Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Balancing Protection and Tourism Series: ECOTOURISM. SURVIVAL OF THE GALAPAGOS. Part 4 of a 4-Part Series. Second of Four Articles Appearing Today

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Balancing Protection and Tourism Series: ECOTOURISM. SURVIVAL OF THE GALAPAGOS. Part 4 of a 4-Part Series. Second of Four Articles Appearing Today

Article excerpt

EXAMPLES of a perfect balance between environmental protection, ecotourism, and a thriving local economy are truly rare in the world's wild places. But there are places that come close, and there are projects under way that could become models of harmony.

What follows are two examples of programs finding some success, according to private and government groups in the United States and Latin America concerned with ecotourism issues:

In Papua New Guinea, Trans Niugini Tours has created an ecotourism site on a 7,000-foot high ridge in a rain forest, the home of the Huli tribe in the Tari region. The area is known for spectacular waterfalls and rain-forest creatures.

Ambua Lodge consists of the main lodge and 40 independent cabins down the ridge and through the nature trails. The government owns the land (which was not being used by the tribe) and Trans Niugini leases it. Construction of the lodges and cabins was done with local people using a combination of local techniques and Western technology. After construction, 50 local people were trained to be waiters, cooks, guides, and so forth.

Villagers supply the lodge with fresh food and vegetables (before the lodge, food had to be imported). The gardening staff maintains a great variety of native shrubs and orchids on the grounds. Local people sell crafts and offer cultural activities to the ecotourists. …

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