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September 15, 2005
The Malaysian Tourism Department has developed an eco-rating system for their eco-tourism operations ranging from Ec0-1 to Ec0-5.
ECO-5 should be the ultimate goal for ecotourism supporters, whether they are tour operators, the travelling public, or the resource management agencies. This includes
- no advertising in non-recyclable magazines.
- Transportation must be in environmentally friendly vehicles.
- On-site accommodations and all visitor and staff activities must be benign to the environment.
- Heating and air-conditioning would be solar and low-impact.
- Foods and souvenirs would be produced in sustainable ways.
- All residual products would have to be handled in a benign way.
- Sewage containment and treatment would be an absolute requirement.
- Used products would be recycled, soaps and cleaning solutions would be biodegradable, and non-degradation of the environment would be the standard.
This rating system takes into consideration many types of ecotourism categories, facilities and activities available at ecotourism sites in Malaysia. Easily accessibility through Internet, transparency of the rating, accountability of a person who use the
system, and the incorporation of knowledge from domain experts and field data are the strength of this rating system. New knowledge and information could easily be incorporated into the system.
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