Deforestation is a very real and very serious problem which we are being faced with around the world. Unfortunately, environmental issues are often put on the back burner in our government's policies. Although the destruction of our environment has been a pressing concern for many years, this issue continues to be largely ignored. Taking the well-being of our environment for granted can, and does, have horrendous effects. As recently brought to the public attention in a film by Al Gore entitled, An Inconvenient Truth, the Earth is experiencing a severe climate crisis which the government time after time again refuses to acknowledge. Clearly, there are many political motivations behind the denial of these environmental concerns.
[...] Conservation International has also worked closely with business owners and developers to educate them in regard to the need to develop a smarter kind of ecotourism. Madagascar suffers tremendously from slash-and-burn agriculture, cattle grazing, mining, and unchecked logging. These actions have effectively stripped four-fifths of the country's forests. Recent studies by the Center for Applied Biodiversity Science (CABS) at Conservation International indicate that if the rate of forest reduction remains at current levels, all of Madagascar's forests will be lost within 40 years. [...]
[...] While these establishments and high rates of tourism are “strengthening the local economy”, they are also “straining the conservation area's resources”. In an effort to combat this detrimental development, the Annapurna Conservation Area Project was initiated. While the lodges continue to exist and tourism continues to escalate, in working with the local native peoples, the project has established “sanitary standards for the lodges, a mandate for kerosene (rather than fuel wood) uses in lodges, and a monitoring system for illegal logging and poaching in the conservation area”. [...]
[...] The timing of visitors is also crucial, as it may disrupt important mating and breeding seasons. The correct implementation and education is essential is ecotourism is to have positive effects and implications on the environment and indigenous peoples. The implementation of ecotourism is a possible way to save tropical forests and wildlife. However, it is absolutely essential that it is implemented the correct way. While the negative effects and dangers of ecotourism are very real, this does not mean that, if done correctly, ecotourism is necessarily a negative factor for the preservation of the environment. [...]
[...] Conservation International has worked with a multitude of organizations, such as the Ghana Wildlife Service, to demonstrate how ecotourism can help provide financing for, and better management of, parks and protected areas. Through their work with the Ghana Wildlife Service, they have built a canopy walkway and visitor center to aid in attracting tourists to Kakum National Park in Ghana's Central Region. Conservation International also continues to work with private investors to build international quality tourism accommodations in Central Suriname Nature Reserve. [...]
[...] Although tourism and conservation are often considered to be on polar ends of the environmental spectrum, there are particular instances when they may actually be related in a positive light. Particularly in developing countries, it is essential to acknowledge the necessity for the economic progression and well being of the population. In order for biodiversity conservation efforts to exist effectively in these nations, it is essential that we consider the well-being and health of the people who populate the areas as well, as ecotourism attempts to address. [...]
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