Greener Pastures is a small sustainable travel company based in Northeast India which promotes responsible tours and adventures to exotic places, with a prime focus on uplifting local communities and safeguarding the environment.
Greener Pastures provide authentic and immersive experiences across the vast and exotic frontiers of Northeastern India which are eco-friendly, benefit the communities and are tailored to ensure that travelers take back lifelong memories. It provides the hospitality of a friend, the knowledge of a local, the service of passionate experts and an escape to an unexplored paradise. The aim is to help the indigenous tribal people and conserve the natural beauty of the region.
This is a very important aspect of any responsible tourism initiative. Especially in a place like Northeast India where more than 200 tribes and many religions coexist, each with their own intricate and valuable cultural and historical heritage. If local people know that a part of the reason travelers visit their area is because of the historical sites, the songs, the festivals, and their way of life, then they are more likely to want to preserve and protect these aspects of their society, rather than change them with modern ways or migrate into urban culture.
In Northeast India, the recent two decades have witnessed the loss of indigenous culture and migration of local population to urban areas. This has been mainly due to the lack of income opportunities in the villages. But tourism is slowly changing this. The travelers are helping in the preservation of the many cultures of the region. Local people are today more conscious and proud of their heritage, and have begun to take steps to ensure the preservation and protection of this culture and heritage.
As part of their commitment to sustainable tourism, Greener Pastures help the guests to understand the local customs and cultures in a progressive manner. They promote electricity and water conservation and encourage knowledge exchange between the guests and hosts, thus leaving a positive footprint on the places visited by the guests.
As a tour operator based in one of the world’s most important biodiversity area, it is the responsibility and passion of Greener Pastures to play a important part in the protection and preservation of the natural richness of Northeast India. When a guest visits an area for the rivers, wildlife, wild places, landscapes, flora or fauna, the local communities who reside within these areas are encouraged to preserve and protect the natural beauty.
Promoting small scale but exquisite wildlife tourism in the region is a key way of spearheading conservation initiatives. By way of tourism, they also actively support wildlife departments of the region and help in generating sustainable income to the communities who reside in these areas. This has resulted in a positive impact throughout the region. The biodiversity of the region is safer today than a decade back.
The wildlife departments have been recruiting more rangers and the villages have been witnessing sustainable development and have learnt to live alongside wildlife.
Guides interact with local communities and educate them about the importance of conservation and the value of wildlife.
Greener Pastures has also been using social media to promote the region as an exclusive wildlife destination and at the same time, raise a voice against environment crimes in the region such as logging and poaching. They also plan to open community-based wildlife tourism projects where the communities will actively engage and be educated in conservation projects.
As per the sustainable tourism objectives, Greener Pastures decided to play an active part in supporting local communities. They generously contribute from their annual profit and encourage their staff, guests, families and local businesses to donate. Greener Pastures also provides their guests an option to choose the charity they would like their tours to contribute to. Since Northeast India is prone to floods and few other natural calamities, whenever such an event occurs they try their best to help the needy.
Choosing local, making lives better :
Greener Pastures actively support local services providers over large business based services. This is done by different ways:
1) Encouraging local unemployed youths to become freelance tour guides, provides them training and using their services.
2) Using the services of locally run accommodations for the tours, and at the same time, encourage others to join in. The services of homestays, local family owned guesthouses, community guesthouses and small family run hotels are used. This is a major way for contributing to the sustainability objectives and at the same time helping travelers have a genuine local experience.
3) Using the services of local car-hire providers and supporting others in opening up their own small agency.
4) Greener Pastures promotes the use and sell of authentic crafts made from local resources which provide income to local communities. They encourage local women to participate in the production of arts and crafts. They also gives the guests an opportunity to help by encouraging them to purchase.