Putting people and ecology at the core: fostering ecotourism in G-B

Gilgit-Baltistan government’s recent decision to lease out 37 properties, including motels, guesthouses, and nurseries, along with lands owned collectively by local communities, to a newly established ‘green tourism company,’ has sparked significant controversy and debate both in the public sphere and on social media platforms. By prioritising community involvement in decision-making processes and honouring their rights, the GB government can pave the way for responsible tourism

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Contested Commons under Threat

The wider Himalayan Arc, consisting of mountain ranges that incorporate major mountain systems such as the Tien Shan, Pamir, Hindu Kush, Karakoram, Himalaya, and Kun Lun Shan Mountains, is ecologically a very diverse mountainous region with peaks and plateaux. Steep mountain slopes and deeply incised valleys, glaciated areas above the snow lines, deserts and steppes, forests, rangelands, and wetlands compose a region that offers limited space for mountain communities to settle in compact oases and vast areas for extensive forms of pastoral practices herding predominantly for 16 million yaks, and much higher numbers of sheep and goats. About 60% of the Hindukush-Himalayan surface is composed of rangelands and pastures.

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