Hi everyone! I’m very pleased to be posting my first blog post on Mynatour! I’d like to take this opportunity to introduce you to a mini-series that I’m going to be writing on Mynatour regarding ecotourism in different ecosystems. But, before I do I’d like to write a little about ecotourism and biodiversity conservation.
I’m sure many of us are aware of the importance of conserving the world’s biodiversity. It’s fascinating, to say the least, that the diversity of life on Earth is not just candy to the eyes, but so much more. It puts food on our tables, provides us with clean air and fresh water, keeps pests and diseases in check and in some communities it offers its inhabitants spiritual and cultural benefits.
As a biologist, adventurer and traveler I have come to admire ecotourism’s potential as a tool for conserving biodiversity. This ever growing segment of tourism has provided us with endless opportunities to experience nature and different cultures in their finest forms. Not only, but ecotourism has made obvious its use as an excellent tool for improving the livelihoods of host communities, educating tourists, as well as strengthening local economies.
Given the human pressure on biodiversity – extracting large quantities of water for industrial purposes, reducing fish stocks through overfishing, destroying habitat for development – it is imperative for us to seek crosscutting solutions. There are many ecotourism projects around the world offering locals alternative sources of income. As a result, these local communities are starting to get a better understanding of their surroundings and the importance of sustaining their natural resources. Before we know it, they’re advocates of ecotourism, and great stewards of biodiversity conservation!
Today, there are many ecotourism destinations on the market, penetrating almost every ecosystem. You can go bird watching in in the Amazon rainforest, diving in the Red Sea, ice fishing in the Arctic or even horseback riding in the Sahara desert. The extent to which ecotourism is popular, or appealing, in each of these ecosystems is dependent on a variety factors, such as the biodiversity found in these ecosystems, the different stakeholders that are involved and the dynamics of these ecosystems overtime. What is also interesting is the attention given to some ecosystems in comparison to others, which is often mostly a factor of their species richness. A great example of this is the attention given to rainforests vs. grasslands, even though grasslands are one of the most endangered ecosystems in the world!
In the mini-series entitled “Ecotourism…from mountaintops to seafloors”, I’ll be writing about ecotourism in these different ecosystems. For each ecosystem, I’ll try and stimulate your imagination regarding these ecosystems by providing you with interesting facts that make them unique and worthy of your visit. Whenever possible, I’ll shed light on the goods and services that they provide. I’ll then get you excited and pumped up for your next ecotourism trip by giving you a list of the different activities you can do. I’ll do my best to make sure the activities cover the wide spectrum of travelers – from the adrenaline junkies to the more laid back travelers. Finally, I’m going to recommend destinations to visit for each of these ecosystems.
I hope this series will open our eyes to the world’s many diverse ecosystems, and enable us to make more informed decisions regarding our traveling plans. Most of all, I hope it inspires us to visit areas of the world we never really paid attention to.
Stay tuned as we take you from mountaintops to seafloors…