There are instances where tourism can support conservation efforts. Environmental certification, if appropriately designed for the Pacific region, could direct tourism development in the right direction. The proposed Blue Star environmental tourism certification is being developed with the Pacific in mind.
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At this time we do not have a solution yet. Actually the Shai Hills Enhancement Project, by all standards, is a complete failure. Bizarrely enough, it was the spectacular failure of the project that allowed us to strip away all inessentials and gave us a solid foundation for moving forward. The solution really was for the project to hit rock bottom.
The ongoing project “Incorporation of Sacred Forests into the Protected Areas System of Benin,” supported by UNDP and financed by GEF, preserves tracts of forest with religious and ecological significance in Benin. These sacred forests are at high risk, and the recent addition of Sacred Forest as a category of Benin’s protected areas legislation paves the way for greater protection of the forests included in the project scope as well as other forests around the country.