A new research article from PLoS (Public Library of Science) in the US has concluded that visits to Protected Areas is on the increase in 15 of 20 countries studied. The main exceptions are the US and Japan.

Growth in visits to protected areas is put forward as an argument for increased spending on and general public interest in nature conservation. The authors point out that nature-based tourism has the potential to generate funds for nature conservation effort and to shape people’s attitude towards the natural environment.

The perceived concern about a growing disconnect between people in wealthier nations (e.g. the US and Japan) and their natural environment needs to be further researched, according to the authors. Increasing urbanisation and the trend towards sedentary forms of entertainment, such as video games and tv, are blamed for a decrease in ‘getting out’ into nature.

Nevertheless, it is good to see that such visits are not on the decrease in many countries.

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Authors : A Balmford, J Beresford, J Green, R Naidoo, M Walpole, A Manica.