A recent South African Parliamentary wildlife colloquium ignored the benefits of non-consumptive wildlife utilisation as ecological sustainability was obscured by the increasing commodification of wildlife resources.
In any discussion of ecotourism the dangers of “greenwashing” must be explored. Greenwashing is the use of misleading advertisements to suggest that an activity is good for the environment when objectively it is not. Wildlife theme parks, underwater hotels and motorized tours into fragile ecosystems strive to portray themselves as environmentally positive (or neutral) but they are not. True ecotourism builds environmental awareness while emphasizing human rights and local control over resources and development. It is not solely about animals but also about the humans who live there, and have lived there in the past, often for thousands of years.