The present essay is an investigation of ethical challenges with regard to gorilla tourism in Central Africa region. The paper undertakes a thorough research on the concerned issue and explores many a facet of this area. The purpose of this investigation is to create a better understanding of the issues present in the region so that a practical approach can be adopted to address these issues. 2- Gorilla Tourism and Challenges Gorilla tourism is to date becoming a universally accepted activity because of certain positive signs for gorilla conservation, promotion, and future stability of the species in Africa.
Gorilla tourism is also considered as an effective tool that can be made use of to foster the gorillas of African region. Another important point to note is that, today, gorilla tourism is seen as a successful business for the countries that utilize this tool for the purposes of gorilla conservation. They now receive ample volume of revenue in connection with gorilla tourism. Some of the countries like Rwanda, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic (DR) of Congo (ex-Zaire) are mentioned especially in this regard because of the revenues that they generate for the endangered gorilla species.
However, with all these activities taking place, and more and more people from all parts of the world are moving toward African region for gorilla tourism, some other threats has risen. These range from disease to ethical treatment of the issues. How these challenges count toward gorilla tourism, and how they can be effectively confronted, is, then the central issue of today’s gorilla tourism in African region. This area is considered vital in conservation efforts of gorillas because of its impact on gorilla tourism (Homsy, 1999).
Critics and experts state that in order to take Africa for future gorilla tourism, it is highly imperative to address such challenges as ethical issues; only this way will it be possible to reduce the widening gap between African and western nations; as well as, this is the way to promote successful gorilla tourism in Africa, a region tormented by war, internal political instability, and other grave issues. Cross-cultural communication is one solution which is being discussed in this connection through media communications.
However, all these areas take ethical consideration as the core point of gorilla tourism (Okaka, 2007). 3- The Root Cause Although it has been noted that gorilla tourism is seen as one vital solution to a wide spectrum of problems present in central Africa that range from gorilla conservation to regional development, it is important to look at the core issue that is seen as basic to present day ethical challenges to gorilla tourism in central Africa.
This takes as back into the past as several decades by which we can see that the region of central Africa is tormented by numerous political and tribal rivalries which gave way to several problems; but ethical challenges became all the more raging. This panoramic scene or tribal and political wars and conflicts in the region became all the bloodier in the 1990s. A number of countries and communities are seen involved in this struggle. The impact of these rivalries fell on gorilla tourism and ethical challenges became a critical area of discussion in this region.
Hence, initiatives were taken to address these. However, today, the region is still in a position where still much is needed to be done (International Wildlife, 1999). 4- Challenges Looking specifically at the situation, it is revealed that with the initiatives to increase tourism in central Africa a number of challenges are coming to the forefront. Perhaps, the most critical of the challenges is the pressure being placed on ecological system of the region. This has mainly been caused the recent development of isolated areas for recreational purposes.
The problem is so severe that is rings an alarming bell for the concerned authorities. For example, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park presents a bleak situation. Here, “gorilla deaths from infections have increased along the border as a result of more frequent trekking groups and human contact” [italic added]. Moreover, Rwenzori Mountains gives rise to another mounting problem in the region: wasted left behind in the area by nature hikers. This is seen as a serious health problem and a monstrous future challenge in the region regarding gorilla tourism.
Ahead, we find other problem associated to the overall count of these issues. For instance, at present increasing amounts of complaints are registered among Ugandans with regard to the “trivialization of ethnic rituals for tourism”. Hinged on this very problem is the eviction of communities which have been there for centuries. The major purpose of this eviction is none other than the present trend of developing recreational parks and other protected zones for gorilla tourism. However, this is gaining wider criticism worldwide among critics and opposition among the local peoples. What is more?
There is constant reference to the ethnic challenges linked to gender-related inequalities. In particular, “the rise in tourist-related prostitution and the transmission of HIV-AIDS” [italics added]. Furthermore, there is another ethical disparity rooted in the region with regard to women-centered labor work. Although women here are basic source of tourism handiwork, there is little that has been done to address their work-related problems. For instance, women who produce handicraft have to travel long distances every day only to get the required materials used in their handcraft products.
With all these problems, there is still no certain word about political stability of the region which is seen a critical challenge for the present as well as for future development of gorilla tourism in Central Africa (Ringer, 2002). 5- Conclusion To address a number of present ethical challenges and to fight any future issues in the region, there have been quite a few collaborative efforts that have been initiated in Central African Region for as long as last 15 years. Although major programs are sponsored by single donors, there is one notable exception of Dzanga-Sangha Project.
This project involves a number of working organizations such as WWF, GTZ, and Peace Corps and numerous other donors from US and Germany. There is mention that several of the informal initiatives undertaken to address ethical issues and other problems did not meet a successful standard in the region. However, it has been well recognized that transboundary management of ethical issues and natural resources is the key solution to major problems in the region. This has been recognized mainly due to the development of a tri-national park which spreads in Dzanga-Sandha.
This has proved to be significant in days of conflict and numerous issues related to conflict situation (Blom and Yamindou, 2001). There are other number steps that are being taken to address challenges to gorilla tourism in the region. For instance, research regarding present issues and challenges is seen as a vital solution to a number of problems in the region (Green Campus, 2007). References Blom, A. , & Yamindou, J. (2001). A brief history of armed conflict and its impact on biodiversity in the Central African Republic. World Wildlife Fund, Inc.
Retrieved on March 2 2009 from: http://www. worldwildlife. org/bsp/publications/africa/141/CAR. pdf Green Campus (2007). The AJ Environmental Education Directory 2007: Green Campus Life and Learning. Alternatives Journal. Volume: 33. Issue: 5. November-December 2007. Page Number: 15+. COPYRIGHT 2007 Alternatives, Inc. Homsy, J. (1999). Ape tourism and human diseases: how close should we get? Retrieved on March 2 2009 from: http://www. igcp. org/pdf/homsy_rev. pdf International Wildlife (1999). Soldiers in the Gorilla War. Magazine Title: International Wildlife.
Publication Date: January 1999. COPYRIGHT 1999 National Wildlife Federation. Okaka, W. (2007). The role of media communications in developing tourism policy and cross-cultural communication for peace, security for sustainable tourism industry in Africa. Retrieved on March 2 2009 from: http://www. iipt. org/africa2007/PDFs/Okaka. pdf Ringer, G. (2002). Gorilla tourism: Uganda uses tourism to recover from decades of violent conflict. Alternatives Journal. Volume: 28. Issue: 4. Publication Date: Fall 2002. Page Number: 17+. COPYRIGHT 2002 Alternatives, Inc.