You are on page 1of 104

Brazil

Canopy
Ecotourism
Study

Ismael Nobre

PhD Candidate – Colorado State University

This research was developed for the Global Canopy Programme (GCP), and funded by
the Global Opportunities Fund of the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Brazil, March, 2007

2
Table of Contents

1.Brazil: general, demographic and socio-economic data .............................................. 5


1.1. Environmental macro-analysis: biodiversity and threats...................................... 7
1.2. Highlights on the condition of women in Brazil .................................................... 9
1.3. Tourism: statistics and trends ............................................................................ 11
1.4. Ecotourism: policies, programs, statistics and trends ........................................ 13
1.5. Canopy-related leisure, recreation and tourism ................................................. 16
1.6. Distribution and size of canopy access facilities in Brazil .................................. 19
1.7. Interviews at the national level study ................................................................. 23
1.8. Canopy-access sites in Brazil: Survey Sampling............................................... 27
1.10. Conclusions ..................................................................................................... 30
2. Recommendations for GCP operation in Brazil concerning canopy ecotourism ...... 38
2.1. Whole Forest Observatories (WFO) – Establishing it with a holistic approach.. 39
2.2. Building up demonstrative, effective, canopy ecotourism sites ......................... 43
2.3. Empowering women through Canopy Ecotourism sensitive development ........ 47
Annex 1. Canopy Ecotourism site-to-site analysis – A synoptic view........................... 49
Annex 2. Canopy ecotourism site-to-site analysis – Data tables.................................. 83
Abbreviation List. .......................................................................................................... 99
Photos list ................................................................................................................... 101
Bibliography ................................................................................................................ 102
Acknowledgements..................................................................................................... 103
Credits ........................................................................................................................ 104

3
1

Research and
findings

Recreation, conservation and knowledge toward the forest canopy

This study’s goal was to gain a better understanding of the value of canopy ecotourism
to Brazil with an initial analysis of the actual benefits shared with local communities.
This report indicates the potential sustainable benefits generated by canopy-based
ecotourism. It includes recommendations on the development of future canopy
ecotourism in Brazil and highlights the opportunities available for the involvement of
women in canopy ecotourism.

This initial part analyzes the canopy ecotourism within the Brazilian reality. From the
broad characteristics of tourism at a National scale it narrows down to general
ecotourism and then the canopy ecotourism specialty. It pinpoints peculiarities and
evaluates the extent the activity has evolved in the Country.

4
1.1

Demographics
and socio-
economic

Brazil: general, demographic and socio-economic data

Brazil is a large continental country located in the east part of South America. It
occupies an area of 8.514.876 Km2, which corresponds to roughly half of the entire
continent size (Map 01). The Country’s main axes, both N-S and E-W, have about
4.000 km and its shoreline, facing the Atlantic Ocean, is 9.198 km long. Terrain
elevations in Brazil range from sea level to 3.000 m. The Brazilian territory is divided
into climatic strips: 92% of the territory is located between the Equator and the Tropic
of Capricorn, yielding to a predominantly tropical climate, with equatorial and
subtropical (temperate zones) strips distributed over the remaining 8% of the nation’s
territory. The predominance of lower altitudes throughout the country provides more
elevated temperatures, with averages exceeding 20°C. The seasons are the exact
opposite of those in Europe and the United States, with the exception of the northern
region of the country. The average annual temperature is approximately 28ºC in the
northern region and 20ºC, in the south. Peak temperatures range from around minus
10ºC to 40ºC.

Brazilian territory was first discovered by Europeans in the year 1500, remaining a
colony of Portugal until its independence in 1822. The Country’s official denomination
is Federative Republic of Brazil and has a political system based on representative

5
democracy with a directly-elected president. Brazil is comprised of 27 states (Map 02)
divided into 5 administrative regions: North, North-eastern, Central-western, South-
eastern and South.

Brazil presents rather severe regional socio-economic inequalities. In most cases the
coastal zones and the states located in the South and Southeastern regions are the
most developed areas in opposition to those in the North and Northeastern states.
Portuguese is the only official language and is spoken country-wide. The country is
mainly Christian, with a majority of Catholics, followed by many Protestant
denominations.

Brazil has an estimated population of 184.4 million inhabitants, 84.2% of which living in
urban areas. The average demographic density is 22 inhabitants per Km2 with a
population growth rate of 1.39%. Demographic density varies from around 7,000
inhabitants per Km2 in the 19.7 million inhabitant’s metropolis of São Paulo to 0.97
inhabitants per Km2 in the Amazon.

Brazilian money is the Real (BRL/R$), a currency relatively stable with inflation rates
below 5%. Typical exchange rates are R$ 2.20 per Dollar and R$ 2.80 per Euro.
Brazilian economy is supported mainly by agriculture with emphasis on the agro-
industry sector, manufacturing industry and services.

According to the World Bank and IBGE,


Brazil is the 10th world’s largest economy
with a total Gross Domestic Product GDP
(2005) of 879 billion Dollars (2007
estimation revision), and a per person GDP
of 4,298 Dollars. However, this average
hides the world’s second worst wealth
distribution among all countries. Despite the
governmental and non-governmental efforts
to fight poverty, Brazil was only ahead of the
African county Sierra Leona in the 2005’s
Gini ranking. In Brazil, a mere 1% of the
population, in the upper layer of the social
pyramid (1.7 million people), detain a wealth
that equals the amount held by 50% of the
population in the poorer end (86.5 million
people). A third of the population is
classified as poor, living with less than 2
Dollars per day. Brazil’s GDP growth rate
has been only 2.6% (2005) and 2.9%
(2006), contributing to the aggravation of
socio-economic problems such as: higher Map 01 – South America and Brazil
unemployment, public security issues,
socio-environmental problems like water pollution, deforestation caused by slashing
and burning agriculture, poaching, rural exodus, thriving of the shantytown
neighborhoods (favelas), among others. The overall socio-economic conjuncture has
led the country to a Human Development Index (HDI) of 1.98 (2003).

6
1.2

Biodiversity
and threats

Environmental macro-analysis: biodiversity and threats

The position Brazil occupies on the globe, coupled with its large territory and favorable
climate and soils, generated a very rich and diversified environment for evolving life.
International Conservation (CI) considers Brazil one of the world’s Megadiversity
countries. According to CI, Brazil belongs to the G17, the group of 17 countries which
concentrate the wealth of biodiversity. Brazilian ecosystems hold almost 12% of all
Earth’s natural life. It concentrates 55 thousand species of higher plants (22% of
world’s total), plenty of them endemic; 524 mammal species; more than 3,000 fresh
water fish species; between 10 and 15 million insects and more than 70 Psittaciformes
species: macaws, parrots and parakeets. This impressive life burst makes Brazil the
place with the highest terrestrial biodiversity in the planet.

Among the Earth’s richest Biomes, four are in Brazil. They are the Atlantic Forest, the
savannah-type Cerrado, the Amazon and the wetland plains Pantanal. Since Brazil
was a colony, its economy has been heavily supported by exploration of natural
resources. Successive cycles of development have left marks on the integrity of natural
habitats. The most emblematic loss took place over the Atlantic Forest. Because the
highest developed areas in the nation are located on its domains, including the city of
São Paulo, only about 7% of its original coverage is still standing. This condition poses

7
a threat to a Biome that surpasses the Amazon Forest regarding biological diversity, in
proportion to its size and endemism rate. To name just a few examples, 75% of all
bromelias, the kind of epiphyte British artist Margaret Mee specialized in illustrating, are
endemic. A recent research carried out by both the New York Botanical Garden and
the Brazilian institution Cocoa Research Center found 450 tree species within an area
of 1 hectare in the south of Bahia. No other place is known to support such diversity. A
modern federal legislation aimed at protecting the remnants of the Atlantic Forest has
been finally approved by lawmakers in November, 2006 after a struggle of conflicting
interests that lasted 14 years since it was initially proposed.

The Atlantic Forest deforestation pace has fallen in recent years, mainly because there
is almost nothing left of the protected areas. Aside from protecting its last patches, the
Atlantic Forest needs action on restoring sensitive ecosystem sectors, mosaicing
fragmented areas and creating a net of viable genetic corridors within and among
neighboring Biomes. Along with restrictive land use legislation, effective law
enforcement and environmental education, the survival of the Atlantic Forest depends
on alternative, non-consumptive ways of development.

A study converging economic data and satellite imagery showed nature-based tourism
as the supporting factor for native forest recovery. The correlation has been detected in
municipalities of São Paulo state where, between 1990 and 2000, ecotourism and
adventure tourism became significant economic activities (Ehlers, 2003). Many of the
studied places have canopy-driven tourism activities in their portfolio, reinforcing the
importance of Canopy Ecotourism at the level of Biomes.

Amazon superlative qualities such as biodiversity and fresh water wealth are
dispensable to state. However, the loss this Earth’s natural treasury has been
subjected to is worth to indicate. According to WWF and National Institute of Space
Research (INPE), from the Amazon Tropical Rainforest original area of 4,100,000 km2,
it still remains 3,403,000 km2 (2005). This loss represents 17.1% of the total area.
Another 13,100 km2 (2006) or more has been clear cut every year. Around 60-70
percent of deforestation in the Amazon results from cattle ranches while the rest mostly
results from small-scale subsistence agriculture. Logging results in forest degradation
but rarely direct deforestation. However, studies have showed a close correlation
between logging and future clearing for settlement and farming.

8
1.3

Condition of
women

Highlights on the condition of women in Brazil

The Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics - IBGE, presented a 2006 socio-
demographic study which included the most updated indicators about the condition of
women in Brazil. According to this report, the Nation’s gender proportion is of 95 men
for each 100 women. Women have conquered significant advancements in many
socio-economic and socio-cultural aspects in the last 10 years. There has been a 35%
increase in number of women-headed families. Women have actively participated in
the national economy, although not yet in equal proportion to male. The economically
active population with age 15 or above was of 67% (2005), with a fall to 56% when
considering only women.

Within this 10-year period the population with 12 or more years of study two-folded and
the attendance to higher education schools three-folded. This increase has happened
mainly among the women population which currently is the majority within the
universities. They represent 56.1% of the population with 12 or more years of study.
Nonetheless it is within this group that the greatest income gender unequally occurs. It
has been observed a trend indicating men’s jobs homogeneously divided among
industry, commerce, health, education and social services, while women jobs are 45%
concentrated in education, health and social services, which is interpreted as being an

9
extension of family or home attributions. This selectivity explains why women earn less
than men. It is important to highlight that there has been an increase of 0.4% in women
occupying direction positions.

Another characteristic of these socio-cultural changes is the increase in the number of


families that opted to postpone children or even avoided them at all, decreasing
fecundity rates. The average offspring per woman is descendent year after year but in
North and Northeastern states it is highly elevated: around 47% of women gave birth to
3. The number of adolescent pregnancy has increased: women age 15-17 with children
rose from 6.8 % in 2004 to 7.1% in 2005. Fecundity rate is inversely proportional to
family income: about 74% of women whose family income is half minimum-wage (US$
2.50 / day) has at least one child whilst this percentage decreases to 49% for women
with family income equal or greater than two minimum-wages.

In the economy, the women participation has significantly increased in the last 10
years. The number of working women rose from 45.8% to 52% between 1996 and
2005, whilst the number of working males diminished 0.9% over the same period.
These mainly positive changes toward genre equality, however, hide the urban/rural
demographic contrast within is averages. Because 82.8% of the population resides in
urban areas, which favors the woman condition improvement, the real condition of rural
women is very much worse than depicted by these figures. This becomes an especially
concerning issue for ecotourism planning because protected areas and wild lands are
often surrounded by rural communities.

A large number of rural women lack basic documents such as born certificate,
identification card, and work card, among others. They also work a daily average of six
hours more than male, taking care of animals which are used for family subsistence,
what is misinterpreted as being home care activities. When women work in the
plantations with their husbands, they have a status of husband’s helpers, not workers
themselves, preventing them from having direct access to the resulting income.
Women represent 36% of the economically active rural population and 80% of the
income-less population. The demographic census carried out by IBGE in 2000
revealed that 90% of rural women begin working in the plantations when they are
children or adolescent, implicating in high illiteracy.

10
1.4

Tourism:
statistics and
trends

Tourism: statistics and trends

The most representative indicator of the Brazilian travel & tourism market size is the
airport’s passenger arrivals. Arrivals from national flights increased from 19.5 million in
1996 to 43.1 million in 2005. In the same period, the international tourists’ arrivals in
Brazil doubled, increasing from 2.7 million to 5.4 million tourists. The Ministry of
Tourism forecasts this number will grow to 8.4 million in 2007 and 12.2 million by 2010.

The 2004 report of Tourism Demand Study (Embratur / Fipe) shows that 48.5% of all
international tourists arrived in Brazil were motivated by leisure; this group spent an
average of US$ 57.99 per day; and had a permanence of 11.9 days in average. The
most visited places were Rio de Janeiro (33.9%), Foz do Iguaçu (21,7%), and São
Paulo (13,6%). Argentina was the country which sent more tourists to Brazil (922
thousand) followed by the United States (706 thousand) and Portugal (337 thousand).

According to the 2007 report from Travel & Tourism Economic Research (WTTC /
Accenture), Brazil's travel & tourism industry is expected to contribute 2.6% to Gross
Domestic Product (GDP) in 2007 (R$ 58.8 billion or US$ 25.3 billion), rising in nominal
terms to R$ 119.6 billion or US$33.1 billion (2.5% of total) by 2017. The travel &
tourism economy contribution (percent of total) should rise from 6.8% (R$ 151.4 billion
or US$65.1 billion) to 7.2% (R$ 342.6 billion or US$95.0 billion) in this same period.
The trend indicates that Brazil’s travel & tourism industry GDP contribution to total GDP

11
is generally increasing, and travel & tourism economy GDP contribution to total GDP is
generally increasing.

Brazil travel & tourism economy employment is estimated at 5,876,000 jobs in 2007,
6.4% of total employment, or 1 in every 15.5 jobs. By 2017, this should total 7,773,000
jobs, 6.8% of total employment or 1 in every 14.8 jobs. The 2,333,000 travel & tourism
industry jobs account for 2.6% of total employment in 2007 and are forecast to total
2,839,000 jobs or 2.5% of the total by 2017. The trend indicates that Brazil’s relative
travel & tourism industry employment contribution to total employment is generally
decreasing, and relative Travel & Tourism Economy Employment contribution to total
employment is generally decreasing.

Brazil travel & tourism is expected to generate R$ 184.5 billion (US$79.3 billion) of
economic activity (total demand) in 2007, growing (nominal terms) to R$ 443.7 billion
(US$123.0 billion) by 2017. Total demand is expected to grow by 7.2% in 2007 and by
5.3% per annum, in real terms, between 2008 and 2017. 2007. Total demand
represents 1.1% of world market share. Brazil travel & tourism market share of
worldwide total demand is generally decreasing. In the travel & tourism world ranking of
176 Countries, Brazil occupies the 18th position in absolute size, 136th in relative
contribution to national economy and 56th in growth forecast. Brazil is a very large,
least intensive, and fast growing travel & tourism economy.

12
1.5

Ecotourism
facts

Ecotourism: policies, programs, statistics and trends

Ecotourism started in Brazil in the beginning of the 80’s with the name of Ecological
Tourism, aggregating national nature lovers and a few international tourists prone to
experience the real wild backcountry environments. The sector evolved on its own, with
little support from government or tourism class associations. In 1985 Embratur (the
official tourism fomenting agency) initiated an ecological tourism project, but a lack of
public and private funding have often placed theory and reality in disagreement; thus,
many good projects have never gotten off the ground.

However, throughout the 1990s, ecotourism in Brazil gathered strength as both


environmental groups and the government recognized the importance of harnessing
ecotourism's economic potential in order to nurture the country's land and culture, as
well as to provide jobs and income. Much of Brazilian ecotourism potential lays in its
pool of conservation units - federal, state, non-governmental, and private that protects
around 5% of Brazil's territory. Despite their ecological importance a challenging
problem is adequately funding them. IBAMA, the federal government's environmental
agency, suffers from a tiny budget and a complicated bureaucracy. As a result, much
"protected" land has fallen prey to poaching and to illegal settlement, ranching, and
logging

13
In August 1994 a joint task force from the Ministry of the Environment and the Ministry
of Industry, Commerce, and Tourism met in Goiás Velho to establish national
ecotourism policy directives. The document characterizes ecotourism, evaluates its
current stage and proposes its further developments. It has set the guidelines for the
desired ecotourism evolving in Brazil since then. The Brazilian definition for ecotourism
is “a section of the tourism industry, that uses, in a sustainable way, the natural and
cultural heritage, fosters its conservation and aims the building of an environmental
awareness through environmental interpretation, promoting the welfare of the
communities involved”. It sets the stage for a win-win scenario for all interest groups: if
the resource base is protected, the economic benefits associated with the use of those
resources will be sustainable. Therefore, the host populations will be able to benefit as
long as the resources are protected, and tourists visiting the area will be able to enjoy
the “natural experience” associated with a well-managed environment.

The directives consider Brazil's biodiversity could best be served not only by educating
tourists, but also by making sure they enjoyed themselves. Moreover, communities
inhabiting heavily visited areas needed to benefit from ecotourism, that is, to gain jobs
and better living conditions. To develop ecotourism projects in an orderly way, the
government would give priority to infrastructure arrangements. And above all, ecology
and economy had to converge in order to promote both conservation and development.

This study adopted the ecotourism concepts formulated by Colorado State University
professor Dr. George Wallace, which proposed a principled ecotourism framework to
maximize the positive impacts of nature-based tourism and minimize its negative
potential impacts. Wallace (1996) defined ecotourism as travel to relatively undisturbed
natural areas for study, enjoyment, or volunteer assistance. It is travel that concerns
itself with the flora, fauna, geology, and ecosystem of an area, as well as the people
(caretakers) who live nearby, their needs, their culture, and their relationship to the
land. It views natural areas both as “home of all of us” in a global sense (“eco” meaning
home) but “home to nearby residents” specifically. It is envisioned as a tool for both
conservation and sustainable development – especially in areas where local people are
asked to forgo the consumptive use of resource for others.

Such tourism may said to be true ecotourism when it features six principals: (1) Entails
a type of use that minimizes negative impacts to the environment and local people; (2)
Increases the awareness and understanding of an area’s natural and cultural systems
and subsequent involvement of visitors in issues affecting those systems; (3)
Contributes to the conservation and management of legally protected and other cultural
areas; (4) Maximizes the early and long-term participation of local people in the
decision-making process that determines the kind and amount of tourism that should
occur; (5) Directs economic and other benefits to local people that complement rather
than overwhelm or replace traditional practices (farming, fishing, social systems, etc.);
(6) Provides special opportunities for local people and nature tourism employees to
utilize and visit natural areas and learn more about the wonders that other visitors
come to see.

There is an important long-term planning program in progress in Brazil called


PROECOTUR. The program’s goal is to undertake sustainable ecotourism
development in the Brazilian Amazon region. The purpose is to establish the
appropriate framework and to implement the necessary conditions, including required
public investments, which will allow the nine Brazilian Amazonian States (Acre, Amapá,
Amazonas, Maranhão, Mato Grosso, Pará, Rondônia, Roraima, and Tocantins)
prepare themselves to responsibly and soundly manage selected ecotourism areas.
The specific goals are: protect and develop ecotourism products; implement basic

14
services infrastructure; create positive conditions for investments; survey national and
international markets; propose a legal framework for the activity; train human
resources; foster the use of appropriate technologies; value local culture; and help
financing the biodiversity conservation

The program has been structured into three main components. The first component is
essentially the preparation of studies that have the purpose of planning ecotourism
activities at different levels, as well as studies for the establishment of new protected
areas. The second component includes the financing of small yet key public
infrastructure works, mostly to better preserve existing utilized natural products,
improve tourist reception areas and the pre-feasibility and feasibility studies for future
public investments. The third component includes training activities that are aimed at
increasing the low-awareness level that exists today in the Amazon region with regard
to conservation of natural resources, and technical advisory services to existing
ecotourism businesses with the purpose of developing an “eco” operation in
accordance with a widely agreed upon set of best management practices. The
PROECOTUR first phase (pre-investment stage) is being financed with the help of an
US$11 million IDB loan approved in 1999, and the investment stage is set to US$ 200
million.

A national and international marketing study has been done under the PROECOTUR.
The 2007 results show Brazil participating with only 0.7% of world international arrivals.
The Amazon was destination of mere 0.05% of the 800 million world international
arrivals. It has been detected a large potential for international demand over the
Amazon but a limited marketing interest among nationals. The gross Amazon tourism
potential is estimated in 2.9 million visitors.

15
1.6

Canopy
recreation
and tourism

Canopy-related leisure, recreation and tourism

When it comes to analyzing canopy ecotourism in Brazil the first question to answer
is whether canopy ecotourism can be compared, or put together, with an increasingly
popular leisure activity known as “arborism” (arvorismo or arborismo). The so called
“arborism” consists of crossing a type of circuit formed by a sequence of challenging
aerial pathways. It includes many types of hanging bridges, cables, ropes and similar
devices, starting at ground level and elevating to over 20 meters atop. It is an
adventurous aerial walkway usually hanging on the trees or sustained by wood poles
around trees, hence the name which evocates them. To reach the end, visitors must
make use of all their balance and concentration.

They are protected from falling down through a safety system that includes the use of a
body harness tied to a piece of rope and a pulley which travels along a topping steel
cable. Despite being in safety, the human perception of heights and the apparent
danger of walking over precarious, risky supports provoke adrenaline bursts on most
users of such facilities. That synthesizes most of what “arborism” is all about: to provide
an exciting, safe, yet challenging experience with plenty of strong physical sensations
and psychological outcomes of meeting the challenge, surpassing the fear and proving
one’s courage.

16
That having been said, the question still remains: is “arborism” a nitro form of canopy
ecotourism? Taking into account that the ecotourism part of canopy ecotourism brings
along the whole sustainable principles which characterizes it, including respect toward
nature and the local cultures, the even distribution of benefits for local communities
interacting with it and the growing of the environmental awareness, one may answer
that it is not ecotourism in essence.

On second thought however, one could call it ecotourism if, besides the focus on giving
users an overdose of adrenaline, it also fulfilled the ecotourism requisites, even if only
as a side effect. There are no technical issues preventing “arborism” from being a
spiced form of canopy ecotourism. It actually has a place in preserved forests and
around the canopy, providing a rare opportunity for humans to be right within the
canopy ecosystem. It seems the question’s answer depends on how the canopy-
access facility is built and, especially, operated.

Therefore, regardless of flavoring it as ecotourism or not, the whole universe of


“arborism” was included in this ecotourism analysis as a type of “pending” case being
further considered for its potentials to perform as ecotourism sites. If they are found or
can become ecotourism-driven sites, maintaining its adventure soul, a win-win solution
could be established. “Arborism”, which uses trees as support and the forest as
scenario, could also give sound contribution to conserving ecosystems at a larger-than-
site scale, incorporating the spirit of proactive conservation. “Arborism” facilities and
associated entrepreneurships could be said to be in the right place at the right time.

Aside from how far “arborism” may be from ecotourism nowadays, their origins are in
common. In the early times of Brazilian ecotourism, once called ecological tourism,
back in the 80’s, the real challenge was getting people to enjoy and interact with
Nature, even on hard to get spots of exquisite beauty and significance. In those times
most guides were also mountaineers and climbers and they started using their pro
techniques and equipments to provide safe access for “common” people to surpass
steep terrain features. Rappel, rope ascending, zip lines and rope-aided river crossings
became part of some adventurous ecotourism routes on mountains and caves.
Provided the level of difficulty of such climbing and hard-core adventure techniques
were compatible with the user or group profile, they were very welcomed among clients
and, compounded with the entire nature experience, rendered unforgettable good
memories.

With the maturation of the ecotourism and nature-based tourism markets in Brazil, the
adventure part of eco-tours became structured as an independent activity, an end in
itself. This specialization occurred in tune with the development abroad of canopy
ecotourism and rope courses. Mixing the aura of canopy ecotourism with the fun of
rope courses, the national “arborism” overcame the ground obstacles typical in hiking
and trekking and incorporated height as its core ingredient, utilizing the trees as
support and the forest as scenario. Further development detached the activity from the
forest and it can now be practiced also over grass fields or even indoor in shopping
malls, wherever wood poles can be fixated giving structure to the obstacles circuit and
enabling it to stand. This, say, “urban arborism” closest association with forest, canopy
or trees comes from its typical wood pole, once a living tree in the woods.

Currently, one can find the whole spectrum of forest environments in connection with
“arborism” facilities: from total absence of trees to the lush primary Atlantic Forest;
passing through ecologically unexpressive cultivated woods made with exotic species
eucalyptus; or else narrow forest patches with tiny trees supporting the walkways.

17
As a result of this evolutionary process, “arborism” providers sleeked their identity
aggregating their product with the adventure concept rather than with the ecology one.
It usually sells alone or with rafting, real climbing, kayaking, and finds enthusiasts
everywhere, from the young to adults, both genders and most social classes.

In short “arborism” is fast paced, it gives the user a sure shot of adrenaline, no
commitment, 30 minutes and it is done, the user gets ready to do other things. In
opposition, typical ecotourism activities are lengthy, require commitment, and
somewhat philosophical. Sure these essential differences raise marketing concerns.
One of oldest and best examples of canopy-access facilities built in Brazil is the
ecotourism type. It started operating in 1997 and still today is subsidized by an NGO.
Today a total of three of such facilities can be found country-wide. Conversely,
“arborism” facilities grew mostly from the year 2000 on and reached about 100 sites. It
seems that the canopy-access method involving an almost instantaneous and strong
experience is more in-synch with the contemporary patterns of mainstream social
groups.

Hence, a second and third question arises: is there space for growing old-fashioned,
environmentally-driven canopy access facilities in Brazil? Or even are all canopy-
access facilities doomed to become acrobatic circuits in the future, must they be
profitable or at least sustainable? This study pursued these answers while analyzing a
dozen sites of both types, including the whole “universe” of canopy ecotourism
authentic sites: the Ecoparque de Una in the State of Bahia, the Parque das Neblinas
in São Paulo and the Cristalino Jungle Lodge in the Amazon region. And, of course, it
included also the most representative canopy-access sites where challenging circuits
are the featured activity.

It is interesting to notice that while “arborism” evolved from a national practice of


ecotourism, it no longer resembles this national ecotourism. The canopy ecotourism,
which maintains a strong correlation with the original practice, was an imported
packaged model. It was clearly inspired in the aerial walkways of Costa Rica and was
even projected by an international consulting firm based in Canada, which has made
several projects in that Central American Country. This imported model is technically
well fit to Brazilian forests and climate but the whole project didn’t succeed in
evaluating the marketing constraints for that type of facility at the given location.

18
1.7

The size of
canopy
access

Distribution and size of canopy access facilities in Brazil

Although there are no official measurements or statistics regarding the size of canopy
ecotourism or similar activities in Brazil, the canopy-access sites based on challenging
circuits are becoming organized around an outfitters’ association named ABETA –
Associação Brasleira de Empresários de Turismo de Aventura, which translates to
Brazilian Association of Adventure Tourism Entrepreneurs. As part of this study, a
technical director of ABETA was interviewed. ABETA has an approximate statistic in
this field. It comes from its member’s associations and an active observation of the
sector.

According to ABETA, there are about 104 sites dedicated to some type of canopy
activity in the whole country. A sample of 25 sites, 13 deeply analyzed, made it
possible to estimate the total footprint of canopy-access in a country-scale. According
to ABETA, from the total one hundred estimated sites, more than 50% are located in
the São Paulo state, 20 are between Minas Gerais and Rio de Janeiro states and the
remainder 30 sites are scattered over the other all states (Map 02).

The primary data obtained by this study show a total of 5,833 meters of aerial
pathways closely associated with forest canopy and one 50 m high tower (Table 01).
Taking into account the entire population of sites we can estimate a total of about 47

19
km of aerial canopy walkways, both adventurous and contemplative. Quite a long ride if
they were all lined up. ABETA estimates the public attending these facilities as of
270,000 per year. This study has found an accounted sum of 87,930 visitors for all 13
closely-evaluated sites (Table 02). Considering that the sampling takes into account
only about 13% of the estimated total number of sites, ABETA’s estimative might be an
under representation of the actual public walking, waving and hanging around the
nation’s canopies.

But more than the power of a large raw Item Cumulative Total
number of canopy goers it is important to
note that many sites have been visited by Number of
groups of schools kids, which makes them canopy-access 13
suited for carrying out very effective key studied sites
environmental education processes. Establishing Date 1995 to 2005
The canopy accounting carried out by this 4 RPPN
study has found that out of the 13 core sites 3 Non protected
a total of 10,710 hectares of forest area has Types of area 3 Obligatory prot.
1 National Park
been used for canopy-access and related 2 State Park
activities, rendering them perceivably
economically alive protected areas, Aerial circuit 5,833 m Horizontal
length/ tower tall 50 m Tower
regardless of their legal protection status.
Moreover, these mostly forested areas, both 10 Private
primary and secondary, are not only Owned by 2 NGO
important for their absolute size. The lands 1 Public
occupied by canopy tourism ventures are Size of area 10,709.7 ha
often placed adjacent to or even within used/owned
protected areas, decisively contributing to its Visitor number 87,930
buffering or management. When not /year
adjacent, or even close by, they integrate
ecological corridors, protecting riverbanks Admission Price R$ 63.00 Canopy
and its characteristic forest stripes. (average) R$ 94.00 W/ lodge

Again, the qualities involved in canopy-


Total revenue R$ 1,205,200.00
related preserved areas excel their sizes,
either individually or summed. Not Total cost of R$ 1,934,000.00
mentioning these areas are strategic zones establishing
for current or potential environmental
education processes targeted at the general Total employment 281
public and local communities, boosting their
overall “forest protection quotient”.
Local employment 95%
All together, R$ 1,934,000.00 have been
invested in establishing the 13 studied Woman 41.4%
facilities. Over the last year they, together, employment
generated total revenue of R$ 1,205,200.00,
making them investments of low risk and Table 01 – Cumulative canopy figures
relatively quick capital return. The income comes mainly from ticket sales, for which
three main classes of prices were found: the first of which is free to enter and use, with
all the resources both human and material, similar to what is found in paid sites. It is
the case of Parque da Juventude, where the canopy-access activity is sponsored by
the State Government.

20
# Alias Facility Name # Alias Facility Name

01 UNI Parque Unipraias 14 ARI Ariaú Amazon Towers


02 IGU Cânion Iguaçu 15 CUI Rio Cuieiras
03 TOC Toca da Raposa 16 UAT Rio Uatumã
04 JUV Parque da Juventude 17 MAM Mamirauá - RDS
05 TUI Tuím Parque 18 CAX Caxiuanã
06 NEB Parque das Neblinas 19 SEL Selva Aventura
07 ALA Alaya / MataDentro 20 CAN Sítio Canoar
08 ALT Altus 21 ECP Ecopoint
09 ARV Circuito Arvorismo 22 RAN Aventura no Rancho
10 YBI Ybirá Pê Canopy Tour 23 MIX Ecoação Arvomix
11 UNA Ecoparque de Una 24 GSM Grutas de São Miguel
12 CRI Cristalino Jungle Lodge 25 URB Arvorismo Urbano
13 MAR Fazenda Marupiara

Table 02 – List of researched canopy-access sites with aliases and map numbering.

21
The second class comprises the privately or NGO owned sites which costs an average
of R$ 63.00 for doing the canopy activity (ranging from R$ 20.00 to R$ 99.00). A third
class addresses the sites that tie canopy activities with other costly services like
lodging. Two sites were researched within this class with an average of R$ 249.00 per
person per day.

The total employment resulted in 281 job posts, most of which are year round for two
main reasons: either the differences between high and low seasons are not as steep
or so much training is necessary to prepare good monitors and guides that it is too
risky to dispense them for further re-contracting. The latter is typical of challenging
circuits, requiring a highly elevated technical prepare.

The employment above has one more positive side as well: an average of 95% of all
employed people comes from the local surrounding communities, even for the most
demanding positions.

One shortcoming of the depicted employing conjuncture is that, without exception, all
sites are privately owned, belonging to an NGO or state property, in this case managed
by the state itself or under public concession to a private company. None of the
researched sites are owned by a local cooperative or in a communitarian basis. As far
as this study could reach, there is no canopy access facility operating under such
model, although there are ecotourism sites where it does occur and there is certainly
potential for implementing such model focused on canopy with proper fomenting and
startup funding.

Another downside of the employment related to canopy-access sites refers to gender


inequality: only 41.42% of employees are female. Even within the group of employed
women, their occupation often refers to positions with lower salaries and in less-
qualified functions like cleaning, cooking, staffing in offices and gift shops, ticket sales
and general reception of visitors. Functions strictly related with accessing the canopy,
like dealing with the aerial visiting systems, giving it periodic maintenance or
interpreting the environment, are duties mainly carried out by male employees.
Exception sites which have or had woman at the ropes, as it is said, report that women
are fully capable of performing at least a similar job to the male guides. One alleged
reason for such imbalance is that “women have less spontaneous interest in becoming
guides” which is obviously a questionable motive. An interesting find points to a
reversion of the proportion of employed women when the facility owner or manager is a
woman herself. In these cases, the majority of people employed or contracted are
female.

Although the indirect socio-economic benefits generated by the investigated canopy-


access sites were in general of little extent, in the cases where it could be detected and
measured it showed a prevalence of women involved in corresponding activities, with
more opportunities of them running or participating at a higher levels in family
entrepreneurships.

22
1.8

Expert’s
chats and
interviews

Interviews at the national level study

In order to portray a synoptic view of Brazilian canopy-driven ecotourism, both current


and potential, a number of interviews were conducted with people from different
complementary fields. The five interviews that yielded the best insights are summarized
here. Before beginning with technical questions an introduction to the subject was
always made for fine-tuning the interviewees with the upcoming questions. This part
included getting an insight about the familiarity they have with canopy ecotourism, the
ecological importance of canopy ecosystems and the existence of the Global Canopy
Programme and its actions and projects. This warming up phase was also
implemented in the interviews carried out at the site-level.

Most people declared themselves to be well familiar with canopy-related activities,


often referred to simply as “arborism”. When separated from canopy ecotourism, which
were depicted as being more contemplative, environment-driven, people remembered
having heard or read about it, but not seeing or experiencing it themselves. About the
importance of forest canopy for life, there was a reasonable awareness among the
people with whom this study interacted. About GCP, little has been found about its
existence and activities. They were, nevertheless, aware of the work of scientists back
in the 80’s that climbed trees and discovered a rich biodiversity at the canopy level.

23
The researcher’s perception it that canopy ecotourism in its strict sense is an abstract
concept for most interviewed people. When properly stimulated they thought about it
and gave their best contribution to the ideas discussion. With few exceptions, canopy-
ecotourism has the same identity as plain ecotourism, differentiated only by its elevated
structures. This study’s authors attribute the lack of segmentation in the concept of
canopy ecotourism to scarce site availability and to the weak popularity the activity
shows in Brazil. Conversely, when a reference is made to “bird watching”, the concept
of segmentation within ecotourism is prompt.

From IBAMA – Instituto Brasileiro do Meio Ambiente e dos Recursos Naturais


Renováveis, the federal environmental authority, the interviewee was national park
chief Dr. Adílio de Miranda. He was personally interviewed in Bonito, one of the
Country’s most renowned ecotourism destinations. Dr. Miranda is working in planning
and structuring public visitation at the recently created Bodoquena National Park. His
past work at IBAMA includes a remarkable experience of fostering local communities to
forgo the hostilities against Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park in a time that its
temporary closure had been determined. He managed to create new opportunities for
the involvement of local people with the park, changing the crisis situation to a model of
cooperation and benefit sharing between protected areas and surrounding
communities. His open mind regarding creative management and solid experience in
actually managing protected areas qualified him as a trustable opinion source for the
sake of this study.

According to Dr. Miranda, there is not a trend to provide national parks with canopy-
related structures, once it requires a very intensive and technical management.
Exception is made to private concessions such as the ones in Iguaçu National Park.
Canopy ecotourism could definitely contribute to the conservation of endangered
forests by providing auxiliary means to carry out scientific research. It might also
generate opportunities for poachers to become wildlife guides for fauna watching. He
pointed out that much of the “arvorism” done in Brazil doesn’t follow adequate rules
and norms. It is eminently empiric and could damage the natural resources involved in
it. Particularly, he mentioned the importance of knowing trees’ specific resistance to
support the elevated structures without incurring in long term damage. His institution is
also in charge of licensing “arborism” facilities depending on their localization.

As to how canopy ecotourism could be considered a means to help local communities


by generating alternative source of income, he mentioned at least six successful
examples of involving creative ideas born within the community. The Chapada dos
Veadeiros case, for instance comprised the use of local fibers to make compelling
packages for preserves and other home-processed food they found tourists loved
buying. Ecotourists generated market for organic products at local restaurants, which in
change, generated positive changes in agricultural patterns in the park’s vicinities. As
to the importance of getting women involved in canopy ecotourism he remembered a
Rural Woman’s Meeting with the attendance of more than 200 women from seven
municipalities surrounding Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park, a remarkable score
considering the local cultural patterns. He believes women are the big trump in
changing environmental attitudes, which includes initiatives to adopt innovative work
and behaviors vis-à-vis new opportunities brought by ecotourism.

He pointed out that there is potential for more canopy-access facilities. Adding that if
they were of a contemplative type, it could tap in the marketing “segment” of those
afraid of doing traditional acrobatic “arborism.” He finished his comments stating that
“the national park creates islands of future in seas of the past,” referring to local action

24
towards the whole of socio-environmental changes the World has to face in current and
upcoming times.

Another interviewee was the president of the IEB – Instituto de Ecoturismo do Brasil,
the Brazilian ecotourism institute, Mr. João Allievi. IEB is a class association
dedicated to congregate the interests of ecotourism entrepreneurs for the further
developing of ecotourism in Brazil. Besides being IEB’s president, Mr. Allievi is a
renowned Brazilian spelunker and owns an ecotourism business. He possesses
specific experience with canopy ecotourism, having helped with the establishment of
Ecoparque de Una in Bahia.

Mr. Allievi believes the “arborism” is heavily centered in challenge, emotion per se, with
very little contemplative approach and almost no scientific research involved. He
considers this the ideal moment to develop canopy ecotourism because ecotourism is
very popular; its attending public is growing significantly. All IEB’s policies are aimed at
the ecotourism development. He mentioned a national planning project carried out by
the institute named “ecotourism poles,” which researched 96 places with potential for
ecotourism development, indicating the best way of implementing it.

He pointed out that IEB is not as active as it was in the past due to the national political
scenario. His view is that the ruling party has avoided to direct resources to the
institute, in part because they had a close relationship with governmental institutions
once subjected to the former ruling party. In an exaggerated politization of state, it is
seem as a kind of “affiliation” with the current opposition parties, resulting in isolation.

He believes there is potential for more canopy-related entrepreneurships, but it is


necessary to develop techniques that lead to Nature valorization, because up to now,
in most cases it is not a focus, just a background. As a comparison he cited the
descending technique rappel, used in mountain and caves that is currently being
practiced in bridges and viaducts. As his final thought he believes the conventional
“arborism” steep growth hides a bubble effect, which, in a no long time, will lead
operators to start closing their businesses.

Because most canopy-related human leisure activities practiced in Brazil fall within the
“arborism” concept, a technical director of ABETA – Associação Brasileira de
Empresários de Turismo de Aventura, the Brazilian association of adventure tourism
entrepreneurs, Mr. Mássimo Desiati was also interviewed. Besides his position in
ABETA, he co-owns an adventure tourism concession within a national park.

Mr. Desiati remembered the common origin of ecotourism and adventure tourism,
pointing to its current difference in objectives: the first is turned to Nature and the
second aims mainly at a emotional experience. He put that opposite to Costa Rica,
which utilizes its canopy infrastructure for scientific research; in Brazil there are many
more facilities offering only challenging experiences. He believes Brazil’s tourism
potential is not well known internationally.

According to him, ABNT – Associação Brasileira de Normas Técnicas, the Brazilian


association for technical standards is elaborating the standards for building and
operating adventure tourism facilities and entrepreneurships. Although the technical
rules embody environmental concerns, there is no specific regulation or parameter
targeted at the environment, as there are regarding safety issues. ABETA is teaming
up with the Ministry of Tourism to make the technical norms well known and adopted
when they are ready.

25
About the social component of ecotourism, he agreed it is one of the basis of the
activity, but considered it very difficult to work with local communities because activities
like “arborism” require quality and it involve a lot of training.

He thinks the growth of community environmental awareness is still slow and there is a
need to show people the importance of preserving the environment, that it can be an
income source and it also might help with scientific research. Mr. Desiati added that
there is a lot of space for further development of canopy ecotourism in Brazil, mainly in
the challenging modality, considering the national tourist profile and preferences.
According to his view, there is a trend of Brazil becoming part of the international
“arborism” circuit, and hence the recognition would come, as occured in Costa Rica.

To complete the demand for expressive opinions in all major fields interacting in
canopy ecotourism development, MSC Geraldo Antonio Daher Corrêa Franco was
interviewed, a botanist from IF – Instituto Florestal do Estado de São Paulo, the São
Paulo State Forest Institute. His research interests are very linked to what WFOs and
canopy ecotourism facilities could provide, what motivated an invitation for him to
collaborate with this study. He is the lead researcher in the project “characterization,
dynamics and evaluation of forest ecosystems” and also participates in the “evaluation
of permanent parcels” research group from USP, the University of São Paulo. Mr.
Franco stated that he has little familiarity with canopy ecotourism, but as a botanist he
frequently uses this portion of forest for collecting plant specimen. He also actively
participates in the making management plans for protected areas his institution is in
charge for.

Mr. Franco believes there is a large potential for developing this kind of activity but is
not sure whether it would be indicated to do so within protected areas. If so, it must
follow the management plan guidelines and only be placed over zones already set
aside for intensive use. It must be accompanied by a very detailed impact study, with
the inclusion of the surrounding communities. However, he thinks canopy ecotourism is
more suited for private areas where use could be more intense and where profiting is
involved.

According to Mr. Franco, it is possible and desirable to make the canopy-access


structures available for scientific research. He finished by pointing out the importance
of the facility offering benefits to the population, and it could definitely aggregate value
for standing forests.

26
1.9

Sampling the
canopy-
access sites

Canopy-access sites in Brazil: Survey Sampling

The large amount of about 104 canopy-access sites existing in Brazil made it
necessary to perform a sampling strategy. This process resulted in 25 sites believed to
form a good representation of the whole scenario of canopy-related tourism and leisure
activities. The sampling process involved the determination of certain parameters to
assure that the differences among canopy-related sites were well represented in the
study.

From the beginning it was known there was an imbalance between two types of sites:
contemplative and challenging. The first type has a stronger correlation with the overall
GCP policies for canopy ecotourism but only three of these have been pre-detected in
operation. On the other hand, the challenging canopy pathways have blossomed and
become popular, with thousands hanging around the canopy. So including them would
be a way to prospect their potential to become permeable or cooperative with forest
protection, increase in awareness and science studies due to the inherent intimacy
they already have with the forest canopy itself.

The criteria used were determined based on professional experience in ecotourism


issues in Brazil and on a qualitative pre-assessment carried out to subsidize the study
proposal. It included:

27
a. Physical canopy structure: Walkway, zip line, tower, etc;

b. Ownership model: Private x institutional;

c. Location: Nearby heavily populated places x backcountry (reach);

d. Public access: Broad x exclusive (reach);

e. Relationship with local community: Permeable x contained;

f. Experience provided to users: Contemplative x challenging;

g. Inductiveness for active perception and learning from forest, particularly the
canopy ecosystem.

# Alias Facility Name State Municipality

01 UNI Parque Unipraias SC Balneário Camboriú


02 IGU Cânion Iguaçu PR Foz do Iguaçu
03 TOC Toca da Raposa SP Juquitiba
04 JUV Parque da Juventude SP São Paulo
05 TUI Tuím Parque SP São Sebastião
06 NEB Parque das Neblinas SP Mogi das Cruzes
07 ALA Alaya / MataDentro SP Brotas
08 ALT Altus SP Campos do Jordão
09 ARV Circuito Arvorismo MS Bonito
10 YBI Ybirá Pê Canopy Tour MS Bonito
11 UNA Ecoparque de Una BA Una
12 CRI Cristalino Jungle Lodge MT Alta Floresta
13 MAR Fazenda Marupiara AM Presidente Figueiredo
14 ARI Ariaú Amazon Towers AM Novo Airão
15 CUI Rio Cuieiras AM Manaus
16 UAT Rio Uatumã AM Manaus
17 MAM Mamirauá - RDS AM Tefé
18 CAX Caxiuanã PA Portel
19 SEL Selva Aventura SP Juquitiba
20 CAN Sítio Canoar SP Juquitiba
21 ECP Ecopoint SP Ilhabela
22 RAN Aventura no Rancho SP Campos do Jordão
23 MIX Ecoação Arvomix SP Brotas
24 GSM Grutas de São Miguel MS Bonito
25 URB Arvorismo Urbano SP Brotas

Table 03 – List of selected canopy-related sites, with localization (state and municipality).

28
Out of the 25 chosen sites, 13 were closely analyzed in this phase of study (Table 03 -
sites 01 to 13). Seven other sites (19 to 25) were visited during the field trip and were
computed at region level. The remaining 5 sites are located in the Amazon and 4 of
them (sites 14 to 17) were considered important to be closely researched but were not
included due to funding restrictions. Four types of survey were used to get data at local
level, as indicated below.

Type I: Comprised dedicated site visits, yielding to personal interviews, direct


evaluation of site structure and operation and photographic documentation;

Type II: Comprised telephone surveys for updating and levelling information of sites
where actual technical visits were done in recent past, yielding to interviews, direct
evaluation of site structure and operation and photographic documentation;

Type III: Comprised telephone surveys for gathering information on sites considered
relevant but not covered on phase 1 of this study; this type yields to interviews, site
description and classification and pictures provided by site operators;

Type IV: A comprehensive information recollection with the objective of mapping


occurrences of canopy ecotourism in a country level. It comprised personal or phone
interviews with tourism authorities, subject-driven class organizations, canopy
infrastructure constructors and ecotourism operators, as well as bibliographic and
internet search.

A complete depiction of these sampled sites is presented in the report’s annexes.

29
1.10

Study’s main
conclusions

Conclusions

An analysis of canopy ecotourism in Brazil

Scope and methodology - This study analyzed 25 canopy-access sites out of the near
100 expected existing and potential locations. Thirteen out of the 25 were closely
investigated with field visits, interviews and systematic evaluation. Including interviews
with people from fields that closely relates to canopy-access like facility owners,
academic researcher, protected area managers and leaderships on both ecotourism
and adventure tourism. Informal talks were done with the public attending to canopy
leisure and tourism activities, guides, municipal officials and politicians, as well as rural
property owners and a leadership in woman-rights. A complimentary bibliographic and
internet research was also done. The above methodology yielded to a sound data
collection upon which it was possible to drawn the present conclusions.

Sustainable benefits - The analysis of all prospected information resulted in indication


of the extent in which canopy-access activities and facilities promote sustainable
benefits to forests and the associated communities. The results were summarized
according to a set of 11 main aspects: planning; economic sustainability; ownership
model; location; type of access: broad or exclusive; relationship with local community;
impact and future potential of different kinds of canopy tourism; types of tourists
tourism impacts; markets and cooperation between canopy facility, NGOs, and/ or
research projects and GOs to ensure the protection of the environment.

30
Aspect of canopy How it works and/or How it should be carried
ecotourism current examples out to maximize
development sustainable benefits

Planning. Most “arborism” site Planning phase including


planning is limited to local community
business strategies and participation. Site plan
minimizing direct impact abides to strict ecotourism
on the resources. It lacks principles; Specific
interpretation, awareness guidelines tailored for
rising strategies and solid canopy-access site
benefit generation and planning are made
sharing with local available in local language
communities, besides from a credited institution
local employment. like GCP.

Economic sustainability. Challenging “arborism” Plan it for economic


sites are usually profitable sustainability; if it is
whereas canopy profitable, setup a
ecotourism sites are most reinvestment plan to
often purposefully further the originally
subsidized. Since planned benefits – land
subsides are mostly acquisition for
limited, the site gets conservation, local and
stranded in a vegetative neighboring ecosystem
operation mode. restoration, etc.

Ownership model. Private sites are Both models have


numerous and pumps potential to further the
thousands to the canopy benefits generation.
heights. They are limited, Institutional sites are
however, on the extent prone to play a holistic
benefits are provided from role, addressing issues
site operation. Institutional that depend on
sites have a more multidisciplinary
elaborated environmental collaboration. Privately-
and local socio-economic owned sites can shape
proposal but they lack themselves based on
economic sustainability. It demonstrative,
seems there is an successfully established
apparent incompatibility institutional sites, like the
between being CE performed at the
economically viable and WFO. These sites foster
socio-environmentally the development of local
valuable. Exceptions community adjacent
apply to Cristalino Jungle businesses or even super-
Lodge and Tuim Parque. specialized canopy-
No community-owned access sites, for example
facility has been detected platforms to watch
and adjacent businesses nocturnal fauna within
are of little expression or private properties.
inexistent on most sites.

31
Location as conditioning Canopy-access sites Site localization depends
factor for reaching the located nearby heavily on specific goals and
public. populated places allowed objectives. A new canopy
for large-scale public ecotourism facility located
visitation. In the opposite not far from large cities
hand, sites located far in can be visited by an
the backcountry had, in expressively higher
general, lower visitation number of people,
rates. Typical average allowing for large-scale
visitation rates were 20 awareness rising
and 8 persons/ day in processes based on
front and backcountry environmental
locations respectively. interpretation and
Parque Unipraias with 25 education carried out in
and Cristalino Jungle connection with the
Lodge with 2 persons/ day facility. Backcountry
are extreme examples of locations or very far in the
contrasting localization wild areas can provide
strategies. good support for research,
ecosystem protection and
local community’s benefits
but will be limited in
reaching the public.

Type of access: broad or It has been found different A recommended canopy


exclusive as conditioning degrees of public ecotourism site in Brazil
factors for reaching the accessibility to canopy- has broad public access.
public. access sites. Limiting Everyone paying a
factors are geographical reasonable entrance fee
isolation, pricey entrance can participate in the
fee and operation canopy leisure, education
packaged with lodging. and recreation activities.
Most sites have special Any lodging or packaging
discount fees for local with other ecotourism
community members and products is made
schools visits. State-run available as an optional
Parque da Juventude purchase. Local
offers challenging community’s members get
“arborism” free for a fee waiver and strategic
anybody with operation education groups get
capacity of 60 visitors/ specially reduced fees
day. and dedicated activity
program.

Relationship with local Most sites evaluated A new canopy access site
community. providing canopy access employs most of its
is contained; they showed personnel from local
little integration with local communities. Upon
communities. The most continued training
common type of programs local people
integration occurs with become able to perform
local employment tasks like guiding,

32
(average rate 95%) and interpreting, building and
discount or free entrance maintaining canopy aerial
for local community structures. In cooperation
members. The sites are, with SEBRAE (SEBRAE
in general, welcome by (Small Entrepreneurship
local people but they Supporting Brazilian
didn’t generate a large Agency) local people can
amount of perceivable become prepared to take
subsidiary benefits. They advantage on potential
play a role in local working and
environmental awareness entrepreneurship
rising by demonstrating opportunities. The canopy
that trees and forests can ecotourism site helps in
generate economic promoting or booking the
benefits even standing up. local adjacent businesses
It is a good starting point and services to their
to further this perception visitors. Cooperative work
with actual involvement of among members of local
expressive amount of communities is fomented
local people in the direct from site planning to
and indirect benefits. operation. Cooperative
There are some examples work applies well to
of ex-hunters working as handcraft making,
tourists and scientist transportation services,
guides for fauna guiding services, food
observation. Cristalino supplying, among others.
Jungle Lodge is the best To address the
studied case of canopy widespread poaching
ecotourism facility problem the site should
permeable to the local assess and map the
community. Tuím Parque activity in the area through
went further as giving live social engineering
chicken and corn beans to techniques. Special
known neighbor poachers planning strategies are
asking them to forgo their established to bring all
illegal activity and get poachers to work in
proteins from an association with tourism or
alternative source. with alternative jobs.
There are regions in the
Country where poachers
are a link in a complex
chain of consumption of
wild animal flesh by
people exhibiting higher
social status.

Impact and future Challenging aerial An effective canopy


potential of different kinds walkways have attracted ecotourism facility has
of canopy tourism. entrepreneurs and large option for different public
public to the establishing segments. Traditional
of the majority of canopy- canopy walkways and
access sites in Brazil. Due respective tree platforms
to its adrenaline-driven are rare in Brazil and can
nature, it did not naturally be the new facility’s core

33
favor environmental canopy-access feature. It
interpretation. Hanging on can also be composed of
apparently precarious and zip lines and challenging
risky bridges drains user’s circuits. Observation
attention with the task of towers that goes taller tan
meeting the circuit’s forest canopy are good
challenge. Many and rare recourses in
“arborism” circuits end Brazil. Towers are
with a zip line section. Zip attractive, outstanding and
lines are not yet explored allow for most people
in its full potential. Canopy getting a positive strong
ecotourism contemplative canopy experience, even
sites resort on aerial those with moderate
walkways or towers. It has height panic. Zip lines with
been observed from many intermediate
visitors’ impressions that platforms where the visitor
these devices provided travels extensively
the most enjoyed through the forest is a low
experiences within the impact structure with high
whole trip set. experiential impact.

Types of tourists and the In general, national A canopy-access facility


corresponding kinds of tourists ask for targeted essentially to
canopy tourism. challenging “arborism” international ecotourists
circuits and international traveling through Brazil
tourists ask for and South America will
contemplative canopy present structures to allow
ecotourism. Fazenda contemplative presence
Marupiara illustrates this amidst the canopy. It
trend in a peculiar way: its includes compatible
physical structure is set behavior of other visitors,
for challenging experience which would not scream
but it has been used also or excessively wave the
by international aerial structure for fun.
birdwatchers. These These are common
specialized tourists are behaviors associated with
attracted by the Amazon “arborism” sites.
biodiversity rather than by Depending on marketing
a personal equilibrium opportunities, a site
experience and find in the zoning can set places and
“arborism’s” tree platforms structures for different
something useful for experiences under the
fulfilling their primary trip same management effort.
outcome. Environmentally-oriented
Schools have mainly used challenging circuits (not-
contemplative circuits for existent in Brazil) can
educational purposes but arise interest from the
also challenging circuits large national public to
for entertaining. visiting the ecotourism
Corporate training groups facility.
use challenging “arborism”
to perform their team
building and self-
confidence exercises.

34
Impacts created by The typical half-day Canopy-access sites
different kinds of tourism. “arborism” tourism usually oriented to “arborism”
generates ecosystem could enhance their
protection at the site level. environmental and social
It doesn’t provide performance by adopting
environmental awareness specific guidelines
rising nor it generates including innovative ways
outstanding local benefits to use the walkways for
besides direct local fauna and flora
employment. Canopy perception, techniques for
ecotourism sites tend to canopy environment
differ by providing strong interpretation with
interpretation programs. suggestion of materials
Canopy-access and signing, and, of
destinations yielding the course, content or
greatest per visitor benefit indication on how to fill the
generation are those aerial trip with relevant
where the lengths of stay and interesting
include one or more environmental content.
overnights at the site or These guidelines instruct
close to it. and stimulate the facility to
make a difference in the
local socio-environmental
scenario with actions that
could bring support for
forest valuing and
generating alternative
local development
opportunities. This
supplemental information
is referred in this report’s
suggestions part (Item 2)
as Canopy Knowledge
layer - CKL.

Markets and market “Arborism” circuits A new canopy access


impact of the canopy became very popular in structure can target both
facility. Brazil. The main facilities the “arborism” market
provide real canopy segment and the
physical access but there contemplative ecotourism.
are many other facilities The first is appealing to a
built up within beach and larger national public. The
country hotels and leisure last attracts a type of
resorts following public public and has embodied
demand. Not having attributes that generates
necessarily trees involved, the greatest sustainable
the item contributes for benefits. Depending of
clients ranking them as a site localization the site
full featured hotel can target on one or both
(somewhat similar to market segments.
having / not having
swimming pool).
Canopy ecotourism has a

35
small market footprint,
with only three known
facilities with 20,250
visitors per year, a 23 %
share of 87,930 total
canopy visitors in the
studied sites. It has been
estimated a Country total
between 270,000 and
500,000 total visitors.

Cooperation between A few examples of Cooperation with NGOs


canopy facility, NGOs, cooperation between can rationalize and further
and/ or research projects canopy facility, NGOs and the proposed canopy
and GOs to ensure the research projects have tourism-anchored socio-
protection of the been seen involving the economic and
environment. “arborism” facilities. Tuím environmental benefits.
Parque has an informal These institutions come
partnership with a from the social,
neighbor State Park for environmental,
helping to avoid invasion commercial, rural,
and poach. Ecoparque de entrepreneurial, and
Una, Cristalino Jungle women rights sectors.
Lodge and Parque das Strict cooperation should
Neblinas, all canopy also be carried out with
ecotourism sites, are the three governmental
closely associated with spheres: municipality,
environmental NGOs and state and federal. During
have given support for the pre-planning all
academic and scientific interacting institution
research. These sites also should be identified and
cooperate with neighbors invited to take part in the
public protected areas. planning phase that is
participatory. This phase
should count not only with
the organized social
organization but also with
local leaderships. Startup
NGO’s participation in the
planning efforts might
include assigning them
with customized, funded
assessments studies in
their working areas. To
bring academic and
scientific interest it is
important to make
targeted diffusion of
information about the
potential and demand for
studies in the facility. The
canopy access facility can
enhance support for
research making it

36
available at the site
lodging, basic laboratory
and communication
(phone, internet) for
academic students and
scientists.

37
2

Recommenda
tions for GCP
action

Recommendations for GCP operation in Brazil concerning


canopy ecotourism

Regarding canopy ecotourism, GCP could play fundamental roles in addressing the
detected issues in the national scenario as well as helping in improving the reach of the
positive benefits the activity has already being able to promote. This study concluded
that a recurring underlying problem with the canopy-access facilities in Brazil is the lack
of strategic envisioning. Doing mainly “arborism”, studied facilities don’t follow
systematic procedures which would contemplate the achievement of sustainable
benefits at a collective level. They mostly explore a marketing niche or follow an
individualized institution policy, leaving aside a number of potential actions, even small
ones, which could result in large-scale differences in the forest protection, awareness
rising and knowledge advancement. Ecotourism sites have a better approach to it.

The energetic approach GCP embraces in dealing with the forest cause, along with the
strong body of scientific knowledge it represents make the institution an ideal partner to
national and local initiatives in providing forests and their canopies affairs with an
accessible, strategic view for the so needed sustainable use, awareness rising and
knowledge advancement.

38
2.1

GCP >> WFO

Whole Forest Observatories (WFO) – Establishing it with a holistic


approach

The findings of this canopy ecotourism study allow recommending GCP to consider a
range of complimentary action levels, from the abstract virtual grounds of the Internet
to the heavily physical construction work of aerial canopy walkways. The suggestions
(Table 04) include working on providing the paths for adaptive diffusion of information
and knowledge; on implementation of demonstrative canopy ecotourism sites; on
upgrading canopy-access facilities with an environment-driven knowledge layer and
assuring excellence as the standard canopy-access operation through the
establishment of a green label, as further explained below and in section 2.2.

Diffusion of information and knowledge - This action line’s main goal is contributing
to fill in the knowledge gap affecting the management of canopy-driven leisure and
tourism initiatives. In a global scale there is a lot of scientific and technical knowledge
about forest and canopy specifics, resulting from years of research efforts and
cumulated experiences. This body of knowledge seems not perceivably available by
parties involved with implementing and operating canopy-related facilities, nor is it to
officials in charge of making policies, planning and ruling the activity at larger scales.
Even further from recognizing the values of tree-tops ecosystems are the majority of
national visitors to canopy-access facilities, as well as local communities which have
forests as a raw material for development, whichever way the forests could bring it.

39
Ö GCP World-wide action
ª Actions in Brazil
ª Actions toward extending
the sustainable benefits
associated with canopy
ecotourism

ADIK SEW
ADAPTIVE DIFFUSION OF INFORMATION AND KNOWLEDGE SOCIO-ENVIRONMENTAL WORK

WEB+ LABEL
EXTENDING THE REACH OF THE GCP WEB SPACE ASSURING EXCELLENCE AS THE STANDARD CANOPY-
ACCESS OPERATION

BRIDGE WFO
IGNITING INTERESTS OVER CANOPY-RELATED BUILDING UP DEMONSTRATIVE, EFFECTIVE, CANOPY
MATTERS FOR WHOM IT MATTERS ECOTOURISM SITES WITHIN PLANNED WFO

CKL Canopy Ecotourism Module


UPGRADING CANOPY-ACCESS FACILITIES WITH A SITE CHOICE
KNOWLEDGE LAYER PRE-PLAN STUDIES
PARTICIPATORY PLANNING
FINAL PLANNING
IMPLEMENTING
MONITORING

Table 04: suggested approaches for GCP action towards canopy ecotourism in Brazil

An indicator of this unawareness is the overall lack of knowledge, in Brazil, about the
GCP, even among people professionally dealing directly with the canopy. It is important
to expand general awareness towards GCP beyond strict botany and ecology circles.
To aid that, it is proposed the development of an adaptive diffusion of information and
knowledge (ADIK) process. It is a method where the global canopy-related or forest as
a whole body of knowledge is made selectively available for target groups, with a built
in strategy to make it prone for occurring its re-transmission for adjacent groups when
these interact socially, institutionally or commercially. It is a low-energy process of
replicating ownership of knowledge, minimizing institutional investment in information
campaigns.

The following strategies could be pursued to create an ADIK environment toward the
forest canopy in Brazil:

Extending the reach of the GCP web space (WEB+)

To have a section of GCP website in Portuguese is a first realized step toward beaming
forest and canopy-related information over the Brazilian community. As a second web-
related move, the website could be expanded and restructured to communicate better
with the different social groups that could be accessing it in a foreseen future, as an
ADIK strategic plan is put forward. As in the forest strata, the site should be made out
of layers of information, presented in proper forms that allow for stronger visitor’s
adherence. It should arouse interest and constitute of practical usefulness for a wide
range of people. To grasp the idea in one simple image, in an ideal stage, GCP
webpage should naturally be the browser’s home page for anyone dealing on a daily
basis with forest canopy.

40
Igniting interests over canopy-related matters for whom it matters (BRIDGE)

The distance non-scientific canopy-related groups keep from actually looking for
relevant field-specific information, like these potentially offered through GCP website, is
sufficiently large to demand initial, active bridging strategies. Selective information
campaign and exchange events could be set up for groups like canopy goers, canopy
tourism entrepreneurs, environment and tourism officials, protected area managers,
education and school didactic advisers and managers and, off course, the scientific-
academic community. Campaigns targeted to these interest groups should be specific
and effort-concentrated.

As an opportunity and suggestion it could be co-organized or co-sponsored the 1st


National (or International) Congress on Canopy Ecotourism, joining people from
government; academy – both researchers and students; tourism trade; NGOs, services
and canopy equipment suppliers, among others. This could be a salient starting point
to further GCP actions toward canopy ecotourism in Brazil.

Another good landmark would be to launch a series of technical training seminars or


courses for environmentally-wise canopy-access site operation and policy making, for
the respective target publics. This could happen before and after the WFO canopy
ecotourism sites get built. This training effort would be a good match for spreading out
the proposed CKL as explained below. GCP could also participate in ecotourism and
adventure travel congresses and fairs in Brazil, as other international environmental
NGOs already do. Canopy-related research award, grants or scholarships could be co-
sponsored by GCP in partnership with international and national science or education
multilateral institutions or even private corporations.

Upgrading canopy-access facilities with a knowledge layer (CKL)

This action aims to make dozens of kilometers of blind canopy walkways into effective
places of whole interaction with the canopy ecosystem. Most current canopy facilities
provide good canopy-access hardware, with fairly good standards for safety and impact
reduction. But they put people at the canopy level without providing any canopy-
specific content on their experience. It just misses a knowledge layer or topping.

Besides acting in bringing the interest of facility’s managers and users in extending the
experience to a further, environmentally fit dimension, GCP could develop a piece of
information, specially crafted to match the current operations, that adds ecosystem-
intelligence to it. It would be a Canopy Knowledge Layer – CKL, which could be seen
as environment-oriented software for the “arborism” hardware. Within this analogy,
currently, this kind of hardware is only supplied with adventure game-like software,
even being able to run otherwise.

Supplying a well structured CKL, customized to the marketing and culture associated
with these facilities could make them drift from “pure emotion” to “emotion with a
cause” model of operation. This study sensed the receptivity of such standard shift
among entrepreneurs and clients and concluded it would be well accepted and would
add to the overall experience. An ideal CKL should be not centered just in biology
aspects but on the whole social and environmental aspects related to the forest and its
canopy. The envisioned CKL should be like an operation manual for fourth-dimensional
human presence in the canopy, including suggestion for innovative ways to use the
walkways for fauna and flora perception, techniques for canopy environment
interpretation with suggestion of materials and signing, and, of course, content or
indication on how to fill the aerial trip with relevant and interesting environmental

41
content. Another part should instruct and stimulate the facility to make a difference in
the local socio-environmental scenario with actions that could bring support for forest
valuing and generating alternative local development opportunities.

Assuring excellence as the standard canopy-access operation (LABEL)

As long as information and stimulus, as above suggested, are made available for
allowing a higher level of canopy-access operation, GCP in partnership with local
institutional counterpart could launch a certification-like quality label for canopy
ecotourism and similar operations. Facilities either doing ecotourism or “arborism”
willing to follow a strict set of operation rules and standards could receive a certificate
of compliment making them credited sites for good canopy-access.

This voluntary commitment should make the adhering facilities develop and maintain
their full potential for generating the sustainable benefits on socio-economic,
environmental, socio-cultural and knowledge advancement. In the other hand, the
operators would develop a sense of affiliation with a party that represents the
conscience and knowledge about forest and canopy. This feeling of being part of a
larger effort for conservation and awareness rising should boost voluntary actions and
interest on make a difference through their operations, being them important nodes in
the ADIK process, because under their discretion, thousands of people will shape their
canopy experience. Off course, the certification would also increase their profiting
potentials.

Concerns GCP should consider before adopting any strategy on this direction is to
assure the green label is not equated to an ISO-like certification, which is almost
impossible for most canopy-operations to fulfill all requirements. Certification for
adopting canopy-wise operation standards cannot assure that visitor’s personal safety
would be guaranteed. Ideally, another local certification would take care of this aspect.
ABETA and ABNT are preparing the rules for creating and operating canopy facilities.
Depending on how the government will promote the norms enforcement, it would offset
this problem. The last concern is the operational contours on how to concede site
certification and supervise whether they are complying with the standards. A narrow
cooperation with a local institution would be the best way to go, providing, if not the
GCP stamp, the know-how needed to develop such a certification project.

This study sensed the receptivity for the adoption of a green certification among
canopy-access entrepreneurs and concluded it would be well accepted.

42
2.2

WFO >> CEM

Building up demonstrative, effective, canopy ecotourism sites

The building up of physical canopy ecotourism sites would be the ultimate contribution
GCP would do for qualitative enhancement of canopy-related facilities in Brazil. These
sites are expected to be part of the already planned Whole Forest Observatories –
WFOs to be developed in the Amazon and Atlantic Forest Biomes. These sites would
extend the reach of their positive impact way beyond the site-specific realm. They
could become strong demonstrative canopy ecotourism sites, as it already happens
with the Ecoparque de Una in Bahia. WFO’s canopy ecotourism modules (CEM)
should be planned from the ground to maximize the sustainable benefits the activity as
a whole can yield to.

Aspects as diverse as marketing issues, tangible generation of direct and indirect


socio-economic and socio-cultural impact and broad, significant public attendance
should be rigorously taken into account in the planning process. Off course these
canopy-access sites will be core-committed to function as scientific research
observatories, for impact or other types of investigations, demonstrating how
ecotourism and science can and should walk together at the canopy level. Insights for
specific planning guidelines were taken from the collected information and observations
made for this study on operating canopy-access sites and are presented below.

43
Site choice

This is the initial step upon which several other canopy ecotourism aspects will be a
function of. It is known from the marketing theory that a tourism provider can supply an
existing demand with the corresponding product. This demand can be revealed or
potential but must be in some way pre-existent. The necessary effort to create new
demand for a latent offer is often beyond the reach of investments set to a
local/regional scale. Specific demand for canopy-related leisure and tourism is, in its
turn, dependent on the facility placement and can change radically from place to place.
If the intent were to build a facility only committed with ecotourism, placement could be
consequence of choice factors like tourism access, proximity to emission markets (if
targeted for national demand), existence of local/indigenous communities in the
surroundings that could directly and indirectly benefit from the facility, correspondence
with a local protected areas, among others.

Being the ecotourism operation part of a WFO, it is natural that the process of
determining site location takes into consideration specific science-related parameters
that might eventually override optimum parameters for an ecotourism-driven site. In
any case it should be possible to plan for maximizing the sustainable benefits provided
by the site’s ecotourism operation, although it should be expected different benefits
range depending on where the site is.

To illustrate this, let’s consider the range of benefits generated from a site located
thousands of kilometers deep in the forest, away from any human settlement, with only
helicopter access departing from a major city and attending about 300 visitors per year,
which is not an unreal projection in Brazil. Another feasible perspective could be a site
with conventional access where a larger spectrum and number of visitors could go,
attracted mainly by the canopy facility and, once there, they could spend more days in
the region, being supplied with services and goods by an engaged local community
that, before the facility establishment, was threatening the local forest environment
while attending its resource needs. Any of these extremes could be excellent spots for
biodiversity and species-interaction studies depending on biological issues and could
compensate building up a WFO. The ecotourism module, however, should be planned
in a rather different way in each situation.

The following factors are considered depending on the site choice (Chart 01): facility’s
economic sustainability; the extent of direct benefits to local people that will be
generated; the extent of indirect benefits to local people that will be generated; the
extent of the public which will benefit from the existence of the facility; the magnitude of
awareness rising as consequence of the previous three factors; the extent of protected
areas or endangered species that will benefit from the facility’s existence; the types of
visitors, like schools, international tourists, national adventure seekers, etc; and the
specific types of activities/canopy infrastructure to offer/ build.

Pre-plan studies

Once defined the site location, a series of pre-plan studies should take place, including
(Chart 01): A marketing research with a survey application should determine the
specific canopy ecotourism vocation based on the available or latent demand; In-deep
socio-economic and socio-cultural research aimed at evaluating the potential and
willingness for local community to integrate with the ecotourism project; Environmental
assessment to map the fragilities and opportunities to take into account while actually
planning the facility with a view for sustainability and extended benefits for natural
habitats and protected areas; Potential interactions and specific needs scientists and

44
academic researches would place over canopy-access infrastructure based on the
broader WFO scientific demands and goals; and search for local, national and
international institutions and people from NGO, private or public sectors with potential
for interacting with the project at planning, execution and operation stages.

With these studies done, a draft planning can take place yet within the scope of GCP
and WFO direct partners with proper ecotourism planning assistance.

SITE CHOICE > PRE-PLAN STUDIES > PARTICIPATORY PLANNING > FINAL PLANNING

SITE CHOICE DEPENDENCIES

Facility’s economic Extent of direct Extent of the public Types of visitors


sustainability benefits to local which will benefit
people

Extent of indirect Extent of protected Magnitude of Specific types of


benefits to local areas that will awareness rising activities to offer
people benefit

PRE-PLAN STUDIES

Marketing research; Socio-economic and Environmental Science and


Collaboration and socio-cultural assessment for academic specific
partnership search research planning / monitoring needs / integration

PARTICIPATORY PLANNING ASPECTS AND ACTORS

Facility design and Operation guidelines Carrying-capacity Visitor impact


building strategies and procedures assessment management
strategy

Types and quality of Interpretation and Multiple-domain A marketing &


experience to be signing impact monitoring business plan
offered

Actors: local communities, ecotourism,


Customized training Facility’s local socio- adventure tourism and scientific-academic
strategy economic and socio- sectors as well as protected area officials
cultural intertwining

Chart 01 – Site choice dependencies, pre-plan studies and participatory planning

Participatory planning

A further planning implementation would involve the participation of local communities,


ecotourism, adventure tourism and scientific-academic sectors as well as protected
area officials (Chart 01). Besides being part of the new ecotourism process from its
beginning, getting their support, their inputs should allow for refinement of proposals,
amendments or substitution if necessary.

45
The planning should encompass the typical aspects referring to facility’s building up
and operation, including site layout, carrying capacity determination, visitor impact
management strategy, types and quality of experience to be offered, interpretation,
multiple-domain impact monitoring (environmental, social, cultural, economic), etc.

A marketing plan should be developed, aiming at institutional and commercial


divulgation. This should provide visibility to the upcoming WFO site, beyond academic
walls. It should gather interests for cooperation and interaction with the site from
multiple sectors such as government, environmental and social NGOs, tourism trade,
education, local stakeholders, among others. The marketing strategies should be
backed by a business plan, with mechanisms that allow educational and local’s visits
be free of charge or at discount fees as well as a deep local socio-economic and socio-
cultural intertwining.

A customized training strategy should be developed addressing the local communities.


The aim is enlightening them about taking advantage of the opportunities the WFO’s
ecotourism module brings out. This process could vary depending on particular local
characteristics. It can be guide courses, workshops for craftwork abilities and traditions
rescue; rural cooperative initiatives; or creative entrepreneurship, among others.
Canopy-access site operators and institutions participating in this study should be
involved in this part by sharing their experiences. This demand fits well with the
experience of Cristalino Jungle Lodge, Ecoparque de Una and Tuím Parque

Specificities about the ecotourism product should be carefully designed considering its
multiple affecting factors. As an illustration, when a site location is determined and the
corresponding marketing research demonstrate it has a large potential for what is
“arborism”, i.e. near popular national tourist destinations, the canopy-access facility
could have a mixed approach where a circuit could be followed through different paths
with different challenging levels. Visitors could go through plain walkways or acrobatic-
style walkways, with common platforms specially designed for ecosystem perception
and interpretation, independently of the path used to get there. One possible design
could make these two types of ways converging to the highest platform, a large
interpretative one, with a seductive all-public escape-route made though a zip line all
the way down.

This study has detected a demand for contemplative aerial circuits when asking
“arborism” facility managers about expansion plans. It seems that part of the people
attending their sites did not feel comfortable with the acrobatic thing. Many other
specific design solutions and features for extending the range of sustainable benefits
should come out with the actual WFO canopy ecotourism module planning.

Final planning

A final planning should be drawn with the assurance that the WFO’s ecotourism
module will perform at its best. The plan should embody strategies for preventing
negative impacts and maximizing sustainable benefits. All planning phases should be
coordinated by an ecotourism planning specialist.

The sites should be made and marketed as models of canopy-access operation. It


should be particularly concerned in broadening the generation of indirect benefits to
local population, which seems to be a small-scale effect on current canopy-access
sites. Properly planned and implemented WFO’s ecotourism sites can raise the bar on
this matter in Brazil.

46
2.3

Empowering
woman

Empowering women through Canopy Ecotourism sensitive development

Within the Brazilian canopy-access conjuncture, women’s condition reflects the overall
Country’s gender inequality, with only 41.4% employment in the sampled facilities. It
was noticed that when the facility’s manager or owner was a female, the proportion of
female working at it was equal or frequently larger than 50%. One good example
comes from Cristalino Jungle Lodge’s owner Vitoria da Riva Carvalho. Besides
employing 8 women out of 14 people, she has actively stimulated local people to
provide alternative visiting places with food, fish tanks, orchids and art crafts.
Ecotourists are then taken to visit, experience and buy on these sites. These satellite
businesses also have more women than men at work.

In order to promote women’s empowering through canopy ecotourism sensitive


development, it has been identified four instances where intervention could make a
difference in the quantity and quality of women participation. These are planning,
training, operating and fomenting (Table 06).

The participatory planning process should have local community participation. Odds
are most if not all attending people were men. A strategy should be implemented to
allow women participating at significant level. Because the planning phase is where

47
mechanism and principles for women inclusion are incorporated in all aspects of the
future operation, it is fundamental to have them seeding it at this core level.

Instance Intervention
Planning Woman-intensive participatory planning
Training Quota-defined men/women participation
Operating Equal gender employment policy
Fomenting Seeding for women cooperative work
Stimulus for women entrepreneurship
Selective funding for micro-businesses

Table 06 – Instances and interventions for woman empowerment

This women-intensive planning should not be limited to the community level


participation because some inputs require women imprints that surpass typical local-
people experience.

Women occupancy of higher hierarchy job posts is an indicator of empowerment. To


achieve this status, which is not the natural trend, it is important to invest in training.
The training process required for good facility’s intertwining with the local socio-
economic and socio-cultural fabric can accommodate two instances favoring women
empowerment: it can have courses targeted to women affairs, furthering their existing
abilities; and, for other functions, it can be defined a system for male/female quota in
training courses and classes.

A third intervention strategy can be carried out in the facility’s operation phase,
following a policy of equal gender employment.

Outside the facility, a number of women empowerment actions can be set within what
could be referred as “fomenting”. It includes seeding for women cooperative work;
stimulus for women entrepreneurship and selective start-up funding (loans, donations)
for women-oriented micro-businesses.

48
Annex 1

Site-to-site
analysis

Canopy Ecotourism site-to-site analysis – A synoptic view

This section depicts each studied site with a summary of its main characteristics. Each
canopy-access facility in the core-set (sites 01 to 13) is presented with a “Quick View”
table, a researcher’s impression comment and the photo record with six selected
pictures taken during the field work or supplied by site owners.

The Quick View table presents the following information: date when the facility was
built; aerial circuit length or tower tall; type of ownership; type of area; size of area used
or owned; canopy activity offered; visitor number per year; ecotourism status; average
admission price; total revenue; cost of establishing the facility; total employment;
percentage of local employment; percentage of woman employment. For further
detailed information refer to the annexed data tables.

The remainder sites from the selected 25 were researched without the same detail
profundity as the core-set. Therefore they are shown in this section with the
researcher’s impression comment only.

49
Parque Unipraias 01

Avenida Normando Tedesco, 1355/ Barra Sul.


Balneário Camboriú/ SC/ 88330-000
Contact person: Gustavo Bauer
Tel (47) 3360 0274
e-mail: atendimento@unipraias.com.br
www.unipraias.com.br

Date when the 2002


Type of area RPPN
facility was built

Aerial circuit length/ 140m Challenging AC


Canopy activity / Cable car
tower tall

Private / Size of area 8.5ha


Owned by National
used/owned

Visitor number 10000


Admission price R$ 23.00
/year

Cost of R$ 250000.00
Total revenue Ǿ
establishing

Ecotourism status 5/6 Total Employment 73

% Local 80% % Woman 40%

Parque Unipraias is a mass market privately-owned ecotourism semi-urban facility. It is


based on a cable car transportation system linking two adjacent beaches in the
Balneário Camboriu town. Besides travelling over a steep hill covered with well-
preserved Atlantic Forest, the visitor can disembark at the top hill station where two
other thematic experiences are available: the “Environmental Park” and the “Adventure
Park”. The first offers a walk through the interpretative circuit which intercalates forest
ground trails and belvederes; the second gives visitors the opportunity to do the canopy
“arborism” with a 12-part challenging aerial walkway.

The Unipraias have an educational project called school-park which is co-sponsored by


a major national energy company. School groups visit the park with special activities
and guidance with goals in environmental learning and education. Under the project
these groups pay a discount entrance fee. The park’s existence is a guarantee that the
forest hill it occupies will be permanently preserved, against the coastal towns trend of
sprawling over adjacent hills. Before the park establishment the area was threatened
by poaching, deforestation and environmentally aggressive stone-blocks extraction.
The park has restored the environment in the stone extraction areas and takes care of
the whole forest surveillance.

50
Photo Record – Parque Unipraias – Date: 26/Nov/2006

Photos by Ismael Nobre

51
Cânion Iguaçu 02

Rodovia das Cataratas, Km 27/ PNI


Foz do Iguaçu/ PR/ 85853-000
Contact person: Marcelo Skaf
Tel (45) 3529 6040
e-mail commercial@campodedesafios.com.br
www.campodedesasafios.com.br

Date when the 2003


Type of area National Park
facility was built

Aerial circuit length/ 120m Challenging


Canopy activity aerial circuit
tower tall

Private / Size of area 0.3ha


Owned by National
used/owned

Visitor number 10000


Admission price R$ 85.00
/year

Cost of R$ 700000.00
Total revenue R$ 450000.00
establishing

Ecotourism status 4/6 Total Employment 32

% Local 100% % Woman 43.75%

Cânion Iguaçu is the only canopy-access facility associated with a national park in
Brazil. It is a private concession within Iguaçu National Park. It offers a challenging
aerial walkway, indoor climbing wall, rock climbing, rafting and rappel from an elevated
platform near the waterfalls. No interpretative information is given to visitors. Guides
supervise and instruct the visitor’s progress over the challenging sequence of aerial
bridges and cable passages within the “arborism” activity. The circuit is supported by
wood poles instead of living trees to minimize impact and maintenance.

It has been noted a frequent presence of mammal fauna around the circuit, including
monkeys, an indicative that human impacts are of little extent and well handled. The
park concessionaire expansion plans include building up a contemplative aerial circuit
offering traditional canopy ecotourism experience. They voluntarily expressed
willingness to work with GCP in any canopy-related project involving the forests of
Iguaçu National Park. One botany academic research with epiphyte bromelia has been
done aided by site’s canopy-access structures. The facility regularly receives school
teachers and students within Park’s environmental education program.

52
Photo Record – Cânion Iguaçu – Date: 16/Jan/2007

Photos by Ismael Nobre

53
Toca da Raposa 03

Toca da Raposa - Lazer e Cultura

Rodovia Regis Bittencourt


Juquitiba/ SP/ 06950-000
Contact person: Regina
Tel (11) 3032 1315
e-mail: tocadaraposa@tocadaraposa.com.br
www.tocadaraposa.com.br

Date when the 1995


Type of area Non protected
facility was built

Aerial circuit length/ 150m Challenging


Canopy activity aerial circuit
tower tall

Private / Size of area 8ha


Owned by National
used/owned

Visitor number 15000


Admission price R$ 45.00
/year

Cost of Not informed


Total revenue R$ 20000.00
establishing

Ecotourism status 4/6 Total Employment 20

% Local 100% % Woman 75%

Privately owned and operated Toca da Raposa “arborism” site is located in a 50 km


radius from the 20-million inhabitant’s metropolitan region of São Paulo. Its main
visitors, mostly formed by school groups, come from that huge market place. Besides
offering a challenging canopy aerial circuit detached from any representative forest
environment, there are two other features that compound the biggest site attractions:
an Indian village replica and the wild animal’s rehabilitation centre. Both circuits offer
rich cultural and environmental interpretation guided schemes. The village is
authentically made by members of the Xingu ethnic group. It works as an Indian’s
outpost in the civilized world and also as a cultural interchange centre. A group of
forest-living Indians come annually from Mato Grosso State (MT) for a 45-day
campaign when Indian’s culture and values are presented to young and adult white
men. They also use the opportunity to sell their art products.

Few academic researches in botany and zoology have been done within the site and
none relies on the canopy-access structure. Entrance fee waiver is conceded to public
schools; the facility works energetically on rising local’s environmental awareness.

54
Photo Record – Toca da Raposa – Date: 23/Nov/2006

Photos by Ismael Nobre

55
Parque da Juventude 04

Avenida Zaki Narki, 1309


São Paulo/ SP
Contact person: Rodrigo Abrantes
Tel (11) 6251 2706
e-mail: contato@corpodeguias.com.br
www.sejel.sp.gov.br/parquedajuventude

Date when the 2002


Type of area State Park
facility was built

Aerial circuit length/ 226m Challenging


Canopy activity aerial circuit
tower tall

Size of area 24ha


Owned by Government
used/owned

Visitor number 8400


Admission price R$ 0.00
/year

Cost of R$ 124000.00
Total revenue 0
establishing

Ecotourism status 4/6 Total Employment 8

% Local 100% % Woman 25%

Parque da Juventude State Park has been recently built in a deactivated penitentiary
area in downtown São Paulo. Besides having jogging tracks, sport courts and open
space walkways it offers a challenging canopy-access structure of “arborism” type. Its
use is free of charge for all visitors, though the canopy circuit it is limited to 60 persons
/day in groups of 15. The activity focuses on sport and leisure and no environmental
interpretation is currently offered. A biologist-led environmental interpretation program
is in preparation to be carried out in its ground trails.

Although Park’s forest patch is secondary and mixed with exotic species eucalyptus, it
is a rare sample of Atlantic Forest that survived the metropolis’ devastating urban
development. It could happen only because it was hidden for decades within prison’s
walls. There is a great potential for contemplative aerial walkways driven at the canopy
environment. Twenty million inhabitants live within a 20 km radius and could benefit
with environmental awareness experiences and scale-significant canopy recreation.

56
Photo Record – Parque da Juventude – Date: 27/Nov/2006

Photos by Ismael Nobre

57
Tuím Parque 05

Rua do Palmital, 122


São Sebastião/ SP/ 11600-000
Contact person: José Luiz Nadai
Tel: (12) 3867 2097
e-mail: tuim@tuimparque.com.br
www.tuimparque.com.br

Date when the 2004


Type of area Law Protected
facility was built

Aerial circuit length/ 250m Challenging AC


Canopy activity Zip/ A Walkway
tower tall

Private / Size of area 6500ha


Owned by National
used/owned

Visitor number 7.200


Admission price R$ 50.00
/year

Cost of R$ 150000.00
Total revenue R$ 100000.00
establishing

Ecotourism status 4/6 Total Employment 17

% Local 100% % Woman 35%

Tuím Parque is located in a private land adjacent to Atlantic Forest Serra do Mar State
Park. It buffers state park, helping to protect it from urban sprawl encroachment. There
has been an informal but effective cooperation between Tuim and the state park. Tuím
Parque has implemented proactive management practices aimed at bringing the local
community to support the conservation it promotes while also benefiting from the
attracted tourism. Because local community didn’t have continued tradition on
handcraft making, Tuím Parque’s owner José Luis Nadai managed to hire an instructor
who teaches them the necessary techniques and abilities. It is the Arte no Sertão
project. The handcrafts are then sold in the park’s visitor center shop.

The park hired a currently former poacher for helping with trail maintenance and
guiding. The canopy-access physical structure is directly supported by primary-forest
trees and comprises a challenging walkway sequence, two short zip lines and two
traditional ecotourism aerial walkways. Guided forest day hikes and kayak trips are
also offered. Four college-level ecotourism academic researches have been done in
the park. Typical clients are corporate training groups and nearby beach tourists.

58
Photo Record –Tuím Parque – Date: 19/Nov/2006

Photos by Ismael Nobre

59
Parque das Neblinas 06

Sertão dos Freires


Mogi das Cruzes/ SP
Contact person: Guilherme Rocha Dias
Tel: (11) 4724 0556
e-mail: gdias@ecofuturo.org.br
www.ecofuturo.org.br

Date when the 2001


Type of area RPPN
facility was built

Aerial circuit length/ 150m


Canopy activity Aerial Walkway
tower tall

Size of area 2800ha


Owned by NGO
used/owned

Visitor number 12000


Admission price R$ 30.00
/year

Cost of Not informed


Total revenue R$ 29000.00
establishing

Ecotourism status 5/6 Total Employment 19

% Local 90% % Woman 48%

Parque das Neblinas park is operated by NGO Instituto Ecofuturo, which is the
environmental arm of a big paper and cellulose corporation. The park embodies the
highest standards for protected area establishment and management: from ecosystem
restoration to guided visitation with strong emphasis in environmental awareness and
Nature interpretation. The canopy-access structures are divided in two sectors: the
aerial walkways and the hanging bridge river crossing. Neblinas is heavily visited by
school groups. It offers also forest ground trails, kayaking and waterfall baths. The
canopy ecotourism activity is, however, visitors’ most famous and liked experience.

Parque das Neblinas aids conservation of neighbour’s Serra do Mar State Park by
buffering it and rising environmental awareness in the local community. It employed a
former poacher which embraced new environmental values and spread them out within
the community. Parque das Neblinas has supported college-level researches for fauna
observation, offering lodging, transportation and food.

60
Photo Record – Parque das Neblinas – Date: 17/Nov/2006

Photos by Ismael Nobre

61
Alaya – Ecoparque 07

Avenida Mário Pinotti, 230


Brotas/ SP
Contact person: Marcio Vaz
Tel: (14) 3653 5656
e-mail: marcio@alaya.com.br
www.alaya.com.br

Date when the 2005


Type of area Law Protected
facility was built

Aerial circuit length/ 1370m Challenging AC


Canopy activity and Zip Line
tower tall

Private / Size of area 55ha


Owned by Local
used/owned

Visitor number 4080


Admission price R$ 99.00
/year

Cost of R$ 105000.00
Total revenue R$ 44200.00
establishing

Ecotourism status 3/6 Total Employment 23

% Local 90% % Woman 13%

Alaya is a holding company which operates two canopy-access facilities in Brotas, a


municipality that became famous for its large portfolio of adventure tourism and
ecotourism activities. One is the Verticália, an “arborism” adventure centre; the other is
Mata Adentro Ecoparque, mixing challenging “arborism” and zip line. Verticália has
been built up in a small rural property adjacent to Jacarepepira River, which is famous
for its rafting activities. The place, a former sugarcane plantation area, is being restored
with its native forest. Ecoparque is located in a forested river bank permanent
protection area belonging to a historic deactivated hydroelectric power plant. Alaya has
set up its 4-sector, 1,200m-long zip line crossing a 60 m deep canyon allowing sliding
visitors a bird’s view of a sequence of four beautiful waterfalls. No environmental
interpretation process is carried out at the sites, which are focused solely on adventure.

Alaya has also a consulting team which has projected tens of “arborism” facilities for
third parties country-wide. Their main building system uses live trees (preferably
eucalyptus) with wood platforms fixated in the bottom with two pairs of squeezing bars.
Periodical maintenance changes the position which the bars touch the trunk.

62
Photo Record – Alaya / Ecoparque – Date: 10/Nov/2006

Photos by Ismael Nobre

63
Altus 08

Avenida Brasil, 108/ Cadji Plaza/ Loja 1


Campos do Jordão/ SP/ 12460-000
Contact person: Udo Alexandre Vagner
Tel: (12) 3663 4122
e-mail: udo@altus.tur.br
www.altus.com.br

Date when the 1999


Type of area State Park
facility was built

Aerial circuit length/ 2.017m Challenging


Canopy activity aerial circuit
tower tall

Private / Size of area 8.4ha


Owned by Local
used/owned

Visitor number 9000


Admission price R$ 85.00
/year

Cost of R$ 260000.00
Total revenue R$ 37000.00
establishing

Ecotourism status 4/6 Total Employment 30

% Local 100% % Woman 30%

Altus is an adventure company which operates two canopy-access facilities in Campos


do Jordão, a municipality that became famous for its mountain climate and charming
tourism. They are the Bosque do Silêncio “arborism” circuit and the Campos do Jordão
State Park. Bosque do Silêncio has been built up in a patch of native forest that has
resisted to intense urban sprawl. It is a private conservation area whose owner
receives 10% of the canopy-activity operation revenue. This is considered an important
factor in the current and future conservation status of the area. Their 12m-tall aerial
pathways reach 1877 m in length in two independent circuits.

Altus operation in Campos do Jordão State Park is only 140 m long but it pioneered
partnership with a public protected area back in 1999. Besides a small nominal monthly
fee, Altus pays the salary of one park ranger. No environmental interpretation process
is carried out at the sites in connection with the “arborism”, which is focused solely on
adventure. One undergrad study about amphibian was carried out at their Bosque do
Silêncio site.

64
Photo Record – Altus – Date: 11/Nov/2006

Photos by Ismael Nobre

65
Circuito Arvorismo 09

Rua Monte Castelo, 826


Bonito/ MS/ 79290-000
Contact person: Rubens Magalhães
Tel: (67) 3255 2740
e-mail: rubens@viabonito.com.br
www.circuitoarvorismo.com.br

Date when the 1999


Type of area Law Protected
facility was built

Aerial circuit length/ 350m Challenging


Canopy activity aerial circuit
tower tall

Private / Size of area 10ha


Owned by Local
used/owned

Visitor number 1800


Admission price R$ 80.00
/year

Cost of R$ 30000.00
Total revenue R$ 35000.00
establishing

Ecotourism status 3/6 Total Employment 5

% Local 100 % Woman 60%

Circuito Arvorismo is a canopy-access facility in Bonito, a municipality that became


nationally famous for its ecotourism attractions such as caves and rivers with extremely
crystal waters. The company is family owned and operated. Out of 220,000 day-visits
realized in 2005 to all Bonito’s attractions, the facility got about 1.5% whereas the main
attractive, the Gruta Azul (Blue Cave) got 25%. Circuito Arvorismo is located in a
secondary forest area which has been specially purchased for establishing the canopy-
access facility. The area is under no environmental land use restriction and could be
deforested for agriculture and cattle raising if not serving to ecotourism purposes. Local
people used to consider crystal waters and waterfalls as valuable tourism assets but
forest are thought as just land for development. According to owner Rubens Magalhães
despite the facility’s size it gives a strong message to the local community about
conserving the forest environment while making money of it.

Circuito Arvorismo is very rustic with minimal aerial or ground infrastructures.


Accessing the canopy is done jumaring on a rope; likewise early canopy botanists used
to do.

66
Photo Record – Circuito Arvorismo – Date: 25/11/2006

Photos by Ismael Nobre

67
Ybirá Pe Canopy Tour 10

Bonito/ MS
Contact person: Afonso Rodrigues
Tel: (67) 3255 1003
e-mail: ybirape@terra.com.br
www.ybirape.com.br

Date when the 2003


Type of area Non Protected
facility was built

Aerial circuit length/ 380m Challenging


Canopy activity aerial circuit
tower tall

Private / Size of area 37.5ha


Owned by Local
used/owned

Visitor number 2200


Admission price R$ 98.00
/year

Cost of R$ 180000.00
Total revenue R$ 150000.00
establishing

Ecotourism status 3/6 Total Employment 8

% Local 70% % Woman 37.5%

Ybirá Pe is a canopy-access facility in Bonito, a municipality that became nationally


famous for its ecotourism attractions such caves and rivers with extremely crystal
waters. Out of 220,000 day trip-person realized in 2005 to all Bonito’s attractions, the
facility got about 1-1.5% whereas the main attractive, the Gruta Azul (Blue Cave) got
25%. Ybirá Pe is located in a primary forest area corresponding to the permanent
protection area of a larger agricultural property. Ybirá Pe is very rustic with the few
aerial or ground infrastructures built in harmony with the environment. Facility’s owner
Afonso Rodrigues is permaculturist and employs that philosophy and techniques in the
site’s design and operation. It is a minimalist “arborism” site where users feel
themselves really climbing a tree. Accessing the canopy level is done by means of an
ingenious lifting system: the visitor must pedal a stationary bicycle which lifts a
counterweight so that, later on, she/he gets pulled up through an ascending zip line.

Facility’s users might also enjoy bathing in a river’s natural pool with waterfall after or
before the canopy activity. There are no specific procedures for environmental
education or awareness rising to date.

68
Photo Record – Ybirá Pe Canopy Tour Brazil – Date: 25/11/2006

Photos by Ismael Nobre

69
Ecoparque de Una 11

Una/ BA
Contact person: Flávio Leopoldino
Tel: (73) 3663 1121
e-mail: flavio@ibest.com.br
www.ecoparque.com.br

Date when the 1997


Type of area RPPN
facility was built

Aerial circuit length/ 100m


Canopy activity Aerial Walkway
tower tall

Size of area 383ha


Owned by NGO
used/owned

Visitor number 7500


Admission price R$ 30.00
/year

Cost of R$ 80000.00
Total revenue R$ 40000.00
establishing

Ecotourism status 6/6 Total Employment 8

% Local 100% % Woman 25%

Ecoparque de Una is the pioneer canopy ecotourism facility in Brazil. It was


established in 1998 by IESB, the South Bahia Socio-environmental Studies Institute, a
not-for-profit NGO. The facility is based on a set of four sequential plain aerial
walkways connected by tree platforms. The walkways structure is based on aluminium
ladder covered by wood plaques and the wood platforms are suspended by steel
cables hanging from upper forks. The area is protected as RPPN. It is adjacent to a
federal biological reserve, serving as its buffer zone and working also as a socio-
environmental agent for local awareness rising. It is a full featured ecotourism project
with all elements incorporated. From strong environmental interpretation program to
deep involvement of local community members in the building up, operation and
extension projects. The facility delivers high satisfaction level to its visitors and despite
charging entrance fee, Ecoparque’s revenue hasn’t made it economically sustainable.
Instead, it is permanently subsidized. Three Doctoral dissertations, two Master thesis
and 3 undergrad monographs were done in the area, all funded by major science and
education governmental agencies.

70
Photo Record – Ecoparque de Una – Date: 18/Feb/2005

Photos by Ismael Nobre

71
Cristalino Jungle Lodge 12

Alta Floresta/ MT
Contact person: Vitória da Riva Carvalho
Tel: (66) 3512 7100
e-mail: info@cristalinolodge.com.br
www.cristalinolodge.com.br

Date when the 2002


Type of area RPPN
facility was built

Aerial circuit length/ 50m Observation


Canopy activity Tower / Lodge
tower tall

Private / Size of area 700ha


Owned by Local
used/owned

Visitor number 750


Admission price R$ 400.00
/year

Cost of R$ 33000.00
Total revenue R$ 300000.00
establishing

Ecotourism status 5/6 Total Employment 18

% Local 100% % Woman 56.25%

Cristalino Jungle Lodge is one of the best privately-owned ecotourism sites in Brazil. It
has a sturdy 50 m tall tower that allows forest observation at any level, including above
the canopy. It is located in a RPPN and is adjacent to Cristalino State Park. The region
encompasses 5 different Amazon ecosystems, making its biodiversity extremely rich
and perceivable. Visitors have said “this is probably the premiere tourist lodge in all of
Amazonia. It is in an unbelievably species-rich forest… we will walk trails, travel up the
river by boat, and climb an observation tower that provides a dramatic view of
unbroken rainforest canopy as far as the eye can see… It doesn't get any better than
this... so it's sort of a Noah's Ark for quite a bit of rainforest wildlife. I think the last time
we were there we saw 5 species of monkeys in one morning!” Twelve formal fauna and
flora research projects have gotten facility’s support. Lodge’s owner Vitória da Riva
Carvalho actively promotes local awareness rising and community integration with
Lodge’s low-scale generated tourism. Loggers, farmers and state politicians have
fought a dramatic political battle against her ecotourism project and the State Park.
Conservation and sustainable development principles are a threat to their cultural
meanings and economic interests.

72
Photo Record – Cristalino Jungle Lodge – Interview Date: 27/Feb/2007

Photos by Cécile Dubois and Mário Friedlander (supplied by site owner).

73
Fazenda Marupiara 13

Rua Manaus, 10/ Sala 12


Presidente Figueiredo/ AM
Contact person: João Alves Flores
Tel: (92) 3324 1445
e-mail: Claudia@fazendamarupiara.com.br
www.fazendamarupiara.com.br

Date when the 2005


Type of area Non Protected
facility was built

Aerial circuit length/ 230m Challenging


Canopy activity aerial circuit
tower tall

Private / Size of area 175ha


Owned by Local
used/owned

Visitor number
Ǿ Admission price R$ 98.00
/year

Cost of R$ 22000.00
Total revenue Ǿ
establishing

Ecotourism status 4/6 Total Employment 20

% Local 100% % Woman 50%

Fazenda Marupiara is a canopy-access facility in Presidente Figueiredo, a municipality


known for its ecotourism attractions such as sandstone caves and a host of waterfalls.
The site is 100 km away from the Amazon gateway Manaus, making it a destination for
international tourists as well. The canopy-access facility is operated in conjunction with
a cabin lodge which also offers rafting and forest hiking. Although it is a 230m
challenging aerial circuit, it has shown comprehensive types of use, including those
performed by American bird watchers and some researchers. It exemplifies how
“arborism” and canopy ecotourism can be convergent at one single canopy-access
facility, depending on market demands and/or operation orientation.

Its primary-forest land was acquired for conservation purposes. Marupiara’s owner
proactively watches and denounces any attempt or plot for the regionally common
illegal deforestation on neighbouring properties, augmenting the facility’s “forest
conservation coefficient”. The site carries out a project under which biology students
from UEA (Amazonas State University) visit it. The facility is environmentally certified
by IPAAM (Amazonas State Environmental Protection Institute).

74
Photo Record – Fazenda Marupiara – Interview Date: 06/Mar/2007

Photos supplied by site owner. Waterfall picture by DanielM @ http://www.wunderground.com

75
Ariaú Amazon Towers 14

Rua Leonardo Malcher, 699/ Centro


Novo Airão/ AM/ 69010 170
Tel: (92) 2121 5000
e-mail: treetop@ariautowers.com.br
www.ariau.tur.br

Photo from www.maria-brazil.org

Ariaú Amazon Towers is a super-sized hotel complex built up over poles amidst Rio
Negro’s flooding forest in the Amazonas State. It sits at the canopy level, comprising
long elevated walkways (many are also golf car driveways) and cabins put atop the
highest trees. The facility allows for intimate contact with the canopy environment
including its fauna. Forest monkeys attending the site are world-wide famous for the
easiness they get in direct touch with tourists, by means of hugs or human rides and
even eating / drinking given food.

Rio Cuieiras 15

Potential Canopy Ecotourism Zone - PCEZ

Reserva Biológica do Cuieiras


Manaus/ AM

Photo by Ismael Nobre

Rio Cuieiras PCEZ brings together several strategic elements for future canopy-access
developments. It is located near the Amazon gateway Manaus, easing to visitors
accessing the site; there are at least two protected areas nearby; the region is under
threat of environmentally destructive development which could be counterweighted by
sustainable alternatives; the area is focus of intense scientific research carried out by
INPA which could collaborate to make the site an interface for broad forest knowledge
diffusion; there are local communities nearby that could interact with the project; and it
allows for an attractive, long, immersive circuit through the majestic Amazon forest both
by road and by river, with plenty of potential for ground hiking and canopy walking (if
implemented). There are two taller-than-canopy towers that are used for measuring
and understanding the forest metabolism at the ZF-2 research outpost. These

76
structures and the impressions caused on selected groups that have visited them give
a good glimpse about the outstanding potential the whole Rio Cuieiras zone has for
canopy ecotourism.

Rio Uatumã 16

Potential Canopy Ecotourism Zone - PCEZ

Amazonas

Satellite image from Google Earth

Rio Uatumã PCEZ is located along the Uatumã River, downriver the Balbina
hydroeletric power plant dam. According to Mariano Colini Cenamo from Instituto de
Conservação e Desenvolvimento Sustentável do Amazonas, the area has an
interesting and infrequent terrain with steep slopes covered by lush Amazon forest. The
region also showed a strong need for alternative, sustainable development strategies
to compensate an environmental damage affecting traditional local communities. The
dam’s river-blocking adversely changed reproductive patterns of native fishes, plunging
down fishing stocks, which used to be local community’s main subsistence resource.
Mr. Cenamo considers it a priority area for canopy ecotourism development.

Caxiuanã 17

Potential Canopy Ecotourism Zone - PCEZ

Portel/ PA
www.museu-
goeldi.br/pesquisa/caxiuana/index.htm

Photo by Ismael Nobre

Caxiuanã is a National Forest within which is located the Ferreira Penna research
station (EFCP), an outpost from Museu Paraense Emílio Goeldi (MPEG). The area
presents a complete lodging infrastructure that could be shared with selective science-
oriented ecotourism. It showed a full potential for canopy ecotourism development.

77
Mamirauá - RDS 18

Potential Canopy Ecotourism Zone - PCEZ

Tefé/ AM
www.mamiraua.org.br

Photo from http://www.mpefunbio.org.br/mpe/noticia.asp?tipo=3&noticia_id=96

The Mamirauá Sustainable Development Project is administered by The Sociedade


Civil Mamirauá, a non-profit NGO. The Sociedade is responsible for all activities within
the Reserve, by agreement with Amazonas state government (IPAAM). The Mamirauá
Project combines researchers, extension workers and local community members,
working together. Institutional support comes directly from CNPq, and via agreements
with IPAAM and IBAMA. Financial support is principally from the National Research
Council (CNPq/MCT), bilateral co-operation from the British Government, the Wildlife
Conservation Society (WCS) and from the European Commission (EC). The
conservation model followed at Mamirauá includes the sustainable use of natural
resources by the human population. People already living in the Reserve were not
removed and the residents of Mamirauá and the adjacent areas participate in
discussions on the working of the Reserve. There is an ecotourism program at
Mamirauá which could be complemented through implementation of canopy-related
activities. It is a priority site for developing canopy ecotourism in the Amazonas State.

Selva Aventura 19

Trilhas – Rafting - Arvorismo

Rua Arthur da Costa e Silva, 1575


Juquitiba/ SP
Contact person: Arsenio Fernandes Martins
Tel: (11) 4681 4101
Cell: (11) 9984 4704

Photo by Ismael Nobre

Selva Aventura is a challenging “arborism” site located 50 km from São Paulo.


Corporate groups which use the canopy-access infrastructure for training purposes are
its main target public. Property’s owner Arsenio Martins faces severe problems with
night invaders that pillage law-protected palmetto tree to feed the plant’s black market.

78
Sítio Canoar 20

Juquitiba/ SP
Tel: (11) 3871 2282
e-mail: rafting@canoar.com.br
www.canoar.com.br

Photo by Ismael Nobre

Sitio Canoar is a challenging “arborism” site located 50 km from São Paulo. Its aerial
structure is built up over wood poles. It crosses the wide Juquitiba River two times: it
goes through a hanging bridge (photo) and returns through a short zip line. White-water
river rafting in the Juquitiba is the original and main activity carried out at this adventure
site.

Ecopoint 21

Ilhabela/ SP
Tel: (12) 3895 1017
e-mail: ecopoint.ilhabela@gmail.com
www.ecopoint.com.br

Photo by Ismael Nobre

Ecopoint is a challenging “arborism” site located in Ilhabela Island in São Paulo State.
Its aerial structure is built up over wood poles. The island is a well developed beach
destination which receives several thousand visitors each summer. 85% of the whole
island’s land sits within the Ilhabela State Park. Despite this high proportion of
protection land, there are many places where urban neighbourhoods have invaded
park’s limits. Ecopoint borders the park; it sits between the park and the city’s suburban
area working as a buffer belt and helping to protect the Atlantic Forest.

79
Aventura no Rancho 22

Campos do Jordão/ SP
Tel: (12) 3663 7400
e-mail: contato@aventuranorancho.com.br
www.aventuranorancho.com.br

Photo by Ismael Nobre

Aventura no Rancho is a canopy-access facility in Campos do Jordão, a municipality


that became famous for its mountain climate and charming tourism. The site’s main
activity fits well within the challenging “arborism” concept. It has been built up on hills
covered with the Araucaria Forest, the high-altitude variation of the Atlantic Forest. It is
a private area whose owner Lígia Eisenlohr voluntarily preserves with financial support
coming from the canopy-access operation revenue. Rancho’s canopy-access
comprises 8 independent circuits with a variety of difficulty levels. It ranges from ground
level to vertiginous 40 m high, with is above the canopy level, due to the fact that some
pathways cross a deep valley. The canopy aerial ways placement and activity options
recall a mountain sky resort. It is also offered horse ridding and rustic cabin lodging.
The property borders Campos do Jordão State Park and is officially recognized as a
private protection land that substantially contributes with the ecosystem protection
anchored by the park.

Ecoação Arvomix 23

Rua Mário Pinotti, 205


Brotas/ SP
Tel: (14) 3653 8040
e-mail: reservas@ecoacao.com.br
www.ecoacao.com.br

Photo by Ismael Nobre

Ecoação Arvomix operates a canopy-access facility in Brotas, a municipality that


became famous for its large portfolio of adventure tourism and ecotourism activities.
The site offers challenging “arborism” activities with aerial pathways and a steep zip
line. The canopy aerial circuit is supported by both wood poles and live trees. It was
built in a narrow patch of secondary forest. In the absence of old trees with large

80
trunks, some platforms were supported by small-diameter trees, making it questionable
the impact acceptability of such setting. Its placement, however, makes the visitors
walk right at the canopy tops, allowing for a beautiful view of the neighboring sierras. It
is like “walking over water”, but over trees instead. Facility’s owner Rodrigo Saldanha
stated using the property for tourism yielded for much higher revenue than the
traditional cattle raising did, although he still raises horses and other animals.

Grutas de São Miguel 24

Bonito/ MS
Tel: (67) 3255 1733
www.ygarape.com.br

Photo by Ismael Nobre

Grutas de São Miguel is a canopy-access facility in Bonito, a municipality that became


nationally famous for its ecotourism attractions such caves and rivers with extremely
crystal waters. Grutas de São Miguel canopy-access structure comprises just an
elevated walkway that initiates in its visitor centre’s second floor, crosses a driveway
and goes all the way through the forest canopy till it naturally reaches the ground,
uphill. It was made as a low impact, attractive access to a cave entrance.

Arvorismo Urbano 25

Brotas/ SP

Photo by Ismael Nobre

Challenging “arborism” as it is seen in an urban setting in the municipality of Brotas.


This case reveals one origin of the activity in Brazil: the ropes course. This type of bare
“arborism”, despite evoking trees in its name, doesn’t have any association with trees
besides its wood poles, once living trees. It is frequently seen in association with
hotels, resorts, and even indoor in shopping malls and amusement parks. It

81
demonstrates the high popularity the activity has among Brazilians. Most conventional
“arborism” sites are similar to this with an added forest background, punctuating the
distance it keeps from its other origin: the canopy ecotourism.

82
Annex 2

Research’s
data tables

Canopy ecotourism site-to-site analysis – Data tables

This section depicts each studied site by presenting the whole data collected during
field work and interviews. It contains the highest level of detail about site’s main
characteristics. The way the tables were structured allows for horizontal and vertical
information reading. In the first case it is possible to get a sense on how a certain
characteristic varies across multiple studied sites. The further reading option gives a
sense on how each site behaved regarding a set of different analyzed characteristics.

In order to make the Brazilian research transversely comparable with those carried out
in Asia and Costa Rica, it was utilized the same guidelines for assessing impacts and
potentials of canopy tourism, which are based on Quebec Declaration on Ecotourism,
NEAPIII, GCP-Workshop with R. Denman and fieldwork data from evaluation of canopy
tourism in Costa Rica.

Due to the particular characteristics of the “arborism”, which comprises the majority of
Brazilian canopy-access facilities, several inquiring guidelines didn’t fit well with its
typical operation model, yielding to apparent missing information in the data set. It was
chosen to do this way for keeping comparability at a world scale, rather than reshaping
the inquiring guidelines to match the typical national pattern.

83
1 Description of Canopy Tourism Operation/Facility

01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13
UNI IGU TOC JUV TUI NEB ALA ALT ARV YBI UNA CRI MAR

01. Date when the facility was built (year)

2002 2003 1995 2002 2004 2001 2005 1999 2003 2003 1997 2002 2005

Location
02. Public area (X)
X X X *

03. Private area (ONW = owned; REN = rented; CED = ceded)

OWN OWN OWN CED REN OWN OWN OWN OWN OWN

04. Status of protection (see legend below)


RPPN
RPPN PN NON PE APP APP PE APP NON RPPN RPPN NON
**

05. Size of area used/owned by facility (hectare)

8.5 0.3 8 24 6500 2800 55 8.4 10 37.5 383 700 175

06. Percentage of land used for tourism purposes (%)

23.5 100 37.5 7 10 15 100 80 40 13.3 10 4.2 30

07. Forest type (PRI = primary; SEC = secondary; MIX = mixed)

MIX SEC SEC SEC PRI SEC SEC PRI SEC PRI PRI PRI PRI

Additional Legend

RPPN = Natural Patrimony Private Reserve;


PN = National Park;
PE = State Park;
APP = Permanent Protection Area (law enforced);
NON = Non-protected area, usually well preserved, voluntary by owner.
* Campos do Jordão State Park; Altus operates also in Bosque do Silêncio, a private
protected area in process of becoming RPPN.
** Undergoing official process to become RPPN

84
1 Description of Canopy Tourism Operation/Facility

01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13
UNI IGU TOC JUV TUI NEB ALA ALT ARV YBI UNA CRI MAR

Construction
08. MP = metal pole; WP = wood pole; TP = tree platform; MT = metal tower; MU = multiple
MU WP TP TP TP TP TP TP TP TP TP MT TP

09. Aerial circuit length/ tower tall (meter)

140 120 150 226 250 150 1370 2017 350 380 100 50 230

Activities offered
10. Type of canopy activity (see legend bellow)
C G C C z C z C w W C Z C z C z C z W T C p
z z
11. Package with other kind of nature tourism (e.g. rafting)

HIK RAF CAY CAY


RAF RAF
GON WAL HIK HIK

12. Combination with a lodge (X)

X X

Model of ownership
13. Owned by (PRI = private; GOV = government; ONG = non governmental organization)
PRI PRI PRI GOV PRI ONG PRI PRI PRI PRI ONG PRI PRI

14. Owned by (INT = international; NAT = national; LOC = local) company or institution

NAT NAT NAT LOC NAT LOC NAT LOC LOC LOC LOC NAT LOC

15. Owned by the local community (Y = yes; N = no)

N N N N N N N N N N N N N

Additional Legend

W (w) = Aerial walkway; G (g) = Cable car; T (t)= Tower; Z (z) = Zip line; P (p) =
Platform (sub-canopy); C (c) = Challenge circuit; [CAPITAL letter meaning it provides
the main experience, otherwise it is part of an experience featured by another canopy
activity]

HIK = hiking; GON = cable car rides; WAL = climbing or rappel; RAF = rafting; CAY =
kayaking

85
1 Description of Canopy Tourism Operation/Facility

01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13
UNI IGU TOC JUV TUI NEB ALA ALT ARV YBI UNA CRI MAR

Visitors
16. Annual number of visitors
10000 10000 15000 8400 7200 12000 4080 9000 1800 2200 7500 750 Ǿ

17. Visitors during high season

6000 7000 Ǿ Ǿ 3200 6000 3600 4500 Ǿ 1200 3000 Ǿ Ǿ

18. Visitors during low season

4000 3000 Ǿ Ǿ 4000 6000 480 4500 Ǿ 1000 3500 Ǿ Ǿ

19. Percentage of foreign visitors (%)

20 Ǿ 35 0 5 5 Ǿ 2 30 10 10 60 30

20. Percentage of national visitors (%)

80 Ǿ 65 0 94 87 Ǿ 95 70 85 50 40 30

21. Percentage of local visitors (%)

Ǿ Ǿ Ǿ 100 1 8 Ǿ 3 Ǿ 5 40 Ǿ 40

22. Admission price for canopy access activities (R$)

23.00 85.00 45.00 0.00 50.00 30.00 99.00 85.00 80.00 98.00 30.00 400.00 98.00

23. Market profile of visitors (see legend below)

Y K Y W Y Y K K K K K L K

Additional Legend

Ǿ = information was not made available, not known or it doesn’t apply;

K = middle class, “what is in” doers, age 25-30; higher education;


L = middle to upper class; high degree of education; seasoned travelers;
Y = private school groups and company motivational groups;
W = segment with mixed classes, C predominant; high school education;

86
1 Description of Canopy Tourism Operation/Facility

01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13
UNI IGU TOC JUV TUI NEB ALA ALT ARV YBI UNA CRI MAR

Economy
24. Total annual revenue (R$ x 1000)
Ǿ 450 20 0 100 29 44.2 37 35 150 40 300 Ǿ

25. In case of package/ combination, percentage of revenue out of canopy tourism (%/yr)

Ǿ Ǿ Ǿ Ǿ 30 Ǿ Ǿ Ǿ Ǿ Ǿ Ǿ Ǿ Ǿ

26. Total cost of establishing the canopy facility (R$ x 1000)

250 700 Ǿ 124 150 Ǿ 105 260 30 180 80 33 22

27. Source(s) of funding (see legend below)

OWN OWN OWN STA OWN DON OWN OWN OWN OWN DON DON OWN

28. Overall economic performance (see legend below)

MOR PRO EVE SUB PRO SUB PRO LOS EVE PRO SUB PRO PRO

29. Extent of reinvestment in the facility (R$ x 1000 or % where indicated)

Ǿ Ǿ Ǿ 200 Ǿ Ǿ 7 % 15 % Ǿ 35 15 Ǿ 2

30. Plans for expansion/improvement (Y = yes; N = no)

Y Y Y N N Y Y N Y Y Y Y Y

Additional Legend

Ǿ = information was not made available, not known or it doesn’t apply;

PRO = profit;
EVE = break even;
LOS = financial loss;
MOR = bank loan amortization;
SUB = subsided;

OWN = own money or banking loan;


DON = donated;
STA = state-funded.

87
1 Description of Canopy Tourism Operation/Facility

01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13
UNI IGU TOC JUV TUI NEB ALA ALT ARV YBI UNA CRI MAR

General Ecotourism Criteria:


31. Overall ecotourism evaluation of facility based on Wallace’s six ecotourism principles*
5/6 4/6 4/6 4/6 4/6 5/6 3/6 4/6 3/6 3/6 6/6 5/6 4/6

ª Entails a type of use that minimizes negative impacts to the environment and local
32.
people
X X X X X X X X X X X X X

ª Increases the awareness and understanding of an area’s natural and cultural


33.
systems and subsequent involvement of visitors in issues affecting those systems
X X X X X X

ª Contributes to the conservation and management of legally protected and other


34.
cultural areas
X X X X X X X X X X X

ª Maximizes the early and long-term participation of local people in the decision-
35.
making process that determines the kind and amount of tourism that should occur
X

ª Directs economic and other benefits to local people that complement rather than
36.
overwhelm or replace traditional practices
X X X X X X X X X X X

ª Provides special opportunities for local people and nature tourism employees to
37. utilize and visit natural areas and learn more about the wonders that other visitors
come to see
X X X X X X X X X X X X

38. Ecotourism certification or other systems of voluntary regulation


IPAA
RBMA RBMA
M

39. In no certification exists, acceptance of such certification for the future (S = yes)
S S S S S S S
S N S
ABNT ABNT ABNT ABNT ABNT MTur ABNT
Additional Legend

ABNT = Technical Norms Brazilian Association; IPAAM;


RBMA = Atlantic Forest Biosphere Net; MTur = Tourism Ministry
* Boolean evaluation. It might misrepresent partial complying toward a given principle.

88
2 Socio-Economic and Socio-Cultural Aspects
A Direct economic/ social benefit from the operation

01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13
UNI IGU TOC JUV TUI NEB ALA ALT ARV YBI UNA CRI MAR

01. Employment in operating the canopy facility directly hired by the operator

5 28 20 8 11 0 2 5 5 8 3 14 16

02. Employment in operating the canopy facility contracted by the operator

19 0 130 0 6 15 20 25 0 0 5 4 4

03. Percentage of employment from the local community (%)

80 100 100 100 100 90 90 100 100 70 100 100 100

Employment in, and purchasing by, other services closely associated with the canopy
04. facility - operated by the facility operator (person)
50 3 0 0 16 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Employment in, and purchasing by, other services closely associated with the canopy
05. facility - operated by others under concession (person)
500 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

06. Extent of involvement of women in the above employment (woman / see legend)

28 14 15 2 6 9 3 9 3 3 2* 9 10
[c] [c] [a] [a] [b] [c] [c] [b] [a] [a] [b] [a] [b]

07. Support by the operator for local economic/ social initiatives/ projects in the community

3 3 2 5 4 5 2 3 2 2 5 5 3

Any formalised process for a proportion of admission going towards local


08. economic/social projects in the community (X)
X

09. Any process of promoting voluntary giving/ support by tourists (X)

Additional Legend

Ǿ = information was not made available, not known or it doesn’t apply;


* only during high season
[a] Computed with item 01 only
[b] Computed with items 01and 02
[c]Computed with items 01, 02 and 04

89
2 Socio-Economic and Socio-Cultural Aspects
A Direct economic/ social benefit from the operation

01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13
UNI IGU TOC JUV TUI NEB ALA ALT ARV YBI UNA CRI MAR

10. Instruments and strategic alliances for an equitable distribution of benefits (Y/N)

N N* N N N N N N N N N N N

11. Promotion of other operator’s ecotourism products through the marketing of the facility

12. Bookings for ecotourism products on behalf of other operators

Company policies for socio-economic sustainability with a view to applying them in


13. each part of the operation
X X X X

Additional Legend

90
2 Socio-Economic and Socio-Cultural Aspects
B Indirect economic/social benefits and costs from the operation of the facility

01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13
UNI IGU TOC JUV TUI NEB ALA ALT ARV YBI UNA CRI MAR

Indication of number and size of local enterprises in the local area that appear to
01. benefit from the facility, in addition to those which profit directly
SEV UNS SEV UNS SEV UNS UNS UNS UNS UNS UNS SEV UNS

02. Estimate of total employment in these enterprises, and whether local (LOC)
LOC
LOC Ǿ LOC Ǿ LOC Ǿ Ǿ Ǿ Ǿ Ǿ Ǿ Ǿ
20
Any other evidence of impact of these enterprises on local community, e.g. purchasing
03. of inputs (crafts, food etc.) from local area
MED SML MED STR

Extent to what the above enterprises have become established after (AFT) the canopy
04. facility and as a consequence of it (CON)
CON

Indication of the approximate percentage of visitors to these enterprises that may be


05. due to the canopy facility (%)
80 90 45 5 100

06. Extent of involvement of women in the above employment (% or MTY = majority)

MTY 60 80

Indication of percentage of visitors to the canopy facility who stay in the local area, and
07. length of stay (day; TOT = 100%; MTY = majority; NON = none)
TOT NON NON UND NON TOT MTY TOT TOT TOT TOT TOT
MTY
2 1 1 2 1 2 2.5 2.5 2.5 3 6 3
Ǿ
Infrastructure related to the canopy facility development – road access, energy, water
08. etc also benefiting the community
Rd
T N N N Et S Ed N N N N N N
Et W

Additional Legend

Ǿ = information was not made available, not known or it doesn’t apply;

SEV = Specifically evident; UNS = Unspecific | STR = Strong; MED = Medium; SML
= Small | T = transport; Et = electricity; S = emergency rescue; Ed = education; Rd =
road; N = none

91
2 Socio-Economic and Socio-Cultural Aspects
C Aspects of socio-culturally sensitive operation

01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13
UNI IGU TOC JUV TUI NEB ALA ALT ARV YBI UNA CRI MAR

Respect of operation/ facility towards land and property rights of indigenous and
01. local communities where recognized; the right to self-determination and cultural
sovereignty of indigenous and local communities (X = evidence)
X
Participative planning mechanisms to allow local and indigenous communities to
02. define and regulate the use of their areas at the local level and to opt out of
tourism development (Y/N)
N N N N N N N N N N N N N
Active cooperation with indigenous leadership and local communities to ensure that
03. indigenous cultures and communities are depicted accurately and with respect (Y/N)
N N Y N N N N N N N N N N
04. Cooperation with GOs/ NGOs to ensure the above criteria (Y/N)
N N N N N N N N N N N N N
Comments on how or whether staff and visitors are well and accurately informed
05. regarding local and indigenous sites, customs and history (Y/N)
N N Y N N N N N N N N N N
Comments on any social impact issues – reaction of the community to the facility,
06. evidence of any disruption (see legend bellow)
Ǿ N N N N Y+ Y- Y+ Y- N N Y- Y-

07. Admission price structure for members of local community (see legend bellow)
20%
50% 50% FRE FRE FRE FRE FRE FRE FRE DSC TCH
50% N
BTD OFF CON ALL ALL ALL ALL ALL DAY OFF OFF
OFF
Identification how to minimise negative social impacts and action according to
08. information gathered (e.g. consultation of specialists/ social impact study undertaken
on the local community) (Y/N)
N N N N N N N N N N N N N

Company policies for socio-cultural sustainability with a view to applying them in each
09. part of the operation (see legend bellow)

Ǿ Ǿ Ǿ Ǿ PAS Ǿ LOC Ǿ Ǿ Ǿ Ǿ Ǿ Ǿ

Additional Legend

BTD = site birthday promotion (August); 50% off for local community; FRE ALL = free
for all local community members; FRE CON = free for students and poor people; FRE
DAY = free for local community in specific days; DSC OFF = discount and payment
facility for locals; TCH OFF = local teachers are invited each 2 weeks;
Y- = negative reaction, against facility establishment;
Y+ = positive reaction, high expectancy;
LOC = employment from local community;
PAS = arte no sertão project (wilderness art), artisans are monthly paid R$ 350.00
Ǿ = information was not made available, not known or it doesn’t apply;

92
3 Environmental Aspects
A Environmental impact during construction of canopy tourism facility

01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13
UNI IGU TOC JUV TUI NEB ALA ALT ARV YBI UNA CRI MAR

01. Visual impact of the facility in situ (if possible to see construction work) (High/Low)

HIG LOW LOW LOW LOW LOW LOW LOW LOW LOW LOW LOW LOW

Location of tourism infrastructure such as visitor centers (e.g. in primary (PRI) or


02. secondary (SEC) forest sections or previously open, anthropic area (OPN))
OPN SEC OPN OPN OPN OPN OPN PRI NEX OPN OPN PRI OPN

Design, planning, development and operation of the facility take into consideration
03. sustainability (X/Y = X out of Y)
4/7 6/6 5/5 5/6 6/7 7/7 4/5 5/6 5/5 5/6 6/7 7/7 6/6

04. ª Sensitive site design


X X X X X X X X X X X X X

05. ª Conservation of water, energy and materials


X X X X X NA X X X X

ª Sustainable transportation principles in the planning and design of access and


06.
transportation systems
X NA NA NA X NA NA NA NA X NA

ª Transportation of construction material (e.g. on special construction paths or via


07.
helicopter)
X X X X X X X X X X X X

08. ª Avoiding the cutting of trees and corridors during construction


X X X X X X X X X X X X

Additional Legend

Ǿ = information was not made available, not known or it doesn’t apply;

HIG = High; LOW = Low

93
3 Environmental Aspects
A Environmental impact during construction of canopy tourism facility

01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13
UNI IGU TOC JUV TUI NEB ALA ALT ARV YBI UNA CRI MAR

09. ª Avoiding erosion when building metal constructions such as bridges or towers
X X NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA X NA

ª Usage of spacers and other protective devices to avoid the damaging of trees when
10.
building tree platforms
NA NA NA X X X NA X X X X NA X

ª Usage of environmentally friendly materials and methods during maintenance (e.g.


11.
anti-corrosives, change of steel cables, change of cable position on trees)
X X X X X X X X X X X X

12. Land for conservation purposes is acquired

SPE NOT STD NOT STD STD STD NOT STD STD SPE SPE SPE

Environmental impact study to determine limits of acceptable change, or environmental


13. carrying capacity of the tour site (AAA # = type of study and value of CC, see legend)
FCC FCC FCC SSE DLA FCC FCC
Ǿ FCC SSE FCC FCC SSE
300 60 100 250 55 45 112
Cooperation with governmental and non-governmental organizations in charge of
14. protected natural areas and conservation of biodiversity
NOT OFI OFI NOT INF OFI NOT OFI WIL NOT OFI OFI OFI

Additional Legend

Ǿ = information was not made available, not known or it doesn’t apply;

SPE = land specifically acquired for conservation; STD = land acquired for canopy
ecotourism is also protected; NOT = no land was purchased)

FCC = Formal Carrying Capacity study; DLA = determined by licensing agency; SSE
= site self-established; NOT = none)

OFI = cooperates officially; INF; cooperates informally; WIL = willingness to


cooperate; NOT = no)

94
3 Environmental Aspects
B Environmental impact during operation of canopy tourism facility

01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13
UNI IGU TOC JUV TUI NEB ALA ALT ARV YBI UNA CRI MAR

01. Visual impact of the facility in situ (LOW = low; HIG = high)

LOW LOW LOW LOW LOW LOW LOW LOW LOW LOW LOW LOW LOW

02. Use of revenue from the facility (admission etc.) to support conservation

NOT PCF NOT NOT IND ALL NOT NGO NOT NOT ALL NGO NOT

Impact of operation – noise (n N), littering (l L), pollution (p P), energy/ water use,
03. general disturbance to wildlife (w W), sewage (s S) [CAPITAL indicating intensity]
n e n n n n n n S n s n n

04. Visitor flow/pressure impact, traffic movement to the site - Group size

36 120 18 10 15 15 20 OPN 10 8 15 15 4

05. Visitor flow/pressure impact, traffic movement to the site - Guided/ unguided tours

X X X X X X X X X X X X X

Company policies for environmental sustainability with a view to applying them in each
06. part of the operation
VIS POL VIS POL VIS POL POL VIS VIS VIS POL POL VIS

Diversification of the facility's offer by developing a wide range of tourist activities at a


07. given destination
X X X X X X X

08. Diversification of the facility's offer by extending it to different destinations

N N N N N N N N N N N N N

Additional Legend

Ǿ = information was not made available, not known or it doesn’t apply;


PCS = public concession; IND = indirect, eventual; ALL = 100% is directed to PA;
COP = strait cooperation with NGO that supports conservation; NOT = no)
POL = follows a formal policy; VIS = embodies a vision of sustainability; NOT = no)

95
3 Environmental Aspects
B Environmental impact during operation of canopy tourism facility

01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13
UNI IGU TOC JUV TUI NEB ALA ALT ARV YBI UNA CRI MAR

Visitor impact management systems of ecotourism destinations (reduced group


09. numbers, limitation of visitors at a given time)
X X X X X X X

10. Employment of full-time qualified environmental management officer (see legend)

PT FT FT N N FT N N N N FT FT N

Conservation agreement with a (public) protected area manager (GOV)/ private


11. landowner (PRI) / local NGO (NGO)
NOT GOV GOV NOT GOV NGO PRI NGO NOT NOT NGO NGO NOT

Land for conservation/research and to use it as a control area to monitor visitor impacts
12. is set aside
N N N N N N N N N N N N N

13. Independent monitoring program assessing environmental impact (NOT = no)

NOT NOT NOT NOT NOT NOT NOT NOT NOT NOT NOT NOT NOT

Cooperation with governmental and non-governmental organizations in charge of


14. protected natural areas and conservation of biodiversity (Y = yes; N = no)
N Y N Y Y Y N Y N N Y Y N

Additional Legend

Ǿ = information was not made available, not known or it doesn’t apply;

FT = Full time
PT = Partial time

96
3 Environmental Aspects
C Raising awareness towards tropical forest

01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13
UNI IGU TOC JUV TUI NEB ALA ALT ARV YBI UNA CRI MAR

Effect of general awareness raising in the community of the importance of the forest/
01. canopy - Employment alternative [J] to deforestation (F)/ poaching (P)/ despoiling (D)
J(PD) J(P) Ǿ J J(D)

Effect of general awareness raising in the community of the importance of the forest/
02. canopy - School projects/ community activities
ART
SCH SCH SCH
SCH IND EAC SCH SCH SCH EXA Ǿ ORQ EAC
CHA ART AGR
SCH
Effect of general awareness raising among all management and staff of the importance
03. of the forest/ canopy (EXP = expressive; PRE= presumable; NEV = no evidence)
PRE PRE PRE NEV EXP EXP PRE PRE PRE Ǿ EXP EXP EXP

Overall effect of general awareness raising among visitors of the importance of the
04. forest/ canopy
3/6 1/6 4/6 5/6 3/6 3/6 3/6 3/6 4/6 Ǿ 3/6 6/6 5/6

05. ª Evidence of broad and quality education/interpretation in the experience offered


X X X X X X X Ǿ X X X

06. ª Focus on qualities and sensitivities of the destination


X X X X X X X Ǿ X X X

ª Ethical and environmentally conscious behaviour vis-àvis the ecotourism destination


07.
visited
X X X X X X X X X Ǿ X X X

ª Encouraging voluntary contributions to support local community or conservation


08.
initiatives (monitoring/ research/ regeneration projects)
X Ǿ X

Additional Legend

Ǿ = information was not made available, not known or it doesn’t apply;


SCH = school; CHA = charity; IND = cultural project with Indians; EAC =
environmental education with community; ART = craftwork projects; EXA = public
example through own success in the activity; AGR = organic agriculture; ORQ =
orchid community project.

97
3 Environmental Aspects
C Raising awareness towards tropical forest

01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13
UNI IGU TOC JUV TUI NEB ALA ALT ARV YBI UNA CRI MAR

ª Encouragement to provide constructive written feedback about interpretive or


09.
educational experience so that quality can be further improved
X X X X Ǿ X X

ª Interpretive material, which promotes concepts of ecotourism beyond the area of the
10.
operation
X Ǿ X X

11. Ecological training of guides/ kind of training (see legend below)


ea ea ca ea ve ec
ve ea Ǿ rg ve
sp tr ve sp ff
Sharing of best practice ideas with other operators through publications, training
12. programs, workshops and influence in professional organisations (see legend)
low eve low low hig low eve hig eve Ǿ hig hig eve

13. Use of facilitated canopy access for conservation and research projects (X)

X X X X X X Ǿ X X X

Involvement in a formal scientific research project aimed at measuring and


14. understanding environmental impacts (X)
X X Ǿ X X

Financial support of research initiatives and public land management projects beyond
15. normal permit/licensing fee arrangements (X)
X Ǿ X X

Additional Legend

Ǿ = information was not made available, not known or it doesn’t apply;

ve = vertical techniques; ea = environmental education; ca = canoeing; tr = radical


sports; rg = ranger course; ec = ecology; ff = fauna and flora; sp = other specific
professional training.

low = few sharing; eve = eventual sharing; hig = highly frequent sharing

98
Abbreviation List.

Abbreviation Portuguese Name English Name


ABNT Associação Brasileira de Normas Technical Norms Brazilian
Técnicas Association
ABETA Associaçao Brasileira das Empresas Brazilian Association
de Turismo de Aventura
ADK Difusão Adaptativa da Informação e Adaptive Diffusion of
Conhecimento Information and Knowledge
AM Estado do Amazonas Amazonas State
AP Estado do Amapá Amapá State
APP Área de Proteção Permanente Permanent Protection Area
(law enforced)
BA Estado da Bahia Bahia State
CE Ecoturismo de Dossel Canopy Ecotourism
CE Estado do Ceará Ceará State
CEM Módulo de Ecoturismo de Dossel Canopy Ecotourism Module
CI Conservação Internacional International Conservation
CKL Interface de Conhecimento de Dossel Canopy Knowledge Layer
CSU Universidade do Estado do Colorado Colorado State University
DF Distrito Federal Distrito Federal
EC Comissão Européia European Commission
Embratur Empresa Brasileira de Turismo Brazilian Firm of Tourism
ES Estado do Espírito Santo Espírito Santo State
FIPE Fundação Instituto de Pesquisas Economics Researches
Econômicas Institute Foundation
G17 Grupo dos 17 países que concentra a Group of 17 countries which
riqueza de biodiversidade. concentrate the wealth of
biodiversity
GCP Programa de Dossel Global Global Canopy Programme
GDP Produto Interno Bruto Gross Domestic Product
Gini Medida de Desilgualdade de Measure of inequality of a
Distribuição de Renda distribution
GO Estado de Goiás Goiás State
ha Hectare Hectare
HDI Índice de Desenvolvimento Humano Human Development Index
IBAMA Instituto Brasileiro do Meio Ambiente Environment and Replaceable
e dos Recursos Naturais Renováveis Natural Resources Brazilian
Institute
IBGE Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Brazilian Institute of
Estatística. Geography and Statistic
IEB Instituto de Ecoturismo do Brasil Brazil’s Ecoturism Institute
IESB Instituto de Estudos Sócio-Ambientais South Bahia Socio-
do Sul da Bahia Environmental Studies
Institute
IF Instituto Florestal do Estado de São São Paulo State Forest
Paulo Institute
INPE Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas National Institute of Space
Espaciais. Research
IPAAM Instituto de Proteção Ambiental do Amazonas State Environmtal
Estado do Amazonas Protection Institute

99
MA Estado do Maranhão Maranhão State
MCT Ministério da Ciência e Tecnologia Technology and Science
Ministry
MG Estado de Minas Gerais Minas Gerais State
MS Estado do Mato Grosso do Sul Mato Grosso do Sul State
MT Estado do Mato Grosso Mato Grosso State
MTur Ministério do Turismo Tourism Ministry
NEAP Projeto de Certificação em Nature and Ecotourism
Ecoturismo e Natureza Accreditation Project
NGO Organização Não-Governamental Non-Governmental
Organization
PA Estado do Pará Pará State
PCEZ Zona Potencial para Ecoturismo de Potential Canopy Ecotourism
Dossel Zone
PE Estado de Pernambuco Pernambuco State
PE Parque Estadual State Park
PI Estado do Piauí Piauí State
PN Parque Nacional National Park
PR Estado do Paraná Paraná State
PROECOTUR Programa de desenvolvimento do Amazon Ecotourism
ecoturismo na Amazônia Development Program
RBMA Reserva da Biosfera da Mata Atlantic Forest Biosphere Net
Atlântica
RJ Estado do Rio de Janeiro Rio de Janeiro State
RN Estado do Rio Grande do Norte Rio Grande do Norte State
RO Estado de Rondônia Rondônia State
RPPN Reserva Particular do Patrimônio Natural Patrimony Private
Natural Reserve
RR Estado de Roraima Roraima State
RS Estado do Rio Grande do Sul Rio Grande do Sul State
SC Estado de Santa Catarina Santa Catarina State
SE Estado do Sergipe Sergipe State
SEBRAE Serviço Brasileiro de Apoio às Micro e Small Entrepreneurship
Pequenas Empresas Supporting Brazilian Agency
SEW Trabalho Sócio-Ambiental Socio-Environmental Work
SP Estado de São Paulo São Paulo State
TO Estado do Tocantins Tocantins State
UDC União Dinâmica de Faculdades Dynamic Union Cataratas
Cataratas College
UFSCar Universidade Federal de São Carlos São Carlos Federal University
UNIOESTE Universidade Estadual do Oeste do Western Parana State
Paraná University
USP Universidade de São Paulo University of São Paulo
WCS Sociedade para Conservação da Vida Wildlife Conservation Society
Selvagem
WFO Observatório Integral da Floresta Whole Forest Observatory
WTTC Conselho Mundial de Turismo e World Travel and Tourism
Viagens Council
WWF Fundo Mundial da Vida Selvagem World Wildlife Fund

100
Photos list

Cover photo Tuím Paque


Page 4 Ybirá Pê Canopy Tour
Page 5 São Paulo City
Page 7 Parque Estadual da Serra do Mar
Page 9 Traditional family agriculture
Page 11 Brazilian aviation
Page 13 Ybirá Pê Canopy Tour
Page 16 Una Ecoparque
Page 19 Tuím Paque
Page 23 Una Ecoparque – Ismael and Linde
Page 27 Cânion Iguaçu
Page 30 Toca da Raposa
Page 38 Kid’s challenge at the Circuito Arvorismo – Photo by Rubens Magalhães
Page 39 Parque Estadual da Serra do Mar
Page 43 INPA’s ZF2 research station
Page 47 Weaver womam in a handicraft tapestry shop near Una Ecoparque
Page 49 Cristalino Jungle Lodge

Photos by Ismael Nobre where not specified

101
Bibliography

BRASIL. GRUPO INTERMINISTERIAL – MINISTÉRIO DA INDÚSTRIA, COMÉRCIO E


DO TURISMO E MINISTÉRIO do Meio Ambiente, dos Recursos Hídricos e da
Amazônia Legal, Diretrizes para uma Política Nacional de Ecoturismo. Brasília DF:
EMBRATUR/IBAMA, 1994.

CAMPOS, Eneida M. G.; FARLEY, Joshua; PEREIRA, Patrícia F. da S. Valor


econômico e sociocultural do ecoturismo e das atividades recreacionais providas pela
Área de Proteção Ambiental Serra de São José (MG - Brasil).

ESTATÍSTICAS BÁSICAS DO TURISMO: BRASIL. Brasília. August, 2006.

ESTUDO SOBRE O TURISMO PRATICADO EM AMBIENTES NATURAIS


CONSERVADOS: Relatório Final. EMBRATUR: Instituto Brasileiro de Turismo. São
Paulo, December, 2002.

EHLERS, E.M. Determinantes da recuperação da Mata Atlântica no Estado de São


Paulo. 2003. 281f. Tese (Doutorado em Ciência Ambiental) - Universidade de São
Paulo, São Paulo, 2003.

INSTITUTO BRASILEIRO DE GEOGRAFIA E ESTATÍSTICA, Censo Demográfico


1996.

INSTITUTO BRASILEIRO DE GEOGRAFIA E ESTATÍSTICA. Síntese de Indicadores


Sociais. Rio de Janeiro RJ, IBGE, 2006.

INSTITUTO BRASILEIRO DE TURISMO – EMBRATUR, Pólos de Desenvolvimento do


Ecoturismo. São Paulo, Instituto de Ecoturismo do Brasil, 2000.

NEAP – www.ecotourism.org.au/neap.cfm

RELATÓRIO DIAGNÓSTICO: Regulamentação, Normalização e Certificação em


Turismo de Aventura. Brasília, August, 2005.

SEIBEL, M. Evaluation of Canopy Ecotourism in Peninsular Malaysia and Sabah.


Oxford, United Kingdom, 2006.

SUSTAINABLE TOURISM AND POVERTY ALLEVIATION IN BRAZIL: Reflections and


prospects. Brasília / Brazil. October, 2005.

WALLACE, G. N. AND S. M. PIERCE (1996). "An evaluation of ecotourism in


Amazonas, Brazil." Annals of Tourism Research 23(4): 843-873.

WORLD TRAVEL & TURISM COUNCIL. The 2007 Travel & Turism Economic
Research – World, Latin America and Brazil. Accenture. 2007.

102
Acknowledgements

Special thanks to environmental lawyer Moema Viezzer – NGO Woman


Veronika Schuler Dolenc for her tireless Education Net; Regina Fonseca – Toca
support on many different phases of this da Raposa; Roberto Ezequiel Alves da
study. Silva – Mata’dentro Ecoparque;
Rodrigo Abrantes – Parque da
Many thanks also to all people who Juventude; Rodrigo Braga Saldanha –
contributed to this study giving precious Arvomix; Rodrigo Lanza Lopez –
information over their canopy-access Grutas de São Miguel; Ronald Kaag –
facilities, as well as to those who Ecopoint; Ricardo Márcio – Ecopoint;
conceded their scarce time for a long Rubens Magalhães – Circuito
personal or telephone interview: Adílio Arvorismo; Udo Alexandre Vagner –
Miranda – Chief of Serra da Bodoquena Altus; Vitória da Riva Carvalho –
National Park; Afonso Rodrigues – Cristalino Jungle Lodge; and Wilson
Ybirá Pe Canopy Tour; Antonio Donato Nobre Filho – Nucleotec (Núcleo de
Nobre – INPA (Instituo Nacional de Tecnologia Avançada).
Pesquisas da Amazônia); Arsênio
Fernandes Martins – Selva Aventura;
Augusto Barbosa Mariano - Tourism
Secretary of Bonito; Carolina Nobre;
Edmundo Costa Junior – Environment
Secretary of Bonito; Fernando Nobre;
Flávio Leopoldino –Ecoparque de Una;
Geraldo Antonio Daher Corrêa Franco
– IF (Instituto Florestal do Estado de
São Paulo); Guilherme Rocha Dias –
Parque das Neblinas; Gustavo Bauer –
Parque Unipraias; Helena Romano –
HR Viagens & Turismo; João Allievi –
IEB (Instituto de Ecoturismo do Brasil);
João Alves Flores – Fazenda
Marupiara; José Arthur Soares de
Figueiredo – Mayor of Bonito; José
Carlos Francisco Junior – Alaya; José Veronika tries out a hanging bridge in an
Luiz Nadai – Tuím Parque; Katherine “arborism” circuit. It is a sequence of
Secoy – Global Canopy Programme; challenging aerial pathways starting at
Leonardo Sá – MPEG (Museu ground level and elevating to over 20
Paraense Emílio Goeldi); Lígia Ribeiro meters atop.
de Godoy Eisenlohr – Aventura no
Rancho; Linde Nobre – Ecoparque de
Una (former manager); Marcelo Skaf –
Cânion Iguaçu; Márcio Vaz – Alaya;
Mariano Colini Cenamo – Instituto de
Conservação e Desenvolvimento
Sustentável do Amazonas; Mássimo
Desiati – Abeta (Associação Brasileira
de Empresas de Turismo de Aventura);
Mayra Ketter; Miroslava de Lima –
Graded School (São Paulo); Patrícia
Nobre; Paulo Nobre – INPE (Instituo
Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais);

103
Credits

Ismael Nobre Elaine Cristina Rodrigues


Study coordinator Field and office assistant

PhD Candidate at Colorado State Environmental analysis specialization


University – CSU in Fort Collins, CO – student at Anglo-Americano College in
USA Foz do Iguaçu, PR – Brazil

BsC in Biology at São Carlos Federal BsC in Biology at Western Paraná


University – UFSCar in São Carlos, SP State University – Unioeste in
– Brazil Cascavel, PR – Brazil

Ismael hangs on steel cables at an Elaine is geared up to experience a


“arborism” circuit. Most canopy-access challenging canopy aerial route in Iguaçu
sites were found adrenaline-driven. National Park.

Contact information:

Address: Rua José Novaes, 43 – São Paulo – SP – 05711–160 – Brazil

E-mail: inobre@colostate.edu or nobrei@yahoo.com

Phone: 55 (11) 8406 0066

Skype: inobre

104