|What is the issue?
||Community-based ecotourism can develop into a sustainable conservation-based enterprise,
but in order to deliver on its promise, conditions must be created under which communities can
exercise control over the kind and intensity of tourism, retain autonomy, and develop tourism in
accordance with their own vision of the future and the needs of environmental conservation.|
people should be in a position to benefit from revenues of ecotourism, and to control ecotourism
development to minimize negative impacts on their territory, culture, and society. In the HoB,
cultural, nature and adventure tourism have a great deal of potential.
Moreover, HoB offers the
unique ‘feature’ of transboundary ecotourism between Malaysia and Indonesia, which BIMPEAGA
has already identified.
Viable examples of private-community partnerships have been
developed in pilot project areas (Kapuas Hulu in Kalimantan Barat and in the Krayan Highlands,
Nunukan, Kalimantan Timur).
|Who is the seller?
||Businesses / communities|
|Who is the buyer?||Tourists / tour operators|
successful business model
- Comprehensive environmental and social impact analysis;
- International cooperation in terms of flights, roads, border-crossing, three-country travel pass,
tourism infrastructure development and other supporting factors;
- Multi-stakeholder planning process (local government, communities, operators);
- Design a system that distributes economic returns fairly among all stakeholders;
- Create economic benefits from conservation for local stakeholders;
- Strengthen local community organizations and local business operators;
- Invest in capacity building, support cultural revival and empowerment of local people;
- Establish community ecotourism concessions with long-term management licenses.
|What can banks do?
||Banks and other financial institution (e.g. credit unions, cooperatives) can offer microfinance,
provided the initiative is part of a greater integrated plan that includes an assessment of
environmental and social risks|
|What can the private sector do?
- Tour operators:
- Engage in long term contracts with communities to stabilize income, while respecting the
carrying capacity of the host communities and their environment;
- Encourage tourists to contribute directly to the communities, rather than only financially
through the operator;
- Establish a fund for donations to the local community which can be used for addressing
environmental stress that may occur from the increase in tourist arrivals;
- Engage in promotional activities;
- Aid government officials and community members to improve service while maintaining
- Sell mainly local products;
- ‘Imported’ products which are difficult to dispose of locally (e.g. batteries, medicine, etc.) can
be taken back by tourists or operators on their way out of the HoB and properly disposed of in
|What can the Government do?
- Draft legislation that recognizes the human and legal rights of indigenous communities in
the HoB, including land rights;
- Set-up immigration points at key locations to enable transboundary ecotourism;
- Promote (green) entrepreneurship, e.g. through budget allocations for SME development in
- Draft special guidelines for tourism development in forested areas;
- Draft regulations to simplify tourist visits to concessioned forest areas (e.g. timber
concession) and conservation areas (e.g. standard price on entry permit, guide from forest
- Negotiate lower airfares/ initially subsidize airfares for remote HoB areas, to stimulate
- Build capacity of government officials in charge of destinations such as national parks.
- Recognize and respect intellectual property rights and adat (customary law/rights) claims
of local peoples;
- Design fast track administration to settle land tenure issues favouring productive
communities who manage their forests sustainably;
- Invest in opening and improving small airstrips in the interior as main access to the HoB
area, and improve basic infrastructure in village areas (bridges and roads, water and
electricty supply, internet and telephone access);
- Use budget/facilities of Ministry of Tourism for providing skill training for tourism
- Facilitate fair partnerships between community organizations and ‘willing’ private sector;
- In order to spread the gains from tourism equitably, and avoid conflict regarding the
distribution of income, the local government can act as an intermediary: A fee or levy is
charged on tourists for use of environmental services. The resulting income could
be used to establish a PES scheme that can compensate members of the community who
are not involved with the tourism business;
- Require non-community based enterprises to get Free Prior Informed Consent (FPIC) from
- Securing natural capital: Ecotourism depends on aesthetic natural beauty. To be able to
sell this product, natural ecosystems and biodiversity needs to be secured. With this, other
essential ecosystem services are maintained benefiting downstream industries and society.
- Poverty reduction: Well-planned ecotourism which involves local people in ecotourism
activities can secure additional income.
- Economic growth: Builds local economies and helps them diversify away from the energy
and commodity sectors.
- Climate change: This sector can reduce pressure to deforestation. By keeping the forests
standing, ecotourism secures a natural buffer against climate change and supports climate