Thursday, August 9, 2012

16th August 2012, 18.30 Hrs

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About the Speaker

Seema Bhatt

Seema Bhatt,  a graduate from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, is an independent consultant working on issues related to ecotourism, biodiversity and climate change across the Asia region.  Her particular focus of work is on strengthening the links between conservation of biodiversity and livelihoods of local communities and she sees ecotourism as one such link. She continues to work extensively on ecotourism issues in South Asia and has co-authored a book on Ecotourism Development in India published by the Cambridge University Press.  In 2008, Seema was affiliated with the Centre for Responsible Travel (CREST) in Washington DC, USA as a Fulbright Scholar. She is also a member of the Ecotourism Society of India. 

Topic of Discussion

Responsible Travel: Does it Benefit Conservation and Local Communities? Experiences from India

Tourism as conducted in the conventional sense has never really benefited local communities and has also caused more harm than good to surrounding ecosystems. Of late there have been efforts to make travel more responsible. India recognizes this as ecotourism. Ecotourism or tourism carried out in a responsible and sustainable manner can potentially enhance the livelihoods of local people, and also ensure that fragile ecosystems do not degrade. The talk looks at the some significant economic, environmental and social impacts that conventional tourism has had on the country. It then examines five initiatives from different parts of the country that are practicing attempting to balance the needs of the community while also conserving fragile ecosystems. These initiatives also have a range of different players. The   speaker will discuss different aspects that need to be kept in mind for the concept of responsible tourism to gain more popularity.


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