Reducing Tourism's Threats to Biodiversity
The tourism industry can harm wildlife, plants, and natural ecosystems through habitat destruction, pollution, over-exploitation of natural resources, and visitor traffic to sensitive ecosystems. One approach to mitigate such threats is the application of voluntary sustainability standards, supported by training for tourism enterprises and verified by external audits.
We evaluated the effects of this approach as applied through the Rainforest Alliance’s sustainable tourism training program and verification process. The standard used for Rainforest Alliance verification defines 78 criteria (requirements) for environmental and social best practices and has been adopted by more than 200 tourism businesses in eight countries.