For archive purposes, this article is being stored on TheWE.cc website.
The purpose is to advance understandings of environmental, political,
human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues.

 

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Tourism trashes ecological hotspots

Ecotourism is touted as a boon to the environment; poor locals working as guides and hoteliers will no longer exploit natural resources for survival. But tourists leave a lot more than footprints, according to a study announced at the fifth World Parks Congress in Durban, South

Africa.

In just 10 years, world tourism rates have skyrocketed 200 to 500 percent. Now Conservation International and the United Nations Environment Program report that rubberneckers bring with them long-term ecological devastation.

Consider Cancun, Mexico. Only 12 families lived on this forested island until the 1970s. Then the tourist industry arrived. Today, 2.6 million people visit each year, and the island is naked, its forests long gone. Local facilities can process only one-quarter of the sewage; the rest goes straight into the sea.

Biodiversity hotspots, home to extraordinary numbers of species, are worst hit. Water siphoned for tourism can upset finely balanced ecosystems. Once natural treasures are destroyed, tourists depart forever, leaving local peoples in worse shape than before the travel boom.

 






 
 
























































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































 
 





 
For archive purposes, this article is being stored on TheWE.cc website.
The purpose is to advance understandings of environmental, political,
human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues.