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WCS in the News
WCS NEWS RELEASE
Laos’ Nam Nern Night Safari Wins Prestigious World Responsible Tourism People's Choice Award At World Travel Mart, London
November 07, 2014
This is the second award that the project has won in two years
Ecotour developed by Wildlife Conservation Society in cooperation with the Government of Lao PDR and partner communities
Tour provides direct incentives for wildlife conservation by linking the revenue earned by communities with the numbers of wildlife seen
Sambar deer, civets, barking deer, otter, tiger tracks, Asian golden cat, dhole, sun bear, python, loris, Chinese serow, hog badger, porcupine, spotted Linsang, wild pig, and macaques can all be seen
LONDON (NOVEMBER 7, 2014) —
WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society) announced that the Nam Nern Night Safari, an ecotour based in Laos’ Nam Et-Phou Louey National Protected Area in Houaphan Province, won the prestigious World Responsible Tourism People's Choice Award at the World Travel Mart in London, England. This is the second award that the project has won in two years.
The Night Safari is an innovative community-based ecotour developed by WCS in cooperation with the Government of Lao PDR and 14 partner communities. Longtail river boats take guests upstream in the afternoon, and after a riverside dinner, the boats float downstream at night without engines to spot wildlife including sambar deer and various species of civets. Other species seen include barking deer, otter, tiger tracks, Asian golden cat, dhole, sun bear, python, loris, Chinese serow, hog badger, porcupine, spotted Linsang, wild pig, and macaques. This is perhaps the only place in the country where tourists can see these species in the wild.
Visitors stay overnight in an ecolodge built and managed by the ethnic community and learn about wildlife conservation, medicinal plants, and the history of the area.
The tour provides direct incentives for wildlife conservation by linking the revenue earned by the 14 partner communities with the numbers of wildlife seen and recorded by tourists during each tour. The proceeds directly fund forest patrols, conservation education, schools, and small village-based economic development programs. As wildlife sightings increase, more locals view conservation as an active and profitable partnership. Local villagers also work as guides, boatmen, cooks, and handicraft producers.
With rapid tourism growth in Laos and the region, ecotours like Nam Nern serve as a valuable model for genuine ecotourism products that offer visitors a fun and educational experience while simultaneously benefiting local people in a way that create tangible conservation results through direct incentives.
World Travel Mart judges said, “When asked to prepare a special video for the People’s Choice this year, Nam Nern rose to the challenge – reminding us all what makes them so special. Developed by the Wildlife Conservation Society, they are a model for ecotourism in Laos - involving travellers in wildlife conservation by asking them to keep a record of the animals they see. Each animal is allocated a specific value, the more animals tourists see, the more money villagers get, which has led to a big reduction in poaching. The judges liked this project because of its benefits for both communities and wildlife – and it seems the people agree!.”
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Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS)
MISSION: WCS saves wildlife and wild places worldwide through science, conservation action, education, and inspiring people to value nature. VISION: WCS envisions a world where wildlife thrives in healthy lands and seas, valued by societies that embrace and benefit from the diversity and integrity of life on earth. To achieve our mission, WCS, based at the Bronx Zoo, harnesses the power of its Global Conservation Program in more than 60 nations and in all the world’s oceans and its five wildlife parks in New York City, visited by 4 million people annually. WCS combines its expertise in the field, zoos, and aquarium to achieve its conservation mission. Visit: www.wcs.org ; http://www.facebook.com/TheWCS ; http://www.youtube.com/user/WCSMedia Follow: @thewcs.