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PUNJAB ECOTOURISM POLICY, 2009
Punjab is endowed with a very rich spectrum of landscapes, forests, wildlife, wetlands, community reserves, conservation reserves and cultural diversity. It is also home to several endangered species including the Indus Dolphin. The State has potential to become a premier eco-destination. Presently, a majority of tourists are deprived of experiencing other lesser known but potentially rich facets of the State’s natural heritage.
Ecotourism or Ecologically Sustainable Tourism has been defined as responsible tourism to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well being of local communities. General public are, now, more willing to visit the forests and appreciate their splendor and imbibe their values. The cause of conservation of forests and wildlife can be further strengthened if they are allowed to be visited in a responsible manner and appreciated, respected and enjoyed by the public to encourage them to become a stakeholder in conservation efforts.
Ecotourism is one of the tools whereby people are encouraged to visit natural beauty of forests to promote action to conserve it. It is about striking harmonious synergy between cause of conservation, aspirations of local communities and need for sustainable travel. It accommodates and entertains visitors in a way that is minimally intrusive or destructive to the environment and sustains & supports the native culture. National Forest Policy, 1988 also calls for building a massive people’s movement for protecting natural forest as national heritage.
With this background, the Government of Punjab has resolved to make the promotion of ecotourism in the State a priority area. It shall be developed in harmony with the broad framework outlined in the Tourism Master Plan for the state.
Notification No : 10/17/2007-ITC/414 Dt. 17/2/2009 Notification No : 10/17/2007-ITC/2992 Dt. 17/12/2010 & Notification Endst No : 10/17/2007-ITC/3185;Dt. 17/2/2009
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