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Ministry of Tourism and MoEFCC Collaborate to Boost Nature Tourism & Local Livelihoods

The Alternative Livelihood Programme is expected to not only enrich the lives of local residents but also contribute to the preservation of the rich biodiversity present in Ramsar Sites across the country.

Shivam Dwivedi
Ministry of Tourism and MoEFCC Collaborate to Boost Nature Tourism & Local Livelihoods (Photo Source: PIB)
Ministry of Tourism and MoEFCC Collaborate to Boost Nature Tourism & Local Livelihoods (Photo Source: PIB)

In a significant move towards sustainable tourism and conservation, the Ministry of Tourism (MoT) joined forces with the Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change (MoEFCC) to introduce the Alternative Livelihood Programme under the Amrit Dharohar Capacity Building Scheme-2023. The inauguration ceremony took place on December 8, 2023, at the renowned Sultanpur National Park, a Ramsar Site in Haryana.

Under this pioneering initiative, the Indian Institute of Tourism and Travel Management (IITTM), an autonomous body under MoT, in collaboration with MoEFCC, will spearhead efforts to enhance the capabilities of local community members residing around various Ramsar sites. The primary objective is to fortify nature tourism at these sites while simultaneously providing alternative livelihood opportunities for the local population.

The State Forest Department has identified 30 participants from the communities surrounding the Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary to undergo training, ultimately certifying them as qualified nature guides. The Amrit Dharohar initiative, unveiled during June 2023 as part of the 2023-24 budget announcement by MoEF&CC, aims to spotlight the unique conservation values of Ramsar Sites across the country.

Simultaneously, it seeks to generate employment opportunities and bolster local livelihoods. This comprehensive initiative operates in conjunction with various Central Government ministries, agencies, State Wetland Authorities, and a network of formal and informal institutions and individuals, all working collaboratively towards a shared goal.

The Nature-tourism and Wet component of the Amrit Dharohar initiative are being jointly implemented by MoT and MoEFCC. Their collective aim is to enrich livelihood opportunities for local communities by harnessing the nature-tourism potential inherent in Ramsar Sites throughout the nation.

Sultanpur National Park is among the five priority Ramsar Sites, along with Bhitarkanika and Chilika in Odisha, and Yashwant Sagar and Sirpur in Madhya Pradesh, identified in the initial phase for training programs under the Alternative Livelihood Programme (ALP).

The launch event was officiated by Ms. Manisha Saxena, Director General of the Ministry of Tourism, in the presence of Dr. Sujit Kumar Bajpayee, Joint Secretary of the Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change, Prof Alok Sharma, Director of IITTM, Mr. Rajendra Prasad, District Wildlife Officer cum Site Manager at Sultanpur Ramsar Site, officials from MoEF&CC, and senior officials from the Haryana Forest Department.

This collaborative effort signifies a crucial step towards sustainable development, emphasizing the importance of community involvement and environmental conservation in the realm of tourism.

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