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The value of wildlife tourism: perspectives from sub-Saharan Africa

Chardonnet P., Le Bel S.. 2012. In : OIE ; WCS. Animal Health and Biodiversity - Preparing for the future : Compendium of the OIE Global Conference on Wildlife, Paris, France, 23-25 February 2011. Paris : OIE, p. 19-38. OIE Global Conference on Wildlife, 2011-02-23/2011-02-25, Paris (France).

Various authors have used different categories to estimate the value of wildlife, e.g. direct and indirect use values, option values, ethical values, etc. ln this paper, the authors address the value of wildlifebased tourism. With the development of the worfd tourism industry, the value of nature-oriented tourism is increasing on aff continents, and especially in sub-Saharan Africa. The value of such tourism is often understood as the direct economie benefits that come from "the tourist dollar' and contribute to the generation of incarne for the country and its inhabitants. However, there are other ways to value wildlife which are not sufficiently taken into account, i.e. the diverse benefits provided by ecosystem services, such as the eco/ogical value of species to a healthy ecosystem, their nLJtritiona/ value and cultural value, etc. Wildlife tourism in sub-Saharan Africa is large/y supported by Protected Areas (PAs), with their broad range of different categories, which are clearly the backbone of the industry. One leg of wildlife tourism is the wildlife-viewing tourism in natural habitats. ln sub-Saharan Africa, this type of tourism main/y occurs in PAs of the public domain, principal/y national parks (NPs). ft also occurs at a few other locations, such as game ranches which are privately owned, or communal conservancies which are community-based, bath found main/y in Southern Africa. With a few notable exceptions, a majority of NPs are struggling to fu/fil their conservation mandate, due to a Jack of financia/ and hu man re sources for the ir management: very few of them attract enough tourists to co ver their management costs. At present, most NPs require externat funding to support their day-ta-day running and achieve their conservation aims. This is nothing new. Protected areas cannat be justified sole/y by their direct economie outputs; the entire range of benefits that they provide must be considered. The other /eg of wi/dlife tourism is hunting tourism. This type of tourism main/y occurs in public/y owned PAs, which are official/y gazetted and earmarked as hunting areas (HAs) under various names (e.g. game reserves, hunting blacks, Coutadas, Zones de Chasse, Domaines de Chasse, etc.). ln a few Southern African countries, hunting tourism is a/so carried out on private and communal land. These HAs, averai/ much bigger than NPs, often a ct as buffer zones around and ecological corridors between NPs. They are usual/y private/y managed and financed and thus their contribution he/ps to reduce the financial burden on the government, of conserving and managing its biodiversity assets in these areas. Go vern ment budgets for conservation are often under-resourced, being law on the list of national development priorities. Thus, improved professionalism and efficiency in the hunting tourism industry could substantia/ly increase the ability to conserve huge tracts of natural habitat, with al/ of their biodiversity and ecosystems services, while increasing economie benefits to the local people and Government. However, most PAs are under threat from humans, caused by growing populations and their increasing need for land and natural resources. ln developing countries, concerned with food security and poverty a/leviation, poaching is a widespread threat to PAs. The often massive quantity of bushmeat taken from bath inside and outside PAs represents a kind of 'hidden' value, since it is large/y unknown, over/ooked and often illegal. When this direct consumption of game for food becomes unsustainable, due to over-harvesting the resource, its value becomes negative and counter-productive to wildlife tourism. Agriculture encroachment is a severe threat to PAs because it is converting natural habitats, destroying biodiversity and compromising ecosystem services. Pastoral encroachment is a relative/y new threat to NPs and HAs, and this issue is often neglected in management schemes although it is happening more frequent/y. The two di...

Mots-clés : tourisme; chasse; valeur économique; faune; animal sauvage; zone protegée; développement rural; parc national; conservation des ressources; gestion des ressources naturelles; pauvreté; afrique au sud du sahara; service environnemental

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