West Bengal Ecotourism Advisory Board

Ecotourism is defined as leisure travel that provides tourists with an educational and adventurous experience visiting complex and fascinating ecosystems and their associated cultures and traditions.

About Us

Ecotourism is defined as leisure travel that provides tourists with an educational and adventurous experience visiting complex and fascinating ecosystems and their associated cultures and traditions. The concept of ecotourism began in the late 1980's and increased in popularity in 2002 during the United Nations "International Year of Ecotourism." According to environmental and other organizations, ecotourism should have a minimal impact on both the environment and the culture. Ecotourism should inform tourists about what's needed to sustain the environment they're visiting, and should also help local populations understand the importance and value of their home. Ecotourism can also help foster a sense of environmental stewardship by encouraging travelers to be mindful of wasting resources and polluting the environment. Ecotourism can also help local economies by generating revenue and jobs, which further encourages the local population to preserve its environment.
A good ecotourism operation will strive to support the community and encourage travelers to be culturally sensitive by training and employing local people and by purchasing local supplies and services to further stimulate the economy.


The education and good practices taught by ecotourism may also help foster sustainable development in a world increasingly faced by destructive practices such as clear-cutting forests and poor land-use policies that destroy habitats.
With time, the standards for good ecotourism will be established and both travelers and the industry will be aware of what constitutes an ecologically and culturally sensitive operation.
In view to promote tourism along with conservation of environment throughout the State of West Bengal, an Ecotourism Task Force was constituted with the mandate of clearly identifying the scope and objectives of ecotourism in West Bengal, mechanism for the systematic development of ecotourism in the State, setting out the nature and extent of interdepartmental synergy required for this purpose and preparing of an action plan/ roadmap for the development of ecotourism in the State.

Subsequently to promote tourism along with conservation of environment throughout the state of West Bengal the West Bengal Ecotourism Advisory Board was notified on the 4th of June, 2015.

Organization

The "WEST BENGAL ECOTOURISM ADVISORY BOARD" comprises of a General Body and an Executive Committee.

The General Body comprises of the following:
1. Hon'ble Chief Minister Chairperson.
2. Chief Secretary Ex-officio Vice-Chairperson
3. ACS/Principal Secretary, Department of Urban Development Member
4. ACS/Principal Secretary, Department of Forest. Member
5. ACS/Principal Secretary, Department of Tourism Member
6. ACS/Principal Secretary, Department of Fisheries Member
7. ACS/Principal Secretary, Department of Irrigation Member
8. ACS/Principal Secretary, Department of Panchayat & Rural Development Member
9. ACS/Principal Secretary, Finance Department Member
10. ACS/Principal Secretary, Department of Environment Member
11. ACS/Principal Secretary, Department of Land & Land Reforms Member
12. Principal Chief Conservator of Forests & Head of Forest Force, West Bengal. Member
13. Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Wildlife, West Bengal. Member
14. Shri Atanu Kumar Raha, Expert Member
15. Shri Ujjwal Kumar Bhattacharya, Expert Member
16. Shri Raju Das, IFS, Chief Conservator of Forests Member Secretary

The Executive Committee comprises of the following:

1. Chief Secretary to the Government of West Bengal - Chairman
2. Principal Secretary, Forest Department - Member
3. Principal Secretary, Tourism Department - Member
4. Dr. A.K.Raha, IFS (Retd.), Expert - Member
5. Shri. Ujjwal Bhattacharya, IFS (Retd.), Expert - Member
6. Shri. Raju Das, IFS - Chief Executive Officer
Ecotourism Zone

Coastal Zone

Costal Zones will comprise ecotourism in areas along seacoasts. Goverment of West Bengal vid Gazetted Notification Registered No. WB/SC-247 No. WB(Part-1)/2015/SAR-426 dated 4th September, 2015 desired that special emphasis on Tajpur and Udaipur.

Wetland Zone

Wetland Zones will comprise ecotourism in areas along coasts of notified Wetlands and within 500 meters of the perpendicular distance from the coasts of such bodies. Goverment of West Bengal vid Gazetted Notification Registered No. WB/SC-247 No. WB(Part-1)/2015/SAR-426 dated 4th September, 2015 desired that special emphasis on the East Kolkata Wetland.

Lake & Reservoir

Lake & Reservoir Zones will comprise ecotourism in areas where the maximum and minimum perpendicular distance from the coasts of such projects will have to be decided by the Ecotourism Board. The Ecotourism Board shall identify such Lakes and Reservoirs in consultation with the Custodian of the area. Goverment of West Bengal vid Gazetted Notification Registered No. WB/SC-247 No. WB(Part-1)/2015/SAR-426 dated 4th September, 2015 desired that special emphasis on Gojoldoba, Mukutmanipur, Central Park and Subash Sarabor.

Tea Tourism

Tea Tourism Zones will comprise ecotourism in and around the tea gardens in North Bengal. These have tremendous potential for development of tourism by utilizing the existing infrastructure created for accommodation in the tea gardens/estates. Moreover, many tea gardens have surplus unutilized lands, which are not fit for tea cultivation. To facilitate development of tourism in these areas, it may be necessary to give relaxations/permissions to change the land-use in these areas to facilitate tourism. Goverment of West Bengal vid Gazetted Notification Registered No. WB/SC-247 No. WB(Part-1)/2015/SAR-426 dated 4th September, 2015 desired that tea garden of North Bengal.

Forest Zone

Forest Zones will comprise ecotourism in Forests & Wildlife areas, Eco-sensitive areas, Wild animal corridors etc. Goverment of West Bengal vid Gazetted Notification Registered No. WB/SC-247 No. WB(Part-1)/2015/SAR-426 dated 4th September, 2015 desired that special emphasis on Jaldapara, Chapramari, Sunderbans and forests of North Bengal.

River Zone

River Zones will comprise ecotourism along the banks of rivers. Goverment of West Bengal vid Gazetted Notification Registered No. WB/SC-247 No. WB(Part-1)/2015/SAR-426 dated 4th September, 2015 desired that special emphasis on Sabujdwip, river banks of Teesta and the Hooghly.

Heritage Zone

Heritage Zones will comprise ecotourism in areas identified in consultation with the Heritage Committees or complies with the West Bengal Heritage Commission Act, 2001. Goverment of West Bengal vid Gazetted Notification Registered No. WB/SC-247 No. WB(Part-1)/2015/SAR-426 dated 4th September, 2015 desired that special emphasis on Bishnupur, Murshidabad, Malda, Krishnagar, Nabadwip and the holy places of Birbhum.

Theme Zone

Theme Zones will comprise ecotourism in Religious areas, Cultural ecotourism, ecotourism in Archaeological Sites, ecotourism involving Arts and Crafts and ethnic food. Goverment of West Bengal vid Gazetted Notification Registered No. WB/SC-247 No. WB(Part-1)/2015/SAR-426 dated 4th September, 2015 desired that special references on places connected with traditional and famous meals and congregation.
Notice

Feed back from villagers, tour operators and general public is being invited on the draft Home Stay Ecotourism Police. All feed back should be emailed to the email I.D. (ecotoutrismboard@gmail.com) within 15 days from the date of this publication.