Standing up for nature and celebrating the world of wildlife
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Why wildlife watching is good for the world. (Taken from the UNEP report on 'Wildlife watching and tourism 2006').
'It is a sign of the important place wildlife holds for people, that so many want to watch animals in their natural habitats, and that the popularity of wildlife watching tourism continues to grow.
As well as providing enjoyment for millions of people, wildlife watching tourism is a significant source of income and employment for a growing number of communities, particularly in developing countries, and underlines the value of conservation. It also can help raise awareness of a whole range of pressing environmental issues that face us, for the survival of wildlife in its habitats is at risk from climate change, pollution and land conversion, just as we are.
Tourism is one of the areas where the links between people, the global economy, and the environment are clearly visible. The international tourist sees first hand the environmental, social and economic conditions of other countries and cultures. At its best, tourism can be a powerful way to promote understanding between people and cultures. At its worst, tourism can result in the exploitation of people, social disharmony, and environmental degradation.'
The economic benefits of wildlife tourism
Wildlife watching is becoming a key factor that enables protection of the wildlife and wilderness of the world by making it an economic force for local communities, thus it becomes in everyone’s interest to preserve the environment.
'In East Africa, wildlife watching is one of the attractions for international tourists, and the basis for the majority of their national income from tourism: in 2000, Kenya received 943,000 international arrivals which generated international tourism receipts of USD 304 million. For Tanzania the figures were 459,000 arrivals and tourism receipts of USD $739 million, and for Uganda, 151,000 arrivals and receipts of USD $149 million. In total the region received over one and a half million international arrivals and generated more than USD $1 billion in foreign exchange receipts from tourism, much of it based on wildlife watching.'
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