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Dependence on forests to be reduced

74 youths trained to operate as Eco Tour Guides in protected forest areas
Daily Star Correspondent, Moulvibazar

A sustainable eco-tourism programme has been developed in the protected forests areas to reduce local people’s dependence on forests by creating alternative job opportunities for them.

Forest Department’s Protected Area Management Programme called Nishorgo developed the programme aiming at conservation of biodiversity through collaborative management with local stakeholders. Under the programme, economic incentives are being provided to locals living near Lawarchara National Park, Satchari National Park, Rema Kalenga Wildlife Sanctuary, Chunati Wildlife Sanctuary and Teknaf Game Reserve.

As a part of the programme, Nishorgo has trained 74 young men and women to operate as Eco Tour Guides, developed trails for forest hiking and others. It has started professional Eco-tour Guide certification process at its five pilot sites to ensure quality eco-tour guiding facilities for nature tourists. The two-day certification course included written test and field examination. To evaluate and certify the trained eco tour guides, a board was formed consisting of Elisabeth Fahrni Mansur, CEO, Guide Tours and Mamun, CEO Green Tours, representing Tour Operator’s Association of Bangladesh (TOAB), Modinul Ahsan and Kazi Nurul Karim, Assistant Conservator of Forests of Forest Department and Kazi M A Hashem of Nishorgo Support Project.

Eco-guides
Three indigenous persons getting instructions to work as tourist guides at Lawachhara reserve forest in Moulvibazar district on Thursday as Forest Department’s Nishorga programme arranged an ‘eco-tour guide’ training for 74 young men and women. The programme aims at protecting biodiversity by reducing local people’s dependence on forests for living. Photo: STAR

The trained youths are now self-employed as Eco-tour guides who provide eco-tour guiding service at five pilot sites.

The nature tourists are encouraged to hire a eco-tour guide. Guides are available at the entry areas of the parks. Tourists can also directly call a Eco-tour guide whose contact numbers are listed at Nishorgo Programme’s website .

Nishorgo Programme receives financial assistance from the USAID through Nishorgo Support Project (NSP).

This article is quoted from The Daily Star, Bangladesh. The article was originally published in the weekly publication ‘Star’ on 2008-03.01

There are so many visionary people and valuable resources related to a sustainable tourism development in Bangladesh. If these forces are united great things will happen – both on grass root, private sector and at government level.
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Posted in Bangladesh, Best practice, Cooperation and network, Development, Education and qualification, Performance and management, Sustainability.


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