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Home > Biosphere Reserves and More Responsible Tourism - Updated: 08-01-2003 2:35 pm
Testing improved approaches to tourism development is a key activity at many of the sites in the World Network of Biosphere Reserves (currently, 408 sites in 94 counties) within the MAB Programme.  

As described in a recent publication ('Biosphere Reserves: Special Places for People and Nature'), activities include a comparative study of ecotourism in five countries participating in the East Asian Biosphere Reserve Network, with a set of principles and guidelines elaborated for use and adaptation in participating biosphere reserves in the five countries.

Other tourism-related activities in specific biosphere reserves include the assessment of a “Green label” scheme for quality products and services in the hotel and catering industry in the West Estonian Archipelago (Estonia), the introduction of 180 ‘green buses’ that run on natural gas at Juizhaigou (China), methods for the assessment of trail condition and degradation in the Southern Appalachians (USA), and ecotourism guidebooks at sites such as Urdaibai (Spain) and Bañados del Este (Uruguay).

A number of biosphere reserves are also involved in testing the draft International Guidelines for Sustainable Tourism prepared under the aegis of UPEP and the Convention on Biological Diversity. Such activities are further described in a four-page colour booklet 'Tracking the Path of Sustainable Tourism' prepared by MAB for the World Ecotourism Summit in Quebec in May , and in an associated interactive webpage (currently being set up) on the MABNet.

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