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Wilderness: An international community knocking on Asia's door

Posted date: July 07, 2010
Publication Year: 
Authors: Watson, Alan E.; Martin, Vance; Lin, Chau Chin
Publication Series: 
Miscellaneous Publication
Source: Taiwan: Journal of National Park. 19(4): 1-9.


The concept of wilderness may trace its roots to the U.S., but a worldwide wilderness community has developed and is growing in strength, though with limited representation from Asia. With the primary purpose of protecting nature, wilderness designation can occur through legislation or policy development, but with similar outcomes of providing long-term protection and benefits for relatively intact ecosystems and the relationships people have with these places. In the Far East of Russia, the Kamchatka Peninsula is emerging as a nature-based vacation destination with federal and regional protected areas attracting and hosting a growing number of Russian and international tourists. Similar to recent changes in China and elsewhere in Asia, this part of Russia is experiencing particularly rapid economic, social and political change with anticipated significant international influences on personal income, consumption and leisure travel patterns. Current and anticipated spending patterns of discretionary income among Russians and a growing Asian population could greatly influence transition of this relatively low density frontier in Asian Russia. In Sri Lanka, the only Asian country with legislative protection of wilderness, protection of wilderness character has strong cultural and economic roots. More understanding of the role of protected wilderness to larger ecosystems and society is possible in Asia.


Watson, Alan; Martin, Vance; Lin, Chau Chin. 2009. Wilderness: An international community knocking on Asia's door. Taiwan: Journal of National Park. 19(4): 1-9.