Ecotourism as a tool to conserve biodiversity in the DR Congo, Cameroon and Gabon
MUS, Veridique, Ecotourism as a tool to conserve biodiversity in the DR Congo, Cameroon and Gabon, 2023/09 - https://hdl.handle.net/1814/75610
Retrieved from Cadmus, EUI Research Repository
With the highest extreme poverty rate1 (54%) on the continent, biodiversity degradation is being aggravated in Central Africa. This is mainly due to a growing population lacking job opportunities outside the forest. The lack of jobs leads communities near protected areas to organise poaching and trafficking of wildlife. With weak and non-diversified economies, central African countries are experiencing financial difficulties in sustaining conservation in the Congo Basin Forest. Ecotourism has become an important economic activity. It generates jobs for local communities and funds conservation of biodiversity in developing countries. Kenya, Uganda, Botswana and recently Rwanda are great examples of what ecotourism can do for conservation and economic development. According to a recent EU publication2, visits to protected areas generate significant revenue for proper management including providing the financial capacity to sustain anti-poaching efforts. This paper first argues that boosting ecotourism in the DR Congo, Cameroon, and Gabon with visits to protected areas would generate meaningful revenue for proper biodiversity management and conservation, including providing the financial capacity to slow deforestation and sustain anti-poaching efforts. Second, the paper documents how ecotourism would lead to economic development boosting the GDP of countries involved and diversifying their extractive economies. In addition, the paper draws a line by highlighting the fact that not all forms of tourism lead to conservation of biodiversity. This is because tourism activities in one way or another can have negative impacts on the environment, contributing to changes in land cover and land use, energy use, biotic interchange and the extinction of wild species.
Cadmus permanent link: https://hdl.handle.net/1814/75610
Full-text via DOI: 10.2870/44676
Publisher: European University Institute
Sponsorship and Funder information:
Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Education and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA). Neither the European Union nor EACEA can be held responsible for them.
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