OPINION: Tourism Is Important, But It’s Not the Only Reason to Save Elephants

A photo of an African Elephant

By Tanya Saunders

Contemplating a road ahead for elephants where they are valued as more than mere tourist attractions. Photograph by Tanya Saunders

Those who believe that ecological and moral grounds aren’t sufficient justification to protect elephants and other wildlife in Africa often tout tourism as the most important reason to do so.

Examined rationally, this is a narrow and risky premise, with a poor long-term prognosis for the survival of Africa’s wild animals.

While tourism undoubtedly earns significant revenue for host countries and plays a part in funding conservation, it is only one brick in the wall. To rely on it exclusively to justify the existence of our wildlife, or to pay for its protection, is neither realistic nor sustainable.

Tourism is a welcome but fickle business that can vanish overnight, leaving tourism-dependent conservation projects in dire straits. Take Kenya’s famed Mara Triangle conservancy, one of Africa’s finest game viewing areas, currently suffering from a tourism slump and desperate for funding, which once came more easily.

No matter how successful tourism might be, even in good times, it simply cannot provide enough funds to sustain conservation in Africa on its own. The needs are simply too great, particularly if we want to —> Read More Here

Virgin spaceship crashes, fate of pilots unknown

Los Angeles (AFP) Oct 31, 2014

Virgin Galactic’s first commercial spacecraft crashed Friday during a test flight over California, scattering debris over the desert and leaving the fate of two pilots unknown, the company said.

Television images showed parts of SpaceShipTwo, a test vehicle flying to the edge of space, scattered amid brush in the desert east of Mojave, a few hours’ drive northeast of Los Angeles.

The —> Read More Here

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