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Tourism development in Africa challenged by wildlife crime
Wildlife watching tourism is one of the most important tourism segments in Africa, according to new United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) research released on the occasion of World Wildlife Day. In view of tourism’s potential in advancing inclusive growth across the continent, poaching and illicit trade in wildlife pose a serious threat to the future of Africa’s socio-economic development, the publication warns.
In support of international efforts to tackle unprecedented levels of poaching and to strengthen the role of tourism vis-à-vis wildlife crime, UNWTO is spearheading efforts to increase knowledge on the economic value of wildlife watching in Africa. Towards Measuring the Economic Value of Wildlife Watching Tourism in Africa, provides a first overview of this segment, its economic impact and the current involvement of tourism in anti-poaching measures.
“Poaching is not only destroying precious ecosystems, it also poses a serious threat to socio-economic development. The loss of biodiversity is directly linked to lost development opportunities in the African tourism sector, which provides livelihoods for millions of people”, said UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai in his message on the occasion of World Wildlife Day ...
According to UNWTO's findings, wildlife watching represents 80% of the total annual sales of trips to Africa, with safari as the most popular product. The species most threatened by poaching such as elephants and rhinos, are among the most popular in wildlife watching tours.
Full story at media.unwto.org/press-release/2015-03-03/tourism-development-africa-challenged-wildlife-crime
#Africa #tourism #poaching #elephants #rhino
Image: Sunset over the Maasai Mara, by Christopher Michel ... See MoreSee Less
5 hours ago ·
Tibetans in Yunnan Give Up Wearing Animal Skins, Burn Valuable Furs
Tibetan villagers living in the southwestern Chinese province of Yunnan have marked the beginning of the Lunar New Year by vowing to give up the wearing of animal furs and by burning those already in their possession, sources said.
The February 27 action by residents of Drangsung village in Yunnan’s Dechen (in Chinese, Deqin) county was aimed at complying with the wishes of exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama that Tibetans abandon the use of animal skins for clothes, a local source told RFA’s Tibetan Service.
“The Tibetans had kept animal-skin clothes as rare and valuable family possessions,” RFA’s source said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
“However, they became aware of the objections of the Dalai Lama and of local Tibetan Buddhist leaders who advised them not to use them.”
“So the Tibetans in Drangsung village came together and set their fox-fur caps and dresses decorated with wild animal skins on fire,” he said.
The Dalai Lama first appealed in January 2006 to Tibetans living in China to protect endangered animals in Tibet and to stop using animal skins on their clothes, and many Tibetans heard his instructions via Tibetan radio broadcasts from overseas.
His appeal followed the release of a hard-hitting report by EIA and the Wildlife Protection Society of India, which concluded that the new and burgeoning markets for Indian tiger, leopard and otter skins are in Tibetan areas of the PRC in Sichuan, Qinghai and Gansu, where they were coveted adornments for Tibetan chupas [ht.ly/K0ovV].
Full story at www.rfa.org/english/news/tibet/animal-03042015170302.html
#Tibet #China #fur
Image: Tibetans burn wild animal skins, Yunnan, China, February 27, 2015, via rft.org ... See MoreSee Less
6 hours ago ·
Must-read op-ed from Graham Readfearn in The Guardian ...
'Doubt over climate science is a product with an industry behind it'
It’s a product that you can find in newspaper columns and TV talk shows and in conversations over drinks, at barbecues, in taxi rides and in political speeches.
You can find this product in bookstores, on sponsored speaking tours, in the letters pages of local newspapers and even at United Nations climate change talks.
This product is doubt - doubt about the causes and impacts of climate change, the impartiality of climate scientists, the world’s temperature records, the height of the oceans and basic atmospheric physics.
There’s doubt too about the “agenda” of policy makers and government environment agencies and a continued attempt to politicise climate science as “leftist”.
There’s also doubt over the role renewable energy might play now and in the future.
Yet where it matters most, in the leading scientific journals in the world, any doubt that burning fossil fuels is causing the planet to heat up is almost nowhere to be seen ...
As I wrote for The Guardian last week, in 1998 a leaked American Petroleum Institute memo detailed how a dozen fossil fuel lobbyists, think tank associates and PR professionals had come together for a mass scale misinformation project on climate science.
The memo claimed that “victory” would be achieved when “uncertainties” (read: doubt) became part of the conventional wisdom among the public.
As detailed in my piece, many of the same individuals continue to work in the climate science doubt production industry while defending fossil fuels.
Read the op-ed in full at www.theguardian.com/environment/planet-oz/2015/mar/05/doubt-over-climate-science-is-a-product-wit...
Image: Pumpjacks at Lost Hills Oil Field, California, by Arne Hückelheim ... See MoreSee Less
24 hours ago ·