Efforts to reduce the damage done by mass tourism include initiatives to clean up the environment, as well as legal agreements and planning restrictions, at local, regional, national and international levels.
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Community Beach Clean-Ups
Guidelines for Responsible Tourism
Improved Waste Water Treatment
Beach Erosion Barriers
Both types of response are designed to increase Environmental Quality.
But how effective are they?
Are they enough on their own to counter the effects of huge numbers of tourists?
Answering these questions requires a deeper look at the whole system.
A system is an entity with interrelated and interdependent parts. Changing one part of the system affects other parts and the whole system.
Systems thinking is a disciplined approach for examining problems more completely and accurately before acting.
The causal connections between parts of a system form feedback loops that determine its dynamic structure and from that, its behaviour.
To address the root causes of a problem requires identifying 'leverage points'. These are places in a system where a small shift in one thing can produce big, desirable changes in the system as a whole.
On the next page, we'll take a closer look at the dynamics of a particular type of coastal resort to explore some of these concepts.
The ocean and humans are inextricably interconnected [Ocean Literacy Principle 6]. Humans have a complex relationship with the ocean. We rely on the ocean for many vital things such as water, oxygen, food and weather, yet we often act in ways that harm the ocean.
Much of the world's population lives in coastal areas. [Ocean Literacy Principle 6f].