Eine Kooperation von

Im Auftrag des

(English text further below)

(Ailurus fulgens) dahinter stecken. Auch Schneeleoparden (Panthera uncia)(Ursus thibetanus)(Canis lupus chanco) streifen hier durch das Dickicht. Kreist ein Himalayageier (Gyps himalayensis)

India: Exploring the potential of ecotourism in Sikkim

On the western end of the Indian side of the Eastern Himalaya lies Sikkim, one of the smallest states of India and a global biodiversity hotspot. Spread across a mere 114km north to south and 64km east to west, the state has an extraordinary range of climate, from hot subtropics to the cold Tibetan plateau. Altitudes range from 300 to 8598 m above sea level, and 36.3% of the area are covered by forest.

Sikkim is blessed with unique scenic beauty and biodiversity. The forest vegetation varies from tropical pine forests, tropical broad-leaved forests, subtropical forests, temperate broad-leaved and coniferous forests to sub-alpine scrubs, alpine meadows and swamps-generally related to the high mountain flora of the North Temperate Zone.

The state has more than 4.500 flowering plants, 450 orchids species, 36 species of Rhododendron, 20 species of Bamboo, and approximately 370 species of ferns. Also, some unique and endangered animals enrich the state, like the Snow Leopard, the Clouded Leopard, the Red Panda, the Musk Deer, the Great Tibetan Sheep, the Tibetan Antelope or Chiru, the Tibetan Fox, the Wild Ass, the Shapi or Eastern Himalayan Tahr and the Yak. As many as 690 butterfly species have been reported from Sikkim Himalaya.

Local people in the region depend on the natural ecosystems for their subsistence and livelihood. Their close relationship with the natural ecosystems provides immense opportunities for ecotourism, a great tool for achieving development with conservation in the natural areas. However, the potential for ecotourism is yet to be fully harnessed. Also, it demands great responsibility, as ecosystems may be negatively impacted by over-exploitation. This calls for greater awareness and skill building exercises to support sustainability in ecotourism.

Kanchenjunga National Park

(Panthera uncia), Himalayan Black Bear (Ursus thibetanus thibetanus), Tibetan Antelope (Pantholops hodgsonii), Wild Ass (Equus hemionus), Barking Deer (Muntiacus muntjak), Musk Deer (Moschus chrysogaster), Clouded Leopard (Pardofelis nebulosa), Blue Sheep (Pseudois nayaur nayaur), Himalayan Tahr (Hemitragus jemlahicus), Lesser Cats, Tibetan Wolf (Canis lupus chanco), Serow (Naemorhedus sumatraensis), Great Tibetan Sheep, Red Panda (Ailurus fulgens) and many more. Regarding avifauna, the park comprises almost 550 species of birds including Tibetan Blood Pheasant (Ithaginis cruentus), Satyr Tragopan (Tragopan satyra), Osprey (Pandion haliaetus), Himalayan griffon (Gyps himalayensis), Lammergeier (Gypaetus barbatus), Snow Pigeon, Impeyan Phesants, Sunbirds and Eagles.

The forested area of the park is adorned by Qurcus Spp, Schima Spp, Castanopsis Spp, Acer Spp, Birch, Himalayan Larch, Lari griffithi etc. The Park also has many medicinal plants along with shrubs of Mecohopsis, Primula and Rhododendron, among others.

Biodiversity Action Day

Activities will take place at two levels: local action to analyse implementation issues, and Stakeholder discussions on relevant approaches and policy scenarios. This will help analyse ecotourism at both the implementation as well as policy level.

A field visit in Yuksam, an eco-tourism site in the Buffer Zone of the Kanchenjunga National Park, will be organized for the day. Field exercises will help participants understand the biodiversity-ecotourism-development linkages in the Park. Prticipants will be comprised of taxonomists, social scientists, foresters, zoologists/botanists, local people who know about the habitat, bird-watchers, professional trekkers, personnel from tourism departments, and NGOs working on eco-tourism as well as in KNP.

Stakeholder discussion on the of biodiversity-ecotourism-development approach will be held in Gangtok. The learnings of the field visit will be shared with the State government, NGOs, tourism industry representatives, educationists and scientists. A discussion will be held on the importance of strengthening the eco-tourism industry for the overall development of the state of Sikkim, and the value of biodiversity and its conservation for enhancing the eco-tourism potential of the State.

Participants will include representatives of communities living inside or nearby the protected areas, protected area managers, travel and tour associations and operators, professional trekkers, community-based organizations, Government officials, Research institutes, NGOs, media professionals, representatives of development organizations, the Climate Change Leaders of the North-Eastern Region and others.

Back to report