There’s a type of travel industry which defines itself as different: ecologically minded, even “responsible.” It’s a type of travel meant to support the conservation of threatened ecosystems. This is not just tourism, but “ecotourism.”
This specific brand of tourism is a crucial part of the plan to conserve the Great Himalayan National Park in northern India, a gorgeous patchwork of forests, glaciers, mountains, and rare wildlife.
From one perspective, the strategy is working: tourism is on the rise, which provides jobs to locals and incentivizes conservation.
But from another perspective, the very thing meant to help conserve the area might also be one of its biggest threats.
In our last episode, journalist Yardain Amron reported on the conservation strategy -- and the controversy -- around the creation of the GHNP in the 1980’s and ‘90s.
Here, Yardain turns to 21st century ecotourism, and explores just how much the Tirthan Valley of India is changing. Who profits from tourism based on exploring wilderness? And just how eco-friendly is ecotourism?
Featuring Raju Bharti, Karan Bharti, Dimple Kamra, Upi Kamra, Rosaleen Duffy, Stephan Marchal, Robert Fletcher, Narottam Singh, and a traveler named Nishant.
Translation by Vibha Kumar.
To learn more about this approach to conservation, check out our episode on the origins of Yellowstone National Park, “Fortress Conservation.”
Dorceta Taylor, “The Rise of the American Conservation Movement.”
Bram Buscher and Robert Fletcher, “The Conservation Revolution.”
Host: Justine Paradis
Reported and produced by Yardain Amron
Edited by Taylor Quimby with help from Justine Paradis
Executive Producer: Rebecca Lavoie
Mixed by Yardain Amron and Taylor Quimby
Additional Editing: Felix Poon and Jessica Hunt
Special thanks to: Guman Singh, Tony Gaston, and Hema Marchal.
Theme: Breakmaster Cylinder
Additional Music by Blue Dot Sessions
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