Biodiversity: Class Plan (75 minutes)


This class plan takes an ecotourism case and builds a course session around it. The plan includes learning objectives, a student reading assignment, prompts for an opening conversation, and detailed instructions on using a town hall format to discuss the case.


This class plan is part of a larger collection of Life and Environmental Science ethics education resource sets on ethics of emerging biotechnologies, big data in the life sciences, human enhancement, and biodiversity. Doctoral students from Arizona State University’s Center for Biology and Society developed the resources under the direction of Karin Ellison and Joseph Herkert between 2014 and 2019.


1. Learning Objectives

Students will be able to: 

  • Think critically about ethical issues related to biodiversity conservation and ecotourism
  • Evaluate and understand ecocentric, anthropocentric, and other ethical viewpoints
  • Explore the various ethical obligations and responsibilities of different case characters in a hypothetical ecotourism development project
  • Understand the challenge of balancing biodiversity conservation and economic development

2. Before Class Assignment


If you would like to read the article cited in Kaplan 2015, it is:

  • Geffroy, B., et al. 2015. "How Nature-Based Tourism Might Increase Prey Vulnerability to Predators." TRENDS in Ecology and Evolution 30(12): 755-765.

3. Introduction (15 minutes)

3.1 Opening conversation (13 minutes)

Ask students: “Given your readings and personal travel experience, what are some kinds of tourism activities and accommodations that you consider to be ecotourism?”

Students may cite examples of nature experiences or sustainability measures, like:

  • Close but regulated encounters with wildlife, such as whale watching, safaris, and snorkeling.
  • Outdoor activities with minimal environmental impact like hiking, swimming, kayaking, diving, and snorkeling.
  • Service tourism in which guests volunteer to help with conservation efforts in the area.
  • Hotels and lodges that employ recycling, clean energy, electric vehicles, and that contribute to local conservation efforts.

Then, ask students: “Who or what benefits from this sort of tourism? Why?”

Students may mention:

  • The environment, protected areas, and conservation programs
  • Tourists who get to learn about and have close experiences with nature
  • Hoteliers who feel good about running a 'green' business
  • The local economy
  • Etc.

Finally, ask students: "Who or what may be negatively impacted by ecotourism? Why?"

Students may mention:

  • Overexposed wildlife
  • Impacts to the local community
  • Etc.

Instructor note: This opening discussion will center around definitions of ecotourism. There is no one definition of “ecotourism,” but the common thread through most definitions is that ecotourism should be nature-based tourism that has both environmental and socio-economic benefits.

  • The International Ecotourism Society defines ecotourism as: "…responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment, sustains the well-being of the local people, and involves interpretation and education" (TIES 2015; TIES 2017). 
  • Similarly, the World Conservation Union (IUCN) defines ecotourism as: "Environmentally responsible travel to natural areas, in order to enjoy and appreciate nature (and accompanying cultural features, both past and present) that promote conservation, have a low visitor impact, and provide for beneficially active socio-economic involvement of local peoples" (Ceballos-Lascuráin 1996, 20).
  • The Nature Conservancy argues that ecotourism should be sensitive to biodiversity as well as appreciating the local cultures. They also highlight that there should be “local participation in decision-making.” (The Nature Conservancy 2017).

3.2 Session overview (2 minutes)

Outline for students that class today is designed to enable them to think critically about the positive and negative impacts of ecotourism, including the balance of conservation and development goals in ecotourism initiatives. First, they’ll explore the perspectives of different ecotourism stakeholders, including their ethical responsibilities regarding ecotourism.  Then, students will consider ecotourism certification programs, including their role in helping hotels and lodges balance development with conservation.

4. Activity: Case Study (45 minutes)

4.1 Have students read case setting (2 minutes)

Okavango Game Lodge lies on the outskirts of the world-famous Okavango Delta in Botswana, Africa. A UNESCO World Heritage site, this delta is unique because it floods during the dry season in what would be an otherwise arid landscape. Thus, the flooded delta draws a remarkable number of wildlife from all over southern Africa, including cheetahs, rhinoceros, lions, zebras, giraffes, and elephants.

When the lodge was built in 1980, environmental impact was a minor concern. In recent years, however, the lodge has shifted its focus to eco-tourism, or tourism that is directed toward enjoying the natural environment while supporting conservation efforts. The redirection came in part from the realization that the lodge depends on the delta’s wildlife as a draw for tourists. In addition, lodge managers were intrigued by a national certification program that provides incentives and guidelines for the development of eco-tourism lodges (Botswana Tourism Organization 2013).

4.2 Small group cases and brainstorming (18 minutes)

Break class into three (or six, if a large class) small groups. Assign each one (or two) of the groups to read only one of the following case characters and discuss the associated questions:


Nuru lives in a small village near the Okavango Game Lodge. Her people, the Hambukushu, are one of the many groups indigenous to the area, each with a distinct culture and language. The Hambukushu are known for their mixed economy of agriculture, fishing, hunting, and pastoralism (Bock 1998).  Nuru is an accomplished blanket weaver, and she also works with her husband and their four children on their small sorghum farm. Despite these means of income, Nuru and her family are living below the poverty line in Botswana, like most of their neighbors. Nuru, her family, and the community are excited by the expansion of ecotourism in the area because of the potential for increased job opportunities and development.

As required by Botswana’s government for any ecotourism venture, the village must elect a Community Trust, a board of trustees who mediate between the village and the lodge to ensure equitable distribution of benefits. Several large-share landowners step up to the plate; they are well-known in the community, all older men, long-time residents, and among the most affluent. Many of them own larger parcels of land closer to the center of town or near new roads and see the potential to develop shops, restaurants, and services that benefit from the influx of tourists.

Nuru’s small farm lies several kilometers from the lodge, the town, and the newest roads, and thus does not benefit from such development. But the Community Trust notifies her that as part of the Okavango Game Lodge’s ecotourism initiative, Nuru and other community members are invited to sell their handmade crafts in the Craft Market during the high visitation season, May through December. Nuru also notices that members of her own community who already have lucrative jobs as shop owners, small-hoteliers, or safari-managers (most often men) are securing jobs at the Okavango Game Lodge in the kitchens, as waiters, and as cleaners.

One day, Nuru sees a job posting for safari guides and wildlife educators at the lodge. Although she has no formal training, Nuru has been living and farming in the delta region her whole life, so she decides she has the know-how to perform the job duties. This could be her first chance at a steady income to support her family.


  1. How are benefits to the community distributed among different households, including Nuru’s? Is that distribution equitable?
  2. How can the village achieve more equitable distribution of benefits of ecotourism? Can the lodge help? How?


The lodge's manager, Rachel Jacobs, is a South African biologist with a lifelong passion for wildlife. She completed her bachelor’s degree in Conservation Biology and her master’s degree in Wildlife Ecology and became a field biologist with a focus on African elephants with Conservation International (CI), a non-profit dedicated to worldwide conservation of ecosystems. After 5 years working throughout many southern African countries with CI, she learned that Okavango Game Lodge was seeking a new manager to direct an eco-tourism overhaul of their safari and educational programs, as well as their facilities.

She applied for and accepted the job, seeing it as the perfect opportunity to apply her passion for wildlife and conservation in the hotel and game-lodge industry that she believes is too often at the heart of many human-wildlife conflicts. In her work with CI, she often confronted lodges and hotels over issues with over-exposed wildlife, development, and pollution. Safari and trophy hunting programs would sometimes allow guests to come too close, too often to wildlife. And lodge facilities come with a host of infrastructure projects that increase the flow of visitors, and thus also increase amounts of waste and pollution, further development, and wildlife exposure.

Upon arriving to the lodge, Rachel immediately went to work on initiatives to help the lodge reach their new environmental and sustainability goals. However, she was presented with two dilemmas.

First, to initiate and sustain improvements, Rachel would like to secure investments from American developers. With such investments, the lodge could employ electric vehicles and solar-powered boats, build the infrastructure to recycle grey-water, and manage their own waste recycling plant. Through these efforts, they could cut their waste footprint by as much as 85%. But to recruit top investors, Rachel would need to agree to share a margin of the lodge’s profits with the investors, cutting from the revenues that could otherwise enter the local economy.

In addition, Rachel faces a hiring conundrum. To improve the lodge’s wildlife conservation and educational programming, Rachel would like to hire more safari guides and wildlife educators. As she pages through applications, she recognizes some old friends. A handful of her colleagues from university and CI have applied to be safari guides and wildlife educators, and Rachel believes their world-class expertise could inspire and impress guests of the lodge. But she also notes a dozen applications from members of the nearby Hambukushu village. One application, Nuru’s, catches Rachel’s eye as the only woman from the village who has applied to a be a safari guide. Nuru could be the first woman villager employed in such a position. This excites Rachel, but still, can Nuru’s application compete with an expert hire from Conservation International? In general, she wonders, would village members know enough to lead safaris? The lodge already hosts a twice weekly fair for village members to sell crafts to tourists, and several village members work in the kitchens and in housekeeping. Perhaps that is enough.


  1. Should Rachel accept the money from foreign investors to achieve her sustainability and conservation goals? Why or why not?
  2. Should Rachel hire Nuru as a safari guide and wildlife educator? Why or why not?


Mahendra, an animal behavior specialist who studies elephants, hails from Massachusetts, United States. In addition to being a well-known expert in elephant behavior and social structures, he is an avid traveler and photographer. Mahendra is planning a trip to one of his regular field sites, the Okavango Delta. In fact, the largest population of elephants in the world (~130,000) migrate to the flooded plains each year (UNESCO 2017). This July, he will be bringing his wife and teenage daughter for the first time so he will be staying in a hotel or lodge rather than his usual “roughin’ it” conditions. As Mahendra begins to plan his trip, he reviews his accommodation options.

First, there is an affordable option. Sanctuary Inn is in the town of Maun, the closest city to the delta. The Inn is staffed and owned by long-time residents of Maun. They provide breakfast and modest amenities at a rate less than half what the large game lodges charge. Mahendra would need to take a daily car or jumper-plane to field sites, but he could probably afford more days in the field staying at a cheaper inn.

Dreaming, Mahendra also looks up rates at the Royal Safari Camp. This one is located right in the heart of the delta. As with any lodge in such a location, you can see wildlife up-close-and-personal, sometimes daily! Work would be right on his doorstep. The price is steep, but the amenities are similar to a four- or five-star hotel in Boston. That would be the best of both worlds, and his family prefers this option.

Finally, the Okavango Game Lodge. Mahendra notices that the lodge is Green and Green+ certified by the Botswanan government, indicating that conservation and sustainability are priorities for the lodge. They also host a “Craft Market.” Local men and women line the road leading up to the lodge, selling baskets, bracelets, woven clothing, and other local goods and souvenirs. The lodge is located on the delta, so the prices are high. But the lodge has more rustic accommodations, so rates are not so steep as at the Royal Safari Camp. In any case, Mahendra would have easy access to field sites as well as the opportunity to cross paths with fellow elephant expert turned eco-lodge manager, Rachel Jacobs.


  1. Where should Mahendra stay for his trip to the Okavango Delta, and why?
  2. What ethical, logistical, and other concerns are relevant to his decision?

Instructor note: As the students are reading and discussing, the instructor should walk around to distribute the following information to each group:

(1) 'Nuru' group. Divide the following roles among yourselves:

  1. Nuru (1)
  2. A member of the Community Trust (1-2)
  3. An educated young man in the community (1-2)
  4. Anyone left over, other community members

(2) 'Rachel' group. Divide the following roles among yourselves:

  1. Rachel, must be willing to initiate class discussion with explanation of her plans to expand ecotourism at the Okavango Game Lodge (1)
  2. Rachel's colleague from Conservation International (1-2)
  3. A foreign investor (1-2)
  4. A staff member at the lodge (1-2)

(3) 'Mahendra' group. Divide the following roles among yourselves:

  1. Mahendra (or another researcher) (1-3)
  2. Mahendra's wife (or another family member) (1-2)
  3. An upper-middle-class, American tourist (1-2)
  4. A student traveler from an American university, who is on a tight budget (1-2)

4.3 Townhall (20 minutes)

When students have completed their reading, discussion, and division of roles, ask each student to take a moment (3-5 minutes) to develop and write their character's stance on ecotourism, "For" or "Against" with a full justification for their perspective. They are welcome to partner with other members of their group, though there may be within group disagreement so this is not required.

Arrange the classroom in a large circle so that all students can view one another. Welcome them all to their first Townhall meeting concerned with the ecotourism initiatives at the Okavango Game Lodge. Before beginning, instruct students to introduce themselves first when they choose to speak-up, and to then present their support, ideas, or concerns, using (but not reading from) their written statements. Encourage them to get into character, even if it means they have to stand up for a perspective that conflicts with their personal stance.

To begin, have 'Rachel' step forward to present her ideas for bringing ecotourism to the Okavango Game Lodge, and from there open discussion to the class: does anyone feel strongly for or against Rachel's plans? Why or why not? Depending on the chemistry of the class, you may need to go in a circle and have each individual do this one-by-one. Or, it may be fine to open it up for random participation. Urge students to speak up if they hear something they would like to respond to (positively or negatively).

In addition, the following questions from the character cases may aid discussion:

  • How are benefits to the community distributed among different households, including Nuru’s? Is that distribution equitable?
  • How can the village achieve more equitable distribution of benefits of ecotourism? Can the lodge help? How?
  • Should Rachel accept the money from foreign investors to achieve her sustainability and conservation goals? Why or why not?
  • Should Rachel hire Nuru as a safari guide and wildlife educator? Why or why not?
  • Where should Mahendra stay for his trip to the Okavango Delta, and why?
  • What ethical, logistical, and other concerns are relevant to his decision?

4.4 Townhall Wrap-Up (5 minutes)

Ensure that the following topics have been covered throughout the townhall:

Benefits of ecotourism:

  • Nuru and the Hambukushu community are benefitting from an influx of revenues that contribute to new infrastructure, job opportunities, and tourist patrons of shops and restaurants.
  • Rachel feels fulfilled in carrying out her personal conservation mission by changing practices and programming at the lodge. She also knows that certification with the national government will bring more guests and more revenue to support her initiatives.
  • Mahendra has options; if he values cultural, social, and environmental sustainability he can choose an eco-lodge that fits that ethic. And he may also benefit through enhanced research opportunities with the lodge due to proximity to his field sites.
  • Finally, the delta environment is likely to benefit from more sustainable tourism practices that can protect the area from waste, pollution, and unsustainable uses of resources.

Tensions and challenges:

  • Nuru and the community:
    • Evidence linking conservation projects (including ecotourism ventures) with poverty alleviation is only anecdotal. Those locals who do benefit are most often the affluent members of the community (Gilbert et al. 2010).
    • For example, in a case study in Wolong Nature Reserve, China, He et al. (2008) found there was significant inequality among rural stakeholders; those who were closer to roads and further from the reservation reaped the benefits both of direct tourism and indirect infrastructure improvements. Also, He et al. found that the nonpermanent souvenir shops are run by the less affluent locals, while the year-round permanent shops were run by community elites. And when rural residents are employed, it is often in low-skill, low-wage jobs (cleaners, waiters, cooks) (He et al. 2008; Lenao and Basupi 2016).
    • In this case, jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities are most available to those members of Nuru’s village who are already trained to take such positions or who have the land and facilities necessary to start a restaurant or shop. While a job at the Craft Market provides nice supplemental income, Nuru will find that her business is sensitive to seasonality (the delta is most popular May through December). A job at the lodge could provide better security and income, as well as opportunities for upward mobility into management positions.
    • J. E. Mbaiwa, an expert on and scholar of ecotourism in Botswana, found that across the last 30 years, ecotourism ventures in Botswana have often been successful, but villages tend to benefit most when an active and fair Community Trust implements ecotourism projects in the community (Mbaiwa 2015).
    • In Nuru's village the Board of Trustees are affluent, male members of the society. Many of them own large parcels of land close to main roads and the village center. Thus, the distribution of revenues and other indirect benefits like infrastructure improvements may be skewed.
    • To improve the distribution of benefits to rural, less affluent members of her village, perhaps Nuru should run to be elected to the trust. Her voice could represent those with similar struggles.
    • The lodge could help by initiating a training program to build foreign language, hospitality, and entrepreneurial skills. A real-life example, the Chobe Game Lodge located in Botswana’s Chobe National Park implemented the first female safari guide training program in an effort to provide more equitable job opportunities (Wilson 2014).
  • Rachel:
    • Foreign Investors: Rachel’s passion for the environment drives her to seek foreign investments that will initiate and maintain several sustainability measures at the lodge, but such investors will request that revenues be shared. Her ethical viewpoint and passion may lead her to accept the compromise, meaning she may be blind to the potential damage such agreements could do to the local economy. Thus, in one sense, accepting foreign investments could suit her ecocentric ethic, but to others with a more anthropocentric leaning worldview, Rachel could be entering an unethical deal that channels important resources away from the local community and toward foreign investors instead. But it is also possible that Rachel could justify her foreign investments in terms of benefits to the local community. Increased investments could lead to better facilities that attract more guests and thus more revenues. Rachel could grant control over revenues, and related investments, to the local Community Trust.
    • Hiring Nuru: Rachel’s focus on western standards of scientific expertise may make her more likely to hire her CI colleagues as opposed to Nuru, because she knows she can trust her old friends to espouse and practice her same ecocentric worldview. And logistically, her CI colleagues would require less training; most speak many foreign languages, are experienced in education, and all have expertise in ecology and conservation. She might also realize, however, that she could balance the hiring process by hiring one or two of her CI colleagues to then train several local hires, including Nuru.
    • Point out areas of potential compromise: 
      • Rachel might find that many of her raw materials and food can be sourced locally, meaning lower costs, a boost to the local economy, and a more authentic culinary experience for guests.
      • Rachel could also take advantage of the tax incentives for sourcing and employing locally-- a budget saver. 
      • Rachel could have the community arrange a cultural education program to supplement environmental education (Stem et al. 2003).
      • Rachel might also initiate a training program to build entrepreneurial skills in the community, because although direct employment with ecotourism has been found unlikely to influence conservation perspectives, indirect benefits such as education opportunities and infrastructural improvements can have a positive influence on conservation perspectives (Stem et al 2003).
  • Mahendra:
    • If Mahendra is strongly ecocentric, he will certainly want to support the Okavango Game Lodge as the only ecotourism option.
    • However, if he does not have a strong ecocentric ethic he may be more concerned with either (a) saving money or (b) keeping his family comfortable, in which case he would stay at the Sanctuary Inn or the Royal Safari Camp respectively.
    • Also, depending on Mahendra’s awareness of and concern for local and indigenous communities, he might be either pleased that the lodge sponsors a Craft Market or disappointed by the Craft Market as the lodge’s only (current) meager attempt at community engagement and support.
    • Considering that Mahendra knows of Rachel’s background as a fellow elephant biologist, Mahendra might consider reaching out to her to initiate a community science program. Perhaps he could become a regular patron of the Okavango Game Lodge, implementing a training and employment program for locals and lodge guests who are interested in partaking in elephant research. This would be considered “research ecotourism,” providing research opportunities for visitors and locals that focus on the delta region’s biology (in this case, specific to elephant biology) (Clifton and Benson 2006).

5. Discussion: Ecotourism Certification (10 minutes)

Introduction: Each group will revisit the definition of ecotourism. Write definitions on the board.

Context for students: Have each student read the following.

Ecotourism in the Delta:

The Okavango Delta, one of the largest inland deltas in Africa, lies in northwest Botswana, a sparsely populated country in southern Africa with just over 2.2 million residents across a territory the size of France (CIA 2017). This UNESCO World Heritage Site floods during the dry season, transforming the brown, arid landscape into a lush, nutrient-rich oasis, providing water for countless animals and plants during the arid winters (UNESCO 2017). This wetland system is largely untouched by human development, with restrictions on permanent settlements.

In the last two decades, the national government in Botswana has become dedicated to ensuring that the massive tourism industry has a small footprint on the delta it depends on (Botswana Tourism Organization 2013). Note that such motivations for a national ecotourism program are indicative of anthropocentric ecotourism; the government has a utilitarian view of nature as instrumental to maintaining levels of tourism. (This makes sense, as travel and tourism contributed to 8.5% of the nation’s GDP in 2014 with projected increases around 5% per year through 2025 (World Travel and Tourism Council 2015).) However, such values and motivations may not be replicated on the local scale.

In 2002, as part of the Botswana National Ecotourism Strategy, the national government launched an Ecotourism Certification System, “designed to encourage and support responsible environmental, social, and cultural behavior by tourism businesses and make sure they provide a quality, eco-friendly product to consumers.” According to this certification system, ecotourism must be sensitive to natural and cultural heritage with opportunities for biodiversity conservation and economic development. Thus, development initiatives for local communities are required to be integrated at the outset of all certified ecotourism projects (Stevens and Jansen 2002). Through this program, lodges and hotels are expected to minimize negative impacts on their social, cultural, and environmental surroundings, ensure equitable distribution of benefits to their host communities, invest part of their revenue in conservation, provide educational programming for guests and locals, and provide a “quality” experience to guests.

Certification Levels:

Green: This is the basic entry level and reflects all of the mandatory criteria that are necessary for all facilities to be considered for certification. The standards for this level deal primarily with the environmental management systems of the facility.

Green+: This level has additional requirements and is of a higher standard than the Green level.

Ecotourism: This level upholds the principles of ecotourism, as stated in the Botswana National Ecotourism Strategy (2002) and defines those facilities that have met all the principles of ecotourism. The level reflects the facilities’ commitment to and involvement with local communities in tourism development, nature conservation, environmental management and interpretation of the surrounding environment to the guests.

Reflection. Discuss as a group:

  1. How could you characterize the ethical motivations behind the Botswana government's Ecotourism Certification Program? Compare and contrast with Rachel's motivations.
  2. Given these certification level definitions, do think the lodge’s new initiatives are sufficient to achieve the highest certification level? Why or why not? How could the Okavango Game Lodge achieve the "Ecotourism" certification?
  3. In an ecotourism project, how should environmental and social-developmental goals be combined? Are there trade-offs between affording new sustainability measures vs. development goals? Justify your position drawing on the experiences of each character in the townhall.
  4. Do you believe Botswana's Ecotourism Certification Program will aid lodges in balancing environmental and social-developmental goals? Why or why not?
  5. When involving the community, should the lodge accept existing local gender and wealth hierarchies or should they address the inequities they perceive? Explain your response by citing examples from the cases and townhall. 
    • Note: In Botswana, societies are traditionally patriarchal, and women tend to be excluded from some opportunities (Lenao and Basupi 2016; Jones 2005). However, the country has started to pass legislation aimed toward removing or counteracting prior discrimination (Lenau and Basupi 2016). Still, initiatives to improve opportunities for women can also be understood as introducing western gender norms in this community. This could be done in a way that is ethically problematic or in a way that respects the women affected (without necessarily accepting patriarchal structures that typically obstruct their opportunities).

6. Wrap up (5 minutes)

Ask students to draw up a short list of (2-3) ethical questions representative of the core issue(s) in the ethical disagreements about ecotourism. Potential points:

  • What is the core environmental ethic of ecotourism projects?
    • Some environmental ethicists argue that true ecotourism is non-consumptive, and thus non-utilitarian, and eco-centric, placing intrinsic value on all organisms (Reviewed in Aciksoz et al. 2016; TIES 2015).
    • Others argue that all ecotourism is inherently utilitarian, viewing nature as a commodity to sell accommodations (Stark 2002; Holden 2003). Holden claims that transitions toward ecotourism (such as in the hypothetical Okavango Game Lodge case) are often anthropocentric; lodges transition only when they notice that other modes of tourism destroy the environment that draws visitors in the first place (2003).  In Holden’s view, a lodge manager is concerned with environmental well-being only so far as it contributes to the health of their eco-tourism business.
  • What are an eco-lodge’s responsibilities to the local community? Some experts believe that eco-tourism practices must be in harmony with not only the natural environment, but also the human environment (Aciksoz et al. 2016; Mbaiwa 2015; Stark 2002).

Instructor note: Some find it is helpful to frame ecotourism practices as “deep” or “shallow,” with the acknowledgement that such classifications are fluid and gradated (Acott et al. 1998). Deep-ecotourism practitioners view the natural world as intrinsically valuable. They are ecocentric, and encourage first-hand experiences with nature and culture. Shallow-ecotourism is more utilitarian; a healthy environment is valued as a driver of visitation. Such a framework acknowledges the array of motivations and practices you might find among eco-tourism projects, but the terms “deep” and “shallow” are normative, and thus it would be more neutral so simply use the labels “ecocentric” and “anthropocentric” ecotourism, again with the understanding that the classifications are fluid and gradated.

7. Required Materials and Equipment

  • One activity handout:
    • Case study & discussion questions
  • Discussion activities
    • Whiteboard to facilitate discussion

8. Bibliography

  1. Aciksoz, S., P. Bollukcu, and D. Celik. 2016. “Ecotourism and Ethics in Protected Areas: Bartin-Sogutlu Village.” Oxidation Communications 39: 3621-3636.
  2. Acott, T. G., H. L. La Trobe, and S. H. Howard. 1998. “An Evaluation of Deep Ecotourism and Shallow Ecotourism.” Journal of Sustainable Tourism 2: 238-253.
  3. Bock, J. 1998. “Economic Development and Cultural Change among the Okavango Delta Peoples of Botswana” Botswana Notes and Records 30: 27-44.
  4. Botswana Tourism Organization. 2013. “Eco Certification System.” Accessed June 24, 2017. 
  5. Botswana Tourism Organization. 2013b. “Eco Certification Criteria.” Accessed June 24, 2017 
  6. Ceballos-Lascuráin, H. 1996. Tourism, Ecotourism, and Protected Areas: The State of Nature-Based Tourism around the World and Guidelines for Its Development. Gland, Switzerland: IUCN.
  7. CIA (Central Intelligence Agency). 2017. “Africa: Botswana.” World Fact Book. Accessed July 8, 2017.
  8. Clifton, J., and A. Benson. 2006. “Planning for sustainable ecotourism: the case for Research Ecotourism in Developing Country Destinations.” Journal of Sustainable Tourism 14: 238-254.
  9. Gilbert, N. 2010. “Conservation’s poverty reduction claims questioned.” Nature News, May 6.
  10. He, G., X. Chen, W. Liu, S. Bearer, S. Zhou, L. Y. Cheng, H. Zhang, Z. Ouyang, and J. Liu. 2008. “Distribution of Economic Benefits from Ecotourism: A Case Study of Wolong Nature Reserve for Giant Pandas in China.” Environmental Management 42: 1017-1025.
  11. Holden, A. 2003. “In need of a new environmental ethics for tourism?” Annals of Tourism Research 30: 94-108.
  12. Jones, S. 2005. “Community-based ecotourism: The significance of social capital.” Annals of Tourism Research 32: 303-324.
  13. Lenao, M., and B. Basupi. 2016. “Ecotourism development and female empowerment in Botswana: A review.” Tourism Management Perspectives 18: 51-58.
  14. Mbaiwa, J. E. 2015. “Ecotourism in Botswana: 30 years later.” Journal of Ecotourism 14: 204-222.
  15. Scheyvens, R. 1999. “Ecotourism and the empowerment of local communities.” Tourism Management 20: 245-249.
  16. Stark, J. C. 2002. “Ethics and ecotourism: connections and conflicts.” Philosophy and Geography 5: 101-113.
  17. Stem, C. J., J. P. Lassoie, D. R. Lee, D. D. Deshler, and J. W. Schelhas. 2003. “Community Participation in Ecotourism Benefits: The Link to Conservation Practices and Perspectives.” Society and Natural Resources 16: 387-413.
  18. Stevens, P. W., and R. Jansen. 2002. Botswana National Ecotourism Strategy. Gaborone: Government of Botswana.
  19. The Nature Conservancy. 2017. “Eco-Trips and Travel.” Accessed June 30.
  20. TIES (The International Ecotourism Society). 2017. “What is Ecotourism?” Accessed June 25.
  21. TIES. 2015. “TIES Announces Ecotourism Principles Revision.” The International Ecotourism Society. Accessed July 5.
  22. UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization). 2017. “Okavango Delta.” Accessed July 6.
  23. Vanhove, M.P.M., A-J. Rochette, and L. J. de Bisthoven. 2017. “Joining science and policy in capacity development for monitoring progress toward the Aichi Biodiversity Targets in the global South.” Ecological Indicators 73: 694-697.
  24. Wilson, J. 2014. “The first all-female guiding team in Africa – Our Chobe Angels.” Out and About, Chobe Game Lodge. April 24. Accessed July 1.
  25. World Travel and Tourism Council. 2015. Travel and Tourism, Economic Impact 2015: Botswana. Available at: London, UK


Michelle Sullivan Govani. . Biodiversity: Class Plan (75 minutes). Online Ethics Center. DOI:.