Ecotourism can bring needed funds to conservation efforts around the globe, but it can also put stress on wildlife and local populations, if not handled correctly. The more visitors a fragile ecosystem has each year, the more likely the traffic is to damage habitats and affect the local environment. Ecotourism can also bring outside investment and development to a region at the cost of local jobs and infrastructure.
One major disadvantage to ecotourism is that it often converts the local economy to a tourist economy, stifling the area's natural economic prospects in favor of servicing wealthy foreigners. This can destroy local industry and agriculture as workers find better wages serving guests and can lead to an economic downward spiral. An outside influx of cash can offset this somewhat, but it makes the local economy entirely dependent on foreign funds, which is a precarious economic situation.
Tourism departments must strike a balance between access to rare wildlife and protection of endangered plants and animals. If tourists cannot see rare habitats and their occupants, there is no reason to visit the area, but too much traffic can have a negative effect. If poorly regulated, local guides may offer visitors the chance to bypass regulated activities, possibly harming the animals at the center of the ecotourism industry.Learn More
Humans have impacted the Tundra Biome in a variety of ways. While there have been positive changes in the Tundra, most have been devastating. Global warming has led to ozone depletion, the melting of the permafrost and the decimation of the local wildlife.Full Answer >
The Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act is a law passed by the U.S. Congress in 1977 to regulate the environmental effects coal mining has in the United States. The law created a program to regulate active coal mines and another to rehabilitate abandoned mines.Full Answer >
Human activity impacts the carbon cycle by introducing more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere: carbon dioxide accumulates in the atmosphere, changes temperatures and alters the salinity levels of oceans, disturbing the salt and water balance equilibrium that supports proper growth of marine plants and animals. Some carbon dioxide generation occurs naturally, although human actions, such as burning fossil fuels and operating factories, accelerate its creation and escape into Earth's natural environments. This translates to warmer air temperatures and higher acidity levels in water bodies.Full Answer >
Cutting down trees severely affects the habitats of forest-dwelling flora and fauna, which can eventually lead to extinction of vulnerable species. In addition to causing soil erosion, deforestation also results in larger amounts of greenhouse gases reaching the atmosphere because trees cannot absorb carbon dioxide once they’re cut down.Full Answer >