Department of Forest and
•The Ministry of Environment & Forests
(MoEF) is the nodal agency in the
administrative structure of the Central
Government for the planning, promotion,
co-ordination and overseeing the
implementation of India's environmental and
forestry policies and programmes.
Smt. Jayanthi Natarajan,
Department of Forest and Environment
Dr. V. Rajagopalan,
Department of Forest and Environment
•The primary concerns of the Ministry are
implementation of policies and programmes
relating to conservation of the country's
natural resources including its lakes and
rivers, its biodiversity, forests and wildlife,
ensuring the welfare of animals, and the
prevention and abatement of pollution.
Objectives of the Ministry:
•Conservation and survey of flora, fauna,
forests and wildlife
•Prevention and control of pollution
•Afforestation and regeneration of degraded
•Protection of the environment and
•Ensuring the welfare of animals
Those objectives are well supported by legislative and regulatory
measures, which aims at the preservation, conservation and
protection of the environment.
Besides the legislative measures,
• The National Conservation Strategy and Policy Statement on
Environment and Development, 1992
• National Forest Policy, 1988
• Policy Statement on Abatement of Pollution, 1992
• The National Environment Policy, 2006 also guide the
Regional Offices of MoEF
• Southern Zone, Bangalore
• Eastern Zone, Bhubaneswar
• Western Zone, Bhopal
• North-Eastern Zone, Shillong
• Central Zone, Lucknow
• Northern Zone, Chandigarh
• Wildlife Crime Control Bureau, New Delhi
• The Ministry of Environment and Forest lays out a detailed set of
framework guidelines on the selection, planning, development,
implementation and monitoring of ecotourism in India.
Recognising however, that India’s wildlife landscapes are diverse, these
guidelines are broad, with specific State Ecotourism Strategies to be
developed by the concerned State Governments and Ecotourism Plans
to be developed by the concerned authorities.
• Roles and responsibilities are enumerated for different stakeholders:
State Governments, Protected Area management, tourist
facilities/tour operators, local communities, temple boards and
Guidelines for Ecotourism by (MoEF)
It is important to involve all stakeholders in
implementing ecotourism guidelines. Synergy and
collaboration amongst the Central Government,
State Governments, hospitality sector, State Forest
Departments, Protected Area managements, and
local communities and civil society institutions is
vital for ensuring successful implementation of the
State Government guidelines
• The State Government must develop a State-level Ecotourism
• Wilderness conservation in ecologically sensitive landscapes
• Occurring of local community participation and benefit-
• Sound environmental design and use of locally produced and
• Adequate monitoring and evaluation of the impact of ecotourism
• Capacity building of local communities in planning, providing
and managing ecotourism facilities
• Ecologically sensitive land use policies should be prescribed
for the landscape surrounding protected areas.
• The State Forest Department should be the arbiter in case
of any dispute regarding the ecological advisability of any
tourism plans, whether Protected Area Management, private
entity, temple board or community, as the welfare of wildlife
and Protected Areas/ biodiversity takes precedence over
• Financial assistance/ incentives should be provided for
communities/individuals who own revenue lands outside
protected areas, to convert such lands to forest status. The
value of such lands for wildlife will be enhanced, even as it
improves the income of the landowner from ecotourism.
• No new tourist facilities are to be set up on forest lands.
• A Local Advisory Committee (LAC) must be constituted for
each Protected Area by the State government.
Protected Area Management
• All ecotourism activities should take place only in prescribed
‘ecotourism zones’ as prescribed in the ecotourism plan.
• Tourism infrastructure must conform to environment-
friendly, low-impact architecture, including solar energy,
waste recycling, rainwater harvesting, natural cross-
ventilation, reduced used of asbestos, controlled sewage
disposal, and merging with the surrounding habitat.
• Protected Area authorities must ensure that all facilities
within a 5 km radius of core/critical wildlife
habitats/PAs/reserves must adhere to all environmental
clearances, noise pollution norms, and are non-polluting,
blending in with surroundings.
• There shall be a complete ban on burying, burning or
otherwise disposing non-biodegradable or toxic waste in the
• Protected Area authorities must represent a minimum area for
the visitor facility, which should be in a site-specific manner.
• Residential tourist facilities should be in accordance with the
• In the case of Tiger Reserves, ecotourism should be under the
oversight of the respective Tiger Conservation Foundations
for each tiger reserve, to enable Eco Development
Committees/ Village Forest Committees/ forest cooperatives
to strengthen the institutional framework
Tourist facilities/ Tour operators
• Tourism infrastructure must adopt to environment-friendly, low-
impact architecture; renewables including solar energy, waste
recycling, rainwater harvesting, natural cross-ventilation, no use of
asbestos, controlled sewage disposal, and merging with the surrounding
• All tourist facilities falling within 5 km of a protected area must be
reviewed regularly by the Local Advisory Committee vis-à-vis
environmental clearance, area of coverage, ownership, type of
construction, number of employees, etc, for suggesting
mitigation/retrofitting measures if needed.
• All tourist facilities, old and new must aim to generate at least 50%
of their total energy and fuel requirements from alternate energy
sources that may include wind, solar and biogas.
• A complete ban on burning or disposing non-biodegradable waste
within the Protected Area or in surrounding eco-sensitive zone or
• Tourist facilities/tour operators must not cause disturbance to
animals while taking visitors on nature trails.
Do’s and Don’ts for Visitors
• Appreciate the colours and sounds of nature
• Treat the Protected Area/wilderness area with respect
• Dress in colours that blend with the natural environment
• Take pictures, but without disturbing wildlife
• Observe the sanctity of holy sites, respect local customs
• Keep a reasonable distance from wild animals, and do not provoke them
• Dispose waste responsibly: carry back all non-biodegradable litter, and leave
campsites litter-free before departing
• When in a vehicle, remember wild animals have right of way
• Keep to the speed limit, don’t use the horn, and do not startle animals
• Do not talk loudly or play loud music.
• Do not get out of the vehicle or approach wild animals.
• Do not approach animals closer than 15 m or disturb them while they
• Do not take away flora and fauna in the form of cuttings, seeds or
• Do not feed wild animals.
• Do not light fires, or smoke inside protected areas. Accidental forest
fires cause irreparable damage.
• Carrying of guns, fire arms, inflammable materials are strictly
prohibited, as per the provisions of the Wild Life (Protection) Act,
1972, and is punishable by law.
• The first benefit from ecotourism must go to the local people, and in
the long-run, capacity-building should be carried out to forge a
sustainable partnership between the forest department, tourism
professionals and local communities
• Soft loans may be provided for Community Credit Programme/Special
Trust Funds/ Special Central Assistance/ Developmental Schemes of
Tribal Department/District level Integrated Developmental Programme/
The Tiger Task Force Report in 2005 recommended that
hotels within a radius of 5 km from the boundary of a
reserve must contribute 30 percent of their turnover to the
reserve. Further, the hotels can be allowed to claim 100
percent income tax benefit for the same, as incentive.