Last Updated 16 Jun 2020

Climate Change and Its Effects on White Water Rafting

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Climate Change and its effects of White water rafting Parker Blackstock ADVG 101 T00038741 Nov 24/2012 Angela Bueckert With the rising effects of Global warming taking its toll on glaciers and agriculture in British Columbia, surprisingly the white water rafting industry has managed to grow significantly in the last 20 years. As the global temperature continues to rise, it is predicted that the Glaciers will be reduced to nothing, thus taking its effect on water flow. British Columbia has seen it’s average temperature rise twice as fast as the global average.

For rafting companies, this means shorter paddling season and flooding. “Average annual temperatures have warmed by between 0. 5-1. 7 degrees Celsius in different regions of the province during the 20th century. In fact, parts of British Columbia have been warming at a rate more than twice the global average. Live smart B. C. Effects of climate change 2011. ” Evidence shows our climate has changed in the past century and will continue to change, affecting both biological and physical systems.

In the past 50-100 years British Columbia has noticed an annual precipitation increase of about 20 percent, and lost around 50 percent of its snow pack annually. Also with the increased precipitation and faster melt the province has been more susceptible to floods in the Fraser Valley, Interior and throughout British Columbia. These floods and early melt are expecting to increase sea level 30 cm on the north coast and 50 cm in the Yukon by 2050. There has also been an outbreak of mountain pine beetle due to warmer winters.

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The mountain pine beetle has infected an area of pine forest four times the size of Vancouver Island. The pine beetle epidemic has infested around 13 million hectares of forests in British Columbia. It is predicted, by 2013, 80 percent of B. C. ’s pine forest will be “red and dead”. Forest fires are another real source of concern for the rafting Industry, 2003 and 2009 were devastating years for BC, with nearly 5000 fires burning 500 000 hectares of land. As glacial reduction continues to affect the amount of water flow in B. C. s Rivers it will also affect hydroelectric power, fish habitat and tourism. Changes in climate, and the implications these changes have for destinations reliant on natural resources - whether resources used for industrial purposes or those critically important to the viability of industries such as tourism – will have significant economic impacts in the coming years. For the tourism industry, which simultaneously suffers from the effects of climate change as well as contributes to it, climate change presents unusual and complex policy and business development challenges. Exploring The Effects of Climate Change and Sustainable Development in the Tourism Jan 2004”.

Looking towards the future and my career goals I plan to work for Kumsheen Rafting. I worked for Kumsheen previously in 2010 working landscaping and building mountain bike trails around the resort. While I was working for Kumsheen I became quite interested in raft guiding. Once I finish my first year at Thompson Rivers University I plan to work as a guide at Kumsheen and gain experience to progress my rafting and guide career worldwide. After getting a season of raft guiding under my belt my goal is to travel South America starting in Patagonia and make my way north all the way to Mexico.

Beginning my journey in Paagonia, Chile working at Maipo Rafting, which is located just outside of Santiago, Chile then make my way to Cuzco, Peru and work at Mayuc Rafting. Moving on to Central America, working with H20 Rafting located in Quepos, Costa Rica. These are just a few select businesses that I have done some research on and find they could be great assets to a great white water rating resume. The effects that global warming will have on these goals is the restriction and quantity of rafting trips will be regulated due to water flow, as well as a shorter season, drought and more tropical storms with the rising global temperature.

Many rivers in B. C. run through provincial parks, and when those parks are subjected to forest fires, Parks Canada has chosen to let them burn freely unless it is threatening civilization in some way. With the plan to be an international Raft Guide, the majority of my clientele will be travelers from Europe and North America, mainly English speaking. But with the rise of Asian tourists in Canada soon there will be a large minority of the travelers in British Columbia and around Canada. As the Global temperature continues to rise, North, Central and South America have experienced numerous catastrophic weather related events.

These include, heavy rainfall in Venezuela (1999, 2005), flooding in Argentina (2000), drought in the Brazilian Amazon (2005), Hailstorms in Greater Buenos Aires area and Bolivia (2002,2005) and hurricane Katrina in 2004. Fortunately British Columbia has not been exposed to as many catastrophic events but is still at risk to floods, heat waves, drought, infectious disease vectors, diarrhoel diseases, ground-level ozone and cold waves. These events have affected the tourism industry in many ways, but will only get worse with the rising frequency of these events.

The issue at hand is not only the rising vulnerability of these catastrophic events but also the reduction of Glaciers in the Andean, costal and Rockies, which provide many communities with water. Once these rivers dry up, many of these rafting companies will have to close down because there business is built around the river. “As a consequence of possible temperature increases and changes in water availability, a substantial fraction of the existing forested area of the world would undergo major changes in broad vegetation types, particularly in temperate and northern latitudes.

Climate change over the next century is expected to push isotherms (lines of equal temperature) northward 150-550 km or result in an altitude increase of 150-550 meters. In B. C. and the Yukon, this could result in changes in tree species, increased frequency of forest fires, and more frequent outbreaks and extended ranges of pests and pathogens. February 15, 1996/ Implications of Climate Change for British Columbia and the Yukon inferred from the Second Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Working Group II”. “ For the south of Chile this will mean shrinking glaciers, less snow in the mountains, and less rain.

Southern Chile Environmental Issues 12 Nov 2012 Retrieved from: http://www. allsouthernchile. com/”. There are many efforts that the tourism industry is taking to address theses issues but as much as tourism is working to make it apparent to the public, it is also a part of the problem. Tourism brings in large economic boosts but with economic boost comes increased population, vehicle and foot traffic, garbage and litter, and strain on water supply. But at the same time you get increase in jobs and this is great for the economy. So tourism is a best/worst case kind of cenario, which needs to be brought to people’s attention. Some ideas that the industry has been working on are being more carbon neutral or sustainable as a company. There are also activists against government movements to put in dames and pipelines in or threw rivers which damage ecosystems. One concept that parks Canada is doing to address this issue is limiting or monitor how many people access certain areas and close during certain seasons. “Provincial governments in British Columbia and Quebec have proposed implementation of a carbon tax, which would also become relevant for tourism (Simpson et al. 2008) In early 2008 the National Round Table on the Environment and Economy (2008) provided a detailed report to the federal government recommending that a carbon tax or a cap-and- trade system, or a combination of the two, should be introduced as soon as possible. The proposed carbon tax was to include all sectors of the Canadian economy, including domestic aviation”. The 2010-2015 Plan of Chile’s General Directorate for Civil Aviation aims to minimize GHG emissions and noise from air transport, including airport activity management.

Measures adopted in this regard include: air quality control at airport locations; airport ISO certifications; the application of technical requirements for navigation performance on several routes; the implementation of the “Committee of the Minute” for fuel saving (with the aim of reducing aircraft flight time through better routes and enhanced air traffic control); and improvements in the design of national air space, resulting in the better use of the Global Navigation Satellite System.

These initiatives, combined with the modernization of the main national carrier’s fleet, resulted in IATA presenting the Eagle Awards 2008 to the General Directorate for Civil Aviation for excellence in air navigation services. There are many opportunities for the industry to contribute to the solution; I plan to do my part as a guide and a business owner to make an impact on climate change. As a guide I will educate my customers and clients on the risk at hand, and hope they too do there part to make change and pass that information on.

Being a guide puts you in a position of power and a big part of a raft guides personality is to entertain and educate so the customer can understand the importance of the river not only for entertainment but agriculture, economy and life. Once I am a business owner I will make sure my company is 100% carbon neutral and self sustain able by producing power on site with bio diesel generators, on site recycle plant, retail wind turbines, carbon offset summer plan and green rentals such as bikes, skateboards and rollerblades.

Bibliography Effects of Climate Change (2011) Retrieved from: www. livesmartbc. ca/learn/effects Rykes, P. , (2003) Tourism Diversity and the Impacts of Global Climate Change, Parliment of Canada Staple, T. , & Wall, G. , (1996) Climate change and recreation in Nahanni National Park, The Canadian Geographer, 40, 109-120, DOI: 10. 1111/j. 1541-0064. 1996. tb00439. x Canada’s rivers at risk: Environmental flows and Canada’s freshwater future, World Wide Fund for Nature

Company Codes of Conduct and International Standards: An Analytical Comparison. World Bank Group Corporate Social Responsibility Practice, IDRB/World Bank. Exploring the effects of climate change and sustainable development in the adventure tourism industry (January 2009) Xola Consulting, inc An analysis prepared by Eric Taylor, Science Division Retrieved from: http://www. cics. uvic. ca/climate/change/bcimpact. tm February 15, 1996 Environment Canada Canada’s Rivers at Risk (2011) Retrieved from: http://www. wwf. ca/conservation/freshwater/riversatrisk/ Southern Chile Environmental Issues (Nov 2012) Retrieved from: http://www. allsouthernchile. com/ Climate Change And Tourism Policy in OECD Countries (Sept 2009) Retrieved from: http://www. unep. fr/shared/publications/pdf/DTIx1416xPA-ClimateChangeandTourismOECD_UNEP. pdf

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