By Allison Karman, Semester at Sea, Spring 2017

What is considered a countries most valuable possession? Is it its people, landscape, minerals they can extract from the ground? In places like South Africa, their wildlife is one of their most valuable assets. People from all over the world flood this country to test their luck to see if they can spot a great white shark, lion, elephant, water buffalo, leopard, and rhino. Because of the money these animals bring in, they are treated like kings and queens, have land the size of Singapore set aside for them, and are tracked and monitored to make sure nothing caused by humans cause harm to them.

I think that having a natural resource like these animals as a countries prized asset is one of the best things for the environment and the people in the community. Compare a town whose jobs are centered around safaris versus mining. The mining town becomes polluted after years of extraction, the population becomes sick because of the pollution and less than adequate work conditions, and eventually that resource will run out and then what happens to the community? On the flip side let’s compare a safari town. The resource that the community thrives on, wildlife, is renewable and with the right precautions will not run out, the area is monitored so there aren’t as many if any pollutants, and jobs are created because of these animals. I find it to be the best of both worlds when you preserve nature and its beauty because it not only benefits the environment but the people surrounding it.