A new study by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and Foundations of Success (FOS) finds that an ecotourism strategy based on “direct payments,” where local people are compensated for the amount of wildlife seen by tourists, has resulted in a reduction in illegal hunting and an increase in wildlife sightings.
In the study, the scientists tested a new model in Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR)’s Nam-Et-Phou Louey (NEPL) National Protected Area (NPA) that used a direct payment approach to encourage villagers to reduce illegal hunting and trade, which is driving wildlife decline. The model included a contractual payment to villages that was directly tied to the numbers of wildlife seen by eco-tourists as well as a reduction in payments for occurrences of hunting violations. The approach was designed to reduce illegal hunting pressure, increase wildlife sightings, and ultimately wildlife numbers, while generating ongoing economic incentives for conservation.
The scientists implemented and then monitored this approach for four years. Results indicated a three-fold increase in hunting signs in the non-tourism sector of the NPA as opposed to no increase in the ecotourism sector. Additionally, an overall increase in wildlife sightings was observed. A wide range of threatened species benefited from the program, including Sambar deer, barking deer, primates and small carnivores.
“If eco-tourism or nature tourism is going to help increase these wildlife populations, there must be a direct link between the incentives for communities and the wildlife itself, “ said Bounpheng Phoomsavath, Director of Nam Et — Phou Louey National Protected Area. “Many projects claim to be benefiting wildlife but they often lack this direct link. Villagers get benefits but the wildlife populations continue to decline. The direct links are the key to our success.”
In cases where ecotourism is used as a biodiversity conservation strategy, projects are often questioned for lack of resulting proof that threats to biodiversity have been averted or conditions for biodiversity have been improved.
“This study illustrates the importance of monitoring along a theory of change to evaluate if and how a conservation strategy is leading to expected outcomes and to inform adaptive management,” said WCS Lao PDR Deputy Country Director Dr. Santi (Joy) Saypanya.
The scientists say the case “provides key lessons on the design of a direct payments approach for an ecotourism strategy, including how to combine threat monitoring and data on wildlife sightings to evaluate strategy effectiveness, on setting rates for wildlife sightings and village fees, and the utility of the approach for protecting very rare species.”
Learn more: A Bird in the Bush Equals Money in the Hand
The Latest on: Ecotourism strategy
- Shifting into (Green) Gear: BC Releases Updated Climate Change Strategy on December 12, 2018 at 4:57 pm
On December 5, 2019, the BC government released the CleanBC plan, its long-awaited update to the province’s climate change strategy. The CleanBC plan establishes a pathway to achieve the province’s ta... […]
- Fighting Plastic and Over-Tourism: A Sustainable Review of the Year’s Events in 2018 on December 10, 2018 at 9:39 pm
An important factor is to recognize over-tourism and develop strategies to handle mass tourism. Some destinations already reacted with upper limits or closings, thus, e.g., the famous Maya Bay in ... […]
- Climate data helping guide Skagit Land Trust on December 7, 2018 at 7:50 am
MOUNT VERNON — The Skagit Land Trust has made climate change part of its conservation strategy that guides the trust on which lands to protect to provide the most benefit to the community and area wil... […]
- Haiti - Tourism : The Minister is considering the opening of 2 or 3 new cruise ports on December 7, 2018 at 3:23 am
On this point, Minister Stephenson explores the possibility of uniting these zones with those of the Dominican Republic in order to constitute a great pole of attractive ecotourism, linking the roads ... […]
- Advancing Guyana’s Green State Agenda through Tourism on December 6, 2018 at 10:08 pm
This is beginning to happen in Guyana. The Government of Guyana is actively pursuing a ‘green’ agenda with the impending implementation of the Green State Development Strategy (GSDS). The Guyana Touri... […]
- CORRECTION – Canada’s BC unveils long-term climate strategy aimed at electrification, higher LCFS on December 6, 2018 at 4:16 am
British Columbia's government outlined a long-term climate strategy Wednesday aimed at electrifying its transportation sector, increasing its energy efficiency from buildings, and reducing emissions f... […]
- Ecotourism infrastructure at Sakumo Ramsar Site to be developed on December 4, 2018 at 4:14 pm
the sector has implemented innovative marketing strategies that attracted investors such as Gold Fields Ghana Limited through Leadership for Conservation in Africa, Eco-lodges Ghana Limited and Brave- ... […]
- Recognition of indigenous territories as a REDD+ strategy: An example from the Peruvian Amazon on December 3, 2018 at 12:29 pm
A significant proportion of the money they receive is thus invested in productive activities such as ecotourism, production of artisan products, and sustainable use of forest resources. Community memb... […]
- Rwanda to Build Ecotourism Park in Kigali on December 1, 2018 at 8:46 pm
The Nyandungu Urban Wetland Eco-Tourism Park will conserve wetlands and habitat for ... $400 to 600 million dollars to implement its Green Growth and Climate Resilience Strategy. That will include the ... […]
- Center for Safe Energy on November 28, 2018 at 12:12 am
Devising an ecotourism strategy is an increasingly crucial issue within the Buryatia region of Siberia as Lake Baikal attracts more visitors, and developers, each year. Lake Baikal is a place of super... […]
via Google News and Bing News