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Tourism – boon or bane

OPINION

Indigenous peoples`co-existence with nature or forest depends on access to land, territory and natural resources. Right to land is regarded as an integral aspect of identity, which is predominant source of income, providing traditional livelihoods.

Remnants of Sacred Groves are existing witness to conservation effort of communities – at fringe forest areas. Land being primary source of sustenance; government or any private party cannot acquire community land and forest areas. Instead, a symbiotic relation must be enhanced. Lately, tourism industry has been the buzzword for economic growth in North East India, Manipur in particular!

The government of Manipur in its endeavor to provide job opportunities, overall progress in the state, has been pushing tourism industry as the key source of economic growth. In the process, infrastructure development has been given prime attention. In order to facilitate the boost of tourism, the Manipur Tourism Policy 2014, claims that Manipur with its inherent tourism potential, rich cultural heritage and vibrant pool of youth, with excellent grip over English language as an ideal place.

This is true that tourism is still at nascent stage in Manipur, and its potentials can be tapped for the benefit of local communities. However, it must involve long-term planning that will foster overall sustainable development. Resources must be used but not to the extent that our future generation will be deprived of any.

Full report here Kangla Online

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