What can government do to secure environmental sustainability and resilient communities? We discuss an emerging policy approach in natural tourism resource management in the Okinawa Prefecture using the case of the ‘Conservation and Use Agreement’ (CUA, hereafter) defined in the Act on Special Measures for the Promotion of Okinawa. The CUA is the certification by the Governor of Okinawa Prefecture, which endorses the self-regulation concluded by site-level eco-tour operators. We analysed the legal and administrative structure of the CUA and the implementation process of nine (existing/expired) CUA cases based on thorough literature reviews and in-depth interviews. We discuss three points from the analysis. Firstly, the number of CUAs remains small because of its huge transaction costs compared to the benefits of the status. Secondly, the CUA generally works as a precaution; however, it is not effective for solving the existing overuse issues for its voluntary characteristics. Thirdly, the administrative resources need to be strengthened for better communication with operators to further enhance the implementation.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Energy (miscellaneous)
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment