Community-based Ecotourism a Controversial Future for a Hakka Township
|Keywords:||生態旅遊;反水庫運動;社區參與;文化地景;美濃黃蝶祭;Ecotourism;Anti-dam movement;Community empowerment;Cultural landscape;Yellow butterfly festival||Issue Date:||Dec-2002||Journal Issue:||32||Start page/Pages:||019-040||Source:||地理學報||Abstract:||
This study investigates community-based ecotourism in a rural township in Southern Taiwan. The Meinung township in Kaohsiung county is an agricultural community well-known for its tobacco production and cultural landscapes. It has preserved its Hakka culture more than any than any other township in Taiwan as a result of its former physical isolation. Despite this isolation, the conservative community has been forced to adapt to socio-economic changes in Taiwan by out-migration of its population and more recently, since Taiwan joined the World Trade Organization (WTO), by the decline of tobacco as a staple source of income. Most recently, however, the proposed construction of a dam in the pristine Yellow Butterfly Valley has been met with resistance from the local people who organized themselves into various action groups and, in 2000, succeeded in halting dam construction. This study uses a participant-observation approach and action planning methodology to study the history of community building and the political empowerment of Meinung, focusing on the social force behind tobacco production, the Anti-Dam movement and Yellow Butterfly Festival activities. Together with the environmental movement, Hakka culture is expressed through local cultural landscapes that mark the history and livelihood of the people. The major issue facing the Meinung Community today involves building a consensus on eco-tourism between the various local groups and preventing mass tourism in order that environmental conservation and cultural preservation are not sacrificed. While Meinung is in many ways unique, this case study has significant implications for generating policy for the future sustainable development of other rural townships in Taiwan facing environmental change and negative local impacts of Taiwan’s entry into the WTO. While ecotourism is defined in many ways. This paper suggests that the cultural elements of a place deserve more attention than is usually given because they focus on the idiographic rather than the nomothetic, emphasizing the individual character that survives the impact of globalization.
|Appears in Collections:||地理環境資源學系|
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