Trying a Different Tactic: Ecotourism

Over 10 million people live in Brazil's Amazon jungle. The Brazilian government is trying to crack down on deforestation, but inhabitants of the Amazon say it's a matter of survival, so the government is trying a different tactic: ecotourism - spending millions to develop tourism centered on nature. "People can make money from the rain forest without destroying it," said Aldenir Paraguassu of Brazil's Environment Ministry. "It's just a matter of showing them how."

Tourists hire local guides to learn about the rain forest, and to journey up river, where they visit remote villages, and buy handicrafts made by those who live here. They stay at hotels that range from luxurious to primitive.

The ecotourism boom has created hundreds of new jobs, and put money in the pockets of local residents. Those involved in ecotourism are now looking at the rain forest differently. Itís the reason visitors are here spending money.

Environmentalists hope that as the industry grows - creating more jobs, and bringing in more money - fewer Brazilians will feel compelled to cut, clear, and burn the world's largest rain forest. (Read More)

© 2006 Greenspan
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