The more you travel the bigger the responsibility! And it will be better for both us and the nature around us if we understand this as soon as possible. Ecotourism in India is not that popular, but those who are familiar with this terminology are doing everything they can to preserves the country’s natural beauty, even if it’s one small step at a time. As travelers, upholding the culture and traditions of the destination and promoting the lesser developed areas are our responsibilities. Let’s get to know a little more about how ecotourism in India is shaping up and making its presence felt in offbeat travel destinations as well as popular places in India.
You can find the Himalayas on top of every traveler’s bucket list and therefore more and more travelers flock towards them. Now that tourism has been established in the Trans – Himalayan region and most of the destinations have been made famous, ecotourism is making its way to promote sustainable travel and extensive tours.
Established by Save The Children Fund (UK) in 1979, Leh Nutrition Project is an NGO that is working towards the overall upliftment in Ladakh. They address issues like development, child care, livelihood, education, and watershed development in difficult terrains. Not just that, to promote a sustainable society in Ladakh, Ladakh Ecological Development Group and Leh Nutrition Project have been actively working.
Bordering Tibet, Ladakh, and Jammu & Kashmir, the mountainous landform of Himachal has a rich biodiversity, which attracts millions of tourists every year. As a result, the mainstream travel destinations in the state are suffering because of excessive commercialization.
Making a collaborative effort towards the conservation of cultural and natural resources in the region, the Ecotourism Society in Himachal Pradesh has been practicing Community-Based Ecotourism (CBET). Various projects like Participatory Forestry Management to develop the forests have been initiated. These efforts have been widely appreciated by the various communities of Himachal Pradesh as they’ve generated a lot of revenue for the state.
To aware tourists of the diverse surroundings and culture, several village trails have been started by Uttarakhand’s tourism department. These trails offer valuable insights into the lives of the villagers. The collective effort from the ecotourism division of the state forest department, Uttarakhand Tourism Development Board, and Garhwal-Kumaon Mandal Vikas Nigam have been successful, which helped take adventure tourism to new heights. By providing essentials and required finances to the homeowners to operate efficiently, the organizations also run homestays in the area.
The Ecotourism Society of India has been encouraging sustainable practices in New Delhi and the capital has seen a commendable effort from this organization. From creating awareness to minimizing carbon footprint and collaborating with like-minded organizations to promote eco-tourism, they have come a long way.
Resources have been used to identify the new ecotourism destinations and making them famous. For example, an ecotourism park near Najafgarh drain, Chhawla-Kanganheri has been revamped and adventure activities like camping, boating, obstacle course, and paintball, and are made available to keep the tourists entertained. Farmstays in the heart of the city and the outskirts have played a major role in promoting ecotourism.
Meghalaya is an unexplored paradise in the northeast which has plenty of secluded wonders and a lot of cultural diversity. Living Roots Ecotourism Society found the unexplored village of Nongblai in the East Khasi Hills district and glorified the offbeat village. There are record 16 living root bridges in the village. The local communities of Nongblai, Wahlyngkhat, and Suthim villages have joined hands and took up the responsibilities of these living root bridges that are like a god to them.
One of the prized jewels of Northeast India, Arunachal Pradesh boasts of unexplored terrains and diverse topography making it one of the most popular destinations for ecotourism in India.
To impart awareness on ecotourism and encourage homestays in the region, Organizations like Green Pastures and Future Generations Arunachal have joined hands. Also, to preserve the tribal culture and to safeguard the nature around them, institutions like Ngunu Ziro by Future Generation Arunachal have been working towards the cause for a long time.
Tangsa Community Conservation Reserve Initiative, Ziro, and Apatani Plateau Initiative are the major initiatives taken by the Conservation and Tourism Association of the state. Their sole motive is to conserve the pristine environment and create a friendly environment for tribals.