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  • Responsible Travel | Terra Conscious | India

    OCEAN BIODIVERSITY EXPERIENCE Learn More BACKWATER KAYAK TRAIL Learn More FOREST WALK Learn More BACKYARD CYCLING TRAIL Learn More COASTS. COMMUNITIES. CONSERVATION. Founded in February 2017, we are a based social enterprise, based out of North Goa. Driven by a team of passionate conservationists, we are working towards through our conducted through partnerships. marine conservation empowering the local community responsible marine and coastal experiences, community As a social enterprise, our mission is to Through our travel experiences, we support our social impact work that focuses on and enabling them to address the numerous conservation challenges at hand. maximize environmental and social impact. creating awareness, building capacity of various stakeholders Read More "The dive with Terra Conscious and Roshan were literally life altering. Both my sons and I loved the experience, the knowledge gained and the professional calm approach for our instructor, Roshan. He is an extremely great guy with kids and is the perfect first instructor you want to dive with. Looked forward to our next dive with you guys" Conservation Diver Programme "I have immense respect for all the work Terra Conscious does. They are good people, working towards a better world. So whether you are a local, or a traveller, an adventure junkie or a nature enthusiast, heck even if you are a party animal, take some time out, and sign up for this. Total value for money, its like you are investing in Nature." Backyard Forest Trail "We had a lovely evening of a relaxed kayaking trip into the mangroves of Goa. We learned a bunch about life on mangroves and how important they are for our world. It was beautiful, fun, super chill and the guide was really great. Responsible tourism is the only way to go." Backwater Kayaking Trail “Terra Conscious offers a fabulous holistic experience of dolphin watching in Goa - complete with breakfast, an informative session on dolphins & their habitat as well as fresh snacks on the boat! This allows for an interaction that is both respectable and leisurely, in addition to being informational. Their crew and interns are keen to have you on board and ensure that the experience is warm, while constantly maintaining the excitement of being at sea, in the territory of marine wild life.” Ocean Biodiversity Experience Read More Here's What People Are Saying!

  • Eco-movie Nights | Terra Conscious

    BOAT OPERATOR PARTNERSHIP PROGRAMME ​ Goa is home to the endangered Indian Ocean Humpback Dolphin (Sousa Plumbea), protected under Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act of India. The presence of this species in Goa's coastal waters , has led to the organic growth of a dolphin watching industry, with almost 400 operators conducting trips in the busy Sinquerim bay, in North Goa and sporadic smaller sets of operators distributed across the coast operating from different beaches. A stated that during observation surveys, dolphins were observed displaying signs of stress around the tour boats, including avoidance behaviour and changing path of travel. The tour boats were found to be often chasing and surrounding the dolphins in an attempt to show a 'guaranteed' sighting to the tourists on - board. study conducted by the World Wide Fund for Nature - India, supported by the International Union for Conservation of Nature - India The root cause of the issue is lack of awareness and capacity building, and lack of enforcement of rules and guidelines by the concerned authorities. ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ OUR APPROACH​ ​ • This programme addresses these gaps by building the capacity of the boat operators to conduct ethical dolphin watching trips in accordance with internationally accepted dolphin watching guidelines. ​ • It also builds awareness and behavioral change amongst promoters, visitors, regulators and the wider public to enable a sensitive and responsible environment within which better engagement and protection is provided to the species and its habitat. ​ • It promotes the concept of responsible and sustainable tourism as a counter to the current more extractive image of the state’s tourism as a ‘party destination’. This image currently also influences development and regulation in the context of tourism in the state, which has led to widespread degradation of the state’s vulnerable marine and coastal spaces. ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ GOAL ​ Our goal is to build the capacity of the dolphin watching boat operators to provide responsible and ethical experiences by training them in internationally accepted dolphin watching guidelines, developing and placing information signage in our pilot site, and building awareness and marketing campaigns to connect conscious travellers with the trained operators. ​ At present, we have trained 8 operators in our pilot site at the Morjim bay, in North Goa, and we conduct the ethical dolphin watching experiences with them in collaboration as their knowledge and marketing partner. Our , provides a much needed alternate to the current form of these trips and is focused on building an understanding about the species and its habitat. It also aims to build awareness about responsible tourism and encourages both the operators and the visitors to follow ethical guidelines when engaging with the marine habitat. Ocean Biodiversity Experience ​ CONSERVATION OUTCOMES ​ • Reduced stress in dolphins and reduction of habitat disturbance and pollution: We envision that once a significant number of dolphin watching tour operators are trained and widespread awareness about the species and responsible tourism practices is enabled, there will be a much better response from visitors who engage in these activities and reduce the stress and disturbance currently faced by the dolphins in their habitat. • A cleaner, safer and more habitable environment for dolphins by altering tourist behavior: Once tourists are more aware of the focal species, its behavior and habitat use, they will put less pressure on operators to provide a sighting and be more compliant in conducting the trips ethically. • Boat operators’ compliance with ethical guidelines as a result of sustained advocacy/stakeholder dialogue with the relevant authorities: It will also enable us to engage in dialogue with the relevant authorities to implement regulations, with proof of concept evidence, to ensure that boat operators comply with ethical guidelines including addressing waste management in the marine space. • Sustained Monitoring of the focal Species and its habitat: Better monitoring of this species and its habitat will also be an outcome of this programme, since there will be more widespread sensitization and engagement. ​ ​ SOCIAL IMPACT ​ •A more engaged and aware boat operator community, measured through the number of trained operators who are practicing ethical dolphin watching in the project area. ​ • A higher footfall of responsible and conscious travellers who support educational and ethical experiences, measured through the number of people who choose our ethical experiences. ​ • Reduced carbon footprint of dolphin watching tours, measured through the reduction of fuel consumption and costs as trained boat operators will save expenses on fuel by following ethical dolphin watching guidelines, which requires them to switch off their engines in the presence of dolphins. ​ • Higher income for trained operators, as ethical trips would be offered at a premium rate versus the 5$ it costs now to do a dolphin trip in Goa, which does not cover their rising expenses of running and maintaining their boat or provide for their lifestyle aspirations. • Better sensitisation and increased awareness amongst the wider public about the focal species and conservation of its habitat measured through reduction of marine and beach litter as well as customer feedback. 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  • Education | Terra Conscious

    Add Your Title This is a great place to add a tagline. Tell customers more about you. Add a few words and a stunning pic to grab their attention and get them to click. ​ This space is ideal for writing a detailed description of your business and the types of services that you provide. Talk about your team and your areas of expertise. BOAT OPERATOR PARTNERSHIP PROGRAMME ​ Goa is home to the endangered Indian Ocean Humpback Dolphin (Sousa Plumbea), protected under Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act of India. The presence of this species in Goa's coastal waters , has led to the organic growth of a dolphin watching industry, with almost 400 operators conducting trips in the busy Sinquerim bay, in North Goa and sporadic smaller sets of operators distributed across the coast operating from different beaches. A stated that during observation surveys, dolphins were observed displaying signs of stress around the tour boats, including avoidance behaviour and changing path of travel. The tour boats were found to be often chasing and surrounding the dolphins in an attempt to show a 'guaranteed' sighting to the tourists on - board. study conducted by the World Wide Fund for Nature - India, supported by the International Union for Conservation of Nature - India The root cause of the issue is lack of awareness and capacity building, and lack of enforcement of rules and guidelines by the concerned authorities. ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ OUR APPROACH​ ​ • This programme addresses these gaps by building the capacity of the boat operators to conduct ethical dolphin watching trips in accordance with internationally accepted dolphin watching guidelines. ​ • It also builds awareness and behavioral change amongst promoters, visitors, regulators and the wider public to enable a sensitive and responsible environment within which better engagement and protection is provided to the species and its habitat. ​ • It promotes the concept of responsible and sustainable tourism as a counter to the current more extractive image of the state’s tourism as a ‘party destination’. This image currently also influences development and regulation in the context of tourism in the state, which has led to widespread degradation of the state’s vulnerable marine and coastal spaces. ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ GOAL ​ Our goal is to build the capacity of the dolphin watching boat operators to provide responsible and ethical experiences by training them in internationally accepted dolphin watching guidelines, developing and placing information signage in our pilot site, and building awareness and marketing campaigns to connect conscious travellers with the trained operators. ​ At present, we have trained 8 operators in our pilot site at the Morjim bay, in North Goa, and we conduct the ethical dolphin watching experiences with them in collaboration as their knowledge and marketing partner. Our , provides a much needed alternate to the current form of these trips and is focused on building an understanding about the species and its habitat. It also aims to build awareness about responsible tourism and encourages both the operators and the visitors to follow ethical guidelines when engaging with the marine habitat. Ocean Biodiversity Experience ​ CONSERVATION OUTCOMES ​ • Reduced stress in dolphins and reduction of habitat disturbance and pollution: We envision that once a significant number of dolphin watching tour operators are trained and widespread awareness about the species and responsible tourism practices is enabled, there will be a much better response from visitors who engage in these activities and reduce the stress and disturbance currently faced by the dolphins in their habitat. • A cleaner, safer and more habitable environment for dolphins by altering tourist behavior: Once tourists are more aware of the focal species, its behavior and habitat use, they will put less pressure on operators to provide a sighting and be more compliant in conducting the trips ethically. • Boat operators’ compliance with ethical guidelines as a result of sustained advocacy/stakeholder dialogue with the relevant authorities: It will also enable us to engage in dialogue with the relevant authorities to implement regulations, with proof of concept evidence, to ensure that boat operators comply with ethical guidelines including addressing waste management in the marine space. • Sustained Monitoring of the focal Species and its habitat: Better monitoring of this species and its habitat will also be an outcome of this programme, since there will be more widespread sensitization and engagement. ​ ​ SOCIAL IMPACT ​ •A more engaged and aware boat operator community, measured through the number of trained operators who are practicing ethical dolphin watching in the project area. ​ • A higher footfall of responsible and conscious travellers who support educational and ethical experiences, measured through the number of people who choose our ethical experiences. ​ • Reduced carbon footprint of dolphin watching tours, measured through the reduction of fuel consumption and costs as trained boat operators will save expenses on fuel by following ethical dolphin watching guidelines, which requires them to switch off their engines in the presence of dolphins. ​ • Higher income for trained operators, as ethical trips would be offered at a premium rate versus the 5$ it costs now to do a dolphin trip in Goa, which does not cover their rising expenses of running and maintaining their boat or provide for their lifestyle aspirations. • Better sensitisation and increased awareness amongst the wider public about the focal species and conservation of its habitat measured through reduction of marine and beach litter as well as customer feedback. X Add Your Title This is a great place to add a tagline. Tell customers more about you. Add a few words and a stunning pic to grab their attention and get them to click. ​ This space is ideal for writing a detailed description of your business and the types of services that you provide. Talk about your team and your areas of expertise. BACK TO IMPACT SERVICES

  • Sustainability Collective | Terra Conscious

    BOAT OPERATOR PARTNERSHIP PROGRAMME ​ Goa is home to the endangered Indian Ocean Humpback Dolphin (Sousa Plumbea), protected under Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act of India. The presence of this species in Goa's coastal waters , has led to the organic growth of a dolphin watching industry, with almost 400 operators conducting trips in the busy Sinquerim bay, in North Goa and sporadic smaller sets of operators distributed across the coast operating from different beaches. A stated that during observation surveys, dolphins were observed displaying signs of stress around the tour boats, including avoidance behaviour and changing path of travel. The tour boats were found to be often chasing and surrounding the dolphins in an attempt to show a 'guaranteed' sighting to the tourists on - board. study conducted by the World Wide Fund for Nature - India, supported by the International Union for Conservation of Nature - India The root cause of the issue is lack of awareness and capacity building, and lack of enforcement of rules and guidelines by the concerned authorities. ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ OUR APPROACH​ ​ • This programme addresses these gaps by building the capacity of the boat operators to conduct ethical dolphin watching trips in accordance with internationally accepted dolphin watching guidelines. ​ • It also builds awareness and behavioral change amongst promoters, visitors, regulators and the wider public to enable a sensitive and responsible environment within which better engagement and protection is provided to the species and its habitat. ​ • It promotes the concept of responsible and sustainable tourism as a counter to the current more extractive image of the state’s tourism as a ‘party destination’. This image currently also influences development and regulation in the context of tourism in the state, which has led to widespread degradation of the state’s vulnerable marine and coastal spaces. ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ GOAL ​ Our goal is to build the capacity of the dolphin watching boat operators to provide responsible and ethical experiences by training them in internationally accepted dolphin watching guidelines, developing and placing information signage in our pilot site, and building awareness and marketing campaigns to connect conscious travellers with the trained operators. ​ At present, we have trained 8 operators in our pilot site at the Morjim bay, in North Goa, and we conduct the ethical dolphin watching experiences with them in collaboration as their knowledge and marketing partner. Our , provides a much needed alternate to the current form of these trips and is focused on building an understanding about the species and its habitat. It also aims to build awareness about responsible tourism and encourages both the operators and the visitors to follow ethical guidelines when engaging with the marine habitat. Ocean Biodiversity Experience ​ CONSERVATION OUTCOMES ​ • Reduced stress in dolphins and reduction of habitat disturbance and pollution: We envision that once a significant number of dolphin watching tour operators are trained and widespread awareness about the species and responsible tourism practices is enabled, there will be a much better response from visitors who engage in these activities and reduce the stress and disturbance currently faced by the dolphins in their habitat. • A cleaner, safer and more habitable environment for dolphins by altering tourist behavior: Once tourists are more aware of the focal species, its behavior and habitat use, they will put less pressure on operators to provide a sighting and be more compliant in conducting the trips ethically. • Boat operators’ compliance with ethical guidelines as a result of sustained advocacy/stakeholder dialogue with the relevant authorities: It will also enable us to engage in dialogue with the relevant authorities to implement regulations, with proof of concept evidence, to ensure that boat operators comply with ethical guidelines including addressing waste management in the marine space. • Sustained Monitoring of the focal Species and its habitat: Better monitoring of this species and its habitat will also be an outcome of this programme, since there will be more widespread sensitization and engagement. ​ ​ SOCIAL IMPACT ​ •A more engaged and aware boat operator community, measured through the number of trained operators who are practicing ethical dolphin watching in the project area. ​ • A higher footfall of responsible and conscious travellers who support educational and ethical experiences, measured through the number of people who choose our ethical experiences. ​ • Reduced carbon footprint of dolphin watching tours, measured through the reduction of fuel consumption and costs as trained boat operators will save expenses on fuel by following ethical dolphin watching guidelines, which requires them to switch off their engines in the presence of dolphins. ​ • Higher income for trained operators, as ethical trips would be offered at a premium rate versus the 5$ it costs now to do a dolphin trip in Goa, which does not cover their rising expenses of running and maintaining their boat or provide for their lifestyle aspirations. • Better sensitisation and increased awareness amongst the wider public about the focal species and conservation of its habitat measured through reduction of marine and beach litter as well as customer feedback. 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  • Oceanwatch | Terra Conscious

    OCEAN WATCH ​ MARINE WILDLIFE STRANDING RESPONSE & MONITORING NETWORK With the aim to sensitise and create a 1st response network of lifeguards in Goa and establish protocols for addressing marine wildlife stranding incidents, across its 100 kms coastline, we began a collaborative project in June 2017 with the Goa Forest Department , IUCN India and Drishti Marine Services, to report incidents of live/deceased marine species, such as cetaceans and sea turtles, stranded on the beaches. As facilitators of the network, we coordinate each stranding incident with the help of the Forest Department personnel and the continuous support from the lifeguards. The capacity building workshops conducted to train Goa Forest Department officials, lifeguards and establish this programme, were enabled through the support of the . At present, this network comprises of 550 lifeguards, beach cleaning staff and forest department personnel. International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN India) ​Furthermore, we have facilitated the training of veterinarians from the State Animal Husbandry Department, for conducting necropsies on cetaceans and sea turtles as well as providing treatment for injured sea turtles. ​ ​ ​ X OCEAN WATCH 1 YEAR REPORT BACK TO IMPACT SERVICES

  • About | Terra Conscious

    When most people think of Goa, they think of beaches, parties, cheap alcohol and casinos. However, none of these are a true reflection of this extraordinary state. With a vision to mainstream responsible tourism in Goa, Terra Conscious is an effort by Puja Mitra and Roshan Gonsalves to change the way travellers engage with this little gem. Founded in February 2017, we are a marine conservation based social enterprise, based out of North Goa. Driven by a team of passionate conservationists, we are working towards empowering the local community through our responsible marine, education oriented and coastal experiences, conducted through community partnerships. As a social enterprise, our mission is to maximize environmental and social impact. Through our travel experiences, we support our social impact work that focuses on creating awareness, building capacity of various stakeholders and enabling them to address the numerous conservation challenges at hand. RECOGNITION WHO WE ARE PUJA MITRA, CO - FOUNDER ​ Puja Mitra is a professional conservation practitioner with an MSc in Biodiversity, Conservation & Management from the University of Oxford and is a Commonwealth Scholar (2008-09). With impressive prior experiences as Senior Programme Coordinator for the World Wide Fund for Nature, Campaign Manager with India’s apex national animal protection agency, the Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisations (FIAPO) and Trust Coordinator with The Kishkinda Trust, Puja’s work as a conservationist, communicator and Founder of Terra Conscious, combines an animal-lover's devotion to protecting species, a story-tellers fixation with inspiring action and an environmentalist's angst about the state of the planet. ​ ROSHAN GONSALVES, CO-FOUNDER ​ An experienced Scuba diving professional and Marine Ecology specialist licensed by Scuba Schools International (SSI) dive association, Roshan is also a passionate cyclist, and has spent many years exploring the coastal forests and trails between Goa and Karwar, which is his home base. His enthusiasm for nature, conservation and responsible diving makes every activity he leads an engaging and an enjoyable learning experience.When not out doing adventurous things, you will find him pottering around the garden, or chilling with his three beautiful doggos while trying to learn the ukulele or cooking up some great Thai food! ​ OUR ADVISORS NISHA D'SOUZA SOCIAL IMPACT ADVISOR ​ With a passion for wetland conservation, Nisha worked with IUCN (the International Union for Conservation of Nature) for nearly seven years, administering the MFF (Mangroves for the Future) Small Grants initiative, in India. She has an MPhil. in Conservation Leadership (University of Cambridge) and is the Founder of EcoNiche, a collaborative platform for sustainable conservation solutions, She also serves as an Advisor to Terra Conscious, helping us chart our way in the unknown waters of building a conservation - social impact enterprise. ​ TANIA DEVIAH SOCIAL IMPACT ADVISOR ​ A Master of Arts in Social Work from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Tania is an activist and campaigner with a passion for working on issues that arise in the intersection of human rights, the environment, resource use, gender and conservation. She is passionate about creating alternatives for a sustainable future for the environment and for communities on the frontline of conservation in India, be it by enabling options for sustainable livelihoods in the eco tourism sector or by engaging in community initiatives focused on participatory conservation and species protection. She is also currently experimenting with writing for social change. IVAN MARTIN SOCIAL IMPACT ADVISOR ​ After getting a Master's degree in tourism and another in animal rights, Ivan has specialized himself in the marine environment through several expeditions and internships in South Africa, India, and in the Mediterranean Sea. He also joined the Swiss Cetacean Society-SCS in 2017 as a naturalist guide and co-manages several projects between Terra Conscious and the SCS. As a strong animal advocate, he is interested in ways to reconcile species conservation and eco-tourism, which is one of the main reasons why he decided to contribute to Terra Conscious’ work

  • Responsible Experiences | Terra Conscious

    OUR RESPONSIBLE EXPERIENCES We offer outdoor activities that provide an opportunity to engage with the local biodiversity and natural environments. All our trips are knowledge driven and aim to be as and as possible. ethical sustainable eco conscious BACKYARD CYCLING TRAIL WATCH Read More > Book Now KAYAK Read More > Book Now CYCLE ​ Read More > Book Now WALK Read More > Book Now WHY US? IMPACT With a hope to lead by example, our experiences are conducted through a curated community network of like minded, passionate individuals who share our values. SAFETY All our experiences are conducted by trained and certified instructors. We only use high quality, safe and durable equipment. Compliant with international safety standards. ECO-CONSCIOUS Our trips strive to be as eco-conscious as possible. All our trips include opportunities to do a clean up. We use no plastic and leave little to no trace on the eco-systems we engage with. EDUCATIONAL All our trips include a presentation by conservationists that allow you to learn about and enjoy the eco-system you are experiencing simultaneously. OCEAN BIODIVERSITY EXPERIENCE OVERVIEW ​ The Ocean Biodiversity Experience is our flagship programme and Goa’s only ethical dolphin watching experience! Led by a conservation professional, this experience comes with an opportunity to learn about the Indian Ocean Humpback Dolphin and the magnificent marine life found in Goa. Take in the stunning views of the Arabian Sea on this 2 hour boat ride, exploring the river mouth and marine habitat. To top it all, enjoy the true essence of wildlife watching and if lucky, spot Goa’s endangered dolphin in its natural habitat. 2 hours 30 minutes Duration: : October to May Operational Months 2500/- INR Cost: : 7:00 am Start Time Sinquerim Jetty, Candolim Location: PAYMENT TERMS 1. We provide a 100% refund, if the trip is cancelled by us due to weather conditions or any other unforeseen circumstances. 2. We provide NO refund if the trip is cancelled by you. Book Now BACKWATER KAYAKING TRAIL OVERVIEW ​ The most recent addition to our responsible travel experiences, the Backwater Kayaking Trail is one of the best ways to unwind and explore Goa’s striking mangrove forests. This immersive, guided experience is an opportunity to learn how to duck and paddle through these intricate ecosystems, while observing first hand, the diverse wildlife it protects. Most importantly, be a part of a zero waste, low carbon footprint experience, intended to educate travellers about the role that mangroves play in climate defence. 2 hours 30 minutes Duration: Runs throughout the year. Operational Months: 2000/- INR Cost: Location: Candolim River, near Nerul bridge. PAYMENT TERMS 1. We provide a 100% refund, if the trip is cancelled by us due to weather conditions or any other unforeseen circumstances. 2. We provide NO refund if the trip is cancelled by you. ​ Book Now BACKYARD CYCLING TRAIL OVERVIEW This 4km ride through a private, protected forest is not only an absolute treat to all your senses, but will also make you fall in love with early mornings in Goa. Surrounded by green fields fringing the neighbouring villages, this trail is home to some incredible bird species, including hornbills, kingfishers, sunbirds and more. Not to miss the delicious home cooked breakfast waiting for you at the end of your ride! 2 hours 30 minutes Duration: Runs throughout the year. Operational Months: 7:00 am (morning ride) / 4:00 pm (evening ride) Start Time : 2350/- INR Cost: Camurlim, Near Mapusa Location: ​ PAYMENT TERMS 1. We provide a 100% refund, if the trip is cancelled by us due to weather conditions or any other unforeseen circumstances. 2. We provide NO refund if the trip is cancelled by you. Book Now FOREST WALK OVERVIEW This 2km walk through a private, protected forest is not only an absolute treat to all your senses, but will also make you fall in love with early mornings in Goa. Surrounded by green fields fringing the neighbouring villages, this trail is home to some incredible bird species, including hornbills, kingfishers, sunbirds and more. Plus there is a delicious home cooked breakfast waiting for you at the end of your walk! ​ 2 hours 30 minutes Duration: Runs throughout the year. Operational Months: 7:00 am Start Time : 1800/- INR Cost: Camurlim, Near Mapusa Location: ​ PAYMENT TERMS 1. We provide a 100% refund, if the trip is cancelled by us due to weather conditions or any other unforeseen circumstances. 2. We provide NO refund if the trip is cancelled by you. Book Now

  • Boat Op Programme | Terra Conscious

    BOAT OPERATOR PARTNERSHIP PROGRAMME ​ Goa is home to the endangered Indian Ocean Humpback Dolphin (Sousa Plumbea), protected under Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act of India. The presence of this species in Goa's coastal waters , has led to the organic growth of a dolphin watching industry, with almost 400 operators conducting trips in the busy Sinquerim bay, in North Goa and sporadic smaller sets of operators distributed across the coast operating from different beaches. A stated that during observation surveys, dolphins were observed displaying signs of stress around the tour boats, including avoidance behaviour and changing path of travel. The tour boats were found to be often chasing and surrounding the dolphins in an attempt to show a 'guaranteed' sighting to the tourists on - board. study conducted by the World Wide Fund for Nature - India, supported by the International Union for Conservation of Nature - India The root cause of the issue is lack of awareness and capacity building, and lack of enforcement of rules and guidelines by the concerned authorities. ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ OUR APPROACH​ ​ • This programme addresses these gaps by building the capacity of the boat operators to conduct ethical dolphin watching trips in accordance with internationally accepted dolphin watching guidelines. ​ • It also builds awareness and behavioral change amongst promoters, visitors, regulators and the wider public to enable a sensitive and responsible environment within which better engagement and protection is provided to the species and its habitat. ​ • It promotes the concept of responsible and sustainable tourism as a counter to the current more extractive image of the state’s tourism as a ‘party destination’. This image currently also influences development and regulation in the context of tourism in the state, which has led to widespread degradation of the state’s vulnerable marine and coastal spaces. ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ GOAL ​ Our goal is to build the capacity of the dolphin watching boat operators to provide responsible and ethical experiences by training them in internationally accepted dolphin watching guidelines, developing and placing information signage in our pilot site, and building awareness and marketing campaigns to connect conscious travellers with the trained operators. ​ At present, we have trained 8 operators in our pilot site at the Morjim bay, in North Goa, and we conduct the ethical dolphin watching experiences with them in collaboration as their knowledge and marketing partner. Our , provides a much needed alternate to the current form of these trips and is focused on building an understanding about the species and its habitat. It also aims to build awareness about responsible tourism and encourages both the operators and the visitors to follow ethical guidelines when engaging with the marine habitat. Ocean Biodiversity Experience ​ CONSERVATION OUTCOMES ​ • Reduced stress in dolphins and reduction of habitat disturbance and pollution: We envision that once a significant number of dolphin watching tour operators are trained and widespread awareness about the species and responsible tourism practices is enabled, there will be a much better response from visitors who engage in these activities and reduce the stress and disturbance currently faced by the dolphins in their habitat. • A cleaner, safer and more habitable environment for dolphins by altering tourist behavior: Once tourists are more aware of the focal species, its behavior and habitat use, they will put less pressure on operators to provide a sighting and be more compliant in conducting the trips ethically. • Boat operators’ compliance with ethical guidelines as a result of sustained advocacy/stakeholder dialogue with the relevant authorities: It will also enable us to engage in dialogue with the relevant authorities to implement regulations, with proof of concept evidence, to ensure that boat operators comply with ethical guidelines including addressing waste management in the marine space. • Sustained Monitoring of the focal Species and its habitat: Better monitoring of this species and its habitat will also be an outcome of this programme, since there will be more widespread sensitization and engagement. ​ ​ SOCIAL IMPACT ​ •A more engaged and aware boat operator community, measured through the number of trained operators who are practicing ethical dolphin watching in the project area. ​ • A higher footfall of responsible and conscious travellers who support educational and ethical experiences, measured through the number of people who choose our ethical experiences. ​ • Reduced carbon footprint of dolphin watching tours, measured through the reduction of fuel consumption and costs as trained boat operators will save expenses on fuel by following ethical dolphin watching guidelines, which requires them to switch off their engines in the presence of dolphins. ​ • Higher income for trained operators, as ethical trips would be offered at a premium rate versus the 5$ it costs now to do a dolphin trip in Goa, which does not cover their rising expenses of running and maintaining their boat or provide for their lifestyle aspirations. • Better sensitisation and increased awareness amongst the wider public about the focal species and conservation of its habitat measured through reduction of marine and beach litter as well as customer feedback. 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