Being a nature lover and a hill person I am enthralled by our beautiful mountain range, “The Himalayas”. When I think about Himalaya, ancient history and highest mountain peaks hit my mind. This mountain range always has something to tell and something great to share about. Himalaya has been the essence of our country by asset of traditions, ethical, monetary and environmental values. I feel that it has not been guarding our border areas only but constantly serving its human by enriching resources, soil, water and air quality.
I feel deeply sad when I see that importance of Himalaya have always been underestimated for its integral role in the overall development of the Nation. It has been deteriorated and has reached the level where status of forest, water, soil, air has become alarmingly bleak. We all should understand that life cannot sustain without natural resources and Himalaya is the major giver of the same.
Towards Sustainable Livelihood
I think Himalayas have immense capacity to create sustainable livelihood opportunities for the indigenous rural people. Himalayan Communities have always been largely self- reliant and nature dependent. They have evolved and drawn their livelihoods from agriculture and animal husbandry.
Developing Eco- Tourism: Tourism has been accepted as one of the most promising alternative livelihood strategies for mountain people across the world for adapting to changes by diversifying local livelihood options and building on the comparative advantages of the region. In some isolated and inaccessible mountain areas it may be the only feasible option for development.
As a livelihood diversification strategy, tourism is a promising adaptation mechanism for mountain environments, increasing the resilience of mountain people to climate change and other drivers of change. At the same time, the relationship between tourism and climate change is complex and multifaceted
The considerable growth of tourism activities worldwide clearly makes tourism one of the most noteworthy economic and social phenomena of the past century. According to me Eco- tourism is a big opportunity to raise economy and developmental activities in the Himalayan region.
Hills and Peaks are important possessions for the tourism business. With their clean air and cool climates, inspiring landscapes, and rich natural and cultural inheritance, mountains are attractive places of escape from our stressful, urban lifestyles.
Mountain Tourism Activities:
- Wildlife viewing
- Marketing indigenous goods and art
- Ayurveda of Himalayas
Mountain Tourism for sustainable mountain development- The need to tackle mountain concerns and the impending contribution of tourism to mountain communities is being increasingly recognized. “Agenda 21 of the UN Conference on Environment and development (UNCED) stated that the fate of mountains may affect more than half of the world’s population and acknowledged mountain tourism as an important component in sustainable mountain development and conservation (UNDESA 1992)”.
Even though experiences of pro-poor mount tourism development schemes in the Himalayas have confirmed that mountain tourism – if well planned and managed – is one of the more successful tools in integrated management and development planning in the region, its full potential for poverty reduction and the improvement of the mountain environment has not yet been utilized.