Sustainable Operations And Destinations: CITA Project Essay

Question:

Discuss about the Sustainable Operations and Destinations for CITA Project.

Answer:

In the video ‘Uganda: Sustainable tourism’, it is seen that Michael Campbell is talking about his experiences in Uganda while wrapping up a 6 years CITA project to improve the way of living of the local rural people through sustainable tourism (YouTube, 2013). He pointed out that, after agriculture, the major revenue earning industry is the tourism. According to Michael, there are two biggest challenges in sustainability. Firstly, he pointed out that, significant deforestation is happening in Uganda. As the population has been increasing, the level of deforestation of the rainforest has been increasing too. Within 6 years, the level of deforestation of the rainforest has increased in a massive way. The lands are turned into agricultural crop lands. This is having a major impact on the sustainability. The weather and climate have changed, the rainy season have changed its time. It has affected people’s livelihood also. Moreover, the wildlife of these forests are mostly affected. Much wildlife has disappeared and many have become endangered. Their area of habitat is getting smaller. They cannot escape their small island of habitat, because if they do, they come into the croplands and are getting killed like pests. Hence, local people must understand the significance of the wildlife and the benefits generated by them. The awareness of the people should be increased regarding the wildlife and the benefit generated by them.

The second issue highlighted by Campbell was the opportunities of the community projects. He mentioned about the immense opportunity of the Ruhija Gorilla Friends Group project’s rented camps. Initially, the locals were unfamiliar with the international standard tourist facilities, and used to build concrete blocks as hotels. They needed to be educated about the international standard accommodations and facilities. However, the people expected immediate returns, which was not possible and they became pessimistic about the outcomes and future. Once they got involved in the project, the notion changed as the number of tourists increased since the rented camps opened in 2008, and the money generated were utilized to fund other developments in the community. There is collaboration with an orphan children group of Ruhija. According to Campbell, a lot of children in Africa is orphan. Many of their parents died of HIV and accidents, many are children of single parent and some children come from the extremely poor families, who cannot look after them (YouTube, 2013). Thus, there exist a very inequitable income, costs and benefit distribution in the society. These groups earn money by entertaining the tourists, and through gift and souvenir shops. Hence, if the tourist footfalls do not increase, the tented camps of Ruhija Gorilla Friends group and the orphan children group will not earn substantial amount of money, which can be reinvested in further developments of other areas in the society. Since, outside groups do not enter into the local community, thus, the benefits can be enjoyed by themselves only. The principles of domain of life and the social domain can be applicable in this matter.

Ruhija is a community in Uganda, which is popular for its gorilla tourism. In November 2008, Ruhija opened up for this tourism. This is a collaborative project with Uganda wildlife Authority. People were excited to pay money to see the gorillas because they are extremely rare, one for 10 million people on earth. That made this a great opportunity for the local community to get the benefit from the wildlife. Earlier, Ruhija did not have much tourists, except for few birders, who did not stay there. Hence, when this tourism project was opening up, the local communities had to be convinced about the benefits. Ruhija Gorilla Friends group was formed. The Ruhija Gorilla Friends group contributed a lot for the development of the local economy, people and environment. Through number of community meetings and group workshops, the authority and the CITA project came to the decision to fund the community-tented camps, among which the Ruhija Gorilla Friends Community Rest camp is the largest, and the first one to be funded (Rothman et al., 2014). The funding includes the condition that 20% of the ownership of the camps belongs to the local community, and the earning would be used to help other developmental initiatives of the society. When the gorilla tourism was opened for tourists, the first thing that was needed to develop was the accommodation facility. The locals had no knowledge of the standard of hotels and they needed to be educated on how to build accommodation with proper amenities. This way, the local people became more aware about the tourism initiatives. On the other hand, since the returns to the society were not coming immediately, people were apprehensive about such a project. But, as the project rolled on and number of tourists started to increase, the amount of revenue started to increase too. It has boosted the economy. With an average annual income of Uganda is USD 200 per year, the accommodation generates $50 per person per night at the camps, and for 300 nights per year, the money is quite substantial for the poor economy of Uganda (YouTube, 2013). The Ruhija Gorilla Friends Group started to give the 20% of the revenue back to the community initiatives to improve the quality of life of the local people, which encouraged more people to come forward with many new business ideas. They group encourages sustainable way of business, such as, handcrafted gifts, souvenirs, jewelries, clothes, made in a sustainable way. As the first installment of 20% of the revenue was reinvested, many new developments were made by the people, which promote sustainable tourism. The supply chain of food and other things were benefitted as well. People, who are not directly engaged with the camps, are providing the food for all the people staying in the camps. This way, Ruhija Gorilla Friends Group has been helping the economy, people and environment of Uganda.

Sustainability is a big issue in today’s business world. As the climate has been changing rapidly, global warming is prevailing; the environment in which we are living has become extremely vulnerable. Thus, people have become aware about the sustainability and committed to make the future better by taking responsible measures (Shove & Spurling, 2013). The answer focuses on three key points, namely, sustainable practices, responsible consumptions and corporate social responsibility. Those are explained below.

Sustainable practices

Sustainable practices are mostly adopted by the industrial world, which has been contributing a lot in the global warmiion generating activities, which results in lower level of sustainability. These corrective actions would lead to more sustainable practices by the companies. However, the practices differ among the industries and mostly specific to the type of the organization and its products.

It has become very important to implement the sustainable practices to reduce the environmental damages done by the organizations. Reducing the carbon footprint has become a primary agenda of the industries. The practices can include many different types of eco-friendly measures. Not only in the industries, people can practice sustainability in their daily living also. For example, souring the locally and organically grown products, saving water and energy, reducing and recycling wastes, using environment friendly products, shifting towards renewable energy sources, reducing carbon emitting activities, growing more plants etc. (Wang, 2014). If every one contributes their share in reducing the environmental footprints, sustainability would increase.

Responsible consumption

Responsible consumption is a part of the sustainability movement, and also known as sustainable consumption. This influences the behavior of the producers, distributors, retailers and consumers to take adoptive measures to protect and conserve the environment and promote the right of better living for the future generation (Neesham & Freeman, 2016). The primary focus of responsible consumption is to consume the products responsibly keeping in mind the need of the future. This practice would help to reduce the wastages also. The main components for the consumption are water, energy and food (Valor & Carrero, 2014). According to a report by un.org, the rate of polluting water is more than the recycling rate of the nature. Over 1 billion people still do not have access to the fresh water. Hence, excessive usage of water is creating global water stress. Similarly, as technology is advancing, the consumption of energy has increased significantly in the past century. Households consume almost 29% of the global energy and give back 21% carbon in the environment. The increase in the number of vehicles and number of industries has created excessive pressures on the energy sources. Only one fifth of the energy is generated from renewable sources. The food sector is also affected by the wastes. It is found that 1.3billion tonnes of food are wasted every year, 1 billion people stay hungry and another 1 billion is malnourished (un.org, 2017). One part of the world is having excess food, while the other is not getting any. Thus, it is very important to consume water, food and energy in a responsible manner to increase the sustainable practices.

Corporate social responsibility

Corporate social responsibility, commonly called CSR, is the initiatives by the corporate houses to take the responsibility of the actions that have impacts on the society and on the environment (Tai & Chuang, 2014). The business of the corporate houses includes operations that have negative impacts on the environment as well as on the human well being. Thus, the organizations take the responsibility of the damages and takes actions to return something back to the nature and to the society. Hence, they get involved in social development projects, such as, projects for underprivileged children and community, helping and supporting eco-friendly initiatives by local poor people, environmental development projects, etc. This way, the companies try to reduce their environmental footprints. They try to give back something to the society in exchange of what they take from them (Clapp & Rowlands, 2014).

References

Clapp, J., & Rowlands, I. H. (2014). Corporate social responsibility. The Essential Guide to Global Environmental Governance. Routledge: London, 42-44.

Neesham, C., & Freeman, S. (2016). Value Creation as Business Commitment to Responsible Consumption. In The Contribution of Love, and Hate, to Organizational Ethics (pp. 207-229). Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

Rothman, J. M., Nkurunungi, J. B., Shannon, B. F., & Bryer, M. A. (2014). High altitude diets: implications for the feeding and nutritional ecology of mountain gorillas. In High altitude primates(pp. 247-264). Springer New York.

Sancha, C., Longoni, A., & Gim?nez, C. (2015). Sustainable supplier development practices: drivers and enablers in a global context. Journal of Purchasing and Supply Management, 21(2), 95-102.

Shove, E., & Spurling, N. (Eds.). (2013). Sustainable practices: Social theory and climate change (Vol. 95). Routledge.

Tai, F. M., & Chuang, S. H. (2014). Corporate social responsibility. Ibusiness, 6(03), 117.

un.org. (2017). Sustainable consumption and production. United Nations Sustainable Development. Retrieved 10 October 2017, from

Valor, C., & Carrero, I. (2014). Viewing responsible consumption as a personal project. Psychology & Marketing, 31(12), 1110-1121.

Wang, C. J. (2014). Do ethical and sustainable practices matter? Effects of corporate citizenship on business performance in the hospitality industry. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 26(6), 930-947.

YouTube. (2013). Uganda; Sustainable Tourism. YouTube. Retrieved 10 October 2017, from

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