Many other countries also see ecotourism as a excellent way to finance the protection of their national reserves, attract tourists, and boost their economy.
March 12, 2006 - Melissa Mathis, Greenspan
These conservation projects put you to work in stunning locations with local people who carry out wildlife conservation. Experience is unnecessary, just bring enthusiasm.
Take a volunteer vacations in Peru, or Costa Rica. These short-term adventures last one to two weeks, and they focus on cultural-awareness and sus
tainability. They are often compared to a "mini peace corps". All program costs, including the cost of airfare, are tax-deductible.
You need no special skills nor do you need to speak any foreign language. Immerse yourself in a new culture. Enjoy befriending people in new and interesting countries, and experience the reward of helping them on meaningful community projects.
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Ecotourism is being hailed by environmental organizations and the Brazilian government as a viable new industry, and a vehicle to sustainable development. Responsible ecotourism minimizes the adverse effects of traditional tourism on the environment, and it reduces the need for deforesting the Amazon rainforest. The International Ecotourism Society defines ecotourism as "responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people".
The industry has already created thousands of new jobs for the
Brazilian people. Environmentalists are optimistic that by drawing in
travelers to spend money on the rainforest, deforestation will be
reduced, more jobs will be created, and it will provide economic support
for local residents.
Many other countries also see ecotourism as a excellent way to
finance the protection of their national reserves, attract tourists, and
boost their economy. For example, in countries such as Kenya,
Costa Rica, and
Madagascar, ecotourism represents a significant portion of the gross
domestic product (Wikipedia)
Volunteer vacations are another form of ecotourism where tourists experience personal growth through volunteer efforts and activism. With these vacations the flora, and fauna are often not the main attractions. It's about getting involved, and helping the local cultures.
Ecotourism alone, without proper planning and management in sensitive natural areas, will not guarantee the preservation of the ecosystem's integrity. Complete dependence on ecotourism is not an option for local cultures because of ever present fluctuations in climate, and socio-political conditions. However, few other income generating options are available to many of the indigenous communities. Ecotourism is widely regarded as a viable economic development alternative, and it has become increasingly popular amongst conservationists and travel aficionados.
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