International Issues
water buffalo working in Vietnam

Liuwa Plain National Park
The value put on the environment--what good we see in the natural environment--is not the same in different times and places:
illegal ivory tradeDifferent international questions (which can also be asked about different time periods):
Wildness is valued only when scarce and when people aren't terribly poor
"As a rule, the nations that have wilderness do not want it, and those who want it do not have it."
rich people in urban areas are the primary advocates for wilderness in other countries and regions of their own country
preserving wilderness is a luxury
to get out of this trap environmental activists take the approach:
Developing nations have an incentive to preserve wild nature because it is a source of tourist income
book cover with Roosevelt and a dead rhinocerous

nature tourism is certainly not a new phenomenon
An international movement to preserve wilderness (or at least endangered species) was based on early European leadership and then the U.S. example
How can rich countries encourage poor countries to protect their natural environment
Nature tourism makes it profitable to preserve rather than develop natural areas
Example: the Galapagos
marine inguanas in the Galapagos
Marine Iguanas, Galapagos (PEM photo)
How much are our ideas about the environment based on western (or rich country) values?
Can we think globally?  To get beyond local politics--World Heritage List
The intersection between environmental issues (as we understand them) and local values is tricky
we are back to the issue of how to balance environmental preservation and human needs

This page written and copyright Pamela E. Mack
last updated 10/23/09
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