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

Congratulations to our new lodge supporter – Courtyard House which receives a Quality Practice PUG Rating
08 June 2015

Courthard House is an intimate lodge set in four acres in the scenic area of Patpara Village, a short drive from Khatia Gate of Kanha National Park. Run by nature lovers Neelesh and Kirty Agarwal, this lodge built with a touch of the ‘Grand Haveli’ style of the British colonial era and described by guests as a home away from home, offers five light and spacious rooms with en-suite bathrooms. Rooms are decorated with ethnic motifs, antiques, locally made sculpture and beautifully framed photographs of the wildlife found in Kanha. Enjoy drinks at the bar by the infinity pool, morning tea under the mahua tree and dinner in the restaurant or under the old banyan tree. On offer are open jeep safaris, guided treks and birdwatching with the lodge’s naturalists and an opportunity to explore village life and the surrounding area on foot or bike. - Read more...

New Lodge Member - Waterwoods Lodge & Resorts receives a Quality Practice PUG Rating
27 May 2015

Spread over 15 acres of lush greenery, WaterwoodsLodge & Resorts - Kabini is situated on the banks Kapila River. Built in a contemporary style, this homely wildlife lodge in Karapura Village is nearNagarhole National Park and has fifteen rooms on offer, all of which face the river.The lodge has its own greenhouse that houses over 5,000 diverse plants including those of herbal and medicinal value. They grow a variety of vegetables and fruits as well that guests can enjoy as part of their meals at the lodge. Apart from wildlife safaris, guests can also opt to visit the local village to learn about the lives of the local residents. An in-house naturalist accompanies you on nature treks around the lodge where you can spot a multitude of birds and other smaller wildlife. The more adventurous can choose to go for ATV rides and kayaking as well. In the evenings, watch a screening of a wildlife documentary and wind up your day around a bonfire regaling each other with tales and songs. - Read more...

Pettitts India Tours – A New DMC joined TOFTigers Campaign
15 May 2015

Pettitts is a leading tailor-made holiday expert with over 25 years of experience in the travel industry. They specialise in tours to India and its neighbouring countries of Nepal, Bhutan, and Sri Lanka. ?While ?travelling ?to the Indian Subcontinent?, visitors can be assured of round-the-clock assistance throughout ? their trip. ?They have a wide network of associate offices in India?, while their marketing offices are based in the United Kingdom and China. Their commitment to professionalism has earned them the National Tourism Award for excellence in the field of tourism by the Government of India. - Read more...

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