SUBJECT : Eco conservation is only possible when public is aware of it

Thane, May 23, 2017: From creating Ecotourism Destinations and engaging locals in its activities to banning the use of plastic in green spaces and reserved forest areas, forest officials and environmentalists believe that the key to a well-conserved biodiversity is to embrace the concept of sustainable tourism.

On the occasion of International Day for Biological Diversity, on Monday, green warriors from the city pointed out that this concept of sustainable tourism will not only contribute to the economic growth of locals and the district but also help in the conservation of the vibrant biodiversity in the district.

"Conservation of environment becomes a possibility only when people are aware of it, which happens only when they are exposed to it through tourism. However, tourism in biodiversity-rich places often ends up as a disaster with people being negligent and harming the flowers and trees or littering areas, which eventually affects the health of the flora and fauna," said V Walawalkar, vice president of city-based NGO Paryavaran Dakshata Manch.

Rohit Joshi, member of the Yeoor Environmental Society, said, "In addition to creating awareness among citizens about not harming the environment, there needs to be a ban on the use of plastic in green pockets like Yeoor, as heaps of plastic and waste thrown by locals, hotels and tourists end up choking the fauna."

Sunil Limaye, chief conservator of forests, Thane, said that the district is home to a variety of biodiversity-rich hotspots from the hilly terrains of Malshej Ghat and Naneghar to the forest cover in the Sanjay Gandhi National Park. "Sustainable tourism not only involves turning these areas into tourist sites, but also engaging locals in these activities, thus increasing their revenue and participation in environmental conservation."

Awareness of environment happens only when people are exposed to it through tourism. However, tourism in biodiversity-rich places often ends up as a disaster with people being negligent and harming the flowers and trees or littering areas, which eventually affects the health of the flora and fauna.


Source: Times of India