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Societies 2018, 8(3), 59; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc8030059

Towards a Decommodified Wildlife Tourism: Why Market Environmentalism Is Not Enough for Conservation

Division of Sociology, Nanyang Technological University Singapore, 14 Nanyang Drive, Singapore 637332, Singapore
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Received: 5 June 2018 / Revised: 28 June 2018 / Accepted: 23 July 2018 / Published: 26 July 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Environmentalism in Social Development)
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Abstract

Wildlife tourism is frequently touted as a solution to the problems of increased poaching, habitat destruction, and species extinction. When wildlife is able to pay for its right to survive through attracting tourists, there is an incentive to conserve wildlife populations and the habitats that support them. However, numerous reports in recent years have drawn attention to the potential negative impacts of wildlife tourism attractions. This paper examines whether market environmentalism diminishes the potential of wildlife tourism to contribute to conservation and the welfare of individual animals. Market environmentalism commodifies the animals involved in wildlife tourism attractions and fuels an anthropocentric worldview where animals are resources to be used by humans for entertainment or economic gain, potentially presenting a threat to long-term conservation. Instead, we call for a decommodified experience of wildlife tourism based on more than just economic value. View Full-Text
Keywords: wildlife tourism; market environmentalism; conservation; commodification wildlife tourism; market environmentalism; conservation; commodification
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Belicia, T.X.Y.; Islam, M.S. Towards a Decommodified Wildlife Tourism: Why Market Environmentalism Is Not Enough for Conservation. Societies 2018, 8, 59.

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