Skip to main content

Featured post

Video: "One in a Million" By Owen Cant

2011 India’s Ecotourism Guidelines (review) on draft version

India’s Ecotourism Guidelines (review) on draft version (2011 version)



The Ministry of Environment & Forest (MoEF), Government of India took out the first draft version of India’s Ecotourism guidelines for in and around Protected Areas: The full report can be viewed on attachment. Report Ecotourism Guidelines Draft version
My comments  (non Italic) are as follows:
Having gone through the draft version and I am not sure where to start as points laid out are very general and a lot more research needs to be put in to fine tune the real outcomes. Have tried to sum up points which can be taken on board for the draft version – recommendations as below:
(mentioned in the draft) 2.2.1 Each Protected Area must develop its own Ecotourism Plan, as part of its Tiger Conservation Plan, Management Plan, or Annual Plan of Operation, and should be duly approved by the Chief Wildlife Warden of the State, and the National Tiger Conservation Authority (where relevant). The plan should be consistent with the State Ecotourism Strategy and must be approved by the LAC and the State Government. An ecotourism plan for each PA must be notified by December 31, 2011, and put in the public domain, in the local language also.  

The plan should:
ii) Assess carrying capacity of the Protected Area, at three levels: physical, real and effective/permissible carrying capacity of visitors and vehicles (See Annexure II) – More insight is needed to the current proposed Annexure II of calculating Carrying Capacity. There is no measurement of indicators focusing on Physical ecological Indicators (where high priority impact assessments on Natural Environment & Biodiversity, Air Quality, Noise pollution, Water, Cultural Heritage, Tourism Infrastructure & land) whereby only Land and Wildlife Disturbance has been taken by Annexure II. Second Indicator is Socio – Demographic Indicators (where again high priority impact assessment needs to be given on Demography, Tourist Flow & Psychological Issues) and the final indicator looks at Political – economic Indicator (this is where only high priority should be given to policy for tourism development). 

iii) Set a ceiling level on number of visitors allowed to enter a Protected Area at any given time, based on the carrying capacity of the habitat –This is a very good point raised in the draft but a lot of stuff needs to be looked into in carrying out the relevant parameters here: This is where Limit of Acceptable Change research has to be looked into and should be in the Annexure II – Putting carrying capacity into practice and that’s where LAC is used as a model. Identifying when and where impacts occurs, the levels of impacts that are acceptable (I.e  identify limits to accept change) and ensuring impacts remain in these bounds. The ceiling level mentioned here and the numbers of visitors allowed to enter should be balanced with the number of lodges mushrooming – lodges also need to have a cap on the number of beds allowed etc.
v) Develop a participatory community-based tourism strategy, in collaboration with local communities, to ensure long-term local-community benefit-sharing, and promotion of activities run by local communities – Very easy to say and difficult to implement. Scientifically it has been proven that community based tourism initiatives are not successful in high human density areas. Most of all out PAs are surrounded by high human habitation.  This point will surely alienate many participants once it has been established. The best option here is to use village development schemes / involving village panchayat heads on decision making which can sustain projects for a longer run. 

vi) Develop codes and standards for privately-operated tourist facilities located in the vicinity of core/critical wildlife habitats, eco-sensitive zones or buffer areas, with a view to,  inter alia, ensure benefit and income to local communities – Tourism certification is something that should be high priority in wilderness area. This should involve all tourism supply chain stakeholders (International operators / domestic India travel operator and finally the accommodation provider). When we have guidelines / benchmarks we have standards to achieve and makes a lot of impacts settle in as we set indicators for the participants to achieve and follow. I am also in this belief that there should be only ‘ONE’ certifier as that sets the standards all over the wilderness trails. If we have thousand certifiers – there will be no specific standards existing to follow. In this both ministries (MoEF and MOT) should be stakeholders with an independent auditing scheme that works to improve India’s wilderness practices. 

ix) Do’s and Don’ts for visitors (see Annexure I) – Very important for visitor education / awareness. Do’s and Don’t are very visitor unfriendly. Its still a very colonial way of letting visitors know what to do and don’ts. My suggestions here will be Responsible Guidelines and options of please ensure not to rather then Do’s and Don’t. Do’s and Don’t should only be applicable on advise given on the guidelines which should be law (I.e. Do not Poach)
Interesting to see, there is no mention of guiding in protected areas and that should be one of the major enhancements of India’s educative future. 

——————
These are my concerns of the ecotourism guidelines. There are many other points which I wanted to recommend / raise from the draft, but I am sure other people may have raised already to policy makers.   I personally hope to see a bright future for India’s ecotourism – where sustainability, education, awareness and research should be high priorities.
——————-


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

‘One in a million’ Edinburgh toddler set for rare disease trial in US: Reports Edinburgh Evening News

We were interviewed by the Edinburgh Evening News where they highlighted Anya's rare medical condition. I have attached the report on this post. The Edinburgh Evening News report was written by Kevan Cristie ‘One in a million’ Edinburgh toddler set for rare disease trial in US KEVAN CHRISTIE Katherine Behl with her 18-month daughter, Anya, with dad Abhishek. Pic: Lisa Ferguson The family of an 18-month-old toddler who has a condition so rare it only affects one person in a million are raising funds for a groundbreaking gene therapy project in the US.  Anya Behl, suffered her first episode of what would later be diagnosed as Alternating Hemiplegia of Childhood (AHC) at 10 weeks old in October 2017. Those with the lifelong condition are described as ‘human timebombs’ as the illness which is like having seven diseases at once - including stroke like paralysis and symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, can strike at anytime.  Her parents Abhishek and Katherine told how everyth

Creative WWF Wildlife Adverts that make you Save Our Planet

We always know that good advertising plays a key role in ones responsible development. Wildlife charities have worked very hard to be creative, and to pass a good message to their viewers about saving our planet. How important it is for us humans to start thinking and start saving our wilderness as we live in and what is around us.  ---- Some of the very powerful adverts are from  WWF campaigns . For those who have not a clue to what what WWF is all about: Here we go -  WWF  (World Wide Fund for Nature) is an organization which mission is to stop the degradation of our planet’s natural environment, and build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature. WWF was founded in 1961. It was the product of a deep concern held by a few eminent gentlemen who were worried by what they saw happening in our world at that time. Since those early days WWF has grown up to be one of the largest environmental organizations in the world. (more on  Wiki ) Below we list WWF ads. Hope you’

Signing up to Alternating Hemiplegia of Childhood (AHC) UK Newsletter.

Yes people, It is finally here and we are working on sending out updates to various people about Alternating Hemiplegia of Childhood UK via a newsletter and the chair's update.  If you would like to be involved and to be kept informed about the various updates that are happening with AHC in the UK and all over the world -  Please sign up to the new AHC UK Newsletter for updates ( Click on & add your name/email on this attached link : http://eepurl.com/gD2M3n ) We look forward in sharing our updates with you all.

Anya is 1 in a million: Funding for all AHC Kids & Gene Therapy Research

We are so grateful for all the amazing support, messages and generous donations to research from our wonderful family and friends in 2018.  A  heartfelt thanks. We have been blown away by your kindness!   In February 2018 at 6 months old, Anya was given the diagnosis of  Alternating Hemiplegia of Childhood (AHC) after genetic testing for the  ATP1A3 gene. This is an extremely rare condition, affecting one in a  million; it arises from a chance, non-inherited error. It is something we  had neither heard of nor something we could ever have envisaged our  precious first-born having to struggle with. It’s been a very difficult year and we’ve seen symptoms (sometimes life-threatening) that we wouldn’t wish any parent to witness.  AHC has effects beyond the neurological ones and sadly Anya has had breathing and cardiac difficulties too. Almost all children with AHC have physical, cognitive and developmental disabilities across a spectrum. By the age of two 50% have epilepsy; and