Fernando de Noronha Ecotourism.
One of the most beautiful island destinations in the world, Fernando de Noronha has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO because of the fragility of its diverse ecosystem.
While tourism is the main source of revenue for these islands, it is promoted in a controlled manner so as to protect the islands’ delicate environment, while at the same time allowing visitors to enjoy this treasure of Brazil and to earn money to maintain it in its pristine condition. There are several ways – some imposed by government environmental agencies, others self implemented by individuals and companies – by which ecotourism is promoted in Fernando de Noronha.
Protection of the fragile environment
- An environmental tax is charged to tourists, which contributes towards the maintenance of the island.
- The number of tourists allowed at a time is limited, so that resources are not damaged and control is easier to maintain over fewer people.
- Though people are allowed to observe wildlife in the Marine Park, strict regulations (with consequences if violated) and constant monitoring exist which ensure that the flora and fauna are not endangered in any way.
Renewal and Recycling
- Recycling projects are promoted by the government and restaurant and inn owners on the island follow renewal and recycling procedures for garbage disposal, water consumption etc.
- Several organizations ‘give back’ to the island. For example the Hang Loose company that hosts the annual surf championships at Fernando de Noronha preserves a nursery on the island, to assist with reforestation programs.
The growth of tourism has had to result in the development of the tiny island but this expansion has been done in a sustainable manner, keeping in mind the problems faced here, such as water and electricity shortages and the harmful effects of previous deforestation activities. Most of the hotels and inns have been constructed in a sustainable way, for example:
- The Pousada Teju Acu used only certified and renewable wood for the construction of its hotel. It also maintains a small organic farm and has its own fruit trees.
- The Ze Maria practices hydroponic cultivation, to grow lettuce, tomatoes and some herbs, which are served to its guests. Hydroponics is a method of growing plants without soil, but instead via a nutrient solution.
- The Pousada Solar de Loronha uses solar energy and has implemented a recycling water system at its premises.
- By allowing visitors to observe protected species such as the spinner dolphins and marine turtles, these animals are understood better and the information provided by guides helps in educating tourists as to the importance of their preservation.
The offices of organizations such as IBAMA and TAMAR that are located on the island provides those interested in environmental protection with ample information, while also educating the locals on the importance of ecotourism and how to implement it. Other projects such as beach cleaning and increasing awareness among children are also promoted.