1963-2013 - 50 years of Research for Social Change

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Back | Programme Area: Environment, Sustainable Development and Social Change

Reality or Rhetoric? Ecotourism and Rural Reconstruction in South Africa



The paper first examines the international context and the economics of tourism in South Africa. It then turns to the historical evolution of wildlife conservation and the establishment of game parks and reserves. After a survey of popular attitudes towards conservation policies and programmes, the paper summarizes and evaluates recent efforts by various conservation agencies to overcome the legacy of apartheid, mainly by creating community-based game reserves and implementing other schemes designed to redistribute the profits of ecotourism to improve the livelihood of rural people. It then describes the approaches to conservation of different political parties and concludes with a number of policy recommendations designed to integrate conservation with community empowerment and control over resources and improvement of living standards of the rural poor.
  • Publication and ordering details
  • Pub. Date: 1 Aug 1994
    Pub. Place: Geneva
    ISSN: 1012-6511
    From: UNRISD