Indigenous Community-Based Eco-Tourism and Socio-environmental Justice in the Global South
Community-Based Ecotourism/CBET is a type of sustainable tourism that has gained traction since the 1990s as an important option to achieve more socially and environmentally just life conditions of marginalized people in low-income countries. Despite growing interest in CBET, knowledge about what is needed to achieve successful outcomes, from local perspectives, is still scarce. There are few comparative case studies, and success is usually measured through economic analysis whose results do not necessarily mirror communities’ subjective valuations of socio-environmental gains.
Based on the understanding of CBET as a livelihood model and a form of tourism aimed at promoting changes that are valuable to involved communities, this project examines whether, how and why CBET experiences yield outcomes that are locally perceived as socially and environmentally just. From a bottom-up perspective, we will critically analyze variations and challenges in CBET in indigenous communities in Brazil, Ecuador and Mozambique – countries where CBET (at times referred to as Indigenous Ecotourism) is an emerging rural development alternative. In order to unveil underlying conditions and factors that link CBET to social and environmental changes locally deemed as inclusive and equitable, our study uses a theoretical framework of socio-environmental justice and employ a qualitative comparative case study methodology comprising ethnographic participatory methods and critical discourse analysis.