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Jakarta Post

Sustaining conservation in a pandemic

  • Matthew Brown

    Project Syndicate/Boulder, Colorado

Project Syndicate/Boulder, Colorado   /   Mon, June 22 2020   /  10:39 am

Safari tourism has long been an economic boon to people living in Africa. But the suspension of flights and safari visits because of the COVID-19 pandemic has decimated this critical source of income – and devastated the wildlife conservation efforts it funds. The repercussions for flora and fauna are far-reaching. Anything with a horn or tusk is at greater risk today than yesterday. The economic value of Africa’s national parks, reserves, and conservancies is obvious. In 2019, travel to Africa accounted for 7.1 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), generating US$168 billion in revenue. Last year, Kenya, the continent’s fourth-largest tourism economy, had more than two million tourists. The sector now contributes 15 percent to Namibia’s GDP and 115,000 jobs, or 16 percent of total employment. The resulting revenue helps boost biodiversity. For ex...