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Science supports sustainable tourism

UNAM researchers propose touristic activities with a lesser environmental impact
file photo/EL UNIVERSAL
17/05/2017
15:11
Newsroom
Mexico City
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Researchers of the National Laboratory of Sustainability Sciences (LANCIS), at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), are suggesting Science to be considered as a pivotal part for the decision making regarding tourism matters.

Paola Gómez Priego, member of LANCIS, said that sustainable tourism tries to “take into account social, environmental and economic effects; and considers the needs of visitors, tourism, environment and local communities.”

In Mexico, tourism is the third most important economic activity. Professor Gomez' work has consisted of registering the growth of this activity and its ramifications like the overexploitation of natural resources as well as the modifications to ecosystems and local communities.

This way, she has confirmed that tourism in our country hasn't been approached from a sustainabile perspective.

Aware of all these environmental and social impacts of touristic activities, the teacher commented that one of the action lines of LANCIS is the formation of Sustainable Sciences Postgraduate experts, with a transdisciplinary approach and capable of contributing with their knowledge, thus promoting a tourism friendly with the environment and its development.

The concept of sustainability was born a few decades ago with the finality of counteracting on the environmental effects of human activities around the world. To strengthen it, The United Nations Organization declared 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development.

Professor Gómez thinks the citizen participation is key as a mechanism of change. That's why, she recommends being aware of public consultations in order to stop those projects that may have a negative impact on the environment, the same as a well-informed decision making about the site where people plan to vacation.

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