Figure 2.7 outlines the Life Cycle Assessment framework.

Figure 2.7:       Life Cycle Assessment Framework (SAIC 2006)

More so Choaqun (2011) suggested that for a tourism that support sustainable development, renewable energy technology can be used; renewable energy source are solar, biomass, geothermal, hydro and wind energy, which do not harm the environment. This in turn will lead to development of new ideas for tourism enhancement.


Despite all the cited literature herein, there still appear gaps in knowledgeregarding:(1) the roles of stakeholders in biodiversity conservation in Benin Republic. (2) The likely economic benefit of the ecotourism initiative implemented in Koussoukpa Zogbodomey Benin. (3) The adverse environmental impact of ecotourism in Benin Republic, in terms of GHG emitted into the environment. The next chapter outlines methods employed to address this mentioned gaps in knowledge.

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