|Institution:||American Public University System|
|Department:||SCHOOL of SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, ENGINEERING & MATH|
|Keywords:||Environmental management, education,photography, empowerment|
|Full text PDF:||http://www.apus.edu|
While economic development is moving into rapid globalization and the application of unsustainable forms of economy, natural areas are under increasing environmental stress. Ecotourism is one of the few industries that practice commercial activities in natural areas while seeking both the protection and conservation of the natural resources object of the business, and benefits for local populations. Scholar research has identified the lack of local leadership and less attention to the natives in populations from natural areas as the underlining reasons for a generalized and continuous deterioration of those natural areas. The present creative project seeks collaboration between ecotourism; a non-profit organization (National Geographic Society); and local populations of natural areas like the Galapagos Islands; to use photographic empowerment as a tool for the formation of future leaders by means of: offering a different vision of development, merging the environmental values of the NGS with the unique way of seeing the world from a Galapagos perspective; encouraging socio-economic benefits for local participants that will pull them away from unsustainable activities, while stimulating them towards environmentally-friendly economic activities; and finally, the generation of new local leaders, educated through photography, with a potential long-term deviation from the paradigm of unsustainable development.