STouW logo rid

Unesco Biosphere Reserve: work experience at Biosffer Dyfi Biosphere

Ecodyfi office - sustainable tourism - Wales - UK

My first work experience abroad was at the Biosffer Dyfi Biosphere in 2011.
I worked with the team of a Unesco Biosphere Reserve: the Ecodyfi organisation of Dyfi Biosphere.

The first thing I did was research the sustainable tourism market in Wales and compare it to Italy. 

This work is long, but the most important thing to do before proposing any sustainable tourism project. We can’t suggest anything if no one is interested in it.

The second point is: Which people demand a lower carbon footprint? Is “low carbon tourism” an actual demand, and what are its characteristics? This second point is more difficult because it is a niche than the first one, but it is very interesting for Ecodyfi.

Ecodyfi is the local regeneration organisation for the Dyfi Valley in Mid Wales – a thriving bi-lingual community in some of the UK’s most stunning scenery. 

Ecodyfi‘s vision is based on the following ideas:

  • Strengthening the local economy is the key to meeting social needs
  • Tourism and farming are the most important local industries.
  • The only kind of tourism that will succeed here is sustainable tourism.
  • Short-term fixes will not do. Equally, the only type of farming that will succeed here is sustainable farming.
  • Local distinctiveness is the key to success in many markets, particularly in tourism and increasingly in local produce (including foodstuffs).
  • Food, holidays, and other products will all benefit from being associated with a clean, green image of the valley – where the Dyfi Valley is a leader in sustainable community regeneration.
  • Globalizing production and distribution systems lead to unsustainable resource use and waste creation, making local economies more vulnerable to external factors. Reversing this trend is sometimes called “relocalisation”.

The mission is “to foster sustainable community regeneration in the Dyfi Valley”.

Local needs must be met within a long-term vision. This implies attention to global and local environmental sustainability, to the robustness of the local economy, and to the capacity of local people to take responsibility.

These ideas interest me, and I chose to work with this organisation because of their local interest and support.

Ecodyfi logo - sustainable tourism - Wales - UK

Ecodyfi’s aim is to involve:

Ecodyfi activities to develop sustainability in the Dyfi area.

Ecodyfi is doing and coordinating many activities:

  • Celebrating language and landscape at Dathlu Dyfi!
  • Recruiting for community land,
  • Active in the outdoors,
  • Dyfi Footprint Project,
  • Information about saving energy and money and renewable energy projects,
  • Rubbish Resistance projects,
  • Dyfi Valley for Fair Trade,
  • Community first projects

if you like to find more information about these projects have a look at the website:

Dyfi UNESCO Biosphere Reserve _countryside

When I was working at Ecodify I created 2 questionnaire.

The first is for visitors, and I tried to understand what they wanted to do when they were visiting, what they were expecting, what was important to them, whether they wanted to do sustainable tourism, and whether they knew what sustainable tourism is. I created a questionnaire that can help to understand which tourists visit the Dyfi biosphere and whether they are satisfied.

The second questionnaire was for all businesses connected with the Biosphere and visitors: I asked about what businesses do to improve their position on the planet and what they think visitors want.

Another project I began is an ecomuseum. An ecomuseum is a museum focused on a place’s identity, primarily based on local participation, aiming to enhance local communities’ welfare and development.
I started explaining what it is, and later, I verified if it would be possible and valuable to create an ecomuseum for this Biosphere.

Sara – tourism sector consultant

PS. Do you want to GROW your business with a POSITIVE impact… without huge investments? Sign up for the email list by clicking on START HERE!

Or click this link  to download my INFOGRAPHIC!