Sunday, April 10, 2011

TANGUAR HAOR, SUNAMGANJ, SYLHET. SUSTAINABLE TOURISM IN BANGLADESH.

Tanguar Haor is just one of the many international attractions to be explored in Bangladesh. These include the 120km continuous natural sea beach; the Sundarban, the world’s largest mangrove forest which is home to the Royal Bengal tiger; and especially the world’s largest river system of over 700 rivers, branches and tributaries, which include the delta of two of Asia’s greatest rivers, the Ganges/Padma and the Brahmaputra/Jamuna.
Tanguar Haor is a 100 sq km wetland and ‘inland sea’. Home to over 200 species of aquatic plants, 140 species of fish, 208 indigenous bird species, 100 species of migratory birds, 34 species of reptile, and 11 species of amphibian, it is one of Asia’s most magnificent natural environments. It is already a veritable Mecca for dedicated naturalists and birdwatchers as well as photographers, and those simply seeking the tranquillity of such an environment. It is also a vital resource for both nation and continent.
Inevitably, it could be the visitors who will destroy what they seek to enjoy. In developing and supporting the development of tourism the key word has to be sustainable, ensuring, not only access, but also the protection of environment and wildlife, as well as the livelihoods of the local people.
Remotely located in the far north of the country, it’s very remoteness has, hitherto, protected it, but already a number of tour companies plan speed boat and launch trips into this paradise. One company, however, is building the first, environmentally sensitive craft in Bangladesh, with solar panels for night security lights, waste recycling and waste water retention as well as energy efficient engines.
The craft will accommodate, in international 3 star cabins with a/c and h/c bathrooms attached, up to 26 tourists, though more can be accommodated for study tours with students. Catering on board will be provided by the local communities, as will other supplies, to ensure that they also share in the economic benefits of the initiative.
This approach is an innovative one in Bangladesh, much of whose outstanding natural environment is already under threat. Tiger Tours

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