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Letras Verdes, Revista Latinoamericana de Estudios Socioambientales

On-line version ISSN 1390-6631


ZALLES, Jorje Ignacio. Nature-based tourism and biological conservation: land-use decisions in Mindo. Letras Verdes [online]. 2018, n.23, pp.178-198.  Epub Mar 01, 2018. ISSN 1390-6631.

Nature-based tourism is recognized as an indirect economic incentive for biological conservation. In particular, the expectation is that visits aimed at the observation of wildlife in its natural state will encourage the establishment of land-use patterns that are favorable to the biological integrity of destination landscapes. The locality of Mindo has in recent decades become a well-known destination for nature-based tourism. This article analyzes the role played by tourism in land-use decisions aimed at increasing native forest cover in Mindo. The institutional framework associated with tourism is described, and a cognitive map of land-use decisions by participants in a forest restoration program is presented. The improvement of touristic attractiveness through forest restoration is an important influence on individual agency regarding land use in Mindo. There are institutional challenges, however, that limit tourism´s potential as a land-use driver for increased forest cover, and therefore its contribution to biological conservation at a landscape level.

Keywords : biological conservation; forest restoration; land use; nature-based tourism.

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