This is a solution of Research Aim And Objectives that describes about Developing business

ABSTRACT

In Research Aim And Objectives Biodiversity is rapidly depleting in Benin due to over exploitation by traditional practices such as poaching and agriculture. Tourism, seen as a conservation measure to reduce biodiversity loss and also improve livelihood of indigenes, have been implemented in Koussoukpa Zogbodomey community in Benin. However, the likely economic benefits and adverse impacts of the implemented tourism on the environment are ambiguous.

The purpose of this study was to assess the likely accruable income from tourists’ entrance fee as a proxy for the likely economic business benefit of tourism in Koussoukpa Zogbodomey Benin; and to evaluate the amount of GHG (CO2 accounting for N2O and H2O warming effect) emitted into the environment, in order to portray tourism’s adverse impacts on the environment in Benin. In addition stakeholders involved in the tourism implementation in Koussoukpa Zogbodomey Benin were analysed. The research adopted a case study design approach employing the use of discounted cash flow (DCF) model for NPV, IRR, PI, sensitivity analysis; EVA; and Gossling et al.’s GHG emission and eco-efficiency evaluation model.

The study found that ecotourism in Koussoukpa Zogbodomey Benin could generate a likely  income of up to 60,528,557.16CFA ($125,294.11) and add  an economic value of about 56,493,087.16CFA ($116,940.69); however, this is only if practices adopted from thriving locations in tourism such as Bhutan and Costa Rica are strictly employed and stakeholders are adequately involved. The study also indicated that tourism in Benin emits about 24,949,984.21kg CO2-e of GHG (CO2 accounting for N2O and H2O warming effect) and has an eco-efficiency level up to0.143kg CO2/$. These deductions showed that tourism as a biodiversity conservation measure is still sustainable in Benin; however GHG emissions into the environment in Benin is rapidly rising and leading to tourism’s threshold level. The study concludes that tourism seems like an economically viable biodiversity conservation practise in Koussoukpa Zogodomey Benin; consequently, continuous monitoring of tourism ecological efficiency is recommended in Koussoukpa Zogbodomey and Benin generally, to prevent tourism from reaching its sustainable threshold.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

This project is dedicated to Almighty God for His ‘Double Portion’ and ‘Exceeding Grace’ anointing in my life, all through my MSc and in this project. All glory belongs to Him.

My earnest appreciation goes to my supervisor, Dr Babatunde Anifowose for his time, advice and encouragement; thank you sir, may God bless you abundantly. My gratitude also goes out Dr Anne Floquent, Davide Piga, Janalisa Hayne of UNEP for the reports and information they sent me, thank you.

I also express my gratitude to my parents Mr and Mrs Onyebuchi, my brother ‘Nkemjika’ and my wonderful sister Ulunma who all stood by me and prayed for me, God bless you, increase you and perfect all that concerns you.

Finally a big thank you goes out to all lecturers in GED for the knowledge you have impacted in me; to my friend Tari; Lesley who gave me his laptop when mine automatically stopped working; my fellow colleagues in oil and gas management January 2013 cohort; and the brethren from Winners’ chapel Coventry. God bless you all.

CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION

1.1  CONTEXT

Biodiversity is not just species diversity but also organisms organised in groups that are similar, dwelling in a particular ecosystem (UNEP 1992 in Blythe and Dadi 2012). Barret, Travis and Dasgupta (2011) defined biodiversity as constituting a collection of living things, ranging from different genes found in a space to the diverse species, the multiple interrelationships between species and their surroundings. According to Tisdell (2011:99), the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment states that “biodiversity is the variability among living organisms from all sources, including terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecosystems and the ecological complexes of which they are part, including diversity within species, between species and of ecosystem”. Read more about : Human Resource Management

Human activities in the world have the potential to destroy species at a rapid pace hindering the possible benefits of the species to humanity, such as the presence of the herb ‘rosy periwinkle’ (Catharanthus roseus) which is the only cure popular for child hood leukaemia (Laurance and Edwards 2011). In the convention on biodiversity one of the first orders of global challenges is biodiversity loss, and according to the World Wide Fund for Nature International, in the past 35 years there has been a decline in the earth’s wildlife population and unless action is taken to reverse this order, the speed and extent of the losses will characterise the sixth mass extinction period of the earth (Barret, Travis and Dasgupta 2011). Dobson et al. (1993) predicted that globally 165,000 km2 and 90,000 km2 of tropical rainforest and wide range of land respectively are destroyed yearly; if this trend continues many species of plants may become extinct before their full potential is explored. Rahbek and Colwell (2011) suggest that species are lost at a rate of 100 to 1000 times faster compared to the usual rate of extinction causing a biodiversity crisis on earth. Therefore biodiversity conservation is needed to maintain the environment in its present state or restore it to a more stable condition (Barret, Travis and Dasgupta 2011) and it is essential for sustainable development (Tisdell 2011).

Based on institutions, and observations from conservation oriented organizations, conservation can be defined, as the interaction of individuals, institutions, organizations, bodies of knowledge and concern (Macdonald 2010). Some of the practised biodiversity conservation approaches include protected area models which, according to Persha et al. (2010), are the most influential method of biodiversity conservation; governance regime; forest common utilization and institutional management (Persha et al. 2010  and Vignola et al. (2012). Institutional management may include incentives, rules for cooperation, information sharing and feedback mechanism (Vignola et al. 2012).

1.2  STUDY BACKGROUND

This study is developed from a UNEP’s South-South cooperation project titled ‘towards community based biodiversity conservation policies and action: learning from actual and potential practises in Bhutan, Benin and Costa Rica’. The research project aim was ‘to learn from past experiences on conservation policies and on strategies, designing, managing and implementing protected areas’ (CEBEDES 2010). In the project a forum was organised on how to adopt practises from Bhutan and Costa Rica to enhance Benin biodiversity conservation system, engage stakeholders in the process and more importantly a pilot project on implementation of ecotourism in Zogbodomey community in Benin was executed. Ecotourism was seen as a solution to biodiversity loss in Benin and as a means to improve the livelihood of the people (CEBEDES 2010).

In countries such as Benin, Costa Rica and Bhutan trends show rapid deforestation due to factors such as increasing population, the need for timber, charcoal and farmland, leading to erosion, siltation of rivers and biodiversity loss (UNEP 2008). In some areas in Bhutan, Benin and Costa Rica biodiversity loss has been successfully managed; but some conservation plans are not maintained past the project plans despite environmental action plan 1992-1997 (Bhutan 1991), against desertification 1994 (UNTC 2013) and biodiversity conservation 2002 (FRA 2003).However, in Bhutan, environmental issues are the main objectives in Bhutan’s laws and policies and also, in Costa Rica, through the use of protected area system, the development of national parks and biological reserve have succeeded in reversing some of its deforestation trends (UNEP 2007). Following the discussion in UN-GSSD expo (2013) it is important to work towards development of green economies to eliminate the current trends of rapid loss of biodiversity and to ensure a sustainable future. However stakeholders have to be careful not to implement approaches that will affect other sectors negatively; a balance must be created by considering all options and estimating the impacts of each action plan. As Rahbek and Colwell (2011:1) quotes “we rarely have an idea which species inhabit the environment we are about to affect, nor the exact consequences of our action”.

1.3  RATIONALE OF STUDY

Ecotourism which is also referred to as tourism is regularly seen as a significant engine for country development and economic growth (Webster and Ivanov 2013). Also Serrano-Bernardo et al. (2012:105) stated that “tourism is an effective way of redistributing wealth and, if conducted according to sustainability directions may promote cultural heritage conservation and contribute to nature preservation”. 5% of the world’s Gross Domestic product (GDP) and about 8% to total employment is represented by Tourism. One-half of the least developed countries and one-third of developing countries derive most of their foreign exchange from tourism (UNEP 2013). Over the years, tourism industry importance to the various countries economy is steadily increasing (Oh 2002). Tourism dynamics as an economic activity requires continuous effort in acquiring new perspectives and knowledge for a greater understanding of the status of the field (Song et al. 2012). Therefore in the case of tourism initiative implemented in Koussoukpa Zogbodomey Benin, more knowledge and perspective is essential to illuminate the economies of the activity likely to occur in the site.

Climate change is as a result of increasing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, solar radiation change, and changes in the properties of the land surface (IPCC 2007). In 2005, global CO2 concentration increased from 280 ppm3 to 379 ppm3, which extremely exceeded the natural range (IPCC 2007). According to Galaz et al. (2012) and Nilsson and Persson (2012) biodiversity depletion and climate change both have no  planetary boundaries; and one of the recurring challenges in environmental management is the interaction between earth’s sub-systems (Nilsson and Persson 2012). According to Briedenhann and Weckins (2004) tourism is seen as an avenue for conservation of biodiversity, development of rural communities, improvement of a nation’s economy and for enhancing social regenerations. Sadly, a fact often neglected is that tourism contributes to global CO2 emissions, adding about 4.4%, anda growth rate of 3.2% per year is projected up to 2035 for emissions from tourism transport, accommodation and other tourism activities (Peeters and Dubois 2010). Hence it is important to address the issue of increased climate change as a result of tourism activities to avoid impeding the result obtained from tourism presently and in the future (GEF 2007). See more : Unit 2 Finance And Funding In The Travel And Tourism Sector

Furthermore, Young et al. (2013) points out that, despite the conservation approach adopted, policies have shown that involvement of private actors, who are land owners and land managers, and the local people who benefit from the sites, guarantees long term success in biodiversity conservation. Dikgang and Muchapondwa (2012) emphasise that involving indigenous people in conservation strategies will have considerable impact on biodiversity loss prevention. Stakeholder involvements are essential for decision making, implementation of policy and policy evaluation; they are most importantly needed for the process of management plan construction which will drive the implementation of conservation strategies (Heyman and Stronza 2011). Consequently the approach of involving local people is now called Integrated Conservation and Development Projects (ICDPs) or Community Based Natural Resource Management (CBNRM) (Cranford and Mourato 2011).

1.4  STUDY SCOPE

This study is conducted to determine the socioeconomic and environmental impact of ecotourism as a biodiversity conservation measure. The research will focus on the following:

  • The involvement of stakeholders and their roles in biodiversity conservation.
  • The likely economic impact of ecotourism implementation in Zogbodomey, Koussoukpa swamp in Benin, focusing on the amount of income that may be generated from tourists’ entrance fee to the ecotourism site.
  • The environmental impact of tourism focusing on Green House Gas (GHG) emissions from the transport, accommodation and other activities sector of tourism in Benin Republic. The GHG considered in this study is in accordance with Gossling et al. (2005) and is CO2, including N2O and H2O direct and indirect warming effect, as the study adopted Gossling et al. (2005) approach.
  • Evaluating the efficiency of tourism by comparing the benefits of tourism (income) and the adverse impact (GHG emissions) of tourism to the environment in Benin Republic.

However the study does not analyse the following:

  • Income generated from other sectors of ecotourism asides entrance fee of tourists such as sales of goods and services, skill acquisition of community members.
  • The impact of ecotourism and biodiversity conservation on agricultural practises of the community members.
  • The emissions from sectors of ecotourism asides transport, accommodation and activities sector, such as road construction, erection of building.
  • Indirect energy requirement and multiplier effect.

1.5  RESEARCH GAP

According to Vodouhe et al. (2010) there is hardly any knowledge on awareness and perception of local people on biodiversity conservation. Dikgang and Muchapondwa (2012) identified that few studies have evaluated the values of indigenous people towards biodiversity conservation. Heyman and Stronza (2011) highlighted that projects and programs on conservation of biodiversity often lack, in quality and quantity, local community members’ participation. Furthermore Ernoule et al. (2009) pointed out that local communities will play an excellent role in the efficient management of natural resources since they depend on them for survival. Therefore, there is need for integrating the understanding of the local community members’ perception in biodiversity conservation researches. This research will first review and analyse the stakeholders involved in biodiversity conservation, their perception, roles and potential impact in the Koussoukpa Zogbodomey community in Benin.

Projects despite their sophistication or complexity are naturally incomplete; and this incompletion is usually due to contingencies (Badenfelt 2011). Consequently these contingencies may occur due to weaknesses of a project in one area or the other, and may be indescribable or unforeseen, argued Maskin (2002). According to Benin Consulting Group (BECG) (2010), different weaknesses were experienced during the implementation of ecotourism as a biodiversity conservation measure in Koussoukpa Benin and they include: limited time for the project, desertion of the initiative in its pilot stage and failure in the analysis of the process implied. Day-Rubeinstein and Frivold (2001) recounts that biodiversity conservation benefits build up. These weaknesses therefore did not create the opportunity to analyse growth of the ecotourism implemented. BECG (2010:15) further explained that, “a stop on the project will negate all efforts” therefore the need for continuation. Due to the limitations experienced, the economic benefits in the ecotourism implementation has not been assessed to date. CEBEDES (2010) pointed out that efforts were made to harmonize the pilot project with another research project in order to assess the economic benefit from the conservation measure, but this was not achieved. Therefore this project intends to address this gap, by further analysing and evaluating the likely economic impact of ecotourism implementation in Lokoli-Hlan swamp Koussoukpa Zogbodomey in Benin.

According to Gosslinget al. (2005), one of the most pressing environmental issues caused by tourism is greenhouse gas emission.Clement et al. (2010) states that research has not covered the impacts of these conservation systems (tourism) on the community and wildlife, even though studies have been carried out to illustrate the effectiveness of different conservation approaches such as the Payment for Environmental services (PES) and Protected Area (PA). Furthermore, Peeters and Dubois (2010) identified that most studies (such as Berritella et al. 2006; Hein, Metzger and Moreno 2009;Briner, Elkin and Huber 2013, Pongkijvorasin and Chotiyaputta 2013, Amelung and Nicholls 2014) concentrate on the impact of climate change on tourism and not the impact of tourism on climate change. This research will in addition to analysing the economic impact of ecotourism in Benin Lokoli-Hlan swamp, also analyse the environmental impact of tourism in Benin; thereby assessing the positive and negative benefits of tourism implementation as a biodiversity conservation measure.  The economic impact will be analysed based on income generated from tourist entrance fees and environmental impact based on Green House Gas emitted into the environment by tourism activity.

1.6 RESEARCH QUESTIONS

  1. Were stakeholders efficiently involved in ecotourism implementationin Koussoukpa Zogbodomey Benin?
  2. What is the likely economic impact of ecotourism implementation as a conservation measure inKoussoukpa Zogbodomey in Benin?
  3. What amount of GHG(CO2, including N2O and H2O warming effect) is emitted into the environment due to tourism activities in Benin Republic?
  4. Is tourism practise in Benin Republic favourable when compared to its GHG(CO2, including N2O and H2O warming effect) emissions?

1.7 RESEARCH AIM AND OBJECTIVES

This study aims to assess the socio-economic and environmental impact of ecotourism implementation in Benin. The objectives are to

  1. Analyse stakeholders’ rolesin ecotourism implementationin Koussoukpa Zogbodomey Benin.
  2. Evaluate the likely economic impact of ecotourism implementation based on the income likely to be generated from Koussoukpa Zogbodomey in Benin.
  3. Evaluate the amount of GHG (CO2, including N2O and H2O warming effect) emitted into the environment due to tourism activities in Benin Republic.
  4. Analyse the benefits (income generated) of tourism in comparison with the adverse impact (amount of GHG emitted) of tourism implementation in Benin.

1.8 PROJECT ORIGINALITY AND SIGNIFICANCE

The pilot project on ecotourism implementation in Koussoukpa Zogbodomey was concluded in 2010 and no analysis on the growth or benefit accruable from the touristic activity on the site has been conducted. Therefore this research is the first study on the likely economic benefit of implementing ecotourism in Lokoli-Hlan swamp in Koussoukpa Zogbodomey Benin.

According to Arlettaz et al. (2010: 835) “an absence of consultation with practitioners is seen as one of the principal reason most conservation science lacks applicability”. Laurance et al. (2012) recommends that researchers in conservation should engage a conservation management or scientist or government involved in their project of interest in a dialogue to determine what is most pressing in the study area. This research engaged the focal points in UNEP who executed the pilot project in the ecotourism initiative (the conservation management).

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