Last Updated : October 19, 2022
This project will create an Eco Village Network with the communities that steward the largest remaining mangrove forest on Earth: the Sundarbans Reserve Forest in Bangladesh. The Sundarbans Eco Villages will use the power of tourism to tackle poverty, promote gender equality, provide safe drinking water, and regenerate ecosystems-ensuring tourism helps nature and people thrive together.
The Sundarbans Reserved Forest is the largest mangrove forest on Earth and the last home of the Bengal tiger. Millions of people are dependent upon 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 Eco Cottages for homestay experiences, and supporting women artisans. The Eco Village, and its visitors, will directly support safe drinking water, clean cookstoves, solar energy, education, and mangrove restoration. As tourism grows, so do its contributions to local well-being, conservation, and community development.
3. Long-Term Impact:
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 Eco Village 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 that steward one of the most important ecosystems on Earth and are most exposed to future climate change impacts.