Patrimoine marin caribéen et perspectives écotouristiques : vers un développement durable des petites îles?

The Caribbean Sea is home to a diversity of coastal habitats that support the installation of three rich and complex ecosystems - coral reefs, mangroves and seagrasses -. There are also other unique formations such as stromatolites or blue holes. Oceanographic and climatic conditions allow homogeneous throughout the Caribbean basin to form a unit in terms of flora and fauna. This unit does not exclude an exceptional biological diversity, including species endemic to the area, which give the coasts of the Caribbean countries an ecological, landscape and some science. Recognition on the international and regional importance of the Caribbean Sea but also its fragile marine environment has allowed the Caribbean to gain its status as a natural heritage.

In addition to the ecosystem services it render (fisheries, coastal protection ...), the Caribbean Sea is a definite asset in the development of tourism in the area by the seaside as well as, more recently, ecotourism. The latter is generally based on marine protected areas and should facilitate the sustainable development of islands.

From a case study, the Saba Marine Park, the objective of this study is to analyze the relationship between natural heritage and marine ecotourism, as well as economic, social and environmental development of these resources.

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