KEY LEARNINGS FROM KAS CONSULTATION Dr. Aparna Watve*
Some of the key learnings to be considered for the management of ecologically sensitive areas with
tourism potential such as Kas.
Some of the key learnings to be considered for the management of ecologically sensitive areas with tourism potential such as Kas.
Creating a representative group which provides expertise on biodiversity, socio-economic, recreation, administrative and legal issues to aid in management of the ecologically sensitive areas
Capacity building of Forest department staff to deal with conservation of ecologically sensitive areas and special habitats
Study of tourism in ecologically sensitive areas to identify carrying capacity of each site, to decide if tourism should be allowed in the area in future.
Linking the tourism to direct conservation action at the same time minimizing impacts on the ecosystem
Educating media regarding advertising of ecologically sensitive areas
Citizen awareness and ethical guidelines for tourists visiting ecologically sensitive areas
Modifying ecotourism guidelines of the Maharashtra state to include special concerns of ecologically sensitive areas
Categorization of tourism based on the scale of impact on natural ecosystems and of the sites to correspond with the tourism categories.
Rigorous scientific monitoring of the impacts of tourism and mid-course corrections as and when required
Scientific assessment of habitat, tourism, management and recreation plans should be
carried out well in advance, before initiating irreversible actions.
The key learnings abovearebased on qualitative observations on ecotourism in ecologically
sensitive areas of Maharashtra, and refined by observations from across India and world.
*Project Co-ordinator, Biome Conservation Foundation, Pune. Networking and information support for conservation of rocky
plateaus in the Sahyadri-Konkan corridor”(CEPF-ATREE WGhats initiative) Author is also drafting a course of corrective
measures for Panchgani tableland rocky plateau previously similar to Kas in biological richness, as required by High Court.
It provides anoverview of long-term effects of unorganized tourism in ecologically sensitive areas and natural heritage site.