Alumni Exchange Innovation Fund 2013 Winning Project
CONSERVATION THROUGH ECO-TOURISM
Conserving world’s largest mangrove forest the Sundarbans by providing livelihood opportunities for the underserved through youth mobilization, women handicrafts and eco-tourism training.
The project “Conservation through Ecotourism” has been inaugurated in three (3) different villages adjacent to the Sundarban mangrove forest in Dakop Upazila under Khulna District.
Since Rupantar Eco-Tourism Ltd. (RET) conceptually believes eco-tourism trade otherwise than the traditional phenomena since our unfathomed conviction parallels with the conservation of nature and incorporation of local people in different tires of the trade, RET started implementing activities in 2007 at Banishanta union of Dacope upazila in Khulna district. The main focus of our activities included village youth committee formation, training on social development, campaign on biodiversity conservation issue etc. by own funding and participatory approach based. In the consecutive Years through our realization and introspection of the existing consequences, we brought about a positive change in our conception and thought to comprise poverty reduction issues of Sundarban adjacent poor people as part of holistic approach of eco-tourism promotion. Experimentally, RET patronized a local cultural group perform local folks in front of the tourists from home and abroad and display excellence of local crafts by community women. Gradually tourists became more interested on the community performances and the community people also got scope to earn attractive income sources and made their involvement in eco-tourism trade. It manifests itself an expedient mean of declining dependence on the Sundarban resources resulting improved of the Sundarban.
Rupantar Eco-Tourism Ltd. (RET) started the AEIF winning project 2013 titled Conservation through Eco-Tourism’ with a community mobilization program in November 2013. Three unions Koilashgonj, Laudobe and Banishanta of Dacope upazila (Sub district) under Khulna district were the working area. Afterwards RET organized Eco-Tour Guide Training Program, Cultural Group Formation and Training Program, Handicrafts Artisan Group Formation and Training Program and School Outreach Program with Debate and Poster Drawing Competition. The project ended with a festival titled ‘Sundarban Carnival’ in May 2014. RET organized three community mobilization program on protecting Sundarban through eco-tourism and alternative livelihood at three unions. As the project activities RET trained Eco-Tourism to 30 tour guides in a four day training course. 45 community people in three groups, 15 members in each group participated cultural training on folk songs, dance, drama and Pot gaan in a cultural training program. 49 women in three groups have participated skill development training on Handicrafts Training Program. RET campaigned among 3000 school students on protecting Sundarban and conserving its biodiversity through eco-tourism. According to project activities, RET organized a debate and poster drawing competition on ‘Sundarban Conservation’ among the students of 18 schools in the project area.
The ultimate goal of the project is “To improve the conservation system of Sundarban with the participation of sundarban adjacent community and relevant stakeholders to create an environment friendly generation.”
Supported by: United States Department of State
Project Implementing Partner: Rupantar Eco-Tourism Ltd.Project Area: