What are the Negative Environmental Impacts of Tourism on Yemen [Archives:2001/30/Health]

July 23 2001

Ismael Al-Ghabery
Yemen Times
Tourism is an important source for national income in several countries around the world and in some other countries it accounts for the lion’s share in their national income. In spite of this, tourism still has some negative impact on environment and resources. Paying attention to the negative impact of tourism on the environment is not that old. As the misuse of resource could lead to their debilitation and this situation will backfire on the environment and the people.
It is noticeable that the deterioration and pollution inured on the Yemeni environment were not merely the result of the tourism-related activities but due to the expansion of the movement of construction, overpopulation, limited space of the green areas and car pollutants.
Tourism is a contributory factor to the deterioration of environment and pollution and in some cases if the necessary precautions are not taken to protect environment and the cultural & historical heritage which require organized efforts to control this deterioration. The government has to coordinate efforts of different actors with the aim of maintaining a safe and healthy environment.
What is environment?
Environment can be defined as every thing surrounding us. It has a specific capacity which may undergo some modifications due to the interferences of man and if these interferences exceeded the limits they will absolutely lead to its destruction and then it will be hard to be remedied.
An important thing to be considered when planning for tourism projects is to take into account and to study the negative impacts of the proposed project since a measure of such will limit the dangers of these projects. Environment-friendly polices and investments are of paramount importance to the sustainability of environment.
Some of the most important measures to be taken in this regard are as follows:
planning the areas designated tourism-related purposes
Planning means here all the programs which will lead to the creation of an environment favorable to tourism which should be at the same time environment-friendly.
Tourism investment projects and environment pollution
Tourism projects are still so few in Yemen if compared to other development projects and this means that the tourism-related effects on the environment are still so limited.
Environmental considerations within the tourism development plans
Tourism development plans have not incorporated measures or remedies for encountering the environment-related problems through establishing a basis for protecting it and striking balance that would ensure a sustainable environment.
In 1990 an environment strategy, funded by the European Common Market, was adopted by Yemen. This strategy has laid the basis for tourism development in Yemen and has incorporated some remedies for the environment-related problems.
Based on what has been stated before tourism development plans have to take into account the harmful impact of tourism and how they should be avoided.
The negative environmental impact on the tourism-related resources
Yemen has many thins to offer for tourists such as the diversified and attractive touristic sites which can be outlined as follow:
– Attractive landscapes
– Diversification of the natural and geographical resources
– Moderate climate around the year
– Long and attractive coasts in addition to many islands suitable for recreation etc
– Archeological and historical sites
– Spring water
– Unique architecture, in addition to many crafts-related and traditional industries.
Unfortunately, these resources are jeopardized to extinction and debilitation due to the arbitrary use of these resources. Some of the dangers threatening the touristic attraction in Yemen are as follows:
– Unplanned construction endangering the old historical cities.
– Most of the historical and archeological sites are not renovated in a regular basis.
– Non-observance of regulations related to environment protection and sustainability.
– Marine environment has been subjected to pollution and destruction due to the improper disposal of waste materials in the seas which adversely effect the marine life.
– Unavailable tourism-related facilities
– Improper planning for the sea shores as well as the sites designated for tourist investments.
– Unavailability of the infrastructure facilities required for boosting the tourism industry.
– Unavailability of legislative regulating the establishment of tourist projects.
– Dissertation.
– Most of the Yemeni cities are not clean and full of pollutants.