Depletion and Conservation of Natural Resources - Seeking Global Solutions
debt nature programs ecotourism
The indebtedness and poverty of many developing countries reduce opportunities for conservation. Local, national, and international efforts must be linked to deal effectively with the underlying pressures on the ecosystems that support biological diversity. Some international efforts include "debt-for-nature" programs and ecotourism (travel oriented around natural sites, native species, and traditional cultural practices).
Since the 1980s a number of debt forgiveness programs have involved debt-for-nature swaps, where governments or conservation groups buy back, or forgive, a portion of a country's debt, usually at a discounted market price, in exchange for the commitment to fund conservation programs.
Another approach to stemming biodiversity-depleting exploitation is to support alternative, less harmful ways for people to earn their livelihoods. Ecotourism is one alternative economic activity that can use nature, if done carefully, with minimal harm. Ecotourism has spurred communities to protect rare ecological sites and has been modestly successful at generating currency for developing countries.