The indigenous ecotourism and social development in Taroko National Park area and San-Chan tribe, Taiwan
- 788 Downloads
This paper explores the socio-cultural influence of the newly established ecotourism, which integrates cultural revitalization, ecological conservation and social development, in both Taroko National Park area and San-Chan aboriginal community. Many cases in different parts of the world indicate that the Indigenous peoples have developed patterns of resource use and management practices that reflect detailed knowledge of local geography and ecosystem, and contribute to the natural conservation through their living practices. The guidelines of Indigenous knowledge and culture lay the base for the development of ecotourism. A critical evaluation of the conceptualization of Indigenous knowledge is therefore, essential to the success of an alternative strategy to development for aboriginal communities. Participatory observation in the field of ecotourism activities and brief interviews are the major study methods, with several workshops conducted to supplement data collection for the two case studies. The Taroko area came into contact with tourists in a relative early era due to its famous natural features and national park. Its growing ecotourism is the result of cooperation among local residents, environmentalists, and academics, each with very different concepts of ecotourism operation. The national park and public sectors have also played significant role in shaping the content of ecotourism. In San-Chan community, due to the negative impacts generated by the unregulated mass tourism expansion, the local Indigenous people decide to close the public access to the attractive creek for 3 years, while at the same time promote ecotourism for poverty alleviation. These two cases embrace the ‘Nature’ as an important element in their construction of new place identity and community development. However, their spatial location in- or outside the national park produces significant differences and sociopolitical implications on the operations of ecotourism.
KeywordsEcotourism Indigenous traditional knowledge Taroko National Park
The author is grateful for the funding support of National Science Council (NSC) in Taiwan, project # NSC 96-2621-Z-259–004.
- Barkin, D., & Bouchez, C. P. (2003). NGO-community collaboration for ecotourism: A strategy for sustainable regional development. In M. Luck & T. Kirstges (Eds.), Global ecotourism policies and case studies: Perspectives and constraints (pp. 73–81). Clevedon, UK: Channel View Publications.Google Scholar
- Blamey, R. K. (2001). Principles of ecotourism. In D. B. Weaver (Ed.), The encyclopedia of ecotourism (pp. 5–22). New York: CABI Publishing.Google Scholar
- Ceballos-Lascurain, H. (2003). Preface. In M. Luck & T. Kirstges (Eds.), Global ecotourism policies and case studies: Perspectives and constraints (pp. viii–xii). Clevedon, UK: Channel View Publications.Google Scholar
- Chen, Y. F. (2002). The impacts of the September 21st earthquake on indigenous peoples’ land rights and the reconstruction of place identity in Taiwan. Journal of Geographical Science, 31, 1–15. (See also http://www.geog.ntu.edu.tw/journal/article/G31-01.pdf. Retrieved July 27, 2009).
- Cresswell, T. (2004). Place: A short introduction. Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
- Fennell, D. A. (1999). Ecotourism: An introduction. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Formosa Community (2006). Retrieved July 27, 2009, from http://sixstar.cca.gov.tw/blog/pratan/communityNewsPublishListAction.do?method=doRead&contentId=54630 (in Chinese).
- Harvey, D. (1996). Justice, nature and the geography of difference. Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
- Honey, M. (1999). Ecotourism and sustainable development. Washington, DC: Island Press.Google Scholar
- Howitt, R., Connell, J., & Hirsch, P. (1996). Resources, nations and indigenous peoples. In R. Howitt, J. Connell, & P. Hirsch (Eds.), Resources, nations and indigenous peoples: Case studies from Australia, Melanesia, and Southeast Asia (pp. 1–30). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- MacCannell, D. (1989). The tourism:A new theory of the leisure class (2nd ed.). Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.Google Scholar
- McGregor, D. (2004). Traditional ecological knowledge and sustainable development: Towards coexistence. In M. Blaser, H. A. Feit, & G. McRae (Eds.), In the way of development: Indigenous peoples, life projects and globalization (pp. 72–91). London: Zed Books.Google Scholar
- Neumann, R. P. (2005). Making political ecology. London: Hodder Arnold.Google Scholar
- Strang, V. (2004). Close encounters of the third world kind: Indigenous knowledge and relations to land. In A. Bicker, P. Sillitoe, & J. Pottier (Eds.), Development and local knowledge (pp. 93–117). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar