16 October 2012

Today’s Supreme Court judgement is good news, with the present ban being lifted on wildlife tourism that was imposed in July.

“The ban has ensured the airing of a range of opinions that this highly contentious topic, produced some Ecotourism guidelines to stop poor tourism, but has also badly affected hundreds of thousands of local livelihoods, and legitimate businesses, both directly or indirectly. It’s now time to get back to work, to ensure that revenues that flow through park fees back into conservation and communities start flowing again, that livelihoods are restored, and legitimate businesses are allowed to continue to show India’s very best natural heritage to its citizens.” says TOFT India Director Vishal Singh.

For a decade TOFT has been calling for better and more visionary guidelines for nature tourism, that take into account evidence based science, park geography, ground reality, carry capacity and community and management issues, and drawing on the best of practices and experiences from around the world. Only time will tell whether this ban and its new prescriptive guidelines will help solve the issues created by the boom in nature tourism within India best known parks.

“My real concern now is for forests, infact 97% of India’s remaining forest landscape, which today remains unloved, unprotected and unknown, and is increasingly devoid of wildlife, overgrazed and exploited. Sadly there is nothing in these guidelines that gives anyone, the MOEF, communities or nature tourism, a legal ‘road map’ as to how they can be restored, restocked and revitalised. That to me is a real sadness and a real missed opportunity.” says the TOFT Chairman, Julian Matthews.

TOFT hopes that this ban and its heated debates, has helped to focus every stakeholder, from Panchayat heads to Field Directors, from park guides to lodge owners, to work together, and in far greater harmony, with great inclusion and partnership, to save more of India’s precious jungles and wildlife over the coming years.

More Archived TOFT News

TOFTigers Lodge Hosts the Royal Couple in Kaziranga
18 April 2016

Congratulations to Diphlu River lodge, who played host to Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge on their recent visit to India. Owners Ashish and Janvi Pookhan had the privilege of hosting the royal couple for a night at the lodge, in one of their finest stilted rooms, which overlooks the park, and under which wild one horned Indian rhinos often graze. Their parting remark was ‘Thank you and We will be back with the kids soon’ ! - Read more...

New member on TOFTigers — Soulacia Hotel and Resort, Kanha receives Quality Eco PUG rating
24 March 2016

Soulacia offers independent cottages, luxury tents and two-bedroom apartments for guests visiting the Kanha National Park. It also has a conference room that can accommodate up to 50 people. It boasts a cycling track, indoor games and a library. A unique offering is the knowledge hub with equipment provided by National Geographic. This includes maps, books, binoculars, a state-of-the-art telescope and a Sky Scout which uses GPS technology to identify over 6,000 celestial objects. - Read more...

Congratulations to Chitvan Jungle Lodge on Outstanding PUG rating
14 March 2016

At the tree-shrouded Chitvan Jungle Lodge, river walks and moonlit dinners are juxtaposed against dances with locals, bullock-cart rides, cycling trips and pugmark-casting lessons. You can choose from 20 luxurious cottages as the base for your wildlife safaris to the Kanha National Park. Chitvan Jungle Lodge follows numerous conservation and sustainability practices, aimed at reducing its carbon footprint. It harvests rain water and has organic farms that provide the raw materials for the much-feted Indian and continental meals dished up by the chef. It continues to boast an Outstanding Practice PUG rating. - Read more...

blog comments powered by Disqus



(You should be logged in to post a comment)

All Comments