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Eco-responsibilities and conservation

 

India is home to over a billion people, one sixth of the entire human population, on only 2.2% of the earth’s total landmass and we are constantly reminded of the overwhelming pressures of maintaining India's natural habitats and species diversity in this circumstance, particularly as economic expansion drives habitat destruction, deforestation, construction, traffic and pollution.

 

Any form of tourism contributes to the environmental pressures, bringing with it a host of unwelcome, often unforeseen impacts, however there is a growing recognition that ecologically sensitive wildlife travel has the potential to effect enormous change by empowering rural communities, reducing dependence on forest produce, contributing to the welfare of the natural environment and fostering awareness among travellers.  

 

India Nature operates with a sense of responsibility towards the long term future of India's natural heritage by minimising the environmental impacts of our operations.  We also support charitable organisations and projects working towards the conservation of habitats and biodiversity to help conserve the birds and wildlife that are the focus of our tours - some of our tours support specific organisations working within the tour region.

 

 

Support for Conservation

 

WildSounds Commission for Conservation Programme

Purchase your bird and wildlife reference guides online to help us raise funds for BirdLife International

 

India Nature is a participant in the WildSounds Commossion for Conservation Programme.  WildSounds is a UK-based international supplier of wildlife books, audio & multimedia guides, and field recording equipment.  They will donate 5% from book and DVD sales, and 3% from the sale of electronic equipment to our nominated charity, BirdLife International, for all online purchases made via the link on this website.  

Please use the link below to visit WildSounds and purchase your field guides, sound guides, DVD's, eGuides etc. and a valuable contribution will be made to a charity with active conservation projects in India.  BirdLife International is involved in projects that focus on threatened and little-known species, such as Forest Owlet and Great Indian Bustard, as well as those addressing the drastic decline in Gyps vulture populations, through their partner in India, the Bombay Natural History Society.  Please note that donations apply only when the WildSounds website is accessed through the link below.  

   

Click here to begin shopping at WildSounds >>

Visit the BirdLife International website to read more about the Asian Vulture Crisis here >>

  

  

Our eco-responsibilities 

 

Environmental considerations in our office practices 

We print only a limited amount of brochures, and instead prefer to rely on our website, email newsletters, and personal recommendations for communication, information distribution and promotion, minimising paper and plastic (lamination) waste.  This also means that we do not have large stationary expenses that we would otherwise need to recover by raising our tour prices.  Any stationary or publicity material we do produce is printed wherever possible on recycled paper or material procured from sustainable resources. 

 

Minimising our tour footprint 

Our small group sizes minimise environmental disturbance, in addition to which we maintain appropriate distances when observing wildlife, and will never intentionally intrude on any bird or animal or obstruct its natural movements.  Our guides actively discourage unnecessary disturbance to all forms of wildlife, in particular the over-use of tape-lures for birds, harassment of mammals during jeep drives, and encroaching on highly sensitive marine/riverine mammals which are susceptible to injury from vessel propellers.

Whilst we appreciate the desire to see certain target species or number of species we will not chase a list - nevertheless our sightings are consistently impressive in terms of both key species and species numbers.  The field expertise of our guides, together with our carefully planned itineraries, allow us to consistently show our guests a high proportion of the key species of our tours, however we do not guarantee sightings of any species, since this generates a misunderstanding of the status of some of India’s most sought-after yet threatened inhabitants.

 

Encouraging conservation among host communities

In a largely agrarian country such as India, where large numbers of people rely on their crops, livestock, and forest produce, balancing the needs of protected areas with those of such marginalised communities poses severe challenges to conservation.  Rural communities are often asked to make changes to their traditional livelihoods to ensure the success of conservation projects, yet it is often the case that they are excluded from accrued benefits, such as the economic inputs of increasing eco tourism.  Providing members of host communities with employment opportunities engenders an association between the preservation of wildlife and financial security, strengthening the cause onf conservation through economic incentive.  We prefer small, locally owned lodges, staffed by members of local communities, and employ the services of local guides to maximise the financial benefits. This also allows the development of specialised knowledge and skills through experience and interaction, and encourages mutual respect between travellers and local communities.

 

Raising awareness among tour participants

We provide all tour participants with simple guidelines on appropriate environmental practices and local etiquette to adopt during their tour, while our guides will actively highlight any conservation issues relating to the wildlife encountered to raise awareness of the complexity of conservation in India.

 

Carbon neutral

We are working towards making all of our scheduled departure tours carbon neutral through donations to carbon sequestration companies, to offset our carbon emissions and neutralise our contribution to climate change.  Where possible such donations will be routed through active projects in India, making this particularly relevant to us.  We encourage our tour participants to make a donation to offset the carbon emissions of their international flights through the World Land Trust or carbonfund.org