The Ministry of Tourism (MoT) and the Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change (MoEFCC) recently initiated an impactful project known as the Amrit Dharohar Capacity Building Scheme-2023. This collaborative effort took flight on December 8, 2023, at Sultanpur National Park, a designated Ramsar Site nestled in Haryana.
Particularly emphasizing nature-tourism and its integral role, the joint effort between MoT and MoEFCC aims to tap into the nature-tourism potential of Ramsar Sites countrywide. Sultanpur stands out as one of the initial five priority Ramsar Sites identified in the first phase, alongside Bhitarkanika and Chilika in Odisha, as well as Yashwant Sagar and Sirpur in Madhya Pradesh. These sites have been earmarked for targeted training programs under the Alternative Livelihood Programme (ALP), showcasing the commitment to fostering local communities.
Also central to this endeavour is the Alternative Livelihood Programme, a facet of the Amrit Dharohar initiative. The main objective is to empower and train local community members residing near Ramsar sites. By partnering with the Indian Institute of Tourism & Travel Management (IITTM) and the MoEFCC, the initiative aims to fortify nature tourism at these sites while concurrently offering alternative means of livelihood for the local populace.
The first phase focuses on Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary, where, in conjunction with the State Forest Department, 30 individuals from the local communities will undergo comprehensive training to become certified nature-guides.The Amrit Dharohar initiative was introduced by the MoEF&CC earlier in June 2023 as a part of the budget announcement for 2023-24. Its core mission revolves around spotlighting the distinctive conservation significance of Ramsar Sites across India while actively creating employment avenues and bolstering local livelihoods.
The collaboration extends beyond governmental bodies to encompass a network of formal and informal institutions, ministries, agencies, and individuals, all rallying together for this noble cause.
The inauguration of this event was done by Manisha Saxena, Director General of the Ministry of Tourism, in the presence of Dr Sujit Kumar Bajpayee, Joint Secretary of the Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change, Prof Alok Sharma, Director of the Indian Institute of Tourism & Travel Management, officials from MoEF&CC, and senior officials from the Haryana Forest Department, among others.