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The touristic valorisation of conservation areas aims to combine the need to fight biodiversity loss while developing remote rural areas. The Covid-19 pandemic has however called this approach into question. This panel looks at nature tourism - nature conservation nexus in a post-Covid-19 setting.
Across the African continent, large areas of land have been designated for biodiversity conservation. The management of these conservation areas varies from national parks with restricted access for local people, to privately managed parks that treat wildlife as an economic asset, to community-based institutions that seek to establish more inclusive forms of resource management. What all these approaches have in common is that they seek to protect functional ecosystems from extraction-oriented economic sectors. In many cases, tourism is seen as the solution, combining the urgent need for nature conservation with the economic use of these areas.
Despite criticism, the tourism valorisation of protected areas has long met with great response from political decision-makers and international organisations. However, the global spread of the COVID-19 virus at the beginning of 2020 has called this approach into question. The pandemic caused significant disruption to established global production networks, and this disruption had a profound impact on regional and local economies, particularly in rural areas relying on the wildlife tourism sector, thus exposing the vulnerability of tourism to external shocks. This panel aims to bring together African perspectives on the tourism-conservation nexus to understand the challenges caused by COVID-19 and explore future conservation pathways after COVID-19. Contributions that critically engage with the institutional, developmental and socio-ecological dimensions of consumptive and non-consumptive tourism in African protected areas are encouraged. In this way, we aim to understand the future trajectories of nature tourism and its role for conservation in a post-Covid-19 setting.
Accepted papers:Session 1 Friday 2 June, 2023, -
Linus Kalvelage (University of Cologne)
Selma Lendelvo (University of Namibia) Mecthilde Pinto (University of Namibia)
Eduard Gargallo (ISCTE-Instituto Universitário de Lisboa)
Nurit Hashimshony-Yaffe (The Academic College of Tel Aviv Yaffo)
Jamal Alkirnawi (A New Dawn in the Negev)