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In 2000, the atmospheric chemist Paul Crutzen and the limnologist Eugene Stoermer formulated the well-known Anthropocene hypothesis, according to which the natural history of the Earth entered a new chapter characterized by the harmful or disturbing impact of human activities on the dynamics of the planet. Earth System at all times. scales, including the global (Crutzen & Stoermer, 2000).
Later, a consensus emerged that this impact began to become evident during the Industrial Age (1800-1945), but only acquired planetary extension in the period of the so-called Great Acceleration (1945-ca. 2015), during which critical parameters of the functioning of the Earth System and the socioeconomic indicators that contribute significantly to affect it began to increase in an extraordinary, continuous and almost simultaneous way (Steffen, Crutzen and McNeill, 2007).
One of these socioeconomic indicators of anthropogenic action with geosystemic impact is that of International Tourism, which went from 25 million international visitors to a country (spending at least one night there) in 1950 to an impressive 1.2 billion in 2015 (Amelung et al., 2016).
This increase of about 50 times made International Tourism a planetary phenomenon and one of the largest industries in the world, generating, in 2015, 10% of global GDP, 1 in every 11 jobs, 7% of all exports and 30% of services exports (Amelung et. al., 2016).
In this, commercial aviation obviously played a key role, which, in just one generation, made flights of thousands of kilometers common in many developed countries for holidays or weekends, helping to transform the way we travel and experience our planet.
As predictable, International Tourism has a strong ecoclimatic impact and substantial consequences for geoenvironmental sustainability. These, however, remain underexplored (e.g., Gren & Huijbens, 2016), particularly in countries where the tourism sector has become strategic for its development, as is the case of Portugal, particularly after the Covid pandemic. -19 (not officially finalized yet).
This motivated us to launch this call for participation in the Green Marble 2023 under the theme “Ecotourism and Ecotravel in the Anthropocene”. In it, we specifically seek to address and discuss how Ecotourism, understood as a form of tourism that involves responsible travel (using sustainable transport) to natural areas, conserving the environment and improving the well-being of the local population, can contribute to a good Anthropocene, the one where we become able to use the unprecedented collective power to act in/on the planet we acquire in a balanced and fair way (Dalby, 2016).
Examples of topics that fall within the scope of this scientific meeting include:
What is the role of ecotourism and green travel in addressing anthropocenic climate, ecological and environmental challenges?
How can ecotourism and green travel be integrated into environmental conservation, development and sustainability policies?
How did ecotravel change the way we experience nature and interact with it in the Anthropocene?
What role do governments, tour operators and travelers play in promoting sustainable ecotourism and ecotravel practices in the Anthropocene?
What are the consequences and ethical implications for responsible ecotourism and ecotravel practices in the Anthropocene?
What are examples of successful ecotourism and ecotravel initiatives in the Anthropocene and how can they be replicated in other destinations?
How do ecotourism and ecotravel contribute to awareness and education about environmental issues and conservation in the Anthropocene?
What are the benefits and challenges of ecotourism in the Anthropocene for local communities and ecosystems?
What are the future trends in ecotourism and ecotravel and how can they be improved to ensure sustainability in the Anthropocene?
What is the relationship between ecotourism, ecotravel and preservation and cultural and environmental heritage?
How does Ecocriticism contribute to understanding the role of ecotourism and ecotravel in shaping our relationship with the natural world in the Anthropocene?
How do ecocritical approaches inform our experiences of ecotourism, ecotravel, and the natural world in the Anthropocene?
What ecocritical themes and ecocritical strategies are used to critique ecotourism, ecotravel and their impact on the environment?
How does Ecocriticism contribute to environmental activism and conservation efforts through its approaches to ecotourism and green travel?
What are the ethical implications of ecocritical approaches to ecotourism, ecotravel and the natural environment?
Therefore, we invite all researchers and scholars interested in the topic to submit proposals in English or Portuguese for participation in the Green Marble 2023.
References: Amelung, B., Student, J. Nicholls, S., Lamers, M., Baggio, R., Boavida-Portugal, I., Johnson, P., Jong, E., Hofstede, G., Pons, M., Steiger, R. & Balbi, S. (2016). The value of agent-based modelling for assessing tourism–environment interactions in the Anthropocene. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 23, pp. 46-53; Crutzen, P. & Stoermer, E. (2000). The “Anthropocene”. Global Change Newsletter, 41, pp. 17-18; Dalby, S. (2016). Framing the Anthropocene: The good, the bad and the ugly. The Anthropocene Review, 3(1), 33–51; Gren, M. & Huijbens, E. (2016). Tourism and the Anthropocene. Taylor and Francis; Steffen, Crutzen e McNeill (2007) – The Anthropocene: are humans now overwhelming the great forces of nature? Ambio, 36(8), pp. 614-621.
João Ribeiro Mendes
INfAST-Institute for Anthropocene Studies, Braga, Portugal