Ecotourism and Conservation in the Americas (Ecotourism by Amanda Stronza, Wiliiam H Durham

By Amanda Stronza, Wiliiam H Durham

Utilizing designated case reports and local overviews, Ecotourism and Conservation within the Americas provides the perspectives and reviews of students, practitioners, journey operators, and coverage makers fascinated about ecotourism courses within the U.S. and Latin the United States. the professionals and cons of ecotourism for groups and ecosystems are explored, with specific recognition paid to the power of ecotourism to aid sustainable improvement and conservation. The synthesis is inter-disciplinary, cross-cultural, and multi-scale and offers ecotourism because it is at present being practiced.

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The same is true with harpy eagles, a highly endangered species that was traditionally hunted for its feathers. When an active harpy nest is found on a community member’s property, the owner receives an amount of money for every tourist given the opportunity of viewing it from a distance. This ensures careful stewardship of the nest until the chicks have flown. This maturation process can take up to 8 months and, with a harpy eagle sighting being highly desirable among tourists, this represents a good earning opportunity for a comunero.

But this was not yet truly ‘community’ tourism. Community-based, yes, but the community as a whole was benefiting only in fringe ways. One of these was the sale of handicrafts. Another was secondary wages paid by members of our ‘tour company’ for helping out with fields or other small-scale jobs. But the community at large was not necessarily in the loop. We needed some way of cutting in the community as a whole, not as individual members. This we found in the development and management of our physical infrastructure of cabins.

The security situation in Lago Agrio is more and more difficult to predict. Should we still continue to risk bringing people in via this route? The economic situation in all of our Cofan villages, not just Zabalo, has gone from bad to worse. What cultural and environmental alternatives can we offer them? Finally, is it really worth the trouble? What is the future? The first step was already in place. In 1998, we created a not-for-profit organization with branches in both the USA and Ecuador, named Cofan Survival Fund and Fundación Sobrevivencia Cofan, respectively.

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