Travel & Tourism

Overpopulation and overtourism effects on wildlife: what can we do?

This webinar was held on 3 March 2021 (International Wildlife Day), originally proposed by WTA member John Steley. A replay will be available soon

Ever-increasing human population puts ever more pressure on nature, including wildlife, and also human welfare. Several speakers presented on problems of population growth for wildlife and humans of the future, and on problems of “over tourism” for wildlife, tourists and locals, and some possible solutions, followed by a general discussion.:

Dr  Ronda Green, Chair WTA. Proprietor Araucaria Ecotours. Adjunct research fellow, Griffith University. Ronda provided a brief history of concerns about ecological consequences of human  population increase on human welfare and biodiversity conservation, an introduction to effects of over-tourism on wildlife, tourists and local populations. She also mentioned some hurdles to combatting population growth and overtourism, possibilities for overcoming these and mitigating effects in the meantime.

Paul Sadera Kilelu. founder of Enkusera Sampu  Conservancy, Kenya. was to speak on population as a factor impacting wildlife habitat and lowering tourism revenue in Kenya. Due to connection problems and an unexpected death of a relative he was unable to attend.

Ronda has included some of his notes from last year in the above download

Dr.Madura Thivanka, senior lecturer and researcher in sustainable tourism, British School of Finance, Sri Lanka. Madura gave an example of Minneriya National Park in Sri Lanka, one of the most popular national parks in South East Asia to view wildlife elephant gatherings but due to the extensive promotions park now experiencing overcrowding of tourists, which leads to disturbance of the wildlife in the park and of other stakeholders, and needs to be addressed soon to make the park sustainable.   

Edward Smith President of Sustainable Population Australia spoke on taking pressure off nature by slowing population growth

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A general discussion was then open to all delegates by direct speech or typing in the “chat” option on Zoom.

Excerpts from the Chat

16:30:15 From Leah Burns : I need to leave at 4:45 to run an orientation for our Master of Environment students. Apologies in advance for disappearing then.

16:31:15 From edwardsmith2021 : I think somebody is unmuted and next to a percussion practice [this was soon solved]

16:59:58 From Garry OO : Good presentation Madura. Thank you

17:00:41 From Madura Thivanka : Thank you All. Please feel free to contact me if need more information. [email protected]

17:09:52 From Lindon Cox : Great, thanks Edward!

17:10:03 From Madura Thivanka : Good one Edward. Looking forward to learn more from you about what you all are doing.

17:11:38 From edwardsmith2021 : Welcome any further queries to [email protected]

17:15:08 From BatSoc Cairns : I agree, covid has dramatically increased the usage of single-use plastic and wildlife poaching.

17:16:18 From Leah Burns : Goodbye everyone. Thanks for the interesting talks and discussion. Hope to see you all at the webinars in June.

17:20:00 From BatSoc Cairns : Completely agree. People in developed countries have no reason to have 4 and 5 children etc. How do you communicate to people that thier reproduction is unsustainable? Monetise it?

17:21:21 From Maree Treadwell : Education at schools can have long lasting impacts.

17:22:51 From John Steley : Please check this out: https://www.facebook.com/martinrev21

17:23:10 From John Steley : Australians for a Steady State Economy

17:28:10 From edwardsmith2021 : @batsoc cairns – SPA is trying to align financial and ecological interests by arguing for FTB to taper from the 3rd and subsequent children. Very sensitive and difficult issue but big dividends for the environment.

17:35:08 From davidnewsome : Well done folks another important discussion

17:41:28 From Garry OO : Thank you all. Nice to hear the discussion today. Keep up the good work. Hope to meet you again. Cheers

17:41:54 From Madura Thivanka : Thank you for the excellent comments. Looking forward to seeing you all.

17:42:20 From Maree Treadwell : Thanks for joining in Nick, Angus, Gary and David – and everyone else

17:42:27 From Angus M Robinson : Thank you Ronda, Aise and colleagues for an excellent discussion on a key issue!

17:42:43 From Ronda Green : https://www.wildlifetourism.org.au/wildlife-tourism-conference-brisbane-2021/

Some relevant articles:

https://theconversation.com/tourism-desperately-wants-a-return-to-the-old-normal-but-that-would-be-a-disaster-154182

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/342195548_The_collapse_of_tourism_and_its_impact_on_wildlife_tourism_destinations

https://futureofworking.com/9-advantages-and-disadvantages-of-the-one-child-policy/

https://www.biologicaldiversity.org/programs/population_and_sustainability/extinction/

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