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The Contribution of Tourism Revenue to Financing Protected Area Management in Southern Africa

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Protected areas (PAs) are one way of conserving biodiversity, and ecosystem services and human well-being and are now recognized as an integral part of sustainable development strategies. Over the past four decades there has been a ten-fold increase in the number of protected areas globally. Increasingly however, park management agencies do not have sufficient funds to finance their conservation management activities, and most governments do not fund PA budgets fully. Furthermore, efforts to determine how much money is spent or required for PA financing has been hampered by significant data shortages, especially in the most underfunded countries as many are still unable to quantify the relative adequacy of their levels of conservation finance. This research assesses the extent to which tourism contributes towards biodiversity financing for PA management in southern African countries. It analyzes Fifth National Country Reports (produced in 2014/2015) submitted to the Convention for Biological Diversity produced for all southern African countries to determine the actual contribution of tourism to overall PA financing. It highlights that although tourism is a significant revenue source for PA authorities in southern Africa, how it is retained and reinvested back into conservation management remains ambiguous. The incompleteness and inconsistency of national level reporting presents a missed opportunity for justifying greater financing support.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 18, 2017

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  • Tourism Review International is a peer-reviewed journal that advances excellence in all fields of tourism research, promotes high-level tourism knowledge, and nourishes cultural awareness in all sectors of the tourism industry by integrating industry and academic perspectives. Its international and interdisciplinary nature ensures that the needs of those interested in tourism are served by documenting industry practices, discussing tourism management and planning issues, providing a forum for primary research and critical examinations of previous research, and by chronicling changing tourism patterns and trends at the local, regional and global scale.
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