“A culture to learn a lot from”: Community based Eco-tourism initiatives – North East India

A small tribe in Arunachal Pradesh located in a small valley has been able to defeat modern technological advancements in terms of environment conservation. The Apatanis from Ziro have a unique lifestyle that focuses on living in harmony with nature. This post will take you to their homes and give you a glimpse into their lives that are simple, peaceful and rare to find in the present era. 

Ziro is a small picturesque valley tucked away in the lower Subansiri district of Arunachal Pradesh. Somewhat off the popular tourist path of Tawang, this little valley and its people have much to offer to those seeking beautiful unexplored regions in our country and a culture to learn a lot from. […]

Source: “A Small Tribe In Arunachal Pradesh Is Showing How Man And Nature Can Co-exist In Perfect Harmony” by Richa Gupta (The Better India 6 June 2014)
Address: http://www.thebetterindia.com/11268/apatani-ziro-arunachal-pradesh-tribe-environement-friendly-nature-harmony/
Date Visited: Tue Aug 09 2016 13:08:38 GMT+0200 (CEST)

Namrata Goswami, The Hindu, Opinion, May 16, 2015
I grew up in a small town called Haflong in Dima Hasao District (formerly called North Cachar hills) in Assam, amid the regal Barail ranges. These mountains housed ethnically diverse peoples from the Dimasas and Jemes to the Hmars, Bengalis, Kukis and Nepalis. Haflong was a sleepy hollow, peaceful and tranquil, in the 1980s and early 1990s, but the later years were not kind to this small hill town. […]
What is therefore required is an efficient project with local handicrafts and weaving housed in the same building for wider impact. Local people told us that they are in favour of community tourism — where outsiders come to Majuli and stay with a community in order to absorb better the local traditions and warm hospitality. […]
Community tourism can assist people who are in dire need of resources. However, this imagination has to be generated and supported by the States which are best equipped to understand local realities. To establish conditions for development and peace, we will have to start locally, today.

Source: Why the Act East policy must include local actors – The Hindu
Address: https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/why-the-act-east-policy-must-include-local-actors/article7211088.ece
Date Visited: Tue Aug 09 2016 12:53:46 GMT+0200 (CEST)

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Greener Pastures
Community based Eco-tourism initiative
The island of Majuli, situated right in the middle of the mighty Brahmaputra River, is not only the largest inhabited river island of the world, but is also a treasure trove of ancient Assamese culture, tribal people and bird diversity. […] To promote and protect this island, and to help the tribal communities living on the island, Greener Pastures is extensively involved in supporting homestay initiatives of the local [“Mishing” or “Missing”] people.  | Learn more >>
Mawlynnong, a village of the Khasi Tribe, is situated amidst virgin forests in the Meghalaya Platueau. The village is regarded as the cleanest village in Asia. […] The income generated [from eco-tourism] is used to sustain the cleaning methods of the village, and in forestation. But more than the money, tourism has acted as a source of inspiration for the villagers, giving them a certain pride, and motivating them towards methods of conservation. | Learn more >>
We, at Greener Pastures strive to bring these little or unknown places to our travelers. […] Promoting community development by organizing various workshops, clinics etc. You as a traveler can look forward to staying with the various tribal communities and learn about them, and in-turn spread awareness amongst them. […] Empowering the local youths by providing them employment in the tourism sector, and making them aware of the rich culture and heritage they belong to. […] Amidst the beauty of the region, there is a silent danger of poaching of both wildlife and flora. It is our aim at Greener Pastures to raise a voice against these environmental crimes.

Promote local arts and crafts
The many tribes and cultures of the region, all of them have their own intricate style of arts and crafts. We want to showcase and advertize these rare commodities, so that they can be preserved before they become extinct. In return, such a practise also helps in local communities find an alternative and sustainable source of income.

Assist social citizens
Greener Pastures will provide ground assistance to various environmentalists (NGO’s, Filmmakers, Photographers etc), so that they can easily come to the region and set base.

Promote responsible tourism
Promote tourism industry, so that an alternative source of income can be provided, and at the same time bring an end to the consumption of various resources of the region for monetary benefits.

Source: Greener Pastures | North-East India Travel And Conservation
Address: http://www.thegreenerpastures.com/Our%20Aims
Date Visited: Tue Aug 09 2016 12:25:23 GMT+0200 (CEST)

EQUATIONS envisions a just and equitable world, where all people have the freedom and the right to determine their lives and future. | Learn more on the Equations website | Equations blog >>

We envision forms of tourism which are non-exploitative, where decision making is democratised, and access to and benefits of tourism are equitably distributed. EQUATIONS believes in the capacity of individuals and communities to actualise their potential for the well-being of society. We work toward justice, equity, people centred and movement centred activism, democratisation and dialogue.

Everyday we hear that tourism brings economic development, it creates jobs and revenues. But who really benefits from it? The local community, the village elite, or the owner?

There’s been an exponential increase in tourism in India over the last several decades, fueled by the growing economy and disposable incomes. The tourism industry in India has expanded wildly in an unregulated fashion with no regard for environmental, social and cultural impacts.

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Explore India’s tribal cultural heritage with the help of another interactive map >>

“The uniqueness of northeast states of India lies in their cultures” | Learn more >>

In Marginalised but not Defeated, Tarun Kanti Bose (a seasoned public interest journalist) “talks about the Khasis, Nagas, Karbis, Garos, Rabhas, Misings, Daflas, Bodos, Akas and others in the North-east. […] The mainstream development paradigm is being questioned and new rainbows of collective, community reassertions are happening across the tribal belt in India. More so, in most cases, led by brave, empowered and resilient women.” | Learn more: https://countercurrents.org/2023/05/book-review-marginalised-but-not-defeated >>

Up-to-date information about this region’s cultural heritage

Combine the name of any state with that of a particular community, its language and your own field of interest: “Arunachala weaving”, “Manipur tattoo”, “Meghalaya craft”, “Assam poetry”, “Nagaland singer”, “Sikkim biodiversity”, “Mizoram education”, “Sikkim music”, “Tripura dance” etc.