5. Summary assessment of environmental relevance

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The construction of tourist facilities and/or the provision of tourist activities (e.g. trekking, safaris and the like) results in a multiplicity of complex effects on the environment. For example, tourism may provide access to areas which have hardly been developed so far or which are difficult to reach, thus triggering far-reaching socio-cultural and socio-economic changes. Depending on the size and scale of the project, there may be permanent interference with the soil and water structure, the plant and animal kingdom and the natural landscape. In the long term the indirect consequences can have even greater implications than the direct adverse impact of the project.

The many different aspects which have to be taken into account when tourism projects are involved necessitate case by case treatment, where assessment criteria must be weighted according to their significance. However, projects must be rejected if

- ecosystems worthy of special protection (e.g. corals, mangroves and other sensitive marine and terrestrial eco-systems) are to be removed or permanently impaired;
- the water supply cannot be guaranteed without major impacts on the natural environment, agriculture and the population affected;
- there is no plan for the avoidance and/or environmentally acceptable removal of waste and treatment of waste water and no specific measures for putting such a plan into action.

Apart from minimising adverse impacts on the environment, account must be taken of the direct and indirect socio-economic and socio-cultural consequences. It is particularly advantageous in the case of major projects and complex tourism projects to involve the indigenous population affected by the project in the planning process. This not only ensures a high degree of acceptance of the project but also induces requisite measures (e.g. provision of sanitary facilities, environmentally acceptable disposal of waste and waste water etc.) and economic restructuring. When alternatives are being examined it can equally be very helpful and valuable to involve the local population.

If the points made above are taken properly into account, tourism projects can have a positive influence on the sustainable development of a region or an entire country.

Survey of requisite stage by examination in the planning, implementation and use of tourism facilities

Area affected in the course of Environmental Impact Assessment






Description of area under examination (Inventory) Land-use (2.1, 2.6);

Biot. yield potential (2.1, 2.6);

Risk of erosion (2.1);

Land contamination (2.1);

Waste accrual and disposal (2.1, 4.);

Degree of sealing (2.1);

Risk from volcanic activity and/or earthquakes

Existence of ground and surface water (2.2);

Water consumption and supply (2.2, 4.);

Water quality (2.2);

Disposal (Type, capacities, 2.2, 4.).

Climactic conditions (2.3);

Type and density of buildings (2.5);

Volume of traffic (2.3, 2.6);

Fresh air paths (2.3);

Air quality (2.3, 2.6).

Project description (factors to be taken into account for planning purposes and location decisions) Land requirement (2.1);

Land-use (2.1);

Relief variation (2.1);

Building material (2.1);

Unsuitable building along coastlines and shores (2.1);

Disposal of solid waste and waste water (2.1).

Water requirement (2.2);

Water supply (2.2);

Disposal of solid waste and waste water (2.2);

Water conservation areas (2.2);

Use of untreated water (2.2).

Size, position, material composition and colour of buildings (2.2);

Degree of sealing (2.1);

Emissions (2.1);

Plantations (2.3);

Transport (2.3, 2.6).

Direct effects of project Loss of land (2.1);

Increased density and sealing (2.1);

Risk of erosion (2.1);

Change in soil quality (2.1).

Adverse effects on groundwater supplies and quality (2.1);

Water quality and/or pollution (2.1);

Floodlands and water conservation areas developed (2.1).

Heating up (2.3);

Changes of air quality (2.3);

Air turbulence (2.3);

Fresh air paths impeded (2.3).

Long-term consequential effects Coastal erosion (2.1);

Slope subsidence (2.1);

Silting of rivers (2.1);

Sand drifts, changes in soil quality (2.1).

Flooding (2.2);

New groundwater accumulations (2.2);

Groundwater salinisation (2.2);

Groundwater and surface water quality, eutrophication (2.2, 2.6).

Adverse effects on micro-and mesoclimate (2.3);

Disturbance of local wind systems (2.3);

Pollutant emissions (2.3, 2.6).

Measures to alleviate/prevent environmental impacts Minimisation of area used (2.1);

Protection against erosion (2.1, 5.);

Building materials (2.1);

Waste reduction and recycling (2.1).

Reduced water consumption (2.2);

Sewage treatment plants (2.2);

Use of untreated water (2.2);

Waste reduction and recycling (2.2);

Reduced degree of sealing (2.2).

Minimising degree of sealing (2.3);

Plantations (2.3);

Fresh air paths (2.3);

Transport (2.3);

Adapted planning of building dimensions (2.3).

Examination of alternatives see project description see project description see project description

The numbers in brackets refer to the appropriate sections of this environmental brief

Flora Fauna Ecosystems


socio-cultural factors

Existence of species, societies and biotopes (2.4);

Protected species and biotopes and those worth protecting, coral deposits, exploitation (2.4);

Current loads (2.4);

Pot. Locations of valuable biotopes (2.4).

Particular species typical of habitat and landscape (2.5);

Relief forms (2.5);

Settlement structure and character (2.5);

Degree of development (2.5).

Population, income and economic structure (2.6, 4);

Existence of ethnic population groups (2.6);

Infrastructure (2.6, 4);

Land usage (2.6);

Development of tourism (2.6).

Removal of vegetation and habitats (qual. and quant. data) (2.4);

Conservation areas (2.4);

Building materials (coral, 2.4);

Use of habitats (2.4);

Leisure activities (2.4).

Size and design of buildings and external installations (2.5);

Location (2.5);

Building materials (2.5);

Relief changes (2.1, 2.5);

Establishment of greenery (2.5).

Staff requirement and training facilities (2.2, 2.6);

Ethnic population groups affected (2.6);

Mains services to and from staff housing areas (2.2, 2.6);

Power and water requirements (2.6, 4);

Conflicting usages (2.5, 4);

Development measures (2.6, 4).

Changes in and removal of species and biotopes (2.4);

Reduction of non-renewable eco-systems (2.4);

Isolation of biotopes (2.4);

Pollution from solid and liquid waste (e.g. corals, 2.4);

Removal of, damage to plants and animals (2.4);

Disturbance and displacement of animals (2.4).

Changes to typical settlement patterns and visual locations (2.5);

Displacement (2.5);

Failure to blend in with landscape (2.5);

Removal/adverse effect on key elements (2.5).

Influx of workforce and traders (2.6);

Resettlement of ethnic population groups (2.6);

Establishment of unauthorised settlements (2.6);

Overloading of infrastructure (2.6);

Mains services (2.6);

Energy consumption (2.6).

Reduction in variety of species and biotopes (2.4);

Threat and extinction of rare species, biotopes and ecosystems (2.4);

Disturbance of population balance (2.4);

Change in animal behaviour patterns (2.4);

Decimation of animal species by removal to wild and transmission of diseases (2.4).

Effects as above from construction/enlargement of infrastructural facilities, residential housing developments and the like (2.5, 2.6);

Loss of typical landscape features (2.5).

Flight from land (2.6);

Regional imbalance (2.6);

Shortage of land (2.6);

Increase in prices (2.6);

Abandonment of traditional occupations (2.6);

Abandonment of traditional values (2.6);

Import of foodstuffs (2.6, 4.);

Energy consumption (2.6).

Maintenance and protection of valuable species, biotopes and ecosystems (2.4);

Protection of corals (2.4);

Minimum land usage (2.4);

Creation of biotopes (2.4);

Management plans (2.4);

Compensatory and replacement measures (2.4).

Local building materials and adaptation of local building style (2.5);

Preservation of biotopes (2.5);

Plantations (2.5);

Building to match contours of land (2.5);

Development plans, building prohibitions, issue of licences (2.5).

Building of accommodation (2.6);

Enlargement of infrastructure and provision of mains services (2.6, 4.);

Participation of population (5.);

Advancement of regional economy (4.);

Training (2.2).

see project description see project description see project description


6. References

Essential literature

Buchwald, K., Engelhardt, W. (1980): Handbuch für Planung, Gestaltung und Schutz der Umwelt, Bd. 3, Munich

Burhenne, W. (Ed.): Internationales Umweltrecht - Multilaterale Verträge. Reich Schmidt Verlag, Berlin

Edington, J.M., Edington, M.A. (1988): Ecology, Recreation and Tourism, Cambridge, U.K.

Hübler, K.H., Zimmermann, O.K. (1989): Bewertung der Umweltverträglichkeit, Bewertungsmaßstäbe und Bewertungsverfahren für die Umweltverträglichkeitsprüfung, Taunusstein.

Institut für gewerbliche Wasserwirtschaft und Luftreinhaltung (iwl) (1990): Abwasserbehandlung bei Tourismusanlagen in Enwicklungsländern, Commissioned by the Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft [DEG-German Finance Company for Investment in Developing Countries].

Kaule, G. (1986): Arten und Biotopschutz, Stuttgart.

Krippendorf, J. (1984): Die Ferienmenschen. Für ein neues Verständnis von Freizeit und Reisen, Zurich, Schwäbisch Hall.

Mäder, U. (1983): Tourismus und Umweltschutz. In: Reisebriefe 1/83. Published by the Gruppe Neues Reisen (GNR). Munich pp 4-10.

Mäder, U. (1988): Sanfter Tourismus - Mehr Alibi als Chance? In: Reisebriefe. Sanfter Tourismus - Ein Schlagwort mehr? Schriften zur Tourismuskritik, Bd. 17/18, pp 12-19.

McNeely, J.A., Thorsell, J.W. (1987): Guidelines for Development of Terrestrial and Marine National Parks for Tourism and Travel. Unpublished report by IUCN for WTO and UNEP, Gland, Switzerland.

Minister für Umwelt, Raumordnung und Landwirtschaft in NRW [Minister for Environment, Regional Planning and Agriculture of the Land North-Rhein/Westfalia (Ed.) (1986): Bewertungsgrundlagen für Kompensationsmaßnahmen bei Eingriffen in die Landschaft. Düsseldorf.

Ragusa, R., Zimmer, P. (1988): Ziele des sanften Tourismus. Arbeitspapiere der Arbeitsgruppen. In: Bericht zur 11. Internationalen Konferenz über Tourismus und Umweltschutz in Europa vom 26.09 - 30.09.1988. Brixen, pp 103-106.

Schemel, H.-J. (1987): Umweltverträgliche Freizeitanlagen: Eine Anleitung zur Prüfung von Projekten des Ski-, Wasser- und Golfsports aus der Sicht der Umwelt. Bd. 1. Published by the Umweltbundesamt [German Federal Environmental Agency], Berlin.

Sukopp, H., Schneider, Chr. (1981): Zur Methodik der Naturschutzplanung. ARL-Arbeitsmaterial der Akademie für Raumforschung und Landesplanung, Nr. 46. Hannover.

Storm, P.-Ch., Bunge, Th. (Ed.) (1988): Handbuch der Umweltverträglichkeitsprüfung, Berlin.

WTO (World Tourism Organisation) (1980): Physical planning and area development. Handbook on Evaluating Tourism Resources.

Specialised Literature

Archer, E. (1985): Emerging environmental problems in a tourist zone: The case of Barbados. In: Caribbean Geography 2 (1). pp 45-55.

Carpenter, R.A., Maragas, J.E. (1989): How to Assess Environmental Impacts on Tropical Islands and Coastal Areas. South Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) training manual. Ed.: Environment and Policy Institute, East-West-Center, Honolulu, Hawaii.

Gormsen, E. (1987): Der Tourismus und seine Folgen für Mensch und Umwelt in Lateinamerika. In: Tübinger Geographische Studien, 96. pp 241-252.

Gormsen, E. (1988): Tourism in Latin America - Spatial Distribution and Impact on Regional Change. In: Applied Geography and Development, 32. pp 65-80.

Hamele, H., von Laßberg, D. (1991): Mehr Wissen - Mehr Handeln. Bausteine für eine umweltverträgliche Tourismusentwicklung. Ed.: ADAC Munich.

Hammelehle, J. (Ed.) (1990): Zum Beispiel Tourismus, Greven.

Jäggi, M., Stauffer, B. (1990): Grün und integriert: Wie in Tunesien Naturlandschaften durch Luxustourismus zerstört werden. Zurich.

Kreth, R. (1985): Some Problems Arising from the Tourist Boom in Acapulco and the Difficulties in Solving them. In: Mainzer Geographische Studien, 26. pp 47-59.

Ludwig, K. et al. (Ed.) (1990): Der neue Tourismus: Rücksicht auf Land und Leute. Munich.

Mäder, U. (1982): Fluchthelfer Tourismus: Wärme in der Ferne? Zurich.

McEachern, J., Towle, E.C. (1974): Ecological Guidelines for Island Development. In: IUCN Publ. (N.S.) 30, pp 1-66. Gland, Switzerland.

Odum, W.E. (1976): Ecological Guidelines for Tropical Coastal Development. In: IUCN Publ. (N.S.) 42, pp 1 - 61, Gland, Switzerland.

Salm, R., Clark, J. (1984): Marine and Coastal Protected Areas: A Guide for Planners and Managers. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland.

Schüßler, A. (1982): BRD und Dritte Welt. In: Tourismus, H.12. Kiel.

Sindiyo, D.M., Pertet, F.N. (1984): Tourism and its impact on wildlife conservation in Kenya. In: LINE - Industry and Environment. Jan. - March, Vol. 7, No. 1.

Singh, Tej Vir (1989): Towards appropriate tourism. In: European University studies, Ser. 10, Tourism Vol. 11. Frankfurt.

Stamm, H. (1987): Tourismus - Fluch oder Segen: Ökologische Gefahren durch Tourismus in Nepal. In: Gauer, K., Heine, M.-A., Röper, Chr. (Ed.) Umwelt am Ende? Saarbrücken, pp 259-273.

Tüting, L. (1989): Trekkingtourismus in Nepal. In: Euler, C. (Ed.). Eingeborene - ausgebucht: Ökologische Zerstörung durch Tourismus. Gießen.

Uthoff, D. (1987): Anthropogen induzierte Küstenzerstörung an den "Traum-stränden" Sri Lankas. Ursachen und Folgen. In: Berliner Geographische Studien, Bd. 25. Berlin. pp 403-419.

WTO (Ed.) (1981): Report of the Secretary General. Guidelines for the Use of National Resources in the Building and Maintenance of Tourist Plants.

WTO, UNEP (1983): Workshop on Environmental Tourism. Madrid.

Ziese, I., Gebhardt-Brinkhaus, R. (1988): Anforderungen an Golfplatz-Planungen aus ökologischer Sicht. In: LÖLF-Mitteilungen, H. 1, pp 10-16.

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