Notes from Nepal: Cautions about Expanding Ecotourism

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Ghale Gaun is an inviting village of about 200-300 people. It sits 2,075 meters above sea level in the remote mountains of Nepal inside the Annapurna Conservation Area. Ghale Gaun is becoming an increasingly popular ecotourism and village-tourism destination, attracting many national and international visitors. Previously, the major source of income of the village people was from international sources, as most of the young boys were involved in the armies of the United Kingdom and India. Because it is a very poor village, the prospect of creating a new income source is highly appealing to the residents.

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Harming Environment Leads to Societal Collapse

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Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jared Diamond addressed a crowd of about a thousand at Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on February 3. Dr. Diamond, a professor of history at UCLA, held us in rapt attention while he talked about the subject of his 2005 book, Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed. “That doesn’t seem like the most cheerful subject to write about,” he wryly pointed out, causing a fair amount of laughter among the crowd.

“The real question,” Diamond said, “is, why do some societies collapse, having failed to solve problems that other societies succeeded in solving?”

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