SKUAST-K to train tribal youth in ecotourism

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SRINAGAR: A 15-day capacity building and awareness training program on ecotourism & village wildlife tourism for tribal youth of Jammu and Kashmir kick started here on Saturday at SKUAST-K
Minister for Tourism, Tassaduq Hussain Mufti inaugurated the programme.
The programme is being conducted by Division of Wildlife Sciences, Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences & Technology of Kashmir (SKUAST-K) in collaboration with Department of Tribal Affairs and the Department of Wildlife Protection and Department of Tourism, Jammu & Kashmir Government.
According to a university release, the training and awareness programme is aimed at providing hands on training, awareness and exposure to the tribal youth across the state with the concept of ecotourism, its scope and its potential for livelihood generation in the form of wildlife guiding, serving as environmental education ambassadors, trekking and travel for heritage and cultural sites, home stay and campsite concepts promotion and adoption.
Minister for Tourism, Tassaduq Hussain Mufti stressed the need for making this programme ‘practical-oriented’ by formulating a comprehensive plan for promotion of ecotourism as a sustainable livelihood model for tribal and other communities living around natural and protected areas, read the release.
He advised the university for submitting a viable project for financial support by the government in promoting such livelihood opportunities for the local communities. He also advised for revival of old age tradition of folk dance in communicating the significance of wildlife and its need for awareness among the local communities through traditional stage shows and Banda Pather towards ecotourism and village wildlife tourism, the release read
Tassaduq also had an extensive open interaction with the participating tribal youth and students of the university where students put forth their various inputs and suggestions for carrying forward the initiative.
Vice Chancellor SKUAST-K, Prof Nazeer Ahmed highlighted the role of the wildlife scientist of the university in promoting wildlife conservation and capacity building programme through series training programme. He appreciated the organisers for taking initiative in conceptualising this training programme which has a direct bearing with the ecosystem for promotion of wildlife, it added.