As we have demonstrated for more than 30 years at Tambopata Ecolodge, ecotourism can reduce deforestation in the Amazon basin by providing economic alternatives for local people, creating a shared national will to preserve the rainforest for both its intrinsic natural value and its economic worth, and by increasing both local and global awareness of the rainforest.
Most rainforest destruction occurs as a result of economic necessity and lack of environmental awareness. The purpose of ecotourism like our own eco-lodge and Private Conservation Area is to increase tourism while ensuring ongoing and sustainable environmental conservation and preservation.
In our own Madre de Dios region of southeastern Peru, we invite travelers from all over the world to visit our undisturbed rainforest for personal enjoyment of its natural beauty, relaxation, or to study the area’s biological diversity. Through enhanced rainforest ecotourism, the economy of our local region and of the whole of Peru reaps benefits.
In recent decades, as mining and logging activities have continued to grow across the Amazon basin, the rainforest has continued to shrink. By bringing responsible tourism to our own corner of the Amazon, we have helped to stimulate the local economy through restaurants, hotels and other travel-based businesses in the town of Puerto Maldonado, where we meet our guests from the airport and take them to our rainforest eco-lodge. The result: our rainforest remains intact, and sightings of keystone species have actually begun to increase in recent years, in a sign of the overall health of our forest.
In addition to turning local people away from mining and logging and towards more ecofriendly activities, through increased environmental awareness and improved standards of living, thanks to the visitors who come to stay with us our ecotourism work also helps to spread greater understanding of the vitality of the Amazon to countries throughout the world, fueling protest and environmental movements, particularly among the young.
As a unique natural wonder, the Amazon rainforest has the power to inspire people everywhere, and as one of the world’s largest economic sectors, tourism has the power to replace more environmentally harmful activities by teaching both local people and international travelers that the rainforest is worth more to us all, in every way, if it is left intact and enjoyed, rather than exploited and destroyed. At Tambopata Ecolodge, since 1991 we have shown how responsible ecotourism can support conservation initiatives. By continuing to implement our ecotourism-based conservation model, we are ensuring the forests will be around for future generations to enjoy.
Visit us in our jungle home, experience all we have to offer, and help us to save the Amazon!