Staff Reporter

BANGALORE: Even as the ecotourism sector is booming despite the absence of a proper policy, a workshop on “Eco-tourism in Karnataka: Challenges, policy and the future” has been organised on Tuesday to discuss various pressing issues pertaining to the sector.

Among the issues that would be discussed included the growth of tourism around the protected area, which has become a cause of concern for the forest authorities; energy efficiency and waste disposal in the ecotourism projects and partnership of private operators in conservation of forest and wildlife.

Speaking to presspersons here on Monday, Managing Director of Jungle Lodges and Resorts N.D. Tiwari said that most of the eco-tourism activities have been wildlife centric, and that there were many other areas, including plantations and private properties, which offered potential for eco-tourism.

He said: “Presently, we need eco-tourism policy and an eco-tourism board to give certain guidelines. The workshop would discuss many relevant issues, which could help draft a policy. We certainly need regulations to prevent eco-tourism initiatives from affecting forests and wildlife.”

S. Parameshwarappa, advisor on ecotourism, Union Planning Commission, will take part in the workshop along with several senior Tourism and Forest Department officials.