Introduction

Sustainable Tourism

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The natural beauty of the forests in Kerala is a gift given to us by Mother Nature. `Sustainability’ in simple terms means our responsibility to preserve and maintain the charms of nature, as it enables the next generation also to enjoy the same. Thus conservation of forests, our natural heritage, becomes most important, while practicing sustainable tourism.

Periyar Tiger Trail in a nut shell

The ministry of environment has under taken local community participation in forest management through India - Eco - Development in seven states.

In Kerala this project is implemented by the forest Department with the Ex - Vayana Bark collectors Eco Development committee which is formed by constant interaction with the poachers and the forest officials over a long period of time.

Members (Poachers becoming protectors)

In the Periyar Tiger Trail project the members involved are the former inhabitants of the forest and who made a living by illegal trading of forest goods. Their activity was detrimental to the conservation of the forest. Since the advent of the India Ecodevelopment project these negative dependants on the forest were changed to positive conservatonalist, where natives became partners in the protection and management of habitates.
Their intimate knowledge about the plants and animals, and their survival instincts were best used for participatory ecotourism activities. The visitors to the selected trekking routes in the forest will have a unique experience as their guides know the area inside out. There services are used for trekking, pitching tents; cooking ethnic food in addition to be vigilant observers assisting the visitors.

Conservation effort will have double effect when the habitual offenders are involved in the participatory tourism strategy.

Conservation effort will have double effect when the habitual offenders are themselves involved in the participatory tourism strategy. In the Periyar Tiger Trail project, the members involved are the former inhabitants of the forest, who made a living trading forest goods.
Their activity was detrimental to the conservation of the forests. Since the advent of the India Ecodevelopment Project, these negative dependants on the forests were changed to positive.
Conservationalists were natives who became partners in the protection and management of habitates.
Their intimate knowledge about the plants and animals, and their survival instincts were best used for participatory ecotourism activities. The visitors to the selected trekking routes in the forest will have a unique experience, as their guides are familiar to these areas.

Their services are used for trekking pitching tents, and cooking ethnic food. In addition they succeed to be vigilant observers, assisting the visitors.

Rare and endangered species of flora and fauna are thus protected and conserved and the serious nature lovers get an opportunity to experience the charms of the last of the rain forests in the Western Ghats.