Earth, Energy & Environment
Received: 18 Aug 2018 , Published: 23 August 2018
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Eco-tourism provides the major contribution on Sri Lankan economy and foreign exchange earnings. Part of the income earnings from the foreigners’ expenditure are distributed among the local and rural people because of their protected natural formations and endemic resources. Even though the endangering of the indigenous species and depletion of local natural resources are happening in some areas because of their insufficient knowledge on indigenous species and their poor conservation techniques. Delft Island is facing these kinds of problems. It has renowned documented history with rich ethnic diversity in ancient time. So, the current barriers should be studied and the reason for the barriers also should be reason out. A community based ecotourism could help to develop the delft island in sustainable manner. The objectives of the study were: to found the endangering inland floral and aware the community regarding that species ; to analyze the issues relating residents leaving from the place; to identify the constraints related with less tourist arrival; to ascertain the community awareness related species extinction; to analysis for community based eco- tourism development in Delft and examine the perception of local community towards community based ecotourism its long-term benefits; and to make suggestions for community based sustainable ecotourism development. A case study has been conducted in delft east. During the research.105 plants were counted and categorized. Convenience sampling method with 170 target participants (100 local community, 50 visitors and 20 other stake holders) were participating in the primary data collection. According to the results of the study 11 species are extincted, 8 species face critically endangerd and 12 species are in endangered category. It was observed that there are 28 species in the vulnerable category and 13 species are facing near threaten, 15 species considered as least concern 13 species were not evaluated because of insufficient data. The rate of endangering species is too high. Acccording to wilcoxson signed rank test, the awareness of community about endangerd species are significantly vey low.(Z-8.0,P-0.00) The major reasons for the less tourist arrival and residents leaving from the places are poor transportation and lack of infrastructure facilities and local resources degradation. There is a positive attitude among 78% of the local community towards community based eco-tourism. The education level significantly influences the community attitude (χ2= 6.821, DF = 3, P = 0.00). Most of them have a significant potential of satisfactory level about participation in community based eco-tourism development (Z-8.374, P-0.0000).
While 73% have willingness to participate with the perception of receiving benefits. Further, local community expect to promote mechanism for conservation of local culture; eco system conservation and endangered species protection; increase the economic development; and revenue generation by improving indigenous products and services. They expect other collective benefits including visitor appreciation, and improvement of health, education, skills, and technical knowledge. Some of the community members of the area have the negative opinion toward Community based eco-tourism development. They are feared for disturbing the local culture; increasing waste materials and garbage; reducing the demand for local resources; changing villagers’ life style; economic distortion; and creating conflicts by outsiders.
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