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Eco tourism-approach paper


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Background to this post. Lot of people believe Eco-Tourism to be tourism activity to benefit from fresh air and good weather. However the actual concept of Eco-Tourism deals with Environmentally responsible travel and visitation to natural areas !

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Eco tourism-approach paper

  1. 1. l t r One C us e t 2 19 h Oct 012 p e E Approach ap r on co-Tourism t s @c e : t / r n t e-mail: heclu ter w bsite ht p:/ www.cluste -o c r t e o l u t i n P t . e a i v s o s v L t d
  2. 2. COMPANY PROFILE Cluster One creative solutions pvt. ltd. Products | Built Environment | Open Spaces A question that most people ask is " What sets you apart from other agencies ?" At Cluster One we pride ourselves on our training and practice in design at all scales, from the level of an object, to built structures, to open spaces. We synergise our skills and draw from our experiences to produce designs that are environment friendly, user friendly, marketable and desirable. Cluster One started as a design consultancy from the city of Ahmedabad in the year 2001. It was incorporated as Cluster one creative solutions Pvt. Ltd. on 03.03.03 in the city of Pune. Cluster one now functions from Boat Club Road, Pune, and has successfully executed projects across many states. Founder members: ParagSen (director) industrial designer, architect, landscape architect (unsw, sydney, Australia ) visiting faculty at Symbiosis Institute of Design, Pune. ParagAinchwar (director) industrial designer, architect (nid, ahmedabad, India) SERVICES Product / Industrial Design Our product design services include Design, Packaging, Prototyping, Engineering Drawings and Production. Our area of specialization includes Product Design, Product Ergonomics, Interface Design, Mass Production and Marketing Collaterals. Built Environment - Architecture / Interior Design We design buildings and the spaces enclosed within. Our Architecture and Interior Design services include, Design, Working Drawings, BOQ, Specifications, Estimates, Material Selection, Site Supervision, Realistic Renders and Animation . We also undertake construction projects on turn-key basis. Open Spaces - Landscape Architecture We offer landscape development consultancy for projects of regional scale to that of public and personal use. Our Landscape development services include, Reagional Landscape development masterplans, Earthwork and layout, Planting Design schemes, Signage Schemes, Urban Outdoor Furniture, Kiosks and Bus Stop Shelters, Urban Lighting Schemes, Water Bodies, Fountains, irrigation plans, Waste Management and Landscape Conservation plans.
  3. 3. Eco Tourism development methodology approach paper, presented by Cluster One. Oct, 2012 Visitations to natural areas have emerged as a viable tourism activity in most parts of the world. While tourism activity can be effectively harnessed to generate resources that sustain upkeep and maintenance of the tourism infrastructure, it can also cause imbalances that impact social, environmental and cultural values. It is thus imperative to adopt a more sympathetic and sustainable approach to tourism and the developmental activity associated with it. It is this form of tourism activity that leaves minimal impact on the environment that is known as Eco Tourism. World Conservation Union (IUCN) describes ecotourism as: “Environmentally responsible travel and visitation to natural areas, in order to enjoy and appreciate nature (and any accompanying cultural features, both past and present) that promotes conservation, have a low visitor impact and provide for beneficially active socio-economic involvement of local people". Unregulated nature tourism as opposed to ecotourism may lack mechanisms for mitigating impacts on the environment and demonstrate appreciation for local culture and customs. It is a responsibility shared by all in the present generation to avoid irreversible environmental damage and leave our natural resources as they were found. A Greenfield Ecotourism development must always have a well documented management plan to fulfill the project objectives. An ecotourism management plan is a tool to guide the development of tourism in a protected area by synthesizing and representing the vision of all the stakeholders while fulfilling the conservation objectives for the site. Discussed below are the basic components of methodology of development and management tool: (concepts related to sustainable architecture and building practices are not discussed here) 1) Preliminary site Evaluation a) Documentation of Regional Flora and fauna (using matrix study and other methods). b) Documentation of formal and informal commercial activity and social customs of native population that impact the conservation area. c) Study of built fabric, ownership and current and planned activity pattern of the fringe areas to ascertain the pressures on the sanctity of the reserved area limits, and proposals to mitigate impact. d) Mapping endangered species and zones, and proposal of conservation measures. e) Cultural resources mapping (significant historical sites, archaeological sites ), and proposal of conservation plan. 2) Site Diagnostic a) Contouring and study of topography – elevation analysis, slope analysis to ascertain fragile and unstable slopes and buildable areas, documentation of catchment areas, watershed areas, and surface drainage patterns. b) Documentation of hydrological data, seasonal high water marks, flood lines, and water table. c) Documentation of geological data, hazard areas, sensitive areas, availability of local building material. d) Feasibility and capacity assessment of small embankments check dams and traditional / non- traditional water conservation schemes. 3) Impact Profiling a) Environmental Impact assessment (EIA) – Before undertaking development an EIA has to be done to assess the social and environmental impact. (This may be a requirement by codes and practices).
  4. 4. 4) Local Participation a) large scale natural resource development cannot be sustained without the participation of the local stake holders. Sustainable income generation for native population in tourism activity, social forestry and NTFP schemes (Non Timber Forest Produce) needs to be explored and developed. This is of importance for both economic and ecological sustainability. 5) Suitability Map and Zoning a) an overlay study of suitability mapping for various activity areas need to be undertaken to suggest the most suitable area for the activity based on the impact assessment. b) Minimal alteration of the natural physiographic features should be allowed while undertaking development. Disturbing natural drainage patterns would disturb habitats and natural processes. The resulting imbalance may have the capacity to alter the ecology of an area wider than the site. 6) Visitor Footprints a) Infrastructure elements such as lodging and trails should be located to optimize visitor circulation for minimum distances, and minimum disturbances to natural features. Wherever possible trails should be offered for differing levels of physical ability. Trails should form a closed loop to avoid visitors retracing their steps. Trails should be clearly delimited to discourage visitors from leaving them. 7) Built Area Footprints a) Building activity should be consolidated and localized to minimize area of influence. This would reduce possibility of environmental pollution and minimize chances of toxic waste and other pollutants leaching into the ground water during construction and post occupancy. Human habitation is rarely compatible with natural environment. The conservation zone should be strictly regulated by development regulations formulated for the conservation of the reserve. 8) Probable tourist activity a) The possible tourism related activities could be Eco Lodges, Trekking, Nature Trails, Overlooks, Camp grounds, Tree top trails on ropeways, Visitor centers, Interpretation areas etc. 9) Interpretation This is by far the most important aspect of any eco tourism venture. The tourist visitations would normally fall into the following categories: Casual Tourists Hobbyists Scientific or Research Tourism It is important to provide interpretation to all levels of visitors to the reserve area. The purpose of providing interpretation is as follows : i) Educate the uninitiated and increase level of awareness amongst common public about issues related to nature conservation. ii) Educate people about best practices for sustainable Ecotourism and encourage responsible behavior. iii) Provide entertaining exhibits about natural flora and fauna to increase public interest and encourage tourism activity to make the venture economically sustainable. (This should be done within allowable limits of visitations clearly defined in the park management plan). iv) Provide scientific documentation and literature for serious hobbyists and people with interest in scientific research. a) Interpretation can be provided through the following interpretation walks / trails with suitably designed signage
  5. 5. Static exhibits in visitor center. Interpretation center – this can be designed as a museum with static exhibits , Audio Visual display rooms, Interactive Kiosk areas, game panels, a 4 seat automated nature-quiz gaming room with rewards for winners etc. 10) Guard Training and Interpretation Schemes Guard training is the most important part of interpretation and mechanism for monitoring and enforcement of park regulations. For the successful operation of any Ecotourism park, it has been found that trained guards provide the most important interface between nature and visitors. Trained guards can provide the best nature interpretation and also make sure that best practices of Ecotourism are adhered to by all visitors. The Ecotourism management plan should clearly spell out the objectives and nature of guard training to be undertaken. Competent agencies should be involved to design a course module and refresher courses for training of guards. The course should also aim at developing trainers in the local community to encourage local participation and to educate native communities living on the forest area. 11) Developing forested areas a) Planting schemes should be drawn out from a planting list belonging to the local forest and vegetation type. b) The dominant species and lower stories should be planned as per virgin forest areas of the regional forest type. c) Delimited planting zones of particular types of species should be strictly avoided. This is because monocultures are never sustainable. d) Unique local flora should be showcased only in its natural habitat and not as a standalone sculpture. e) The reserve area should be seen as a showcase of the biodiversity of the area. f) Exotic species should be strictly avoided. An American redwood tree has no business of being here in a botanical reserve showcasing the local Flora and fauna. g) Planting should be undertaken for its ecological values, like habitat for fauna, support for other species, soil conservation, nutrient replenishment, water conservation, draught resistance and ecological sustainability of the planting zone. 12) Pollution control in the reserve area a) Make the area plastic bag free: screen incoming articles and provide biodegradable wrappers and carry bags to visitors. b) Develop a well organized garbage collection retrieval and management plan. c) Make the park free of polluting vehicles. Provide means of transport that run on non polluting energy sources. d) It is a norm to make all nature reserves horn free zones. Try to curtail noise pollution from the fringe areas. e) Develop a clearly laid out plan for periodic monitoring of environmental quality in the reserve area. f) No seeds or vegetative parts should be allowed into the reserve area. This can cause exotic species and weeds to disturb the ecological balance of the area. g) Only biodegradable detergents, fats, soaps and shampoos, utensils, wrappings should be allowed into the conservation area. 13) Organic Waste management Convert all biodegradable waste to compost.
  6. 6. a) Environmentally appropriate technologies and facilities for the treatment of organic wastes should be considered, such as composting, septic tanks and biogas tanks. b) Systems designed should be modular in nature scalable and customizable in capacity. c) System should be designed with odour control features. d) Materials used should be non-corrosive. e) Materials used should be non-staining. f) Materials used should be dimensionally stable durable and inexpensive. 14) Comprehensive water management system a) A comprehensive water management system should be developed which should include storm water management, waste water collection systems, waste water treatment to a level acceptable for agriculture, irrigation system and flushing, rain water harvesting, sewage treatment etc. b) System designed should be durable, non-toxic, non-corrosive and durable. c) A continuous water quality monitoring system should be put in place. d) Water sources should be located where other activities will not impact them and in such manner that water courses should be located to minimize disruption of natural processes. 15) Non Bio de-gradable waste a) systems for separation of non-biodegradable waste should be put in place. The separation should ideally be done at the source. b) Burning or dumping should be discouraged as it can produce hazardous smoke and leeching into the ground thus polluting both soil and ground water. c) A comprehensive plan aimed at segregating, recycling, composting, or reuse of solid waste should be developed. 16) Security Audit a) A security audit should be carried to ascertain all security hazards and loopholes, including physical intrusion and data theft. b) A modern and efficient security monitoring system should be evolved. c) Suitable devices to alert security apparatus should be installed at all strategic locations. d) Suitable deterrents for unlawful activities should be installed. e) A security control room designed as a central command post should be made functional. 17) Hazard Management a) Comprehensive response plan and resources should be made available to possible hazard from wildlife. b) Response plan against natural hazard should be put in place. Locations of possible natural hazards should have adequate safety and relief features. c) Response plan to human hazard and necessary installations for deterrent and relief should be put in place. d) Action plan against fire hazard should be made operational. 18) Energy Audit a) A comprehensive energy audit should be carried out. b) All systems should be designed for energy efficiency. c) Non polluting and renewable energy systems should be explored.
  7. 7. THANK YOU 'Cluster One', the name is a tribute to the english rock band 'Pink Floyd' that was formed when Syd Barrett joined 'The Tea Set', a group that consisted of architecture students Nick Mason, Roger Waters, Richard Wright and Bob Klose. After guitarist and singer David Gilmour joined the group and became an important member of the band, they achieved worldwide critical and commercial success with the concept albums The Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here, Animals, and rock opera The Wall. "Cluster One", an instrumental, is the first track on The Division Bell, the final studio album by Pink Floyd. It was never performed live by the band, though portions of it were included in the sound collage tape played before their 1994 concerts. Cluster One creative solutions pvt. ltd is a design firm started by a group of architects. We do not claim to adopt or practise, or hope to benefit in any manner, commercial or otherwise, from the traditions and legacy of 'Pink Floyd'.