Union Cabinet Minister for Environment, Forest & Climate Change Bhupender Yadav (Photo/ANI)
Union Cabinet Minister for Environment, Forest & Climate Change Bhupender Yadav (Photo/ANI)

Environment Ministry launches series of guidelines for projects on ecotourism, river dolphins

ANI | Updated: Oct 02, 2021 17:24 IST

New Delhi [India], October 2 (ANI): With an aim to promote a better understanding of nature and wildlife conservation, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change on Saturday released the 'Guidelines for sustainable Ecotourism in forest and wildlife areas'.
As per an official release, the new guidelines will be applicable for sites falling in forests, wildlife areas and eco-sensitive zones.
Speaking about the new guidelines, Union Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav said, "It will promote a better understanding of nature and wildlife conservation and help in generating livelihood opportunities for communities in those areas."
According to the release, the guidelines emphasise the engagement of local communities in a manner that enriches local economies and encourage sustainable use of indigenous material through financially viable value chains to help local communities become 'Atma Nirbhar' and promotes partnership among stakeholders in the development of ecotourism as well as equitable sharing of benefits with local communities.
Significantly the creation of a foundation in each protected area and sharing of revenue with local communities has also been underscored in the guidelines.

The Environment Minister also released a field guide for monitoring "Ganges and Indus river dolphins, associated aquatic fauna and habitat".
Speaking about the field guide, the Minister noted, "by conserving dolphins, India will ensure the well-being of the entire aquatic ecosystem and the people dependent on it."
Through the field guide, the release said that for the first time a standardized monitoring protocol has been made and will be employed for synchronised dolphin enumeration exercise to be undertaken in the states of Assam, West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Punjab.
Notably, dolphin estimation is an important process and constituent of "Project Dolphin".
The Environment Minister also launched a web portal on the 'Wetlands of India Portal', which will act as single-point access to all information relating to wetlands.
Importantly, a dashboard for each state and Union Territory across the country has been developed to access the portal and populate it with information of wetlands in their administration.
The new web portal will also provide a monitoring mechanism at the national, state and district levels. (ANI)