After the devastating flood at 2018, tourism was doomed like never before. Even after the situation changed to normal, guests were not flowing to Kerala because of the terrifying impact created by media. It was a desperate time for all communities who were depended directly as well as indirectly(supporting segment). The big players like resorts started to recover with the help of promotions and contacts while the homestays and the farm stays were badly hit. Therefore we organised a Photography campaign with nearly 12-14 photographers not only for Thekkady but for theIdukki district comprising of Munnar, Ramakalmedu, Idukki, Kalvari mount, Anakara, Paruthumpara and Anjuruli to show how safe is Kerala especially mountains to travel with special emphasis to local communities and homestays.
The media impact after 2019 flood also reported the same scenario, therefore we did a live show covering destination within 50km to show what is the ground reality after flood and how safe is the mountains to travel, which is widely circulated in Facebook and WhatsApp media. But in any of these activities, we have mentioned the name of Monsoon retreats,as we intend to support the entire community through responsible tourism.
We also played a major role in the formation of new responsible tourism destinations with active participation of community at Vagamon, Kalvari mount and Ramakalmedu to empower the local community and culture through responsible tourism.
All the cottages are designed in such a way that, they stand 10-15ft above the ground, therefore not even a single cent of agricultural land has been wasted in the name of tourism. For those who practise agriculture, they can do their agriculture under the cottage too. In case of adverse climatic conditions like flood or famine, even if there is crop damage, they will get an additional financial support from tourism.
In the era of climate change, when the ground water table in depleting drastically with the over utilization of resource that too with insensible land use practise we at monsoon retreats realise the importance of having tradition wells.They act as an indicator to forecast the dramatic change in water level with the approach of extreme climatic condition, accordingly we are making changes in our daily resource use. And to make full use of summer shower,we do dig rain water harvesting pits at various points to recharge our ground water table. On extreme summer, we do practise permaculture type to retain the moisture of the soil from excessive evaporation while in rainy season we will use the excess of leaf litter for our vermicomposting practise.
Along with that, we do dig rain water harvesting pits at various points to recharge our ground water during rainy season.
We are also maintaining wide variety of floral and faunal diversity. These are not only a value added service for our venture about also an awareness creating subject where guests can update the knowledge about their ecosystem. We do have a study centre where we screen documentaries on wildlife and nature conservation, which are followed by discussions on the present conservational practises as well as their views on such practices. If the guests are interested, they can also be a part of our projects in a long run.
We also interact with students and take them for nature classes to create awareness on nature education. Thus planting the seeds of conservation in their early stage. We don’t intent create more conservationists but if we could create sensible citizens from not destroying the nature, our efforts will become fruitful.
Types of Workshop we organise frequently
- Workshop on Herpetofauna with herping at night with the support of indigenous biodiversity foundation(An environmental friendly NGO)
- Workshop of Birdwatching and responsible tourism
Sustainable and responsible tourism for compacting climate change
At Monsoon Retreats Ecostay, we work on the concept on Sustainability especially in reducing our carbon footprint. In the era of climate change, the sustainability of any product or even eco-friendly travel is determined by the amount of carbon we emit during that course of action. Therefore, we can proudly say that our carbon emission during these periods are negative or balanced with the number of trees we have planted. Thus Monsoon Retreats not only act as an offset for local biodiversity conservation but also as act as a carbon sink for compacting climate change.
As per our calculation, carbon sequestration at Monsoon Retreats is around 40-45 pounds each day whereas an average humans carbon emission is around 2.3 pounds. Thus physical carrying capacity is designed in such a way that the number of visitors intake is always a way less that than absorption limit. We are working on expanding the forest area so that even their carbon footprint on the way towards mountains should be nullified.
In the era of climate change, another major issue we tackle is the depletion of ground water table because of the over utilization of natural resource, with insensible land use practise we are maintaining two wells to know how the water table is sinking with the approach of extreme climatic condition, accordingly we are creating a shift in the way we maintain our garden.
Empowering and Motivating Young mind.
We are training especially college or school dropouts into bird watching program, therefore they can take the guests in bird watching in rural landscape like tea plantation, cardamom plantation, coffee plantation etc from Morning 6-8am and evening from 4pm to 6:30 pm.
What we intend to achieve
- They can resume their education with the income they earn from birding tour without compromising on their education.
- They will develop a passion in knowing more about the local biodiversity, the more they know they more they can earn and thus influencing their attitude towards biodiversity conservation.
- In India, we only have the data’s of biodiversity from Protected areas, where asvery few things are known about urban and rural biodiversity which in reality requires the highest protection as they have to compete with human for their day to day sustainability. Therefore, when we organise birding in various rural landscape, we are collecting the realistic data of rural biodiversity. In the long run, these data’s will be of prime help in identifying biodiversity rich landscape and how the land use changes is directly affecting the local biodiversity.
Thus by taking such programs, the guests are becoming responsible travellers contributing for the creation of local biodiversity checklist