Ecotourism is more profitable use of forest land than other ventures like cattle ranching, timber logging and farming, researchers have shown for the first time. The findings are likely to give local people the financial incentive to keep neighboring virgin rainforest pristine, helping to lock away carbon.

This justifies the maintenance of intact rainforest over all alternative uses,’ says co-author of the study, Chris Kirkby from the University of East Anglia, who’s now based in Peru.

The researchers also found that setting aside vast tracts of rainforest for ecotourism hugely outweighs the carbon emissions from air, boat and bus travel by ecotourists within Peru. Read the rest of this entry »