Community involvement in ecotourism in Madhya Pradesh

This note is in response to a request from Madhya Pradesh Ecotourism Development Board (MPEDB), on envisaging the role of communities in ecotourism. Using six case studies, the possible role of communities across the spectrum of different levels of community involvement are highlighted along with their positive and negative impacts. A brief analysis of Madhya Pradesh’s Draft Ecotourism Policy shows that while the Policy acknowledges that communities
should be involved in ecotourism, there has been very little thought given to the modalities of making this happen. In the section of ‘Recommendations’, focus is on the challenges that ecotourism places on communities’ social structures as well as those working towards the inclusion of them. The other areas that are looked at are ecotourism vis-à-vis income generation and conservation. The issue of benefit sharing in a Public Private Partnership (PPP) model are also discussed. The note ends with what EQUATIONS would like to see included in the kind of PPP framework that Madhya Pradesh is working on for ecotourism.

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