Gushaini, Teh. Banjar, Dist. Kullu, HP

Our reforestation program in the Himalayas


Origin of our reforestation program

There is a dream that we all share at Himalayan Ecotourism : To restore a symbiotic relationship between the rural communities and all other forms of life in the Himalayas.
Our dream seems to be against the current trend. Most of the forest ecosystems suffer severe degradations that all originate from human activities.
The loss of forest cover and biodiversity in the Himalayas is the cause of numerous adverse impacts on the climate changes, the water supply to the hundreds millions of people and the welfare of the local communities.
Globally there is an urgent need to regard our host planet as the origin of our living system and hence to respect it like our mother.
This is what we are trying to achieve at our level in the Himalayas.

Thanks to our social enterprise model in the field of ecotourism, we have been active in :

    Empowering the local communities to enable them to undertake projects for their sustainable development,
    Mobilizing the people to fight against intentional forest fires,
    Developing green technologies,
    And reforesting the barren lands in the Tirthan valley, near the Great Himalayan National Park.

From ecotourism to reforestation

After the COVID-19 wiped out all tourism activities, we were forced to convert our ecotourism business into another income generating activity.
We decided to scale up our reforestation program and to fund it thanks to the voluntary carbon market.

As we were already professionally organized and already engaged in tree plantation, it didn’t take much time.

In August 2020 we launched our first large scale reforestation step near the village Pekhri in the ecozone of the Great Himalayan National Park.

Our local cooperative members successfully mobilized the other villagers and aroused the interest of the forest department in supporting our project.

We have no idea if and when tourism we resume in this part of the world, but we have invented a business model that is resilient against any future pandemics.
Offset your carbon emissions and reforest the Himalayas, Tirthan valley

With love for their mountains

From trekking staff to mountain gardeners, the step was quite easy.

Program objectives

The trees are planted in the ecozone of the GHNP

At the doorstep of a National Park

Our program contributes to further protection of the Great Himalayan National Park.

Our reforestation program is implemented with the following objectives :

    To regenerate the forest ecosystems and the wildlife habitats on lands which suffered severe deterioration,

    To make sure that the reforestation has multiple benefits for the local villagers,

    To contribute to the protection of the Great Himalayan National Park by keeping the villagers away from illegal use of the natural resources in the Park.

    To bring the local community on a path to sustainable development by involving them in the project planning, protection of the reforested areas and nature-friendly income generating activities.

    To optimize the carbon sequestration on the long-run on the regenerated areas as we fund our project by selling carbon credits.

How do we implement the program ?

Keeping in view these objectives, the project is implemented according to the following guidelines :

    Our cooperative members are the main field workers so that they have an alternate source of income when tourism is down (off-season, pandemic, etc.)

    We work together for reforestation following the same principles that were set for Himalayan Ecotourism as a community-based social enterprise. We are nurturing our values of fairness and transparency.

    The other villagers are with the cooperative members in the local Join Forest Management Committees for planning and management of the program. We ensure that women representation is at least one third in each committee.

    The tree species to be planted are concertedly decided by the Committees following the advice of experts from the Forest Department and from the advisory board members of Himalayan Ecotourism.

    In this part of the world, there are two seasons that are suitable for tree plantation : monsoon time (July and August) and wintertime (January and February). We do not plant outside these 4 months.

    Fighting intentional forest fires is high on the priority list as there are a major threat to the survival of the young trees. Himalayan Ecotourism has already developed a methodology that has proven its worth in the Tirthan valley. The methodology is enriched with other prevention measures (firebreaks) to make that the reforested areas are not endangered.

    A consistent part of the program funds is dedicated to other actions for sustainable development in the adjacent villages: promoting income generating activities for the women, enhancing the education of the children (English and computer), providing green technologies to the villagers (like solar heaters or biogas units) and undertaking awareness campaigns whenever required.
Reforestation- working with the community

For the locals, by the locals

Our reforestation program is planned and managed by the local community.

Funding of our reforestation program

Reforestation- working with the community

Click here to offset your emissions

It is easy, fast and you become a contributor of our reforestation program.

Our reforestation is being funded by organizations or individuals who voluntarily decide to offset their carbon emissions.

There are several advantages in offsetting carbon emissions with Himalayan Ecotourism.

    The funds go directly to the local organization without any intermediary in between,
    Not only the reforestation contributes to sequestration of atmospheric carbon, but it greatly contributes to a sustainable development in the Himalayas,
    We regularly report the progress of the program on this page in the form of photos of the reforested areas and a database that shows the record of all the plantation. Click here to offset your emissions

Photos and plantation record reporting.

You have offset some of your carbon emissions with Himalayan Ecotourism ?
Come to visit this page from time to time, you will get the latest update of the status of the reforestation program.
How does it work ? It depends on the level of your contribution.

For all contributors

Soon after we receive your payment, we send you an email with the details of your offset – i.e. the number of trees to be planted and the surface area to be protected on your behalf.

For Silver contributors

For any carbon offset higher than or equal to 4,000 INR (50 EUR or 60 USD), you become a Silver contributor. Hence you will also receive a carbon offset certificate with your name, the number of trees being planted & protected on your behalf, and the reference number & geolocation of the plot of land on which the trees are being planted.

For Gold contributors

For any carbon offset higher than or equal to 10,000 INR (120 EUR or 140 USD), you become a Gold contributor. Not only you receive you certificate, but you also get a unique reference number of the surface area that is reforested on your behalf.
The plot of land will be marked on a drone photo of the zone so that you can see by yourself the progress of the reforestation on the land that you support.

The photos are available in the next section.
Reforestation project area

Where is your plot ?

Cilck on the picture to understand the plot reference number.

Aerial views of the reforested zones

Reforestation project area

Project area

Our current project area is around 2 square kms of barren land.

drone shot zone PE-Z01


Drone shot. The area reforested during the monsoon 2020.

Reforestation by zone

    PE-Z01 - Zone reforested in August 2020
    PE-Z02 - Zone to be reforested from January 2021

Recognition of Himalayan Ecotourism

Himalayan Ecotourism Awards

Our awards

Himalayan Ecotourism is the Overall Winner of the Indian Responsible Tourism Award 2019. We are also the Gold winner in the Best Adventure Operator category.
On the international scene, we have been declared winner of the Sustainable Tourism Award 2019 by Skal International and Biosphere.
Our cooperative-based model of social enterprise and our efforts to conserve the Himalayas are the main reasons for winning these awards.
Thank you to all our cooperative members, our customers, our friends and well-wishers !