Global Environmental Governance and Politics of Ecotourism: Case Study of Cambodia

Presentation by Baromey Neth, Sam Ol Rith & Béatrice Knerr on the EADI Environment and Development Working Group session during the EADI General Conference. Geneva, 25 June 2008
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  • 1. Global Environmental Governance and Politics of Ecotourism: Case Study of Cambodia Baromey Neth, Sam Ol Rith & Béatrice Knerr Department of Development Economics, Migration and Agricultural Policy, Faculty 11, University of Kassel, Germany 12 th EADI General Conference Global Governance for Sustainable Development: The Need for Policy Coherence and New Partnerships
  • 2. What is This Research about? <ul><li> Examine actors (state and non-state) that influence decision-making for planning and policies of ecotourism in Cambodia, and hence to whom the outcomes of the projects are targeted. </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li> Allocate ecotourism / community-based ecotourism (CBET) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>within the debates on governance in international relations </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li> Explore the planning and policies of ecotourism / CBET in </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Cambodia </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li> Identify constraints of ecotourism politics in Cambodia </li></ul></ul></ul>
  • 3. How This Research is Done? <ul><li> … approached theoretically from diverse perspectives of political ecologists, which interpret events with reference to the behaviors or attitudes of actors in pursuit of their political agendas. </li></ul><ul><li> Neoliberalism & its relation with tourism, </li></ul><ul><li> Global environmental governance (GEG) </li></ul><ul><li> Politics of ecotourism </li></ul>
  • 4. Neoliberalism and Tourism <ul><li> Economic value of the biodiversity </li></ul><ul><li> Change of conventional thinking about important political actors in the global system </li></ul><ul><li> Economic diversification </li></ul><ul><li> Market-oriented growth and the rise of neo-liberal development strategies  tourism as a potential growth sector since the early 1990s </li></ul><ul><li> Global-local linkage  community-based approaches in tourism development </li></ul><ul><li> Fundamental shift in international relations, development and environmental management </li></ul>
  • 5. Global Environmental Governance (GEG) <ul><li> “… formal institutions and regimes empowered to enforce compliance, as well as the informal arrangements that people or institutions have agreed or perceived to be in their interest.” (Commission on Global Governance, 1995, p.4) </li></ul><ul><li> Philosophy Differences </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li> Decentralization and power sharing (Hardt and Negri, 2000) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li> Extension of the power of states in the global system despite </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>the proliferation of non-state actors (Duffy, 2006) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li> Multilateralism (Wilkinson & Hughes, 2002; Wilkinson, 2005) </li></ul></ul></ul>
  • 6. Ecotourism – Definition and Facts <ul><li> “… responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people.” (TIES, 1990) </li></ul><ul><li> Annual growth rate (tourist volumes): 20% - 34% (WTO, 2004) . </li></ul><ul><li> 2004: grew globally 3 times faster than the tourism industry (WTO, 2004) . </li></ul>
  • 7. Politics of Ecotourism <ul><li> A tool for sustainable development </li></ul><ul><li> Empower communities to regain and enhance their economic grip </li></ul><ul><li> Nature conservation and community development in natural resource rich but impoverished areas </li></ul><ul><li> The suitability and relation between the philosophy of ecotourism and neo-liberal definition of economic growth and modernization </li></ul><ul><li> Internal forces as facilitators or inhibitors of development </li></ul><ul><li> A political process related to wider global changes </li></ul>Source: SNV, 2007 Source:
  • 8. Facts about Cambodia <ul><li>Population </li></ul><ul><li> 14.36 millions, 90% are Khmer </li></ul><ul><li> some 85% are living in rural areas </li></ul><ul><li> 34.7% are living below poverty line </li></ul><ul><li> adult literacy rate: 73.6% </li></ul><ul><li>Economy </li></ul><ul><li> mainly based on agriculture, textile industry and tourism </li></ul><ul><li> ≈ 50% of the national budget is injected by ODA </li></ul>Source:
  • 9. Environmental Management in Cambodia <ul><li> Most natural resources are state-owned </li></ul><ul><li> 26 protected areas, accounted for 18% of Cambodia’s total land areas </li></ul><ul><li> A participant of the GEG regime  multi-stakeholder environmental governance </li></ul><ul><li> Economic growth & strengthened nexus of government-business sector  decline in communities’ ownership rights over natural resources  social tensions / conflicts and evictions </li></ul>Communal Management State Appropriation Community Common Property Resources State / Open Access Timber, Land & Fishery Concessions / Logging, Poaching & Encroachment Private Ownership / Community Management Industrial / illegal Activities & Spontaneous Settlement Conversion to Other Uses Communal Management State Appropriation State Appropriation Industrial/Illegal Activities & Spontaneous Settlement State Appropriation Conversion to Other Uses Community Common Property Resources State / Open Access Timber Concession / Logging, Poaching & Encroachment Private Ownership / Community Management Transformation of natural resources in Cambodia Source: Ferrari (2002) Source: Ministry of Environment, Cambodia (2004)
  • 10. Environmental Management in Cambodia (cont.) <ul><li> The policy transformation to adapt concession laws  decline in natural resources & main sources of local community livelihoods </li></ul><ul><li> Emergence and intervention of non-government organizations </li></ul><ul><li> Pressure via foreign aid policy to adopt decentralization policies in environmental governance and endorse community-based initiatives. </li></ul>Forest 6.5 mill. ha Agriculture 705,394 ha Fishing 1 mill. ha Economic Zone (e.g. 10 islands ) Concession Laws
  • 11. Tourism in Cambodia <ul><li> Annual growth rate (21.3%)  one of the fastest growing destinations in SE Asia </li></ul><ul><li> Received 2,015,128 international tourists in 2007 </li></ul><ul><li> Contributing USD 1.4 billions (10%) to GDP as the second largest sector following garment sector (USD 2.9 billions) </li></ul><ul><li> Ecotourism is managed by the Ministry of Environment </li></ul><ul><li> Ecotourism in protected areas as part of CBNRM strategies initiated by non-state actors. </li></ul>Source: Neth Baromey (2007)
  • 12. Definitions of Ecotourism and CBET in Cambodian Context <ul><li> CBET: “… a form of tourism that is run by the community and for community. It promotes conservation of nature and culture. CBET also strives to improve the local likelihood as well as promoting meaningful interaction between community and visitors.” (CCBEN, 2002) </li></ul><ul><li> Ecotourism: “… a tool which is developed and managed sustainably in partnership with local communities and other stakeholders to ensure community involvement and equitable benefit sharing without negatively affecting the ecological integrity of the area or the social and cultural integrity of adjacent communities.” (TSCP, 2006) </li></ul>Source:
  • 13. Global Environmental Governance and Politics of Ecotourism in Cambodia <ul><li> Environmental protection becomes one of the most important funding priorities/policies among donors </li></ul><ul><li> Ecotourism as a component of conservation strategies favored by donors and NGO groups  a tool of ICDP initiatives </li></ul><ul><li> ≈ 36 ecotourism/CBET projects are being coordinated and funded by NGOs and donors </li></ul><ul><li> In 2002, the CCBEN was established as a ground for multi-stakeholder intervention in conservation and poverty alleviation </li></ul>Source: Source: MoT-Cambodia (2007)
  • 14. Global Environmental Governance and Politics of Ecotourism in Cambodia (cont.) <ul><li> Ecotourism has been integrated into national and (cross) regional development policies </li></ul><ul><li> The transmission of preservationist philosophy (preservation narrative coexists with neoliberal discourse) & post cold war views about governance </li></ul><ul><li> Ecotourism / CBET is promoted to satisfy multiple audiences: </li></ul><ul><li>  Nature conservation </li></ul><ul><li>  Economic development initiatives </li></ul><ul><li>  Poverty reduction </li></ul><ul><li>  Environmental education </li></ul><ul><li>  Community empowerment and participation </li></ul><ul><li>  Decentralized approaches </li></ul><ul><li>  Mutual benefit distribution / sharing </li></ul>
  • 15. Ecotourism Politics of State and Non-State Institutions in Cambodia Economic Growth-Oriented Conservation- Oriented Main Benefit Receivers:  Executing agency (MoE) and its responsible staffs  Government via taxes Main Benefit Receivers:  Selected members of local communities Neoliberal Actors Populist/Neo-Populist Actors
  • 16. Constraints of Ecotourism Politics in Cambodia State & Non-state Limited capacities of local communities and executing agencies’ staffs State Lack of community involvement; lack of institutional collaboration/partnership; trend towards mass ecotourism; etc. Non-state Participation & benefits are hard to measure; insecure land ownership & resource accessibility; people’s limited legitimacy & access to livelihood resources; problem of identifying & selecting community members; disparities in economic generation & distribution; etc. Implementation State & non-state Client-patron relationship; top-down management; etc. Structural State low capacity; political pressure; corruption; bureaucracy and centralized management plans; nepotism; economic monopoly; lack of community’s awareness and support; overlapped responsibilities; etc. Institutional State Different interpretations and lack of supportive document; unclear mandate; more economic opportunity focused; poor law enforcement strategies; unspecified key provisions of laws; political instability and frequent change of laws; etc. Legal State Unclear accountabilities and definitions; weak & complex legal & institutional frameworks Policy State & non-state Conversion of ideology into “classical approach” to conservation Theoretical Actors Descriptions Constraints
  • 17. Conclusion <ul><li> Cambodia’s ecotourism is highly political and strongly interrelated with structures of neoliberalism and GEG. </li></ul><ul><li> Dependency on external resources for ecotourism/CBET development brings in strong influence of external power and loss of local power and control. </li></ul><ul><li> None of the policies of the state and non-state actors prioritizes the well-being and secure livelihoods of the communities. </li></ul><ul><li> Ecotourism controlled by the state actors would lead to “mass ecotourism, while the current CBET would trigger people’s conflicts of interest, out-migration and expulsion. </li></ul>Source: SNV (2007)
  • 18. Implications for Policy <ul><li> Set up & implement adaptive co-management strategies </li></ul><ul><li> Invest in human and social capital construction </li></ul><ul><li> Maximize the use of traditional wisdom and practices </li></ul><ul><li> Improve the education and training of relevant personnel </li></ul><ul><li> Promote best practices of CBNRM and create appropriate CBET mechanisms that ensure long-term development objectives (through partnership building, sound policy or legislation formulation, institutional reform, communication networks, participatory research linkages …) </li></ul><ul><li> Increase ecotourism product development, marketing strategies and risk management </li></ul><ul><li> Provide more support to social and public services and local SMEs development with appropriate technology </li></ul><ul><li> Strengthen local empowerment and participation and ownership right </li></ul>
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