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Cooperative society of Himalayan Ecotourism

Himalayan Ecotourism - Himalayan Ecocreation - Himalayan Insight

About Us

A mission-driven organization

Heco

Heco is the consortium of Himalayan Ecotourism, Himalayan Ecocreation and Himalayan Insight.

Our mission

Heco aims at restoring a symbiotic relationship between the rural communities and all other forms of life in the Himalayas.

Based on our understanding of the inherent connection between social welfare and conservation, our strategy is to provide opportunities to the local communities for –

  • Economic Prosperity through a sustainable and ethical tourism business model
  • Women Empowerment through establishment of their micro-enterprises
  • Forest Regeneration through community-based interventions
  • Child Development considering tomorrow’s local and global challenges

Fairness, inclusiveness, transparency, respect and honesty are the set of values that we nurture to achieve our goals as a social enterprise.

Himalayan Ecotourism - About us

Who we are

We are an award-winning social enterprise using tourism as an opportunity to promote sustainable development in the Western Himalayas.

At the heart of Heco is the vision to build empowered communities that advocate conservation. The thriving ecosystems in the region are under threat at the moment due to rampant, competitive and exploitative industrialization. HET aims to bring ethics and sustainability to doing business.

We are a consortium of sustainability leaders and industry professionals, the “GHNP Community-Based Ecotourism Cooperative society”, the local women’s group and the NGO “Himalayan INSIGHT” working to realize the common goal of conservation and eco-friendly development of the region in the vicinity of the Great Himalayan National Park and Ladakh.

As a trek and travel operator we take you for offbeat travels and trekking experiences in Himachal Pradesh and Ladakh.

about us - Himalayan Ecotourism

A quick insight into the Heco organization

Himalayan Ecotourism System Flowchart

Our initiatives for a sustainable development

Himalayan Ecotourism Cooperative society in Tirthan Valley
Himalayan Ecotourism Cooperative society in the himalayas

Sustainable ecotourism enterprise

Local communities are the best advocates for environmental conservation. Heco aims to create employment in the Tirthan Valley and to protect the Great Himalayan National Park and its ecozone through sustainable tourism practices based on a cooperative model that gives its members the opportunity to make a living respectably and the power to make decisions beneficial to their communities and the environment.

Explore the untouched, off-beat Himalayan trails, treks and homestays with the empowered locals that constitute the pillar of Himalayan Ecotourism !

Learn more about our social enterprise model.

Women empowerment

Women in the region don’t experience the same social status or respect in the communities as men.

We believe that women play a crucial role in keeping the community development within the limits of sustainability. More than men, women have an innate sense of responsibility towards the natural resources and hence, towards the well-being of our future generations.

That is why women emancipation and empowerment are at the centre of our efforts towards conservation. No society can truly reform itself unless it doesn’t give women the respect and status they deserve.

We help them getting organized in Women Self-Help Groups (WSHG), after which, we help them managing their microenterprise in making of local products. We also give them important responsibilities in our reforestation and education programs.

Learn more about our women empowerment program

Women empowerment in the Tirthan Valley with Himalayan Ecotourism
Women empowerment in the Tirthan Valley with Himalayan Ecotourism
Reforestation in the Tirthan Valley with Himalayan Ecotourism
Reforestation in the Tirthan Valley with Himalayan Ecotourism

Himalayan Reforestation Program

Heco aims at creating a synergy between humans and their environment. Part of our profits have been dedicated to reforesting barren areas of the ecozone of the Great Himalayan National Park that have suffered due to deforestation and forest fires.
We have worked with experts in the field of forestry and conservation to explore a model of reforestation that actually works.

Since the Pandemic in 2020, our reforestation program has developed as another means of income generation for the people in the valley as tourism came to a grinding halt.

Read about our Carbon Offsetting Program to join us in achieving our goal of reforesting an area of 5 sq km on the barren mountains of the Tirthan Valley.

Learn more about our reforestation program.

Child development

Children are another important focus of our social intervention.
Typically, the adults in rural India are resistant to changes in their lifestyle, whereas the children’s natural curiosity offers an incredible opportunity to prepare them as future responsible leaders of a more sustainable society.

Therefore, we took the initiative to begin reforming the education system in the Himalayas bit by bit by introducing advanced teaching techniques, and by training village women to become teachers in the schools we set up.

Join our volunteering / internship programs to support our social initiatives.

Learn more about our child development program.

Child Education in the Tirthan Valley with Himalayan Ecotourism
Child Education in the Tirthan Valley with Himalayan Ecotourism

Where we are ?

Himalayan Ecotourism location map

IN THE HEART OF THE HIMALAYAS

We identified the areas in the periphery of The Great Himalayan National Park as the focus area of our impact. The park was established in 1999 and inscribed as a World Heritage by UNESCO in June 2014.
There are many reasons why this makes it an ideal location for our work.
The area is closely and well-connected to major tourist hubs in Himachal Pradesh – Spiti, Shimla, Dharamshala, Kullu-Manali but at the same time offers our travellers respite from the crowds of typical tourist places and an unexplored side to the mountains.

Our affiliated organizations are spread across the Himalayas including Spiti and Ladakh.
Over the years, we have worked closely with the communities based in the Tirthan Valley to help empower them through sustainable, environmentally- friendly initiatives, keeping them at the forefront of the conservation goals and social initiatives in the region.

Meet our team

The team of Heco

Stephan Marchal Director of Himalayan Ecotourism
Stephan Marchal
Director

Heco

Prachiti Chitnis from Himalayan Ecotourism
Prachiti Chitnis
Trek & travel

Himalayan Ecotourism

Sonali Tiwari from Himalayan Ecotourism
Sonali Tiwari
Manager

Himalayan Ecocreation & Insight

Hema Marchal from Himalayan Ecotourism
Hema Marchal
Customer care

Himalayan Ecotourism

Meena from Himalayan Ecotourism
Meena
Trekking equipment

Himalayan Ecotourism

GHNP cooperative guides and eco-captains

Keshav Thakur from Himalayan Ecotourism
Keshav Ram Thakur
Guide and president

HET Cooperative

Tara Chand from Himalayan Ecotourism
Tara Chand
Guide and secretary

HET Cooperative

Sanju Negi from Himalayan Ecotourism
Sanju Negi
Guide and treasurer

HET Cooperative

Teku Pekhri from Himalayan Ecotourism
Teku Pekhri
Guide

HET Cooperative

Yog Raj mountain guide
Yog Raj
Guide

HET Cooperative

Jagjit Singh
Jagjit Singh
Eco-captain

HET Cooperative

GHNP Women Trek Leaders

Meera from Himalayan Ecotourism
Meera
Trek Leader

Himalayan Ecotourism

Kamala from Himalayan Ecotourism
Kamala
Trek Leader

Himalayan Ecotourism

Monika from Himalayan Ecotourism
Monika
Trek Leader

Himalayan Ecotourism

Pinki from Himalayan Ecotourism
Pinki
Trek Leader

Himalayan Ecotourism

Shabnam from Himalayan Ecotourism
Shabnam
Trek Leader

Himalayan Ecotourism

Ritika from Himalayan Ecotourism
Ritika
Trek Leader

Himalayan Ecotourism

Himalayan Ecocreation

Heera - Himalayan Ecocreation
Heera
Local products

Himalayan Ecocreation

Neelam - Himalayan Ecocreation
Neelam
Local products

Himalayan Ecocreation

Lata - Himalayan Ecocreation
Lata
Local products

Himalayan Ecocreation

Krishna - Himalayan Ecocreation
Krishna
Local products

Himalayan Ecocreation

Ladakh team

Lobzang from Himalayan Ecotourism
Lobzang
Ladakh tours

Himalayan Ecotourism

Sonam Paldon from Himalayan Ecotourism
Sonam Paldon
Spiritual guide Ladakh

Himalayan Ecotourism

Tashi from Himalayan Ecotourism
Tashi
Social program Ladakh

Himalayan Ecotourism

Acknowlegment

Thank you friends !

No social venture can truly build itself, survive and strengthen itself through a decade without the help of many well-meaning, supportive people who come forward to help the initiative because they share a common vision. We are forever grateful to our mentors, supporters and partners who are the wind beneath the wings of Himalayan Ecotourism.

Avneet Singh

The Co-founder of Himalayan Ecotourism, Mr Singh has been an integral part of our story. His marketing and planning skills, with his exemplar generosity, found us a way through the ruthless business world.

Thierry Leneveu

has been a crucial supporter of our organization when we were just an emerging organization in the valley. The quality we can offer you today as a trek operator would never have been possible without the immense contribution of Thierry.

Payson R. Stevens

A businessman, a community-lover and an environmental scientist to organizations like NASA. Mr Stevens has played a crucial role in giving a concrete shape to our company as a social enterprise. He is now a painter, an artist and a decisive friend of the GHNP.

Sanjeeva Pandey

The first director of GHNP, ex-PCCF of Himachal Pradesh, Mr Pandey has constantly encouraged our grassroot movement in the ecozone of the GHNP since its start. By extending the support of the park, he helped us realize the vision of empowering communities and we continue to seek his mentorship.

Vinay Tandon

Ex-Principal Chief Conservator of Forest, Himachal Pradesh, Mr Tandon’s immense love for the Himalayan forests extended into his goodwill for our projects. He is deeply dedicated to empowering women and has provided great insights for our work.

Tony Gaston

Main research investigator of the establishment of GHNP, Mr Gaston has been one of our primary backbones of the reforestation programmes in the ecozone. His guidance made it easier for HET’s journey through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jean Drèze

An Indian welfare economist and a social scientist, Mr Dreze has been a longstanding friend of Stephan, connecting us with brilliant interns and researchers across India. We remain thankful for his ongoing mentorship through the years.

Partha Mudgil

A loyal friend of many HET members, Mr Mudgil’s yearly visits and treks in the GHNP have been a wonderful time for strategizing, thinking and dreaming about a better world.

Nimesh Ved

A freelance journalist, a writer, Mr Ved is deeply passionate about conservation. He has been a kind friend, offering mentorship in reaching a larger audience.

Emmanuel D’Silva

An Agriculture and Environment scientist, a writer and a lecturer, Mr D’Silva has been one of core motivators in establishing our reforestation and carbon offsetting projects. He has worked on multiple development projects in Asia and Africa with the World Bank, now however, focuses on grassroot projects in India related to conservation agriculture, converting waste into biogas, and climate change.

Mohan Reddy

An advisor at Zenith Energy, Mr Reddy has been providing consultancy services in the fields of renewable energy, energy efficiency and climate change. Our path into the carbon market wouldn’t have been the same without his guidance. Further, his passion to act on the consequences of climate change has always inspired us.

Photo credits

We are very grateful to all our members, guests or friends who have kindly shared their photographs. We proudly display some of them on this website. Our photo contributors :

Avneet Singh
Stephan Marchal
Rolf Leurink
Denis Harle
Anup Kulkarni
Simon Keizer
Mihir Mohit
Mohan Lal
Partha Mudgil
Saurabh Ganguli
Sanjeeva Pandey

 

Many thanks ! 🙂

Some of the tours we organize

Motorcycling tour in Ladakh

Motorcycle tour in Ladakh

18 Days
Landscapes of Spiti valley

Spiti valley tour

15 Days
Maitreya Buddha, Tkiksey monastery

Spiritual Tour in Ladakh

16 Days
Adventure tour in Offbeat Himachal

Adventure tour in Himachal Pradesh

15 Days
Spiti valley tour - Langza

Spiti short tour

10 Days
Experience travel in Ladakh

Experiential Travel in Ladakh

16 Days
Ladakh Festival at Leh Palace Ladakh

A classic tour in Ladakh

15 Days
Raktisar trek in the Great Himalayan National Park

Raktisar trek

7 Days
Snow Mountain ranges in the Tirthan Valley

Discovery trip to the Great Himalayan National Park

15 Days
The pass from Tirthan to Sainj valley, with the Ookhal meadow

Ookhal trek

5 Days
Climbing towards Marahni top in the Great Himalayan National Park

Marahni trek

4 Days
The way to Barchi top from Rangthar

Rangthar trek

2 Days

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