- agriculture - China - environment - Natural disaster - Rwanda
Holidays that help nature
As France prepares for summer, the Champs Elysee goes green and ENVIRONMENT shows you how your vacation can have a positive effect on the environment.
To mark the International day of biodiversity Paris turned its city centre into a temporary farm. With grass covering cobblestones and cows replacing cars, one of the world’s most famous boulevards went green in order to get humans to think more about the nature all around them and our dependence on it.
Put together by Gad Weil, the exposition cost a total of 4.2 million euros and attracted almost 2 million visitors.
From the Champs Elysee ENVIRONMENT looks at holidays that help the environment.
Tourism in Rwanda for example, could help save mountain gorillas. There are less than 700 left alive in the wild, and around half of them are in the mountains on the borders of Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. In Rwanda a network of trackers guarantees tourists will get to go up close to the gorillas, for an income that is attractive enough to turn former gorilla hunters into tour guides. Others have become guides, porters, or artisans. Some 1000 former hunters are now employed to protect the nature - and look after the tourists.
“I've spent so much time in the forest tracking the animals that I started to resemble them... People were frightened of me, and I was left to myself! Today I'm part of the village and it's much better,” says former poacher Leonidas Barora
Since 2003 - Gorilla conservation has brought in 5% of the country's tourism revenues. So the project doesn’t just benefit visitors, it's for Rwandans and the treasured mountain gorillas too.
Meanwhile across in China a delicate balance is needed to keep tourists trekking to farmlands providing a positive influence. For almost eight centuries Longsheng's subsistence farmers have sculpted the hillside as they worked, making the landscape one of the most magical in China. The beauty attracted tourists who now help sustain the local economy.
Local farmer NAP Pei Ying says that without tourism he wouldn’t be able to get by and could perhaps be forced give up farming to move towards the city. Now, he needs to keep farming in order to attract the tourists for his guesthouse. When tourists come to visit they have to pay to access the villages. ‘If tourists discover they are no longer cultivating the rice fields, will they still come here? Of course not, therefore it must be maintained. For example, if a farmer stops growing rice, they’ll no longer get their share of the entry tickets,’ explains village leader PAN Ruliu.