Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Balancing needs of wildlife and tourists

By Ben Sutherland
BBC World Service, Kuching

An idea to ensure tourists visiting wildlife parks catch a glimpse of the animals they came to see has been proposed at an environmental conference in Malaysia.

Bernard Harrison, a zoo manager and designer, suggested the construction of "managed wildlife sanctuaries" on degraded land would allow people to enjoy what he called "orchestrated random encounters".

Ecotourism is a key contributor to many countries' economies
"One misplaced foot can destroy decades of growth" - Sir Peter Crane, Kew Gardens

Speaking at the International Media and Environment Summit (Imes) in Kuching, he said this approach would suit many ecotourists who did not appreciate that the creatures they had paid to see often preferred to remain hidden.

The sanctuaries could be created on environmentally damaged land because such areas were actually often rich in food, he added.



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