Ecotourism is more profitable than agriculture and animal husbandry and also promotes the conservation of nature, according to the American biologist Daniel Janzen, who called to invest in biodiversity and reap tourism. The Costa Rica ecology tours not always show all the work the country has done to be an Eco place, but there is a serious effort involved.
At least this is the case in countries like Costa Rica, where Janzen has worked for nearly 40 years to establish the relationships between plants and animals, with which they based their research on the "barcode of life".
Jansen, Frontiers of Knowledge Award in Ecology and Conservation Biology 2011, to be delivered on Thursday by the Spanish BBVA Foundation, arrived in Costa Rica when he coined the term ecotourism and witnessed the transformation of an agricultural country that looks for a greener future.
"People wanted to come to Costa Rica, but to do what? And they bet on nature", he says. So much did the country bet on the nature than there were built several Costa Rica rainforest hotels for the visitors to enjoy.
Ecotourism reverts the country more than animal husbandry and crops pineapple, coffee and bananas together, even though Costa Rica is the second largest world producer of this fruit.
"Ecotourism is another type of crop. The forest is a crop, and the harvest is tourism", notes Janzen. The Guide to the Birds of Costa Rica, he explains, has generated more income for the country than any other publication.
The Conservation Area of Guanacaste (ACG), now part of an extensive network of parks, had the help of Costa Ricans who believed that the best legacy for future generations was the preservation of nature, Janzen argues in an accented Spanish "tico".
In the ACG, which promoted this biologist personally consolidation and is now a world heritage site, have cataloged 140 species of mammals, 300 birds, 100 types of amphibians and reptiles, and over 10,000 species of insects.
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