The Grassland Society of Southern Africa (GSSA) is involved and concerned with the science and practice of range and pasture management. This broad field involves primarily the use and conservation of natural resources. It encompasses applied fields such as livestock production, wildlife management, nature conservation, water catchment management and range and mine-dump rehabilitation. The disciplines include, amongst others, ecology, botany zoology, range and pasture science, animal science, soil science and genetics. This collection includes journal articles from the African Journal of Range and Forage Science as well as related articles and reports from throughout the Southern African region.
Ecotourism : a means to safeguard biodiversity and ecosystem functions?
This paper argues that, at present, ecotourism can contribute to safeguard biodiversity and ecosystem functions in developing countries, even though meeting the requirements for ecotourism is extremely difficult. A cost-benefit analysis of those ecosystems richest in species diversity, i.e. tropical rainforests, leads to the conclusion that non-use values often outweigh the values of conventional uses (clear-cutting, pasture, etc.), but are hardly considered in development decisions. Therefore, tourism and its high direct use value can play an important role as an incentive for protection. As tourism causes significant emissions, e.g. by flying, the concept of Environmental Damage Costs is introduced and integrated into the calculations. Further, international tourism development is analyzed and related to protection goals. Visitation rates of sensitive areas need to be limited; education, management, and control measures have to be integrated; and the proportion of money captured from tourists has to be increased. In the long run, tourism needs to undergo substantial changes.
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