Karnataka is well endowed with natural beauty. The western ghats, waterfalls, rivers, forests and the coastline along the Arabian sea make it a favorable destination for nature based tourism. The state has already introduced us to the concept of forest based sustainable tourism with its Jungle lodges initiative which has been lauded as a role model in eco tourism all over India.
Now the Karnataka eco tourism development board is planning to introduce the ‘Green Passport’, an unique initiative that gives you access to identified eco-trails all over the state.
Mr Vinay Luthra, who has earlier also led the Jungle Lodges for nearly a decade and is now the the chairman of the Karnataka eco tourism board, said that this initiative will encourage youngsters to come closer to nature and put an end to illegal treks in the woods. At present, many treks are taken to these destinations illegally. Very few take permission from the department. Many tour operators have been violating forest laws and endangering the forest as well as the participants in these treks. Green passports will regularize trekking adventure. The department will also frame a set of guidelines for trekkers. The green passport gives you access to hidden eco trails all over Karnataka. 11 eco-trails have already been notified in the Western Ghats. New eco-trails will be notified soon in Chikkaballapura, Tumakuru and Ramanagara.
Each passport will have a unique number assigned to it and each time the holder completes an eco trail, the passport shall be stamped for that particular trail and a certificate of activity will be awarded to by the forest department.