The Government is strategically positioning Lakshadweep as a beacon of responsible and inclusive development, aiming to strike a balance between economic progress and environmental conservation. Union Minister for Culture, Tourism, and DoNER, G. Kishan Reddy, highlighted the statement during a session in the Rajya Sabha.
“The overall strategy for the development of Lakshadweep Islands is based on achieving sustainable growth, preserving the unique cultural and environmental characteristics, and enhancing the quality of life for the islanders. It aspires to position Lakshadweep as a model for responsible and inclusive development, balancing economic progress with environmental conservation,” said Reddy.
The strategy includes leveraging the island’s natural beauty to promote tourism, creating a robust and resilient economy, and fostering a sense of pride and well-being among the local communities.
Reddy mentioned that holistic development, through strategic planning and community engagement, envisions a future where Lakshadweep Islands thrive in harmony with nature and sustainable economic practices. The projects for development of Lakshadweep Islands are structured taking into consideration requirements under various Applicable Laws including environment, forest and CRZ clearances, and more.
Moreover, Reddy discussed the Ministry of Tourism‘s initiatives, including the revamp of the Swadesh Darshan Scheme into Swadesh Darshan 2.0 (SD 2.0), which targets the development of sustainable tourism destinations. Lakshadweep, among 57 other destinations, is earmarked for development under SD 2.0.Aligned with the National Strategy for Sustainable Tourism, the ‘Travel for LiFE‘ initiative aims to promote mindful tourism consumption. Regional workshops, in collaboration with entities like the Indian Institute of Tourism and Travel Management (IITTM) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), have been organised to further this cause, the minister mentioned. A workshop for the Southern region, including Lakshadweep, was held in Hyderabad in February 2023.