Volume 71

Ecotourism as a Life Strategy, Conservation and Generation of Strategic Alliances for the Communities the Cienaga Grande de Santa Marta

Andrea Contreras;Erick Cogollo;Vanessa Ospina;Johann López;Mario Rueda Hernández
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Date: November, 2018

Pages: 18-20

Event: Proceedings of the Seventy Annual Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute

City: San Andres Island

Country: Colombia


The project Sustainable Local Development and Governance for Peace (DLS), funded by the European Union and co-executed by INVEMAR, has given 2 communities of the Ciénaga Grande de Santa Marta (CGSM) the chance to join the various initiatives in ecotourism that are being developed in the area by different institutions, both public and private. Through the DLS, local actors and INVEMAR are developing a product in ecological and cultural tourism taking advantage of the immense biodiversity of the CGSM (Biosphere Reserve, RAMSAR Wetland, two National Natural Parks and important area for the conservation of birds) and the cultural richness of its palafitte villages with nearly 200 years of existence. The experience has been enriched by several local actors and has sought the generation of strategic alliances between two associations in the area: Asoguitur and Asopebue. The first association is made up of residents of the urban area of the municipality of Ciénaga interested in strengthening the offer of tourist services, who have more than five years of experience. The second is made up of artisanal fishermen from the palafitte village of Buenavista, who see in ecotourism an option to increase their income and to involve women and young people in economic activities. The ecotourism product will be focused on birdwatching and cultural tourism, for this, members of associations are receiving training in bird watching, marketing and organizational strengthening. In addition, the formulation of agreements and business plans is being executed. This DLS action is 2 years’ length and until now it is in the first stage, however, there have been many lessons learned worth sharing with entities that are developing ecotourism as an effective alternative for conservation and improvement in the quality of life of rural populations.

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