“Thinking globally and acting locally”
The concept of sustainable development is very recent, and sustainable tourism is even younger. Until recently sustainability as been presented as anti-development, however things are never that simple. In fact, sustainable development and sustainable tourism must be strategic. There must be a strategy for sustainability.
Strategies are implemented to move an organization, or a community, from a current competitive position to a more desirable future competitive situation. Well, is there anything more desirable for a community than high living standards of wealth, justice and environment? Well, sustainability, because it is a very recent paradigm, it both very difficult to achieve but can be very rewarding after achieved. Not to speak of the scarce resources to achieve it in the first place. That is way a local strategy for sustainability is paramount.
A strategy for sustainable development in the Cordillera should be based on the current reality but also involving a vision of the intended future. Questions like: what produces and services will we be offering? What products and services we do not want to offer? Which market do we want to target? Who do I want to compete with? And who I don’t want to compete with? Shall we focus on tourism or on any other activity? Which economical activities?
In many cases sustainable solutions are very simple to cheap to implement. Particularly in the waste and energy management, we can implement many small solutions, that when all together make a huge contribution for sustainability. Bio-waste (food waste, animal feces, bushes, cooking oil) can be easily converted in bio-gas or bio-diesel. By applying energy more efficiently and converting waste in power, the community can make a clear contribution for its living standards, and attract more and better tourism.