Tamil Nadu's new ecotourism policy focuses on safety

The policy also proposes to constitute State Ecotourism Board (SEB), which will finalise the strategies regarding pricing and appropriate packaging and branding of ecotourism destinations.

Published: 29th June 2018 05:31 AM  |   Last Updated: 29th June 2018 05:31 AM   |  A+A-

A file picture of Courtallam waterfalls in Tirunelveli district | Express

By Express News Service

CHENNAI: In the aftermath of the forest fire tragedy in Kurangani Hills that claimed 20 lives in March this year, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami on Thursday released in the Assembly the Tamil Nadu Ecotourism Policy 2018, which lays emphasis on regulating tourist influx and safety, besides adopting a community-based ecotourism, where active involvement of local communities is the guiding principle.

Sources said Inquiry Officer  fot the Kurangani Hills tragedy Atulya Misra, who is the Principal secretary, Revenue and Disaster Management, has completed his investigation and will be submitting the report in a fortnight’s time. “The findings of the report will be incorporated into the Ecotourism Policy to develop standard safety protocol,” a senior forest official said.

Each ecotourism site shall be identified based on the natural resource potential and its impact. The activity should not cause any adverse impact to the environment. Ecotourism activities will be open for all sections of visitors without compromising on conservation of natural and cultural resources of the area and respect for local customs and traditions of Tamil Nadu. The safety norms for visitors to ecotourism sites will be in conformity with the standard protocol.

The policy also proposes to constitute State Ecotourism Board (SEB), which will finalise the strategies regarding pricing and appropriate packaging and branding of ecotourism destinations. The Forest Department will be the nodal department for implementing the policy.

SEB will take policy decisions for promotion and development of ecotourism. It will be a six-member board headed by Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF) and Chief Wildlife Warden.

At the district level, Ecotourism Management Societies (ETMS) shall be established to promote, manage and regulate ecotourism sites. The revenue generated from the ecotourism site in the district will be invested back for development of the site and surplus would be contributed to the ETMS/SEB for development of other sites and conservation related activities, the policy said and added that the existing Ecotourism Management Committee (ETMC) will be integrated into the ecotourism federation at Divisional Level.

Eco wealth

● A management plan would be developed for every ecotourism site/destination. The ecotourism sites identified and developed will have their own uniqueness and value in terms of aesthetic, natural, cultural and landscape characteristics which will be recognised and developed into ecotourism products
 ● In the coastal wetland sites, activities like snorkeling, scuba diving, walks and boat rides for viewing and appreciating the rich and special flora and fauna can be taken up, the policy document said
● The salubrious climate, the rich flora and fauna makes Tamil Nadu an ideal destination for developing ecotourism befitting the tagline “Enchanting Tamil Nadu”
● The State is a pioneer in scientific management of its forests. The community owned sacred groves have been well conserved as part of the natural and cultural heritage
● Tamil Nadu has 58 ecotourism sites

Stay up to date on all the latest Tamil Nadu news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

facebook twitter whatsapp