The main interests of Mountain Shepherd are to preserve both the biosphere reserve and the unique trans-Himalayan culture of the Chipko heritage community. The villagers outlined their tourism approach in the ‘ Nanda Devi Declaration ’ in 2001, representing efforts to actualize Mountain Shepherds with a focus for equity and conservation. Up on a mountain, at the clearest and finest points of our world, we find a movement to savor a clash of culture and ecology.
Mountain Shepherd ensures that local culture and way of life is not lost at the expense of Nanda Devi climbers.
- It has built capacities of more than 70 youth from remote areas in a variety of skills necessary for responsible tourism in the Himalayas ranging from search and rescue methods, energy medical response, life saving techniques, nature guides, yoga and cooking.
- To ensure minimization of ills of tourism, a systematic garbage management system has been put in place. The exposure of local communities is increased through direct interaction with visitors and through participation in tourism fairs.
- Some of the avenues through which the locals earn apart form daily employment include direct sale of carpets and woolen products from remote villages, homestays, mule services for treks, porters/guides for treks, and local transport.