Eco-tour

Eco-tour rating

Posted by Susan Sharma on September 15, 2005

Blog

The Malaysian Tourism Department has developed an eco-rating system for their eco-tourism operations ranging from Ec0-1 to Ec0-5. 

ECO-5 should be the ultimate goal for ecotourism supporters, whether they are tour operators, the travelling public, or the resource management agencies. This includes

  • no advertising in non-recyclable magazines.
  • Transportation must be in environmentally friendly vehicles.
  • On-site accommodations and all visitor and staff activities must be benign to the environment.
  • Heating and air-conditioning would be solar and low-impact.
  • Foods and souvenirs would be produced in sustainable ways.
  • All residual products would have to be handled in a benign way.
  • Sewage containment and treatment would be an absolute requirement.
  • Used products would be recycled, soaps and cleaning solutions would be biodegradable, and non-degradation of the environment would be the standard.

This rating system takes into consideration many types of ecotourism categories, facilities and activities available at ecotourism sites in Malaysia. Easily accessibility through Internet, transparency of the rating, accountability of a person who use the system, and the incorporation of knowledge from domain experts and field data are the strength of this rating system. New knowledge and information could easily be incorporated into the system.

Eco-tour

Travelogue

Posted by Shashi Kant Sharma on January 01, 2005

Blog

Letter I wrote to my sons after our trip in Oct.2004 to Ranthambhore National Park and the Koeldeo Bird Sanctuary, Bharatpur:

 We had a very nice trip to Ranthambhore. But the icing on the cake was granted to us; thanks to the Indian Railways canceling our Delhi bound train after it reached Bharatpur. For once neither of us was unhappy about the cancellation of our train. We got a sneak visit to the bird sanctuary in Bharatpur too and that for a day+.

About Koeldeo Bird Sanctuary, Bhatarpur:

 There were plenty of birds to see though the migratory ones do not turn up till mid November or so. What I found most interesting there was the fact that almost a decade plus back, Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) took up a programme for training Rikshaw pullers as Park guides, thus giving them not only dignity and a sense of achievement but also much higher than average income levels of a typical rikshaw puller. Imagine many of these guys have studied up to 11th/12th standard, speak broken English but boy they seem to know their Park and the flora and fauna in it really well.

We had a most enterprising 6ft+ Rajiv Singh, a Sardarji with a dignified mien taking us around and he did a great job. We learn that they went through a year long programme and are now put through a month long refresher course by WWF every year. There are 110 of them. Will write about Ranthambhor National Park some other time Wishing A GREAT NEW YEAR AHEAD FOR ALL IWC MEMBERS

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