Conserving the world’s wildlife and wildlands is often seen as an aesthetic investment rather than an economic or social one. Because our dependence on natural resources for sustained economic well-being is not broadly recognized a fundamental rift has developed between resource managers who wish to use all that is available and protectionists who advocate preservation regardless of the short-term economic costs. Increasingly, wildlife and wildlands are being asked to pay their way in order to continue to receive special protected status. The purpose of this book is to provide a theoretical and practical basis for understanding the value of wild resources as well as the strategies for conserving them. In addition, it is intended to help bridge the gap between development and protectionist philosophies by placing wildlife, wildlands, and their diversity in the proper economic context. The first four chapters explore the questions involved – the complexity and global nature of the issues, the application of economics to the wilds, and the resulting policies for conservation and sustainable management. The next five chapters examine specific uses, both sustainable and unsustainable, of wild species and habitats. Topics include community-based development, tourism, rainforest products, poaching, and the impact of conservation on wildlife use. The conclusion argues that comprehensive management of wild resources is needed to ensure both their continued existence and the continuing flow of benefits from them.
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