Impacts of Eco-tourism on Ethnic People: A study on Lawachara National Park, Sylhet, Bangladesh

Md. Moniruzzaman Muzib

Abstract


This research work seeks the impacts of Ecotourism on ethnic people of Lawachara National Park, Kamalganja, Moulvibazar, Sylhet. Empirical data has been collected through survey & FGDs from the residents of two villages called Khasi Punji and Dulahajra of this park.Observed evidences show that foremost influence of Ecotourism fall on economic aspects of ethnic life. Income level has been increased compare then before after establishing eco-park in this forest. People become involve with various new job besides their traditional occupation. Different NGOs are working here for make them economically empower. Correspondingly, eco-park originates few positive changes in social life of indigenous people. Nowadays people get modern education, more security, modern medical facility, better roads and easy transportation. Their perception about tourist and tourism are also changing positively day by day. Core cultural elements like language, dress pattern, house pattern, and food habit are also changing with the interaction with tourist and people with plain land. People are now more aware about environmental conservation. They take part in forest conservation, bio-diversity conservation and forest cleaning. They are knowledgeable about sustainable usages of forest resources. Like positive impacts of Ecotourism it has also few negative impacts on tribal life. After launching eco-park ethnic people loss their land ownership right and they are facing accommodation problem as well. Eco-park officials sometimes show immoral manner with the inhabitants; they force them for giving free labor in the park. Similarly some visitors/tourists do not show proper respect to them. Sometimes travels ruined betel gardens, stole betel leaves and lemons also.


Keywords


Ecotourism, Ethnic People, Economic Change, Socio-cultural Change, Environmental conservation

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