Tourism in forest areas of Western Ghats

Commissioned by the Western Ghats Expert Ecology Panel (WGEEP) of the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India , this paper attempts a rapid assessment of the impact of tourism growth in the Western Ghats. The paper is based on substantive secondary research , by EQUATIONS as well as other academicians and organisations. It also has a set of case studies demonstrative how unregulated tourism has led to significant environmental, social and cultural damage in the ecologically fragile Western Ghats region – one of the 34 biodiversity hotspots of the world.  The three main sections of the paper are one on the trends in tourism development, the legal and policy regime that is flouted more than followed, and case studies. This is followed by a series of recommendations for sustainable tourism in the region.

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