Ecotourism Standard and Certification Scheme
Picture Courtesy: www.greathimalayannationalpark.org
|Standard Development Process Timeline
|Initiated in October 2018
|Invites are being sent to stakeholders
|Standard Development Group
|Mr. A K Varma, IFS (retd), former PCCF & HoFF Karnataka
Ecotourism means management of tourism and conservation of nature in a way to maintain a fine balance between the requirements of tourism and ecology on the one hand and needs of the local communities for jobs, new skills, income-generating employment, and a better status of women on the other. The most important feature of the growing ecotourism industry in India is its capacity to generate large-scale employment opportunities, particularly in remote and underdeveloped areas.
Travel and tourism is the second highest foreign exchange earner in India. Considering the potential, the government has given organizations in this industry export house status. The industry is recognizing the potential of domestic tourism as well.
The ecotourism sector is growing fast and various Ecotourism projects are coming up in the Himalayas, Southern states, and NE India. However, the Government of India is yet to finalize its Ecotourism policy (MoEFCC released a ‘draft Guidelines for Ecotourism in and around PAs’ in 2011). Recently, it was declared by the MoEFCCthat it has prepared a National Ecotourism Policy to guide the growth of this sector. Ecotourism is the need of the time and a policy on the same to guide the sector was awaited for a long. Often under the garb of eco-friendly tourism, much damage has been done by private players in the booming tourism market of India, in the absence of any policy. Now, the picture should change for the better.
Keeping in view, the importance of responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment sustains the well-being of the local people we have embarked on an initiative to develop a Certification Standard for Eco-tourism for areas in and around the forest. NCCF as a national certification standard-setting body has initiated the process for the development of assessment standards for Certification of Eco-tourism.
We seek your valuable comments, feedback, and suggestions to take this idea forward and elicit the support of relevant stakeholders