Protected areas can suffer from too much love. In the Galapagos Islands, tourism has brought invasive species and overuse. But it has also boosted the local economy. So the question is, how can we protect biodiversity without shutting down local tourism industries?
A new proposal based on the cap-and-trade concept now used to curb pollution emissions could help solve the problem. It would treat protected-area visitor permits as tradable commodities, limiting their number while raising capital through the sale of quotas.