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Ecotourism in South Africa Essay

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South African ecologists currently face many challenges relating to the conservation of biodiversity and the growing economy. Excessive hunting and land development, as well as unemployment, all remain growing concerns for this struggling country. Jan-Hendrik, a South African who made contact with us, stated, “South Africa has lots of social and economic problems because most people are poor. To get them to middle class requires the economy to grow through mines and the expansion of living areas” (Hendrik). The growth of South Africa’s economy often occurs at nature’s expense. Mining, fracking, expansion of living areas and big game hunting all benefit the economy. Unfortunately, each have detrimental effects on the land and animals.
According to WildlifeExtra.com, big game hunting contributes to .04% of the country’s GDP, but overhunting contributes to a growing number of endangered species. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s website, eleven of the 229 mammal species in South Africa remain endangered, fifteen vulnerable, and thirteen near threatened. Mining, which contributes to 18% of the GDP, is detrimental to air quality, causes deforestation, and releases toxic amounts of minerals and heavy metals into the soil and water (“Effects of Mining,” para. 1). Based on a case study from the Environmental Monitoring Group, the air quality of the Mpumalanga province in South Africa is among the worst in the world because of coal mining, underground fires, and burning fuel from power stations (Munnik 7).
Unemployment, though gradually decreasing, remains a challenge for South Africa. According to Tradingeconomics.com, the current unemployment rate of 24.7% is the lowest it has been in two years. The...


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...ters A - L." Animal Matters A - L. N.p., n.d. Web. Dec. 2013.
"Big Game Hunting in Africa Is Economically Useless." Wildlife Extra News. N.p., n.d. Web. Dec. 2013.
Broughton, Jane. "Eco-tourism in South Africa's Winelands." SouthAfrica.info. N.p., n.d. Web. Dec. 2013.
"Eco-Tourism Game Reserve." Transformational Business Network. N.p., n.d. Web. Dec. 2013.
"Effects Of Mining." Environment News: South Africa. N.p., 7 Mar. 2013. Web. Dec. 2013.
Mbele, Lerato. "South Africa's Youth Tackle Unemployment." Standard Digital News: Business. N.p., n.d. Web. Dec. 2013.
Munnik, Victor, Geraldine Hochmann, Mathews Hlabane, and Stephen Law. Case Study: The Social and Environmental Consequences of Coal Mining in South Africa. Cape Town, South Africa: Environmental Monitoring Group, 2010. Print.
"South Africa Unemployment Rate." TRADING ECONOMICS. N.p., n.d. Web. Dec. 2013.


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