The illegal killing of rhinos for the export of their body parts continues to climb steadily in South Africa, and 2012 has already been a “devastating” year for the species, according to a salient article by the International Centre for
Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD). While there are obvious nature conservation ramifications for the “rhino wars” plaguing the country, the article also portrays a strong argument for conservation of animals and environments as a key tenet in sustainable development and economics – one that is being echoed by leaders in other areas facing other problems of endangered environments (see the valuation of sharks for ecotourism versus harvesting off Australian waters). According to the article:
“Ecotourism has a far greater potential for contributing to income and livelihoods in poor rural communities than what is realised,” says Edgar Kaeslin, from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
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