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Assessing biophysical limits to the economic development of remote islands: the case of Isabela in the Galapagos Archipelago

Camilo Martínez-Iglesias, Alevgül H. Sorman, Mario Giampietro and Jesus Ramos-Martin ()
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Camilo Martínez-Iglesias: Institut de Ciencia i Tecnologia Ambientals, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona
Alevgül H. Sorman: Institut de Ciencia i Tecnologia Ambientals, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona
Mario Giampietro: Institut de Ciencia i Tecnologia Ambientals, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona

No 2014_01, Documentos de Trabajo CEPROEC from Instituto de Altos Estudios Nacionales, Centro de Prospectiva Estratégica

Abstract: In assessing the sustainability of island tourism, the resident population size and yearly number of visitors are key factors. However, to assess the overall resource requirement and environmental impact on local ecosystems, we must also consider the metabolic rates and density of energy and material flows related to the activity of residents and tourists. We present here an innovative approach, the Multi-Scale Integrated Analysis of Societal and Ecosystem Metabolism (MuSIASEM), with the aim of providing an integrated characterization of the metabolic pattern of island tourism. We use the tourism model implemented in the island Isabela in the Galapagos Archipelago as a case study. We show how MuSIASEM allows us to assess the overall requirement of resources and environmental services and the environmental impact for a given model of tourism. MuSIASEM employs a multi-level matrix to represent these characteristics in an integrated way, thus emphasizing the nexus between different biophysical factors.

Keywords: Isabela; Galapagos; Tourism Development; Societal Metabolism; MuSIASEM; Nexus (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q20 Q51 Q57 R11 R12 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-tur
Date: 2014-07
Note: Draft submitted to Tourism Management
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