Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Bullshit Ecotourism

In Bolehland the concept of ecotourism is building luxury walkway every few years.
This has been proven in our National Park at Kuala Tahan, Pahang.

They talked about building structures that blend with the environment - Bullshit!
They talked about sustainable ecotourism whereby natural environment will not be decimated - Bullshit!

This is the partial summarized definition of ecotourism:
Ideally, true ecotourism should satisfy several criteria including affordability and lack of waste in the form of luxury. The concept of ecotourism is widely misunderstood and, in practice, is often simply used as a marketing tool to promote tourism that is related to nature. Critics claim that ecotourism as practiced and abused often consists of placing a hotel in a splendid landscape, to the detriment of the ecosystem. According to them, ecotourism must above all sensitize people with the beauty and the fragility of nature. They condemn some operators as "green-washing" their operations — that is, using the label of "ecotourism" and "green-friendly", while behaving in environmentally irresponsible ways. (http://www.answers.com/topic/ecotourism?cat=technology)

Before 2000, there was no luxury walkway to Bukit Teresek. We were very happy. We enjoyed the natural trail. We have no problem. We didn't ask for a walking platform.

Then they started to build wooden steps. They said the wood blend with the environment and so they were eco-friendly. But they didn't know that the wood used could be harvested from some illegal logging of virgin jungles. We have no say, so they built.

Within months, fallen big trees damaged part of the wooden steps. Then termites. Then wood decay. That was between 2002 and 2005.

Now, they rebuilt it with PLASTICS! Yes, they were plastics. I don't know about the initial understand of the concept of using wood (before) versus the use of plastics (now)! Have they forgotten their very own reason for using wood?

I have all the while do not agree about the use of wood as they have been proven unsustainable and a wastage of natural resources. But with plastics...this is hypocrisy!

BEFORE : 2004 - Trail to Bkt Teresek. The wooden steps showing signs of "fatigue".

BEFORE : 2004. The wooden platform - unnecessary elevated platform.

NOW 2007 - Wooden platform missing and replaced with plastic steps. No metal used. The silts made of concrete. The plastics beams resembled galvanised iron. How long can they last?

The plastic steps. Is there a neccessity to build a luxury walkway in this part of the trail?

The left is the natural trail and the right is the artificial trail.

And do you know that hikers prefer the natural trail than the luxury trail!

This luxury trail serves no purpose but a wastage of resources. A wastage of taxpayers' money. The destruction of natural environment. A mockery of the concept of ecotourism. But a bonus for someone's pocket! That's the beauty of Bolehland! Everything also CAN!

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