Knowledge and Practice of Environmental Management at Selected Ecotourism Destinations in Edo State

AJAYI, Omolola Oluwakemi, AYODELE Ibukunoluwa Augustine


The purposeful activity goaled to maintain and improve the state of an environmental resource affected by human activities is environmental management (EM). EM in ecotourism destinations is essential not only for the conservation of the environmental resources therein but also to maintain a long term environmental quality that aids sustained ecotourists interests/satisfaction; surrounding local communities involvement as well as the environmental image of the destination. This research assessed the view of employees and visitors about EM of Okomu National Park (OKNP) and Ogba Zoo and Nature Park (OZNP) in Edo State; identified the waste disposal and treatment methods as well as the EM standards/tools employed. The primary survey instrument was questionnaire {two hundred and thirty six (236): fifty (50) and one hundred and thirty eight (138) for visitors and forty two (42) and six (6) for employees in OKNP and OZNP respectively}. Questionnaires to the visitors were distributed using the simple random sampling technique while employees were purposively selected. Data analysis includes the use of descriptive (frequency and percentage tables; bar charts) and Chi Square analyses. Most of the respondents have heard about EM at one time or the other – the dominant medium of awareness being radio/television. Majority asserted that every employee (95.2% and 100%) and visitor (96% and 81.9%) should be aware of EM in OKNP and OZNP respectively. Waste generated onsite is disposed by landfill/land treatment (48.5% and 33.3%), incineration/burning (30.3% and 50%), chemical treatment (9.1% and 16.7%) and biological method (6.1% and 0%) in OKNP and OZNP respectively. Waste is not recycled neither is the hazardousness determined at both sites. OKNP employed EM standard/tools as reported by employees include environmental monitoring (54.8%), public environmental report (40.5%), Environmental Management System (35.7%); written environmental policy (31%), eco-labelling (26.2%) while OZNP has not fully delved into the use of any defined standard/tool. The concept of EM is not strange to the respondents as they understand what it means, recognise its need in the sites and admit that it is imperative for all staff and visitors likewise to be conversant with it. It is recommended that an extensive waste management plan should be put in place which focuses on reduce, reuse, recover and recycle. Also, the Zoo should employ the use of EM standards/tools which can aid in identifying, quantifying and evaluating defined impacts of actions taken at the site.

Keywords: Environmental Management, Ecotourism, Waste Management Plan

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ISSN (Paper) 2312-5187   ISSN (Online) 2312-5179

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