The Sundarbans Reserved Forest is the largest mangrove forest on Earth and last home of the Bengal tiger. Millions of people are dependent upon the forest resources without sustainable incomes. More than 200,000 visitors come to the Sundarbans every year but with nowhere to stay, they don't benefit local villages. The resulting poverty is the main barrier to community development and conservation, and NGO BEDS has been working with communities for over a decade to address these critical issues.
This project will target more than 1,000 households to incorporate them into the tourism economy, providing tourism and hospitality skill training for key families, constructing EcoCottages for homestay experiences, and supporting women artisans. The EcoVillage, and its visitors, will directly support safe drinking water, clean cookstoves, solar energy, education, and mangrove restoration. As tourism grows, so does its contributions to local well-being, conservation, and community development.
The fastest growing trend in tourism is experiential travel, and visitors increasingly seek destinations that offer authenticity, learning opportunities, traditional culture, and reconnecting with nature. An EcoVillage will not only be a positive experience for visitors; it will address the needs of local people, enhancing the long-term resilience of the communities who steward one of the most important ecosystems on Earth and are most exposed to future climate change impacts.
This project has provided additional documentation in a PDF file (projdoc.pdf).