Do something, time to act!!!
Biodiversity is the variety of all life forms. It includes humans, plants, animals, fungi and microorganisms, and the genes that they contain. But biodiversity is more than the life in the bush or the oceans and rivers. It has many important functions: it gives us food and medicine, produces oxygen, breaks down our garbage, and cleans up our sewage…to name a few!
There are many things we can do to conserve biodiversity for the future. Create habitat for native animals: Plant local native species in your garden and add logs and rocks to create habitat for native animals. Leave dead wood in the bush: Get your firewood from a timber yard, and remember to ask for plantation timber. Birds and animals live in dead trees and logs. Collecting firewood from the bush robs them of their homes.
Environment is the biggest concern of today. Eco tourism is the initiative taken by the government agencies & various other NGOs, individuals and responsible tourist establishments. Some basic do’s and don’ts of eco-tourism are listed below:
- Carry back all non-degradable litter such as empty bottles, tins, plastic bags etc. These must notlitter the environment or be buried. They must be disposed in municipal dustbins only.
- Observe the sanctity of holy sites, temples and local cultures.
- Cut noise pollution. Do not blare aloud radios, tape recorders or other electronic entertainment equipment in nature resorts, sanctuaries and wildlife parks.
- In case temporary toilets are set-up near campsites, after defecation, cover with mud or sand. Makesure that the spot is at least 30 meters away from the water source.
- Respect people’s privacy while taking photographs. Ask for prior permission before taking aphotograph.
- Do not take away flora and fauna in the forms of cuttings, seeds or roots. It is illegal, especially in the Himalayas. The environment is really delicate in this region and the bio-diversity of the region has to be protected at all costs.
- Do not use pollutants such as detergent, in streams or springs while washing and bathing.
- Do not use wood as fuel to cook food at the campsite.
- Do not leave cigarettes butts or make open fires in the forests.
- Do not consume aerated drinks, alcohol, drugs or any other intoxicant and throw bottles in the wild.
- Do not tempt the locals, especially children by offering them foodstuff or sweets. Respect local traditions.
- Polythene and plastics are non-biodegradable and unhealthy for the environment and must not be used and littered.
As a traveler, you will have an impact on the environment and culture of the place you are visiting. Here are some rules of thumb to make this impact positive!
Golden Rules When You Travel
Learn about your destination before you get there. Read guidebooks, travel articles, histories, and/or novels by local authors and pay particular attention to customs such as greetings, appropriate dress, eating behaviours, etc. Being sensitive to these customs will increase local acceptance of you as a tourist and enrich your trip.
Follow established guidelines. Ask your eco-tour operator, guide and/or the local authorities what their guidelines are for limiting tourism’s impact on the environment and local culture. Staying on trails, packing up your trash, and remaining set distances away from wildlife are a few ways to minimize your impact in sensitive areas.
Seek out and support locally owned businesses. Support local businesses during your eco-travels to ensure maximum community and conservation benefit from your spending.
Eco-Tourism in India is still at a very nascent stage, but there are for sure conscious efforts to save the fragile Himalayan Eco System and culture and heritage of the indigenous people, which is probably the largest concentration in the world.
Please be sensitive to your fellow-guests and your surroundings when you play music or discard trash.
Volunteering and Ecological responsibility
Request, bring along things like old books/stationary clothes, shoes, anything you feel like will be of use to the people around in the villages.