Bangalore, Feb 26 (UNI) Lack of any national policy and regulatory body had led to mushrooming of private jungle resorts adjoining forest areas in the country, which is posing a challenge for conserving bio-diversity, especially in the ecologically fragile Western Ghats, Managing Director of State-owned Jungle Lodges and Resorts Ltd (JLR) N D Tiwari, said.
Speaking to newspersons here yesterday, he said Karnataka had been receiving a number of tourists from across the world. Ecotourism had become popular and JLR, which operates 16 jungle lodges, were planning to open more properties in due course, he added.
Mr Tiwari said the State was chalking out a plan to check degradation of forests due to increased activities in tourism and advocated for a national policy. JLR, had initiated steps to promote ecotourism and it should ensure that bio-diversity was not affected in any way, he added.
The MD said JLR had been approached by Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab for setting up jungle resorts in their states. A team of JLR experts would shortly visit the two states, he added.
He said with private sector joining the bandwagon, there had been a stress on the nature. ''The private players are playing by the rules at present. Because more number of people are seeking nature holidays, the pressure on nature is bound to increase. We need a proper guideline to promote ecotourism and to conserve nature,'' he added.
Mr Tiwari said ecotourism was part of forest management and it should provide facilities to nature lovers, generate employment to communities and support conservation of natural resources.
UNI RS MV JT GC0844