MUMBAI: ISKCON’s (International Society for Krishna Consciousness) Govardhan eco village (GEV) at Wada taluka in Thane district has been conferred the United Nations award for taking innovative measures of 'sustainable tourism' in the country.
This is the first time India has won such recognition from the UN in the NGO sector, an ISKCON release said on Friday.
The award was presented at the annual United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) Awards for Excellence and Innovation in Tourism at Madrid, Spain on Thursday.
Gauranga Das, Director of Govardhan Eco Village said, "In its biggest international recognition to date, Govardhan Eco Village won the UNWTO Award for Innovation in the category of Non-Governmental Organisations, the highest honour given to an NGO for shaping global tourism through sustainable innovative initiatives."
GEV. Established in 2003, strives to provide a sustainable solution to current ecological crisis’ by combining the technology of modern science with Vedic wisdom. It focuses on living in harmony with the environment, for spiritual development which can bring about “tangible, positive changes” within an individual, and in turn their interaction with the planet.
H H Radhanath Swami Maharaj, founder of Govardhan Eco Village, said the award is for its initiative of eco tourism as a catalyst for rural development.
"The project has successfully linked tourism initiatives at the Govardhan Eco village with providing a sustainable life to the local tribal communities in villages, thereby creating a model for empowerment and development of the local people," he said.
GEV has 13 eco-friendly initiatives, including Organic Farming, Animal Care, Rural Empowerment, Rural Education, Alternative Energy etc.
According to Das, the Govardhan eco village initiative had earlier won several national and international awards.