CAE Reading and Use of English Part 7
You are going to read a magazine article about watching wildlife. Six paragraphs have been removed from the article. Choose from the paragraphs A – G the one which fits each gap (41-46). There is one extra paragraph which you do not need to use.
Close encounters of the wild kind
The rise of wildlife-watching experiences.
Wildlife observation has always proved inspirational for humans, it led Charles Darwin to provide us with a better understanding of how we evolved and it has inspired such everyday innovations as Velcro. US author Peter Matthiessen wrote: ‘The variety of life in nature can be compared to a vast library of unread books, and the plundering of nature is comparable to the random discarding of whole volumes without having opened them and learned from them’.
‘What is interesting is how much people are willing to pay to be in a wilderness environment’, says Julian Matthews, director of Discovery Initiatives, a company which takes people on small-group trips to more than 35 countries. It’s still a small part of the tourism industry but it’s undoubtedly expanding. There are definitely more and more people seeking wildlife experiences now’.
Matthews recognises the contribution that television has made to our knowledge of nature, but he says ‘there’s no way to compare seeing an animal in the wild with watching one on TV. While a filmmaker may spend six months shooting an animal and will get closer to it than you ever will, there’s no greater pleasure than seeing an animal in its own environment. On film, you’re only getting the visuals and the sound. As impressive as they may be, it’s not the real thing.’ And the good thing is that tourists can now watch wildlife ‘live’ while helping to protect it – a concept that comes under the broad label of ‘ecotourism’.
In practice, this means that many tour operators, guided by ethical policies, now use the services of local communities, train local guides and have close ties to conservation projects. Tour operator Rekero, for example, has established its own school – the Koyiaki Guide School and Wilderness Camp – for Maasai people in Kenya.
Conservation organisations have also realised that tourism can help educate people and provide a valuable source of revenue and even manpower. The World Wildlife Fund, for example, runs trips that give donors the chance to see for themselves how their financial aid is assisting conservation projects in the field, and some organisations even allow tourists to take part in research and conservation.
Similarly, Biosphere Expeditions takes about 200 people every year on what its field operations director, Dr Matthias Hammer, calls an ‘adventure with a conscience’. Volunteers can visit six destinations around the world and take part in various activities including snow leopard, wolf and bear surveys and whale and dolphin research.
Of course, going in search of wildlife doesn’t always mean you will find it. That sightings of animals in large wild areas don’t come automatically is a fact of life. Although potentially frustrating, it makes sightings all the more rewarding when they are made. And the opportunity to do something to help both the environment and local people can only add to the experience.
A He is confident that, if done properly, this combination of tourism and conservation can be ‘a win-win situation’, ‘People have a unique experience while contributing to conservation directly. Local people and habitats benefit through job creation, research and an alternative income. Local wildlife benefits from our work.’
B While there is indeed much to learn from many species not yet known to science, it’s the already opened texts that attract the majority of us, however. And we are attracted in ever increasing numbers.
C As people are able to travel to more extreme places in search of the ultimate wildlife experience, it’s worth remembering that you don’t have to go to the ends of the earth to catch rewarding glimpses of animals. Indeed, some of the best wildlife-watching opportunities are on our doorstep.
D This growth has been stimulated by the efforts of conservation groups and natural history documentaries. Greater awareness of the planet has led to an increased demand for wildlife tours or the addition of a wildlife-watching component to traditional holidays. People want to discover nature at first-hand for themselves – not just on a screen.
E Despite being an important part of the population there, they have largely been excluded from the benefits brought to the region by tourism. This initiative is a concerted effort to enable them to take up jobs and run programmes themselves.
F Earthwatch is a non-profit international environmental group that does just that. ‘Participation in an Earthwatch project is a positive alternative to wildlife-watching expeditions, as we offer members of the public the opportunity to be on the front line of conservation,’ says Claudia Eckardt, Earthwatch programme manager.
G It is a term which is overused, but the principle behind it undoubtedly offers hope for the future of many endangered species, as money from tourism directly funds conservation work. It also extends to the consideration of the interests of people living in the places that tourists visit.