Creating protected areas like national parks is a great way to save rainforests and other ecosystems. Protected areas are locations preserved because of their environmental or cultural value. Generally, protected areas are managed by governments and use park rangers and guards to enforce the rules of the park and protect against illegal activities like hunting, mining, and the cutting down of trees.
Today, parks protect many of the world’s most endangered species. Animals like Pandas are found only in protected areas.
Parks are most successful when they have the support of local people living in and around the protected area. If local people have an interest in the park they may form a “community watch” to protect the park from illegal logging and wildlife poaching.
An effective way to protect rainforests is to involve indigenous people in park management. Indigenous people know more about the forest than anyone and have an interest in safeguarding it as a productive ecosystem that provides them food, shelter, and clean water. Research has found that in some cases, “indigenous reserves” may actually protect rainforest than “national parks” in the Amazon.
Parks can also help the economy in rainforest countries by attracting foreign tourists who pay entrance fees, hire local wilderness guides, and buy local handicrafts like baskets, T-shirts, and beaded bracelets.
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- May I use graphics from mongabay.com for my projects? Yes, you may provided that you don't remove the mongabay label from the images. You may use information from the site for class projects and can cite mongabay as the source.
- Is this web site credible? Mongabay is the world's most popular source for information on tropical forests. The site is highly acclaimed by a number of the world's leading tropical scientists. Mongabay Founder Rhett Butler has published several scientific papers.
- Can I interview the founder of mongabay for my school project? Unfortunately Rhett is not available for interviews. However he has answered some common questions on the Rainforest Interview page.
- Do you have any games or activities? Currently there are a few on the resources page.
- How can I help save rainforests? Some ideas are listed at Rainforest Solutions.
- Where can I learn more about rainforests? Check the main rainforest site.