As the world’s human population continues to explode, the pressure on the environment and wildlife is driving many animal, plant and aquatic species to the brink of extinction.
Eco-tourism is a sustainable way to look after ecosystems, because it provides many jobs and money, while still managing to protect the environment.
Ecotourism covers a whole range of activities but here we are concentrating on the sustainability of many of the world’s most iconic environments and animals. If we want to see orangutans, tiger sharks, elephants, lions and tigers in the wild then it could be ecotourism that will give us the only opportunity to do that in the future.
The combination of environmental and local economic sustainability means the indigenous population has the motivation to keep the target species alive i.e. they are worth more to them alive than dead.
The best models work by linking community development with education and environmental stewardship, creating the right atmosphere for eco tours that protect endangered animals in the wild.
In light of all of this, here are a few ecotourism and endangered-species conservation programs, courtesy of the WHL Group (www.ecotourism.org).