TODAY -

E-Pao! Travel - Manipur: A brief introduction

Conserving environment to promote tourism

By: M.A. Haque *



On account of environmental variations, India supports variety of habitats and associated flora and fauna. These habitats and associated plants and animals play important role in attracting tourists.

There is great deal of variety with respect to environmental conditions in the country. Western Ghats receives about 2000 mm average rain, while certain areas of Rajasthan, Gujarat and Ladakh receive only about 100 mm of rain every year. World’s rainiest place is in Meghalaya.

Temperature also varies extensively from one region to another. As a result, a wide spectrum of habitats exists in India. Certain areas have tropical rainforests while others support alpine type of vegetation. Still other areas support temperate or another type of forest.

In addition, there are extensive grasslands, wetlands, rivers, estuaries, reservoirs etc. Also, large area is occupied by deserts, hot deserts in Rajasthan and Gujarat while Ladakh and Himachal Pradesh have unique cold deserts.

As many as 3.88 million foreign tourist arrivals took place till November this year recording a 12.9 per cent increase over the last year. Foreign exchange earning of Rs 25,934 crore was made showing growth of 16.9 per cent over the last year. Still, India receives only about 0.4 % of global tourists.

This is a matter of concern for people associated with tourism. But there is a section of people, which considers it to be a ‘boon in disguise’. This group consists of those who are concerned about conservation.

Their concern is that even with small number of tourists and visitors, our heritage and natural wealth are not safe. If the number grows, the problem will multiply. Let us look at some of the arguments they have against tourism and travel.

Unhealthy practices

To boost their income, organizations, institutions and individuals associated with tourism and travel activities encourage or allow activities that are detrimental. For example, every tourist or visitor going to the forest, National Park or Sanctuary is interested in viewing the wildlife. But the problem starts when their choice becomes very limited.

Everyone considers it essential to see animals like tiger, lion, elephant or leopard. These are large animals and their number is always small in any forest. Reasons are obvious. Tiger, leopard etc. are carnivorous. Being at the top of the food chain, their number cannot grow beyond a limit.

In case of elephant, it is the size of the animal and its huge food and space requirement that do not allow the number to grow beyond a limit. This is the reason that there is no guarantee that these can be sighted by visitors in a day or two. Visitors compare their visit with the films that they see on TV.

They want to get opportunity to see the animals in similar fashion, moving, hunting, playing, and mating. But they rarely realize that the film crew camps for weeks together to shoot and even then there is no guarantee of success. Occasional tourists compare their visit with TV shows and pressurize the management and often bribe the lower staff to view the animals from close.

For any tourist destination it is vital that they get adequate number of visitors to sustain the facilities there. Hence, at times the authorities indulge in practices which are not healthy. For example, animals are tracked and once they are spotted, visitors are sent to the location.

Earlier, baits were also offered to the animals to attract them to a particular spot and visitors were kept there. It is claimed by activists that when some VIPs visit a National Park or Sanctuary, a modified version of offering bait is practiced to ensure that they see the animals.

These activities lead to interference in the normal life of wild animals. Their feeding habits, hunting habits, sexual life etc. get affected. Also, by nature, the wild animals are shy and they do not like to come in contact with human being. On account of their forced exposure to visitors, their behaviour changes and they may not remain shy to humans and they may attack people if they get opportunity.

Unsupportive Infrastructure

Tourists, who can afford high cost, generally demand high standard facilities. Even when they are in a forest or in a small town, they expect modern facilities. There are two alternatives. Either the management provides them the facilities or they have to face the risk of not receiving such tourists.

The tour managers generally prefer the first option. This is the reason that we find star hotels, modern guesthouses with AC, TV, telephone etc. in small towns and even inside or close to forest areas.

As such, there is not much problem on account of these facilities being there. But these facilities change the landscape, adversely affect the normal life of local population and also create a barrier between the local population and the visitors.

Visitors do not get opportunity to interact with local population and experience the customs, rituals, lifestyle etc. of the local population.

Thus, one of the objectives of travel and tourism is defeated. When such facilities are created in forest or in the vicinity they exert serious impact on the environment and wildlife of the area. Lifestyle in high class hotels, guest houses etc. is totally different from the lifestyle in small towns, villages, and more so in and around forest areas.

For example, consumption of electricity, water and other resources are more. Generation of waste is also more and the nature of waste is different as most materials are from outside.

Use of disposables made of non-biodegradable materials, high power detergents and other chemicals multiply. Obviously, the infrastructure at those locations is not geared to deal with such wastes. As a result wastes accumulate and degrade the environment.

Threat to Biodiversity

Quite often visitors to biodiversity rich areas collect plants, plant parts, small animals. They also purchase rare plants, animal skin, bone, teeth, ivory, coral, or items made of these materials. As a result there is encouragement to poaching, hunting and illegal collection of these materials.

Obviously, it is against the basic principle of conservation. In the north- east it is common to find rare orchids and other endemic plants being sold on roadside. Tourists and visitors buy them to carry. Most of these plants die soon as the conditions in places where they are carried are different.

Similarly, in coastal areas rare fishes, animals, corals etc. are sold to visitors and tourists causing threat to the biodiversity of the area. At times poachers and hunters enter the forest as tourists and visitors.

Responsible Tourism

Solution lies in ecotourism. 'Ecological' has double purpose i.e. environmental as well as social. The term "Ecotourism" has been defined by the International Ecotourism Society as "responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people".

Ecotourism is supposed to satisfy certain criteria. In essence, it involves everything which can sustain tourism without creating problems for the people, places and environment.

If we plan to have long term benefits from tourism, we must adopt Ecotourism in its real spirit.


M.A. Haque ( as part of PIB) wrote this article for The Sangai Express
This article was webcasted on January 15th, 2007.


* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of e-pao.net. We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.


LATEST IN E-PAO.NET
  • Mova Cave, Hungpung, Ukhrul #1 : Gallery
  • Expanding Economy Beckons :: Speech
  • Before trains arrive, must read
  • Impact of the Shirui Lily festival
  • Securing Wi-Fi: Negating doorstep threat
  • Blood donation drive in North East
  • Expecting changes in dealing SoO
  • Scourge of drug trafficking
  • Tribal Cultural Festival #2 : Gallery
  • Let's talk about our children today
  • A blow to image boosting
  • Fear and Superstition
  • Latrine :: Poem
  • Letter to JS-MHRD from MUTA
  • JS-MHRD did not meet with MUTA
  • Drawing on Energy Efficiency
  • MU impasse: Attention Mr. Prime Minister
  • Admission time : Sky high cut off
  • Great June Uprising @Kekrupat #2 : Gallery
  • Yoga Day: Celebrating Your Health
  • Chak-hao - black gold of Manipur
  • In response to the culture of shaming
  • 3rd Documentor Imphal
  • 4th International Day of Yoga by AR
  • Appeals for Resolution of MU Crisis
  • Recommendation to control Flood damages
  • International Yoga Day at Loktak PS
  • After Flood : Introspection about the future
  • MUSU & JAC : Hot issues before the Govt
  • Zeliangrong orphaned by Nationalism #2
  • General Thangal Eco Park : Gallery
  • Letter to President on Crisis at MU
  • Precision medicine & life sciences
  • Black topping-can ground leveling be behind
  • Condemns security force intrusion in MU
  • Developer wanted at LMP, Konjeng Leikai
  • AR gears up for International Yoga Day
  • NPF rejoinder to NDPP : 20 June
  • Rejoinder by Dr. Shurhozelie : 20 June
  • For a little bit more
  • Deadline of 5 days time set : MU crisis
  • Garlic Festival @Ukhrul #4 :: Gallery
  • Flood in Imphal [14 June] #3 : Gallery
  • Inungshi, Gaichanglungliu :: eMing
  • Taking 'Hau' Music to Rest of World
  • Kakching bags cleanest city in NE Award
  • JRF (Junior Research Fellow) at IBSD
  • Oxfam India launches emergency response
  • VC, MU - Resign immediately :: MUTA
  • Inner Line Permit (ILP) Demand :: Timeline
  • Translation of ancient Manipur texts begin
  • Pre Yoga Capsule organized
  • NDPP Rejoinder on 19 June
  • NPF Youth Wing Rejoinder on 19 June
  • Favouring digital govt : still a Virtual dream
  • June 18 Anniv : Consult all stakeholders
  • Great June Uprising @Kekrupat #1 : Gallery
  • Binota Thokchom at BRICS Young Scientist
  • The Merger of Manipur
  • Improving school management in Manipur
  • Pros & cons of screening tests
  • NPF Rejoinder on 18th June
  • Nagaland CM statement on Aboi ambush
  • June 18 significance: Still living on prayer
  • Need to identify one's strength
  • 18 Immortal Souls Remembered : Flash
  • The Great June Uprising : Read all about it
  • The Pitfalls of Identity Politics
  • Naga Peace Process :: News Timeline
  • All his sons :: Poem
  • Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016
  • Eid bring cheer in flood hit areas
  • Willong Khullen, Maram #1 : Gallery
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • Defending the environmental defenders
  • Delusion in self - cause of worry
  • Road to Russia: FIFA World Cup
  • It must be love :: Poem
  • 'Future of Naga people is bleak'
  • Give a miss call to Amnesty
  • 'Naga area' bandh on June 18
  • Dzuko valley #4 :: 360 Panorama View
  • Flood in Imphal [14 June] #2 : Gallery
  • Id-Ul-Fitr Festival
  • Letter to PM Modi on Naga Talks
  • Greetings on Eid-Ul-Fitr
  • Rejoinder to NPF statement
  • Rejoinder to Nagaland Chief Minister
  • Flood relief continue on 3rd day
  • India-Vietnam Youth Dialogue 2018
  • MU debacle: Why would it be left unnoticed
  • Spirit of World Cup : Brazil to Russia
  • NEC to come under Home Ministry
  • Manipur NGO hosts summit on LGBTQ
  • Flood in Imphal [14 June] #1 : Gallery
  • Women Struggle in Self-Determination
  • 14 June- World Blood Donor Day
  • Naga Integration not possible- NPF react
  • Naga Integration is not possible- CM Rio
  • Relief work in flood affected areas
  • A day which keeps our spirit alive
  • Ranked 320 in the country : MU
  • Flood in Imphal [13 June] #2 : Gallery
  • Sovereignty Struggles in Northeast #5
  • Be alert: It's admission time
  • Yin and Yang
  • Watermelon beauty benefits
  • Temp accommodation for Aligarh students
  • Wrath of Mother Nature: Why challenge..
  • 60 pc is no longer first class : 95 pc
  • Flood in Imphal [13 June] #1 : Gallery
  • Sanamahi Laihui & Sanamahi Laining
  • Kuhi- Essential plant for Nungbi pottery
  • Climate justice is integral to development
  • The bridge :: Poem
  • Lt S Vijaya Devi felicitated
  • Then : Indifferent :: Now : Hyper sensitive
  • Phumdigi Tantha : Dance Drama : Gallery
  • Grief at Xavier Rutsa's demise
  • Modi's India: A descend into Ochlocracy
  • The Philippine Experience
  • Cry of a Dying River #33 :: Poem
  • Community Iftar at Moijing, Cachar
  • Candle Light at DU over Assam lynching
  • Demand replacement of Manipur Univ VC
  • The Tragedy of Higher education
  • Unacceptable points spelt out
  • Teinem Luira Phanit @Ukhrul #3: Gallery
  • RPL-PMKVY trainees @Hojai : Gallery
  • Manipur Sports University in UP ?
  • Coloniality of the Postcolonial
  • Yellow leaves in the autumn :: Poem
  • Prof N Irabanta-distinguished academician
  • Leadership matters
  • Artificial turf for budding talents
  • 2 municipal bodies in NE awarded
  • Who is Arambam Somorendra ?
  • Manglandasu Nang - OST :: e-pao Radio
  • Shirock 2018 - Shirui Lily Fest #3 : Gallery
  • Linthoi's "The Tales of Kanglei Throne" #2
  • Grass root challenge- Education in hills
  • Earth does not belong to us...
  • Sita Mata as test-tube baby
  • What happen to VIP Culture Mr. CM
  • Merchants of education
  • Laitonjam Rajnikanta : Profile
  • A blessing to see :: Poem
  • Sovereignty Struggles in Northeast #4
  • Difference between Hinduism & Hindutva
  • How to choose the perfect fragrance
  • Iftaar party at Lilong
  • Bitter truth of Manipuri society
  • MU, NSU, IGNTU : Students at the centre
  • Amuktang-Ga Haikho #1 : eRang
  • Sangai Veterans' Football #2 : Gallery
  • Pony : A Cavalry Horse Par Excellence #2
  • Issues that keep Manipur burning
  • Cry of a Dying River - 32 :: Poem
  • CM & AR interaction with villagers
  • Certification of PMKVY trainees of Hojai
  • Christian appeals for Peace in Shillong
  • How safe are our women?
  • Riders put up by JAC for talk
  • Khangkhui Cave in Ukhrul #3 : Gallery
  • Pluralism, Democracy & Ethnic Relation #2
  • Irom Sharmila meets with Mehbooba Mufti
  • JRF @ Mizoram University (Biotechnology)
  • Tobacco and heart disease
  • Understanding SOWA - RIGPA #2
  • Campaign "to End Child Sexual Abuse"
  • Implementation of 7th Pay
  • Indigenous street vendor sing gi wafam
  • The crumbling Manipur University
  • Kang Tournament @ Yaiskul : Gallery
  • Zeliangrong orphaned by Nationalism #1
  • A rainy night :: Poem
  • HSLC Exam is the start! What next?
  • 1528 cases of fake encounter
  • Linthoi's "The Tales of Kanglei Throne" #1
  • Handloom Weaver @Bishnupur : Gallery
  • Shirock 2018 - Shirui Lily Fest #2 : Gallery
  • Hinduism in Manipur : Political Perspective
  • All the World and his Wife :: Poem
  • Tribal Cultural Festival #1 : Gallery
  • Women in CCpur turn to self-help groups
  • Purul Paoki Wrestling : Gallery
  • Sangai Veterans' Football #1 : Gallery
  • Khangminashi IV (Lecture) : Report
  • Seminar at MU - Hinduism in Manipur'
  • Evolution of The Meetei State
  • Heartbreak at Ukhrul: Unfolding Shirock
  • State Level Khurpui-Lam Festival: Gallery
  • June Calendar for Year 2018 :: Tools
  • School Girls Basketball #2 : Gallery
  • Where is Manipur....???
  • 'Manipur' in Google maps : Gallery
  • The Killing Fields - 2013-18 : News Timeline
  • Mama Poktabi :: Funga Wari
  • Veterans Football Tournament #2 : Gallery
  • Shirock 2018 - Shirui Lily Fest #1 : Gallery
  • Sougrakpam Vijaya makes history sailing...
  • Arunachali unfurled Salai Taret at Mt Everest
  • Panthoiba: 2nd Rank- class XII, Uttarkhand
  • Ras Leela @JNMDA Day : Gallery
  • HSLC 208 Exam Toppers : Gallery
  • HSLC 2018 :: Toppers Listing
  • HSLC 2018 :: Check Result
  • HSLC :: Statistical/Subject Topper
  • HSLC 2018 :: External
  • Poumai Purul Hiimai Paoki #2 : Gallery
  • Kakching Garden :: 360 Panorama View
  • Folk Dance Festival #5 : Gallery
  • Aerial view from Chingmeirong : Gallery
  • Curtain Raising- Sangai Fest 2017: Gallery
  • Lainingthou Lai Lam thopka #2 : Gallery
  • Re-visiting Khangkhui caves in Ukhrul
  • Gardening @Ema Keithel #2: Gallery
  • Front Page Photo 2018 #2: Gallery
  • Pakhangba Cheng Hongba #2 : Gallery
  • Steelheart @ Shirock , Ukhrul #3 : Gallery
  • A. Halim Chowdhury: A Profile
  • Class XII Exam Toppers : Gallery
  • Class XII Result : Science Toppers
  • Class XII Result : Arts Toppers
  • Class XII Result : Commerce Toppers
  • HSE Result 2018 : District Wise
  • HSE Result 2018 : Highest Marks
  • HSE Result 2018 : Science Stream
  • HSE Result 2018 : Arts Stream
  • HSE Result 2018 : Commerce Stream
  • Temples of Manipur : Gallery
  • Recipients of Akademi Awards for 2014
  • Old Manipuri Movie #1 :: eRang Classic
  • SPONSORED ADS