SEVERAL NEW steps would be implemented in national parks and sanctuaries of Madhya Pradesh with an aim to promote eco-tourism without causing harm to nature and environment as well as opening up new job opportunities.
This was the main idea that came to the fore in the various presentations made by eco-tourism experts during a workshop on ‘New Dimensions in Eco-tourism in Madhya Pradesh’ organised at Hotel Jehan Numa Palace here today.
Addressing the workshop, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said that all-out efforts would be made to promote eco-tourism without causing any loss to nature. People would enjoy nature closely and more jobs would be available.
The Chief Minister added that eco-tourism not only creates jobs but also gives relief to the people in time of chaos. Conservation of nature was the duty of all human beings, he added.
Chouhan said that facilities at national parks, sanctuaries and other sites would be encouraged for nature lovers. Eco-friendly activities like trekking, photography and filming would also be promoted.
Pointing out that so far Madhya Pradesh was the only State to have set up Eco-Tourism Development Board, Chouhan said that it would be the centre of attraction for other states. Eco-tourism promotion activities should, therefore, be taken up seriously, he said.
Describing the workshop as useful, he praised the organisers saying that it would help the State Government take strategic measures for promoting eco-tourism.
State Forest Minister Himmat Kothari said that inflow of tourists in national parks would increase due to expansion of facilities.
A comprehensive action plan for eco-tourism would be chalked-out and implemented through the Eco-tourism Development Board, he added. State Tourism Minister Yashodhara Raje Scindia stressed on coordination among tourism, forest and other departments concerned. She said that tourists must be sensitive towards conservation of nature.
She also elaborated the potential of eco-tourism. Forest Department Principal Secretary Avani Vaish threw light on the importance of eco-tourism. Principal Chief Conservator (Forest) Mohammad Hashim delivered the vote of thanks.
Various experts including those from the states of Karnataka, Kerala and Uttaranchal read out research papers on eco-tourism while brain-storming sessions were conducted throughout the day.
State Eco-tourism Board Chief Executive Officer H S Pabla made a presentation on ‘New Dimensions in Eco-tourism in Madhya Pradesh’.
Commander Rajendra K Nigam from the Madhya Pradesh State Tourism Development Corporation (MPSTDC) made a presentation on ‘Potential for Adventure Tourism in Madhya Pradesh’.
K K Singh from Anantvan Ashram, Bandhavgarh spoke on ‘Eco-tourism Management - Future in Madhya Pradesh’ while Mandip Singh Soni of Ibex Expeditions shed light on ‘Harmonising Tourism and Wildlife - Some Responsible Actions’.
Rajiv Bhartari, Field Director of the Corbett National Park, made a presentation on ‘Eco-tourism Initiatives and Challenges - Lessons from Uttranchal’.
The Wildlife Institute of India’s Anil Bhardwaj spoke on ‘Eco-tourism as a tool for Bio-diversity Conservation and Livelihood Security - An Experience from Periyar Tiger Reserve, Kerala’. Vinay Luthra presented a case study on ‘Eco-tourism in Karnataka - Jungle Lodges and Resorts’.