Recognising the absolute necessity of preserving the forest and its wildlife, the authorities launched an innovative project named India Eco-development Project in the year 1998. The initiative aimed at “sharing of power; not show of power”.
The first step taken was to ensure the tribal communities’ participation. The tribal communities have made the forests their home for generations and so without their good will and participation, the project could not become a success.
The project ensures the participation of the local people in various tourism-related activities. Locals serve as guides to tourists and as forest guards responsible for surveillance of the reserve and conservation of the forests. Thus, by giving them a stake in tourism, the commitment of the local people towards the conservation of their environment was enhanced. The local populace was also able to eke out a living through tourism–related activities and could gain a portion of the revenue generated through the eco-development project.
|Benefits for the tribal communities|