MAY 2017  

Ecotourism has been broadly defined as tourism that is ecologically sustainable and environmentally responsible. The Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, has a specific plan to promote tourism in the country in a responsible and sustainable manner and as per this mandate—promotion of ecotourism assumes superior importance. The concept of ecological sustainability subsumes environmental carrying capacity of a given area.  The local community should be involved leading to the overall economic development of the area. The likely conflicts between resource use for ecotourism and the livelihood of local inhabitants should be identified and attempts made should be to minimize the same. The type and scale of ecotourism development should be compatible with the environment and sociocultural characteristics of the local community, and it should be planned as a part of the overall area development strategy.

This month, our cover story on 'Facilitating Ecotourism in Himachal Pradesh' explores a few important facets of ecotourism in Himachal Pradesh. The majestic Himalayan mountains in the state are famous for their beauty and serenity with exotic and rare varieties of flora and fauna, and innumerable trekking routes and trails in the midst of its dense forests. Therefore, without an iota of doubt, there is a lot of scope for development of ecotourism in the state. It is perhaps this realization that the state government revised its ecotourism policy in May 2016 with the objective to make this Himalayan state a leading ecotourism destination in India. But, before that the creation of Himachal Pradesh Ecotourism Society (HP ECOSOC) in 2006, was the first effective major step to promote ecotourism in the state. Apart from projecting the untouched natural beauty of the state, the mandate of HP ECOSOC was to encourage ecologically sustainable and financially viable ecotourism that is beneficial to the local community in terms of livelihood and income generation opportunities.

Our cover story also highlights a few challenges in this regard. The most formidable challenge is the provision of basic infrastructure for new sites that are to be developed as ecotourism projects. Another major one is connectivity and transport. While popular hill stations of Himachal Pradesh are well connected; there is a need to improve the condition of roads and transport, and the existing infrastructure.  Another challenge is providing water and electricity for the running of the eco camps.

The special report this month raises an important issue regarding equitable distribution of energy and water to the Himalayan communities. The Himalayan rivers are a reservoir of energy and water supply to the major Indian cities. Unfortunately, the Himalayan states where dams are located are hardly considered in the plans for the consistent supply of water and energy. Hence, these states must be taken into consideration wisely and justifiably for an inclusive development to combat climate change, poverty eradication, prevent migration, entrepreneurship development, and livelihood options.

Ajay Mathur, Director-General, TERI

© TERI 2017

Nominations open for CSP Today India awards 2013

The inaugural CSP Today India awards ceremony takes place on March 12, and CSP developers, EPCs, suppliers and technology providers can now be nominated.

CSP has made tremendous progress since the announcement of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission in 2010. With Phase I projects now drawing closer to completion, the first milestone in India's CSP learning curve is drawing closer. CSP Today has chosen the next CSP Today India conference (12-13 March, New Delhi) as the time for the industry to reflect upon its progress and celebrate its first achievements.

At the awards ceremony, industry leaders will be recognized for their achievements in one of 4 categories: CSP India Developer Award, CSP India Engineering Performance Award, CSP India Technology and Supplier Award, and the prestigious CSP India Personality of the Year.

Matt Carr, Global Events Director at CSP Today, said at the opening of nominations that CSP Today are excited to launch these esteemed awards, which will enhance the reputation of their recipients. I am particularly excited to launch the CSP India Personality of the Year award, a distinguished honor for the industry figure deemed worthy by their peers.

All eyes will be on the CSP Today India 2013 Awards when nomination entry closes on February 4 and the finalists are announced on February 11. The awards are open to all industry stakeholders to nominate until February 4 at or by e-mail to

Matt Carr
+44 (0) 20 7375 7248