Welcome to Indira Gandhi National Forest Academy

Wetland Conservation and Sustainable Livelihood through Ecotourism in Chhattisgarh

- by Mr. Ganveer Dhammshil, IFS, Chhattisgarh Cadre

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(A) Gidhwa-Parsada , Bemetara District:-

Situation —

* Irregular availability of water in the wetlands due to drought led to loss of habitat for local and migratory birds.

* Lack of awareness among the villagers about wetlands and birds

* Lack of people’s participation in the conservation of wetlands.

* Hunting of wetland birds.



(B) Keshkal, Kondagaon District:-

Situation —

* Keshkal is bestowed with lush green forests , lofty mountains, vast Plateaus, mesmerizing waterfalls, tribal culture etc having high potential for ecotourism.

* Lack of awareness and participation of local tribal communities about conservation of wildlife and forests.

Unemployment problem among the local population.

Bird killing using catapult by school going children in villages

Hunting of wild animals by pardhi tribes and others.








(A) Gidhwa-Parsada , Bemetara District:-

Intervention —

* Motivated local villagers for conservation of wetlands and migratory birds

* Engaged local youth volunteers, non -governmental organizations (NGOs) such as Nova Nature Welfare Society, Crow Foundation, Jashpur Wildlife Welfare Foundation, Unexplored Bastar etc for this cause.

* Initiated the concept of bird festival as a part of village festival.

 (YouTube Link : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uKlXmSIZH24)

* Imparted training to local villagers and youths to become ecotourism guide and birder

* Activated local biodiversity management committees to conserve wetland and run sustainable ecotourism.

* Coordinated with the water resource department to ensure water availability through watershed management.



(B) Keshkal, Kondagaon District:-

Intervention —

* Conducted regular meetings with tribal communities and other traditional forest dwellers and apprised them about the potential of ecotourism by conservation of forest and wildlife.

* Started a concept of JAL JUNGLE YATRA ( water-forest journey ) wherein staff of the forest department along with local villagers, youth and children would trek in the jungle for 5-10 km on every weekend to know about the importance of forest and wildlife.

(YouTube Link for JAL JUNGLE YATRA: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PfdZn2ZeIts)

* Created a circuit of ecotourism places in keshkal and engaged local youths for promotion of ecotourism through website and social media platforms.

( Keshkal Ecotourism Website: https://www.keshkalecotourism.com/ )

* Started a campaign on CHIDIYA MITAN (friend of birds) to create a network of school children in every village for the protection of birds.

* Engaged local tribal youths in the ecotourism activities like tent camping, trekking, bird watching.

Pardhi tribe youths involved in Bow and arrow adventure activity in the ecotourism site in Tatamari.

* Imparted training to tribal youths on hospitality, ecotourism management, naturalist to work in ecotourism.








(A) Gidhwa-Parsada , Bemetara District:-

Outcomes —

Network of 6 wetlands formed in adjoining five villages .

* Active participation of local villagers and biodiversity management is visible.

* Local youths now act as guides for bird tourists.

Demonstration Effect: Nearby villages also came forward to conserve wetland and birds of their area.

* Local women self help groups (SHGs) work for the management and cleanliness of wetlands on a weekly basis.

* Complete restriction on hunting of wetland birds.

* Other districts like Bilaspur got inspired and celebrated bird festival


Ongoing Efforts in Gidhwa-Parsada —

Self Sustained Ecotourism Model: The Forest Department is making efforts to motivate Biodiversity Management Committees to conserve these wetlands and run ecotourism by the local communities itself.

* After the declaration of the Gidhwa - Parsada as Ramsar Site , the region would get a boost for more comprehensive Wetland Conservation. A proposal is being made in this regard by Chhattisgarh Forest Department.



(B) Keshkal, Kondagaon District:-

Outcome :-

* Received a overwhelming response from various eco-tourists and keshkal emerged as the most sought after ecotourism destination in Chhattisgarh.

* Local tribal communities started actively participating in forest and wildlife conservation.

Hunters of wildlife ( pardhi tribe) became the protector of forest and wildlife.

* Sustainable livelihood was secured through ecotourism for local tribal communities.

* This led to increase of awareness among tribal communities to save forest and wildlife for their sustenance.

Nayanar Model of Forest Protection: Other villages like Nayanar started taking their own initiative for forest protection.

YouTube Link : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fzFcO4F8klQ )








For further details please refer the Attached Document (PDF) and the following Weblinks:-

Media Coverage:

(A) Wetland Conservation in Gidhwa-Parsada , Bemetara District:-

1. https://www.zenger.news/2021/03/08/central-indian-wetlands-a-home-to-birds eyes-ramsar-tag/

2. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/raipur/chhattisgarhs-first-e ver-bird-fest-at-bemetara-from-january-31/articleshow/80589543.cms

3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uKlXmSIZH24


(B) Sustainable livelihood through Ecotourism in Keshkal , Kondagaon District:-

1. https://www.thebetterindia.com/245586/ifs-hero-chhattisgarh-adivasi-dfo ganveer-dhammshil-transfer-tribal-community-protest-forest-officer-nor41/

2. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/raipur/raipur-tata-maris-green peaks-ready-to-welcome-tourists/articleshow/78448634.cms

3. https://www.cgnewshindi.in/2020/07/chhattisgarh-chidiya-mitan.html

4. https://www.bhaskar.com/local/chhattisgarh/raipur/keshkal/news/oath-admi nistered-to-birds-and-birds-to-save-birds-128002230.html




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