This article was originally published on National Audubon Society.
“In developing countries around the world, a lack of economic opportunities often drives local people to engage in activities that degrade natural resources. Unsustainable timber extraction, poaching, and land clearing for agriculture diminish the long-term value of these ecosystems for biodiversity—and, ultimately, for the local people who rely on them for resources.
Ecotourism has been embraced by many as an economic alternative that can raise incomes for people who live close to biodiversity-rich areas while helping to conserve natural resources. But marketing pristine natural habitats as tourism “products” doesn’t always bring significant benefits to surrounding communities. “In the Bahamas, we’ve seen so many conservation programs come and go,” says Scott Johnson, science officer with the Bahamas National Trust. “Sometimes they get what they want and then leave, without building relationships in the community.”…”
Read on at: National Audubon Society.