Sub Project 4 - Dominica

Eco-tourism training courses and co-management of eco-sites in the Commonwealth of Dominica

Formation des guides et mise à niveau du personnel engagé dans les activités ecotouristiques- limite du portage et co-gestion des sites- état-ong

The organisation's offices are established in a rain forest environment of100 acres where tropical research, training, education and species survival are the major focus. Dominica is known as the nature island of the Caribbean. Its natural beauty is attracting an increasing number of visitors - cruiseline passengers and eco-tourists - to the island. To cater for such interest there are now numerous local tour operators promoting 'eco-tours' to the different nature sites.

Unfortunately these areas have, in a sense, become victims of their own beauty and show signs of serious degradation. This is not only caused by the sheer number of tourists now visiting the sites, but also the lack of awareness of the tour operators as to how to use sites responsibly and in an environmentally sensitive way (mostly due to ignorance rather than bad will). Because of this, and in light of the fact that there are plans to open up another 20 nature sites and trails around the island, catering specifically for the nature tourist, the present project aims to raise awareness and educate tour operators, government officials and other local site users about the need to manage these eco-sites sustainably.

A series of training courses will be given on natural history, site and visitor management, monitoring, and marketing strategies for promoting sustainable eco tourism. It is hoped that a sense of stewardship will be built up amongst the tour guides which could eventually lead to the establishment of a collaborative managment agreement for the different eco-sites.