Free Newsletters - Space News - Defense Alert - Environment Report - Energy Monitor
. Earth Science News .




DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Can Nature's Beauty Lift Citizens From Poverty?
by Staff Writers
Washington DC (SPX) May 02, 2012


Research shows nature tourism isn't an automatic ticket out of poverty for people who transition from farming to tourism for economic improvement. Here, tourists watch pandas at China's Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda (CCRCGP) in Wolong Nature Reserve, May 2005. Credit: Wei Liu, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, Michigan State University.

Using nature's beauty as a tourist draw can boost conservation in China's valued panda preserves, but it isn't an automatic ticket out of poverty for the humans who live there, a unique long-term study shows.

Often those who benefit most from nature-based tourism are people who already have resources. The truly impoverished have a harder time breaking into the tourism business, according to the paper, "Drivers and Socioeconomic Impacts of Tourism Participation in Protected Areas," published in the April 25 edition of PLoS One.

The study looks at nearly a decade of burgeoning tourism in the Wolong Nature Reserve in Southwestern China. China, like many areas in the world, banks on tourism over farming for economic viability, while attempting to preserve fragile animal habitat.

But until now, no one has taken a close look at the long-term implications for people economically.

"Long-term studies like this one give us a birds-eye view into the multifaceted connections between people and the environments they occupy," said Thomas Baerwald, a program director for the Geography and Spatial Sciences Program at the National Science Foundation (NSF), which partially funded the study.

"Finding the right balance between economics that lift people from poverty and habitat management is an important role for social and environmental scientists and will be important into the future."

Lead researcher Wei Liu is a Ph.D. candidate in the Center for Systems Integration and Sustainability (CSIS) at Michigan State University (MSU). He and his colleagues took advantage of the center's 15-year history of work in Wolong, which they call an excellent laboratory to study the complex interactions of humans and nature.

"This study shows the power of having comprehensive long-term data to understand how everything works together," Liu said. "This is the first time we've been able to put it together to understand how changes are being made."

The PLoS One paper is co-authored by Christine Vogt, MSU professor of community, agriculture, recreation and resource studies; Junyan Luo, research associate; Guangming He, research assistant; Kenneth Frank, professor of measurement and quantitative methods and fisheries and wildlife; and Jianguo "Jack" Liu, Rachel Carson Chair in Sustainability. All but Vogt are members of CSIS; Jack Liu is director.

Wei Liu and his colleagues followed 220 families in Wolong from 1999 to 2007 as they rode the wave of change in an area shifting from farming to bringing in tourists, who wanted to see the land of the giant pandas as well as experience its beauty.

That wave abruptly stopped in 2008 with the massive Sichuan earthquake that measured 8.0 on the moment magnitude scale used by seismologists to calculate the size of earthquakes. Damage to roads and buildings from Sichuan still impedes business development today.

Wei Liu and team studied the impact of having resources in Wolong. Residents who already had money, were educated, and had relationships with governmental officials had a much greater chance of being successful with the arrival of nature-based tourism.

Lacking these resources made it harder, which is significant since many of China's programs and initiatives aim to lift people out of poverty.

"The policies haven't yet reached their full potential," Wei Liu said. "But now we have the data to show what's happening.

An interesting piece of the research was learning that people who are engaged in the tourism trade were more likely to acknowledge the tradeoffs between tourism development and conservation. Wei said they acknowledged that tourism increased noise, traffic congestion and disturbance to wildlife.

Wei Liu said this research can help China--and other countries around the world--with the next steps of developing policies to balance tourism with habitat management. The area is working hard to rebuild from the earthquake, just as other developing tourism areas are challenged by natural disasters. The study, he and his colleagues say, can point to opportunities to improve policies.

The research was funded by NSF and NASA. Research on the interactions between human behavior and the environment can help guide policy, and are an important focus of NSF's Directorate for Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences.

.


Related Links
NSF
Bringing Order To A World Of Disasters
A world of storm and tempest
When the Earth Quakes






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





DISASTER MANAGEMENT
EU hands extra 20 mln euros to Pakistan flood victims
Brussels (AFP) April 30, 2012
Brussels on Monday announced a further 20 million euros in aid to victims of Pakistan's 2011 monsoon floods, as well as people displaced by conflict, bringing funding this year to 55 million euros. While the world had responded with generosity to the country's devastating 2010 and 2011 floods, "we must not forget that millions of people are still struggling to recover, especially in the prov ... read more


DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Can Nature's Beauty Lift Citizens From Poverty?

EU hands extra 20 mln euros to Pakistan flood victims

S. Korea nuclear safety agency probes two plants

Construction of Chernobyl shelter starts on anniversary

DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Australian rare earths miner sues Malaysian opponents

NEMA Welcomes Legislation on Federal Helium Policy

Plan to Counter Space Threats Proposed

US Army Awards Lockheed Martin $391 Million for Counterfire Radar Production

DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Strike at Amazon dam project in second week

Old maps and dead clams help solve coastal boulder mystery

Impaired recovery of Atlantic cod - forage fish or other factors?

Wind pushes plastics deeper into oceans, driving trash estimates up

DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Warm Ocean Currents Cause Majority of Ice Loss from Antarctica

Warm ocean currents cause majority of ice loss from Antarctica

Northern Canada feels the heat - Climate change impact on permafrost zones

Study Finds Surprising Arctic Methane Emission Source

DISASTER MANAGEMENT
New study sheds light on debate over organic vs. conventional

New Zealand gas research to help farmers' bottom line

Pesticide exposure linked to brain changes: study

New Yorkers bring fish farms to urban jungle

DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Sodden Britain braced for more floods

Strong quake strikes off Mexico coast: USGS

Rapid tsunami warning by means of GPS

Russian volcano spews ash into atmosphere

DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Boko Haram targets media in Nigeria

Zimbabwe PM calls for reforms before election

DR Congo army pursuing rebels after clashes

West African summit on Guinea-Bissau set for Thursday

DISASTER MANAGEMENT
A middle-ear microphone

'Inhabitants of Madrid' ate elephants' meat and bone marrow 80,000 years ago

Eating more berries may reduce cognitive decline in the elderly

Learning mechanism of the adult brain revealed




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement