Ocean Encounters

Sustainable Tourism in Curacao

It’s no secret that our environment is facing a lot of challenges. Unfortunately, the biggest wrong-doer is human kind and now the ocean’s survival is being threatened. That is why Ocean Encounters is committed to Sustainable Tourism in Curacao.

What is Sustainable Tourism?

By definition, “Sustainable Tourism refers to sustainable practices in and by the tourism industry. It is an aspiration to acknowledge all impacts of tourism, both positive and negative. It aims to minimize the negative impacts and maximize the positive ones.”

Negative impacts to a destination include economic leakage, damage to the natural environment and overcrowding to name a few.

Positive impacts to a destination include job creation, cultural heritage preservation and interpretation, wildlife preservation landscape restoration, and more.

Sustainable tourism is defined by the UN Environment Program and UN World Tourism Organization as “tourism that takes full account of its current and future economic, social and environmental impacts, addressing the needs of visitors, the industry, the environment and host communities.”

Additionally, they say that sustainable tourism “refers to the environmental, economic, and socio-cultural aspects of tourism development, and a suitable balance must be established between these three dimensions to guarantee its long-term sustainability” (UNEP & UNWTO, 2005: 11-12. Making Tourism More Sustainable – A Guide for Policy Makers).

The Ocean Encounters Pledge for Sustainable Tourism

Why Commit to Sustainable Tourism?

We all want to give a helping hand to help the environment. With each passing year, we see new challenges. Here are 5 of the biggest threats to our ocean.

 

  1. Water pollution coming from improper sewage treatment resulting in contaminated waters that harm our marine life.
  2. Plastic pollution coming from land-based or marine sources. Land-based sources include mismanaged waste and inadequately disposed plastic waste. Marine sources include fishing fleets that leave fishing nets, lines and ropes behind.
  3. Water temperatures getting higher. Marine animals are twice as likely to lose their habitats due to climate change as they have fewer ways to find refuge from the heat and are less capable of adapting to a warming planet.
  4. Reef damage due to toxic sunscreens. A 2015 study found that just a small amount of sunscreen containing oxybenzone builds up in coral tissues, affecting especially juvenile coral and causing DNA damage, abnormal growth and increased susceptibility to bleaching (causing eventual death).
  5. Ocean acidification due to excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Some organisms will survive or even thrive under more acidic conditions, but others will struggle to adapt and may even go extinct. Ocean acidification affects fishing, threatens food security, as well as tourism and other sea-related economies.

Coral Restoration in Curacao

If we are to be true leaders in Curacao in the fight to protect what we love then together we must understand that our dive sites and shallow water reef systems that ultimately protect our shorelines are under immense environmental pressures. We also must realize that conservation, and by definition Sustainable Tourism, cannot be done in isolation. It takes the collaborative efforts of all the stakeholders to really make change.

It’s Time to Protect What We Love!

Reef Renewal Curacao is an initiative of Ocean Encounters and supported by our community, sponsors, volunteers and Reef Renewal International. The dedicated coral restoration team also works closely with Reef Renewal BonaireSECORE International and the Carmabi Foundation to constantly improve restoration techniques, innovations and share the data collection to benefit the shallow water reef systems of Curaçao and the greater Caribbean region.

Reef Renewal Curacao envisions a future where the shallow water reef systems around Curaçao are no longer threatened and ocean stewardship and protecting our coral reefs is at the heart of Curaçao’s culture.

PADI Coral Restoration Specialty Course in Curacao | Ocean Encounters

All aspects of our beautiful Dutch Caribbean island depend on coral reefs, from coastal protection and food on our table to revenue from tourism. The existence of coral reefs is intertwined into much of the infrastructure and revenue on the island. However, these coral reefs are threatened by human impacts and reef restoration is only part of the solution.

For Reef Renewal Curacao to effectively build back and restore the shallow water reef systems of Curaçao, we need the support of a variety of private stakeholders and the support of the Curaçao government.

We need to take the importance of coral reefs out of the water and make it something that is valued by the whole community of Curaçao.

What can we do as Global Citizens?

There are different ways one can lessen the impacts on the environment. Here are some simple steps you can take at home. Be conscious of the waste you produce and minimize it. Use less energy by turning off electronics when you are not using them, use energy efficient appliances and light bulbs. Refuse single use plastic in your day to day life.

At Ocean Encounters, we believe in educating, setting an example and making a change.

It is for this reason, that we have committed to making a strong eco-friendly presence with our green initiatives and have taken these to another level with our #OEPledge. This is our commitment to sustainable tourism in Curacao. 

The #OEpledge shares the many different ways we have been involved in protecting the local waters, marine life, and community.

Why Choose Stream2Sea?

Rated #1 – The Best Reef-Safe, Eco-Friendly Sunscreens

Before your vacation, wave goodbye to sunscreens with harsh chemicals that pollute the ocean and beach.

“This brand earned the seal of approval from Downs and Haereticus. In short, you can feel good about dousing yourself with the water-resistant (up to 80 minutes), biodegradable, paraben-free broad spectrum sunblock before diving into the deep end of the ocean. The active ingredient is non-nano titanium dioxide while green tea, tulsi leaf, seaweed, aloe, and coconut oil make the Sport line less harsh on skin. Bonus points for using 100-percent recycled or recyclable packaging.”

LEARN MORE about Stream2Sea Products today!

Stream2Sea Products available in our retail shop

Stream2Sea is the FIRST and the ONLY reef friendly mineral sunscreen and skincare are tested and proven to be safe to fishes and coral larvae.

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