Environmental Philosophy

Volume 7, Issue 2, Fall 2010

Ecotourism and Environmental Justice

Ricardo Rozzi, Francisca Massardo, Felipe Cruz, Christophe Grenier, Andrea Muñoz, Eduard Mueller
Pages 1-32

Galapagos and Cape Horn
Ecotourism or Greenwashing in Two Emblematic Latin American Archipelagoes?

True ecotourism requires us to regain an understanding of the inextricable links between the habitats of a region, including its inhabitants, and their habits. With this systemic approach that integrates economic, ecological, and ethical dimensions, we define ecotourism as “an invitation to a journey (‘tour’) to appreciate and share the ‘homes’ (oikos) of diverse human and non-human inhabitants, their singular habits and habitats.” Today, mass nature tourism often denies these links and is generating biocultural homogenization, socio-ecological degradation, and marked distributive injustices in iconic places, such as Costa Rica, the Galapagos and Cape Horn. In order to implement genuine ecotourism in Latin America and elsewhere, it is imperative to overcome marketing ambiguities, and pay close attention to local autonomy and biocultural diversity.