Session I-8B(85)
Tuija Sievänen
Thursday, 27 October 2016, 10:30-12:30 (Room 307A)

Bench under a tree. Photo: all-free-download, George Hodan

Bench under a tree. Photo: all-free-download, George Hodan

This session highlighted future prospects of research in the field of nature-based recreation and tourism programs that aim to improve recreational activities and support the positive effects of green infrastructure on health and wellbeing.

A study from Finland showed how recent changes in tourism and recreation have been driven by factors such as population growth, increasing cultural diversity, changing leisure and working time, climate change, improved economy, technological changes, transport developments, decreasing environmental quality and emerging systems of policy and governance. It is important to better understand these continuing changes and be able to predict future demands and scenarios.

Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) is often considered to be a suitable management option for the institutional and financial sustainability of protected areas. In Bangladesh, for example, 1.8% of the country is under protection, generating important incomes annually. Ecotourism is a promising tool for provisioning goods (timber, firewood), regulatory (climate) and supporting services (biodiversity). However, despite the sustained growth in ecotourism, there are still numerous challenges to face such as the lack of facilities, communication, proper infrastructure, pressure to local communities, weak co-management policy support, etc.

In China, there is a strong concern to solve the problem of respiratory diseases and deaths associated with smoke and dust emissions. It is expected that more smoke and dust emissions can be absorbed by increasing the forest cover. The existence of more trees would effectively improve human health while controlling air pollution.

In conclusion, findings from these studies provide new insights for policy makers to implement nature-based recreational, health and touristic programs. However, constant monitoring is essential to know where we stand and what the future will look like. Better foresight and scientific information for managers and decision-makers are necessary for the sustainable future of the sector and the wellbeing of the people.

Presentations in this session:

  • Application of Payment for Ecosystem Services (Ecotourism) in managing protected areas of Bangladesh (Shams Uddin, Winrock International, Banglasdesh)
  • Future of nature-based recreation and tourism in Finland (Tuija Sievänen, Natural Resources Institute Finland)
  • Air pollution and public health: evidence from forests absorb smoke and dust emission in China (Ye Bing, Research Institute of Forestry Policy and Information, Chinese Academy of Forestry)