Chumbe Island Coral Park
Marine Protected Areas are crucial players in biodiversity conservation and ecotourism. However, in Tanzania, coral reefs are under threat from dynamite fishing and overexploitation, while coastal forests are disappearing for charcoal production and coastal development. CHICOP’s is offering a model of sustainable nature concentartion, where ecotourism supports park management, research and Environmental Education programmes for local schoolchildren. The project was carried out in partnership with local communities and monitored by various researches and reports, which resulted in visible sustainable tourism improvement of the coral park. The case study expresses interest in all five key areas promoted by Tourism for Development. CHICOP is protecting biodiversity as well as raising awarness about the importance of sustainable growth, informs local students about Ecotourism and improves their employability in the tourism sector; CHICOP is social inclusive and in the employment process prioritizes women and local people; the project uses their resources efficiently – catches the rainwater, uses solar energy for water heating, compostic toilets, vegetative grey water filtration, biodegradable soap, composts organic waste and etc. Additionally, guests of the island are limited to 16 per day. Cultural values, diversity and heritage is encouraged by carefully restoring historical buildings on the island, promoting local traditional building technologies, styles and materials, enhancing local cuisine and cooking traditions. CHICOP respects religious values and practices – advises are given on sensitive women’s clothing and local norms, staff working schedules are adjusted during the month of Ramadhan. By now, CHICOP has welcomed over 6500 schoolchildren, 1130 teachers and 700 community members for one-day field excursions to Chumbe Island, offering them guided forest walks and snorkelling with help for non-swimmers.
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