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Union Minister Harsh Vardhan Urged States to have Proper Eco-Tourism Plan

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Union Minister Harsh Vardhan said on Friday that every state and Union Territory should establish an eco-tourism development board to advise on the methods of eco-tourism and policy implementation.

According to Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, eco-tourism will be developed in wildlife conservation areas designated as Protected Areas (PAs) and will include wildlife sanctuaries, national parks, conservation reserves and other areas.

“Each state and union territory will have to establish an eco-tourism development board to advise on the modalities of eco-tourism and to oversee the implementation of the policy,” the Minister said in a statement.

Under the eco-tourism policy, the minister said: “Local communities can be employed as nature and tourist guides for providing hospitality, nature science interpreters and patrol partners to protect nature.”

The policy also encourages them to become small-scale entrepreneurs and operators by establishing souvenir shops, he added.

Vardhan pointed out that no permanent structure will be allowed without clearance under Forest (Conservation) Act, adding that demarcation of eco-tourism zones will be based on target-species.

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