Geoecotourism and environmental conservation education: insights from Japan

Koizumi, Takeei; Chakraborty, Abhik
October 2016
GeoJournal;Oct2016, Vol. 81 Issue 5, p737
Academic Journal
This article analyzes geoecotourism as a newly emerging variant of geotourism in Japan. Geoecotourism is defined as a special type of sustainable tourism that focuses on the interrelationship between geological and ecological systems and its primary aim is to provide knowledge about earth processes. Whereas standard geotourism activities mostly provide descriptive accounts of land-formation/landscaping, the narrative of geoecotourism is analytical-and it aims to explain cause and effect relationships between observed landscapes and past geological events . The article is based on two case studies of geoecotourism: the Hakusan mountain in Northwest Japan and the Bandaisan volcano in Northeast Japan. Both areas are parts of geoparks. Explanation is provided on the relationships between land formation, landscaping and species colonization by focusing on the vegetation patterns. It is clarified how even minute variations in the geological land-formation are reflected through subsequent ecosystem responses. The nature conservation agenda in Japanese geoparks has not matured enough due to an overemphasis on structural geology and geohazard related themes, and it is claimed that geoecotourism can address this vital gap by informing visitors about how abiotic and biotic processes are interrelated and how all of them are vital for the well-being of planet earth.


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