Karnataka’s 320 kilometre coastline is dotted with numerous river islands, which are home to a rich diversity of flora and fauna. Traditional practices of the indigenous island communities constitute age-old intangible heritage safeguarded through generations.
Living in these islands which are susceptible to floods, effects of climate change and storms, also suffers due associated issues such as lack of connectivity and transportation, drainage and sanitation, drinking water as well as soil erosion. There has been a noticeable rise in the migration of natives to cities and urban centres in search of employment and better standards of living.
One among the fifteen islands on the Suvarna River, in the estuary of Kodi Bengre, is the island of Mudukudru. In an area of 156 acres are 112 residential units with a total population of around 300. It falls under Coastal Regulation Zone CRZ-III. Propelled by the impetus of Karnataka’s Tourist Department to protect biodiversity and Targets of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (particularly Sustainable Cities and Communities), professors Satyaprakash Das and Shanta Pragyan Dash conduct a study on eco-tourism revenue generation models.
Issues are identified through visual interpretation, photographic surveys and in-depth interviews with the island dwellers. After an extensive review of the concept of eco-tourism and models in use globally, a number of localised solutions are proposed to safeguard the natural vegetation, wildlife, wetlands and sacred groves or devarakadus in the island. Balancing Ecology, Economy and Society, a phase-wise Eco-tourism development framework is proposed. Community participation and engagement lies at the heart of the strategy, augmenting the living conditions of the people of Mudukudru.
Read more at: Das, S., & Dash, S. P. (2020). Exploring Sustainable Eco-Tourism Potential Along the River Islands of Coastal Karnataka: A Case Study of Mudukudru Island. International Journal of Landscape Planning and Architecture, 6(2), 11-40.