Introduction of alien species E 3.6 183 animals, plants and microorganisms as well as subspecies and genetically modified organisms. The strength ofthe Act lies in the control ofthe deliberate and accidental introduction of new organisms as well as in established instruments for the eradication and control of undesirable organisms. In spite ofthe exemplary nature ofthe existing Act, its implementation is made difficult through the division of administrative responsibilities amongst a large number of ministries andthe limited expertise of individual enforcement bodies (Bosselmann, 1999; Fisahn and Winter, 1999). In the United Kingdom, after the Convention on theConservationof European Wildlife and Natural Habitats had been signed in 1979 it was implemented as part of national law in 1981, in the form ofthe Wildlife and Countryside Act. Although this legislation is regarded as far-reaching in the European and international sphere, in practice the Act is considered to have little effect because there is no independent body in the licensing procedure, the public still has an underdeveloped awareness ofthe problems, there are no fixed penalties andthe source of an introduction is identified only in rare cases (Purdy and Macrory, 1998). E 3.6.5 Conclusions for required research and action • Create scientific databases on introductions.A generally accessible database on alien species must be created through coordination with the GISP, which will centrally gather all information on this issue. • Develop methods for the eradication of undesired introductions.The prerequisites and opportunities for the environmentally sound eradication of undesired alien species must be examined. These species may include infectious diseases as well as plants and animals with sufficiently long generation cycles. • Improve prognostics on the possible effects of introductions. Future research will have to show the extent to which the successful establishment and frequency of alien species in the country of origin and other indicators, which have yet to be identified, are generally sustainable. In the process, the interactions between introduced species must also be examined. Efforts will have to be taken to use new techniques (eg remote sensing and GIS) to discover alien species. • Define relevant terms and incorporate into national legislation. Clear definition and standardization ofthe terms in connection with the introduction of species at global level within the context ofthe CBD by the COP (with the help, for example, of GISP, FAO, IMO,WHO) with the aim of a uniform use ofthese definitions in national laws. Harmonization ofthe provisions in connection with the introduction of natural species alien to the territory and genetically modified species, since numerous issues in the two cases are similar. • Improve the scope for checking regulations on intentional release. In many countries there is already an obligation to obtain approval for the introduction of alien organisms; deficits prevail in many countries with regard to the scope for checking existing regulations andthe possible sanctions for violations. The precautionary principle should be the basis on which the release of alien species is treated. Therefore, prior to any intentional release, environmental impact assessments must be carried out, as called for in SBSTTA-IV. These provisions must also apply to releases in the context of agriculture and forestry. • Prevention and management of accidental introductions. Those responsible for the accidental introduction of alien species must be identified. On the one hand, the people responsible for such ‘accidents’ should be made liable and on the other hand, international and national authorities must be selected to take responsibility for prevention and for management in emergencies. Accidental introduction should be prevented by border and seed controls, logistical measures (governed by the IPPC) such as shorter waiting times in container transport (Simberloff et al, 1999), but also awareness-raising in the population and important target groups (tourists, hunters, fishermen, aquarists, foresters, farmers, garden owners, etc). An early warning system should be developed for emergencies. Already today, analyses of introductions in various areas can indicate similarities and differences (eg Williamson and Fitter, 1996; Carlton, 1996) and can be employed for the purpose of early warning and prevention. • Introduction through shipping: continue to apply IMO directive. The implementation ofthe IMO Guidelines ‘on the minimization ofthe introduction of undesired aquatic organisms and pathogens in ships’ ballast water’ should be further promoted at global level.
184 E Diversity of landscapes and ecosystems E 3.7 Tourism as an instrument for the conservation and sustainable use ofthe biosphere E 3.7.1 Sustainable tourism to protect the biosphere – defining terms In the Council’s opinion, the objective of sustainability is a challenge for all types of tourism and should not be limited to niche markets such as eco-tourism. That is why strategies to protect the biosphere for all forms of tourism are at the heart of this Section. Here, sustainable tourism is understood as a higherlevel concept that concerns itself with the question as to how the negative ecological impacts of tourism (eg mass tourism and nature tourism) can be reduced to an acceptable level. This concept is guided by the principles ofthe Rio de Janeiro Declaration on Environment and Development and by the recommendations of AGENDA 21. The Council would put forward a tentative definition of sustainable tourism as a form of tourism that does not go beyond fundamental ecological, social, cultural and economic guard rails, ie is geared towards conserving resources and increasing local employment, is culturally adapted, is characterized by locally effective welfare effects and helps to balance out economic disparities. There is no internationally uniform concept of ‘sustainable tourism’. For example, the Council of Europe has defined ‘sustainable tourism’ as a form of tourist activity or development – in which the environment is respected, – in which the long-term conservation of natural and cultural resources is safeguarded, and – which is socially equitable and economically viable (Recommendation R(95)10). Nature tourism is another term that is often used. This refers to a form of leisure activity that concentrates specifically on semi-natural areas or protected areas, such as observing nature or animals (safari), fishing and hunting or scientific tourism. Nature tourism plays only a minor role, as a sub-section of general tourism, in the degradation ofthe biosphere. A special form of nature tourism is eco-tourism: ecotourism refers to ‘forms of nature tourism that aim at minimizing negative impacts on the environment and socio-cultural changes, contribute to financing protected areas and create sources of income for the local population’ (BMZ, 1995b). From the Council’s point of view the starting point for developing a global tourism concept, which is only outlined here and which concentrates on protecting the biosphere, could be the allocation of regionally varied intensities of use for tourism. In this context a distinction would have to be made between (cf Sections E 3.3.1 and E 3.9): • Landscape type conservation before use: no interventions or changes to a semi-natural ecosystem are allowed in this zone. • Landscape type conservation despite use: mass tourism is allowed, or even desirable, in this zone. Accepting congested but bounded (coastal) tourist landscapes prevents the much more harmful ‘dispersal’ over large areas.Accommodation in central hotel complexes, concentration in certain regions (eg islands, valleys) makes more ecological sense that the individual dispersal of floods of tourists all over the natural landscape. The aim is to make this form of tourism as sustainable as possible. • Landscape type conservation through use: regional-specific concepts of protection and buffer zone management have to be developed for this zone. Tourism in these areas remains limited in terms of numbers and, at the same time, serves the protection and conservation ofthe environment (Section E 3.3.3). Many small island states practise controlled tourism: the spread of tourist infrastructure is subject to stringent controls in the Seychelles. Bermuda has limited the number of daily visitors from cruise ships. In Vanuatu, tourism usage has been concentrated on three islands. Other countries demand a tourism tax or a visitor’s permit prior to admission. E 3.7.2 Current trends in global tourism Tourism is one ofthe fastest growing economic activities in the world. In 1997 it accounted for around one-third of all worldwide services. According to the World Tourism Organization (WTO), world tourism traffic is growing at around 4 per cent every year and doubles around every twenty years.We are in the age of mass tourism: in 1998 there were over 625 million international tourists. In addition to cultural and historical sights, nature is at the heart of tourism in an increasingly urbanized world (the Mallorca club scene is proof that there are also other objectives on holiday). Since the main aim of tourism is recreation in most cases, intact and attractive natural surroundings are fundamental. Accordingly, tourism today concentrates on – coastal areas and islands, – mountainous regions, – ‘natural areas’ such as forests, wetlands, inland waters, steppes and deserts as well as Arctic and polar regions.