DENR sets up ecotourism tracking tool
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has launched an ecotourism tracking tool (ETT) that will help monitor and evaluate activities in ecotourism sites across the country to prevent another Boracay-like crisis in the future.
Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu said the ETT, which was developed by the Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau (ERDB), will help systemize the conservation and protection of ecotourism destinations prone to environmental degradation.
“I am confident the ETT will enable not just the DENR but all stakeholders to efficiently assess to which degree an ecotourism site is managed according to a set of sustainability indicators,” Cimatu said.
“I have no doubt it will support proactive management of all ecotourism sites in the country,” he added.
ERDB was earlier tasked by Cimatu to conduct a study that will determine the capacity of ecotourism sites, including the pollution-challenged Boracay Island, which has been ordered closed to tourists for six months starting last April 26.
Cimatu admitted that one of the reasons why Boracay suffered from environmental degradation was the “lack of guidelines, standards or certification mechanisms towards its effective management as an ecotourism area.”
This concern, according to ERDB Director Henry Adornado, will be addressed by the ETT manual.