Ecotourism As Alternate Livelihood Means, Miani Hor © MFF/SDO
Miani Hor is a lagoon situated 90 km west of Karachi, on the Balochistan coast and is drained primarily by the Windor and the Porali, both of which are non-perennial rivers. Notably, it is the only place in Pakistan where three species of mangrove, namely Avicennia marina, Rhizophora mucronata and Ceriops tagal grow naturally. It is also an important habitat for migratory birds. Ninety percent of the inhabitants of the three villages along the coastline of Miani Hor depend mainly on fishing and fishing-related activities for their income, although fishing is only done for eight months in a year and must be discontinued during the monsoon season (from May to August). The local women are also engaged in the collection of fuel wood and fodder for livestock. This unsustainable harvesting of the lagoon’s natural resources is a major source of concern.
The project’s aim is to reduce pressure on the lagoon’s natural resources (fisheries and mangroves) by providing local fishing communities with alternative opportunities for income generation. To this end, eco-tourism will be developed and promoted in the area, which will involve the locals by training some of them as tour guides and encouraging others to allow their boats to be hired for boat rides. In order to give the local women an equally important role in this initiative, they will be encouraged to provide local traditional food to the visitors while 15 of them will be trained in embroidery and will have their products sold at an outlet at the CIC (the Conservation Information Centre set up by the SDO in Sonmiani). This will ensure continuity of the project goals after the project duration has run its course and hence continued benefit for the locals.
The project will benefit local fishing communities, and subsequent tourists who will visit the area.
Awareness of eco-tourism will be raised through a website, signboards, brochures and a visit from one Karachi-based journalist organisation.
Developing the skills of local women; provision of traditional food and sale of embroidery products means women will have a more important part in generating household income.
Preventing the unsustainable harvesting of mangroves for fuel wood and fodder will reduce the impact of climate change and protect the coastline against natural disasters.
Miani Hor , Baluchistan Province
5th Jul 2013 to 5th Jul 2014
Sonmiani Development Organisation (SDO)