ONGOING ACTIVITIES

CENTRE FOR TOURISM, CULTURE AND ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH

Another significant programme of the organisation is to establish an integrated centre for learning in the Western Ghats region which will focus on responsible and eco-cultural tourism linking cultural studies and environmental research to conserve and promote fast disappearing cultural and natural heritage. The project also focuses on enriching socio-economic structure of the community and strengthening ecological security by involving them in sustainable development programmes.

 

Awareness & Education :

To involve the community, it is essential to inform them about the proposed centre and its activities and more importantly the role of the community. Thus awareness workshops and sessions were carried out over the last three years. The detailed plan of the project and related activities will be presented to the community through focused group discussions and similar sessions. The role of the community and the need to protect our eco-cultural heritage is being stressed upon.

Field Research:

To understand the requirement of the community, the region and its ecology, it is essential to carry out field survey and studies to understand ground status and in turn develop appropriate field based activities. Restoration of marine ecosystem, prevention of soil erosion and sustainable livelihood practices are the key factors determining the project and hence field based research is being carried out. The intricate link between environment and culture is highlighted to the community to motivate them to continue their traditional practices and customs.

Eco-Restoration:

Key activities such as: organizing cultural and ecological studies and programmes through academic/study tourism; capacity building and improving skills of local communities in specific areas such as handicraft, traditional medicine, folk art, local cuisine and various indigenous skills/practices that are fast disappearing; set-up information centres for international and domestic tourists to guide them to places of significance; set-up knowledge centres for the community. The centre will also host conferences, seminars, workshops at regional, national and international levels so as to exchange ideas, share knowledge, build partnerships and create a larger network of organisations, individuals, experts and others towards a sustainable future. In addition marine ecosystem conservation programmes such as bio-shielding, mangrove ecosystem restoration, etc., are being undertaken involving the community in respective regions.

Communication Package:

To replicate the aforesaid project and its activities, it is very important to define the objectives, methodology, scope and execution of project activities. This will be appropriately designed and developed in the form of project guide-books, video films, coffee table books, brochure and other interesting resource formats. The communication material will be in English and Kannada so as to reach out to a larger audience.