Community Based Eco Tourism as the Connecting Thread for Ensuring Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability in India – Potentials and Constraints

By Poyya Moli.

Published by The Sustainability Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Though tourism could lead to a variety of potential benefits, uncontrolled mass tourism in India increases the conflicts between conservation and development, besides degrading the local cultures and livelihoods. Fortunately, the emerging principles of sustainable development in general and community based ecotourism (CBET) through creative cultural industries in particular can integrate conservation of nature/culture and sustainable livelihoods while meeting several millennium development goals, by providing alternative employment and equitable income opportunities. However, often the CBET label is misused by tourism operations. Since the destination areas are located in Ecologically/culturally sensitive areas, the anticipated impacts would be more severe than that of mass tourism and irreversible. The major challenges to CBET in India appear to be neither technical nor economic, but rather political and administrative. Suggestions are given for integrating the environmental, cultural, and economic and social sustainability for introducing CBET strategies in tourism destinations of India along with potentials and constraints.

Keywords: Biodiversity Conservation, Creative Cultural Industries, Community Based Ecotourism, Political Will, Sustainable Livelihoods, Sustainability

The International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability, Volume 3, Issue 4, pp.191-198. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 513.148KB).

Dr Poyya Moli

Reader, Ecology & Environmental Sciences, Pondicherry University, Pondicherry, Pondicherry, India

After completing Msc (Marine Biology) and Ph.D. (Ecology), I have become a full time faculty at the department of ecology & environmental Sciences, Pondicherry university, India from July 1987 onwards and have evolved and designed several interdisciplinary courses on applied ecology and sustainable development; Current areas of interest include-community based eco-regional planning, adaptive management of natural resources & ecosystems, sustainable tourism/ ecotourism, sustainable coastal livelihoods, agro-ecology & industrial ecology. I am a life member of solar energy society of India, international solar Energy society and anthropological survey of India; a member of the commission on ecosystem management, International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural resources (IUCN), Switzerland; a virtual fellow of the global development research center, Japan/USA; a member of the working group on United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)/ Society for Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) life cycle initiative; a member of the working group on Poverty and Conservation Learning Group (PCLG), IIED, UK; a member, State environment appraisal committee, Govt. of Puducherry. I am a recipient of the Indo-German cultural exchange program during May-August 1993 and a recipient of the Canadian Studies faculty research fellowship, Canada during 22nd May-27th June 1996.

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