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Resilience of Rishikesh’s social-ecological system towards tourism: a case study of beach camping ban

Student name: Ms Garima Jasuja
Guide: Dr Sukanya Das
Year of completion: 2019


The linked social-ecological systems have certain capacity to absorb external shock coming to them and the degree to absorb such shock is reflected by the resilience of these systems. Continuous shocks, however, lead to irreversible changes in these systems at times. Such a concept has been widely used for tourism-based linked social-ecological systems which are complex adaptive systems.

One such system is the social-ecological system of beach camping in Rishikesh. Promoting ecotourism at the natural fragile area of 36 km stretch from Kaudiyala to Rishikesh, beach camps had gained a prominence over a period of two decades till it ultimately got banned.

The policy intervention took place in a response to mushrooming of beach camps due to tourism influx in the ecologically sensitive area. Given that tourism can be a significant force of structural changes in this tourism-based system, the aim is to study the social and ecological linkages in the system to facilitate analysis of ban as a policy intervention. The framework for assessing resilience of social-ecological system given by Resilience Alliance (2010) has been adopted to construct a conceptual model and further, cost-effectiveness analysis is done to identify the least costly policy intervention to fulfil the objective.

Keywords: Social-ecological systems, resilience, complex adaptive systems, cost-effectiveness, policy intervention