A conflict over access to natural resources between park rangers and local villagers in the 1970’s while he was a wildlife researcher in a remote part of Kenya led Costas to think about a new model for conservation – one where local people are allies and partners in protecting rare and endangered species and the environment. With tourism rapidly becoming one of the world’s largest industries, he looked for a way to connect the economic power of the global tourism industry with biodiversity conservation and local community development. It was a journey that took him around the world as a early advocate for ecotourism – a term he helped to define as, “Responsible travel to natural areas that protects nature and sustains the wellbeing of local communities.” Costas became a founding member and Chairman of The International Ecotourism Society, and went on to help spearhead the global ecotourism movement.
Sukau Rainforest Lodge is proud to dedicate room no. 20 to Costas Christ in appreciation of his tireless efforts in conservation.
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