From Current Students
Joint Inter University Ecotourism Seminar
AKHTAR Khaleda (Bangladesh)
A Joint Inter University Ecotourism Seminar of Meiji University and Bunkyo University, chaired and organized by Dr. Thomas Jones, Assistant Professor, Meiji University was held in Meiji University, Tokyo, Japan on January 22, 2012. Five case studies were presented by the students of Dr.Yurie Kaizu, Bunkyo University and the students of Dr. Thomas Jones, Meiji University. Altogether there were 12 participants from five countries, i.e. Japan, the UK, Tanzania, Malaysia and Bangladesh at the seminar.
The seminar was divided in two sessions- Bunkyo and Meiji seminar. In the first session, the students of Bunkyo University presented two case studies of Japan. The first one was a joint presentation on “Ecotour program of Chigasaki-city, Kanagawa- Utilization of treasure for activate typical urban-rural area” by Ms. Ikumi Suzuki, Ms. Fumika Konno and Ms. Chiyoko Shike. The second presentation was on Ogasawara national park, an oceanic island located 1000 kilometers south from mainland, entitled “Sustainable National Park use: A case study of Ogasawara national park in Japan” by Mr. Yusuke Nozawa. The second session, conducted by the students of Meiji University, was on three successful examples of ecotourism that reduce leakage. Ms. Rahel Nasoni Mkoma and Mr. Md. Sabet Ali presented the successful examples of their own country cases on Ololosokwan village in Tanzania and Sundarban reserved forest in Bangladesh, respectively. The final case study on an ecotourism operator named ‘La Ruta Moskitia’ located in the Rio Platano Biosphere Reserve of Honduras was presented by me.
The seminar provided opportunity to explore several case studies of ecotourism. The Japanese case studies presentation gave me an idea about the present condition of ecotourism in Japan, the Ecotourism Promotion Law, a proposal for an ecotour program in Chigasaki-city, environmental conservation fund at Ogasawara city etc. Ecotourism has received much attention in recent years, particularly within the developing countries, where it has been linked to environmental conservation, meaningful community participation/development and it is profitable and sustainable. But the problem is money leaks away from the local people in the process of ecotourism. The second session case studies explain why these are successful examples of ecotourism that reduce leakage. It also gave me an understanding as a tourism operator/destination where leakage is reduced and tourism money is used to generate jobs, social beneﬁts, infrastructural improvements and funds for the conservation of natural areas.