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A Paradigm for Sustainable DevelopmentIntroduction The purpose of this paper is to analyze the historical development of Kenyas nature based tourist industry in order to develop a better understanding of the concepts relating to sustainable tourism in the developing world I will show how past resource management practices has affected tourisms carrying capacity Because of the complicatedness of this paper I will break it down into five sections In the first section I will define sustainable development In the second I will briefly describe the history and current state of nature based tourism in Kenya In the third section I will give examples of elements that threaten to saturate the carrying capacity of nature based tourism in Kenya In the fourth and final section I will give a brief historical account of ecotourisms presence in Kenya and give ways in which it can be a possible source of sustainable development in the futurePart 1 What does sustainable development really meanThe most common definition of sustainable development is development which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs World Commission on Environment and Development 1987 In essence for sustainable development to occur there must be some sort of trade-off between the aspirations of the present and those of the future Successful management of resources is the cornerstone of sustainable development Creating sustainable development is especially important to nature based tourism because it completely relies on an ecological resource that is usually non-renewable and irreplaceable Once the environmental resource has developed past the point where it is no longer attractive to perspective tourist the entire economy of the dependent host community will collapseThe maximum amount of positive development that can occur is determined by the carrying capacity The carrying capacity is the saturation point where anymore development will result in the degeneration of future resources All nature-based tourism locations have limited ecological aesthetic and social carrying capacities
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