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Visiting Professor, University of Girona, Spain

Nakelo Treasure Island Resort, Fiji – A Case Study in Inclusive Tourism Economy, Indigenous Empowerment and Collaborative Management

Dr Trevor SofieldVisiting Professor, University of Girona, SpainAbstract Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) with its call for 'triple bottom line' action is often heralded with grand statements that purportedly attest to the commitment by an organization or business to the ideal of attaining a balance between economics, the environment and ...

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Precarity, a Key Determinant Affecting Tourism's Claim to Contribute to Inclusive Growth and Sustainability

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Introduction  Poverty, and its twin 'sister', inequality, are becoming increasingly entrenched in many societies despite decades of attempts to improve living standards by a host of agencies such as the United Nations, the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, Oxfam and many others. According to OXFAM (Jan. 2022) just 10 billionaires ow...

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Malaysia's Gunung Mulu Caves and National Park

The Sarawak Government has provided strong support for appropriate and sustainable development of the Gunung Mulu National Park since its WHS inscription. It has left behind its original ‘modern progress’ model of development – forestry and oil palm plantations, with the former now banned for the past ten years and the latter carefully regulated. Illegal logging still occurs in the most isolated parts of the state along the border with Indonesia’s province of Kalimantan where monitoring is difficult (no roads, only two airstrips for small aircraft) but it is minor. Offshore oil remains a mainstay of the state economy, but terrestrially ecotourism is being pursued as the mainstream path especially for poverty alleviation of local communities. Mulu is evidence that the Government is sincere in implementing ‘genuine’ ecotourism as distinct from ‘eco-lite’ ventures, and flying into Mulu over thousands of hectares of oil palm plantations to the heavily forested ranges of...

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On the Australian Bushfires

    The dry summer/autumn season still has 4 months to run, and most of Australia is facing the highest ever-recorded temperatures, so danger still lurks. We have slashed all the grass around our house to make a firebreak and our gutters are covered so that sparks cannot get into the roof cavity - here in Australia that is how most buildings go up in flames during a bushfire.   Despite the enormous damage in contemporary-built Australia, in a sense fires are 'natural' in our landscapes because for 40,000 years Aborigines practiced 'firestick management' - burning forests and grasslands to improve conditions for their hunting and gathering. Over the centuries, the environment adapted to regular burning, and much of our native flora, from delicate ground orchids to huge eucalyptus trees, can only regenerate after fire since the seed casings need the heat of fire to crack open and release the seeds....

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Should elephants be brought to Australia to control a noxious weed?

  A note on the question of biological control following the publication of an opinion piece by Professor David Bowman of our School of Plant Science in Nature, vol 482, p.30, 2 Feb 2012 titled: “Conservation: Bring elephants to Australia?" David’s comments were grounded in concerns about the inability to control one of Australia’s worst environmental weeds, African gamba grass, which could transform north Australian landscapes such as World heritage listed Kakadu wetlands, into landscapes of greatly reduced biodiversity. Native Australian animals (kangaroos, euros, wallabies, etc) cattle, and other introduced feral animals (camels, horses, pigs) are unable to control the spread of this exotic plant, finding it unpalatable. As gamba grass takes over, populations and diversity of native animals and birds are significantly reduced. And as its biomass increases the risk of devastating bushfires, with consequential increased ‘collateral’ damage to native wildlife, also intensifies. Fire apparently increases its spread through vigorous re-growth instead of...

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