Tourist activity can have, in natural areas previously spared from human contact, a significant environmental cost due to :
- the creation or development of the necessary transport and accommodation infrastructure;
- the seasonal overconsumption of natural resources, including water and natural spaces;
- overuse of wastewater treatment and treatment of household waste.
Based on this, the Preserve association with the services of the Conseil Général and the Prefecture, aims to promote solutions to reduce the environmental impact of tourism and to promote the development of ecotourism.
We are exploring three options :
- Reduce the impact of current and future infrastructure :
The Haut pays is characterized by many old buildings of agricultural or industrial origin but also sometimes imposing dwelling houses now abandoned (ex: village of Thorenc). Environmental practice requires rehabilitation of the current building rather than new construction, especially since there are now many bioclimatic renovation techniques, some already implemented by the association Preserve, with the support of the Government and Conseil General.
The Haut-pays is also characterized by the beauty and diversity of its landscapes still untouched. In the next ten years, tourism is expected to develop there. It will then be a question for all responsible parties to consider the inestimable value of the landscapes. But also, to design structures integrated into the natural environment, saving in space, materials and if possible, to be dismantled. This is the concept of the Ecolodge, inaugurated during the summer of 2009, within the framework of the rural centres of excellence.
- Manage natural resources: fauna, flora, water :
Tourism, to be sustainable, must imperatively consider the scarcity and fragility of natural resources. They are a major strategical stake subject to rigorous management.
Developing ecotourism and holidays with an ecological vocation on a fragile territory presents daily challenges. These are: saving water or managing waste, organizing site visits and preserving or increasing biodiversity, developing the Reserve, and identifying ecological services.
- Encourage alternative modes of travel :
The tourist development of a fragile territory requires favouring transport modes that save infrastructure. Horse and carriage are options. You can use our tracks provided you have a light and perfectly suspended horse-drawn carriage.