Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Should people be controlling habit or should habit be controlling the people?

What does enjoyment mean?
Here are few definitions..
1. (noun) enjoyment
the pleasure felt when having a good time

2. (noun) enjoyment, delectation
act of receiving pleasure from something

All of you might be wondering why is this guy writing definitions , there is a reason for it.

As many in this community know, I have been involved in nature activities like trekking/Camping/Water sports for the past several years,in the recent past we have formed a group called "The Sharavahi nature Trail...", which consists mainly local tribal people. This organization is a registered non-profit TRUST. The idea behind forming this kind of organization is to

  • Provide rural employment and there by contributing to rural economy in a small way.
  • Educate urban populace about nature conservation.
  • Creating awareness of simple and natural lifestyle among urban populace.
  • Work with forest department on the various conservation activities.

Above points are the few among many things planned by this organization for the good of our society. To take up all these activities and for the organization survival, as you all aware, resource mobilisation is very important. For this purpose we have started conducting variuos nature activities like Trekking, nature camping and Water sports etc., for the true nature lovers.

As a rule we want to stricly adhere to ecotourism criteria.

According to the definition and principles of ecotourism established by The International Ecotourism Society (TIES) in 1990, ecotourism is "Responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people." (TIES, 1990). Those who implement and participate in ecotourism activities should follow the following ecotourism principles:

  • Minimize impact
  • Build environmental and cultural awareness and respect
  • Provide positive experiences for both visitors and hosts
  • Provide financial benefits and empowerment for local people
  • Raise sensitivity to host countries' political, environmental, and social climate
Ideally, ecotourism should satisfy several criteria[2][3], such as:
  • Conservation of biological diversity and cultural diversity through ecosystem protection
  • Promotion of sustainable use of biodiversity, by providing jobs to local populations
  • Sharing of socio-economic benefits with local communities and indigenous peoples by having their informed consent and participation in the management of ecotourism enterprises
  • tourism to unspoiled natural resources, with minimal impact on the environment being a primary concern.
  • Minimization of tourism's own environmental impact
  • Affordability and lack of waste in the form of luxury
  • Local culture, flora and fauna being the main attractions

The concept of ecotourism is widely misunderstood and in practice is often used as a marketing tool to promote tourism, which is related to nature. This is an especially frequent malpractice in the realm of Jungle tourism. Critics claim that these greenwashing practices, carried out in the name of ecotourism, often consist of placing a hotel in a splendid landscape, to the detriment of the ecosystem. According to them, ecotourism must above all sensitize people to the beauty and the fragility of nature. They condemn some operators as greenwashing their operations: using the labels of "green" and "eco-friendly", while behaving in environmentally irresponsible ways.

We want to be different and we want to be very responsible. As one of the point in ecotourism says "minimize impact"....We want to minimise as much as we can as we can not claim zero impact on environment.

For this purpose we have some rules, which are not negotiable, like

  • We follow the 'leave no trace' & 'zero impact camping' practice; do not litter on the trail, please carry back all the material garbage you generate on the program.ESPECIALLY PLASTIC WASTE SHOULD NOT BE THROWN AT ANY COST.
  • The locals, animals, birds have the right of 'way' and 'say' in our programs. We wish to respect their dignity to the fullest extent possible.
  • We discourage people shouting/screaming with loud noise as these things irritates calm nature locals.

But in recent past our organization have come across people who see these rules with great contempt. They pretend like adhering to these rules till they come for the program. Once they are in they start doing things in a cover...!!!.
It has been a painfull experience to us... especially Smoking is concerned.

Should people be controlling habits or should habits be controlling the people? I am confused.

What do you people say about this problem?

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