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Promoting responsible tourism to develop climate resilient tourism industry

Tanguar Haor, Bangalvita, Sunamganj, Bangladesh Photo: © Mehedi Hasan

 

Project Title: Promoting responsible tourism to develop climate resilient tourism industry in Bangladesh

Location: Tanguar Haor, Sunamganj District, Sylhet Division

Project Duration: 2016 – 2017

Project Background: Tourism is one of the most rapidly developing industries in Bangladesh. However, it is also a source of increasing stress on the country's fragile ecosystems. The social, economic and environmental impacts of tourism are massive and often very complex. Short-term gains sometimes take over long-term environmental considerations, for example conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. Impacts of climate change and climate variability add another layer of stress and uncertainty to tourism ventures as well as the ecosystems. Development of responsible and sustainable tourism can help reduce the pace of natural resources degradation and extinction of species due to the changing climate. Therefore, sustainable tourism development and ecologically smart business initiatives, which can increase the value of biodiversity for local communities, and contribute to the overall conservation effort.

The objective of the Ministry of Civil Aviation and Tourism, Government of Bangladesh, is to make Bangladesh an attractive tourism destination for both domestic as well as international tourists. Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation (BPC) has started a number of initiatives to fulfil this goal. IUCN Bangladesh has also been assisting its Members and partners with biodiversity conservation and social development since its establishment in the country. IUCN Bangladesh recently established the ‘community-based tourism’ in the Tanguar Haor wetland area (a Ramsar site) as one of the ways for sustainable management of wetland resources.

In this context, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between BPC and IUCN on 9 May 2016 providing a framework to cooperate and collaborate to avoid duplication of efforts and assure that the resources available to each institution for activities in the areas of their mutual interest are used for mutual advantage. In order to fulfill the importance of biodiversity in responsible tourism, Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation and IUCN Bangladesh have jointly taken an initiative ‘to develop climate-resilient tourism industry in Bangladesh’ as its overarching goal.

Objectives of the project:

  1. To support climate change adaptation and mitigation in tourism sector
  2. To develop sustainable livelihoods and uplift socio-economic condition of local people  by engaging them in tourism activities and participatory governance
  3. Biodiversity conservation through developing eco-friendly tourism facilities​

Expected Outputs:

  1. Ensuring wise use of natural resources with the development of tourism in Tanguar Haor area
  2. Improve socio-economic status of the haor people through alternative income generating activities, involving in different eco-tourism activities and by establishing value adding mechanism of different products
  3. Develop eco-friendly facilities for responsible tourism through biodiversity conservation​

Donor: Bangladesh Climate Change Trust (BCCT)

Partners: Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation, Ministry of Civil Aviation and Tourism, Government of Bangladesh.

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