mandip singh soin, Ibex expeditions
How do you feel that your history best prepares you for service on the ATCF Board?
I have been involved for over 38 years in the field of adventure and the last 25 years also in eco-tourism and sustainable/responsible tourism issues. First to egg on PATA to form an Environment committee that led to greater learning and actions on the ground by PATA members worldwide. Advocate of Sustainable Tourism and minimal impact tourism since the mid 80's. In 2008, the Government of India asked me to form a National body for Responsible Tourism and became the Founder President of the Ecotourism Society of India.
Describe prior experience you have working with nonprofits and conservation groups?
Erstwhile member of the PATA Environment Committee and ran some lectures and workshops for advocacy. Trustee of the Himalayan Environment Trust along with Sir Edmund Hillary for the cause of greening the Himalaya. Founder President of the ESOI , holding 12 National workshops and Conferences for various State Govts and Industry bodies in India.
Expert member for the Access Commission and Mountain Protection Commission of the UIAA - the International Federation of Mountain Associations worldwide. Life member of the WWF and the Indian National Trust for Art & Culture (INTACH) and member of the Himachal Pradesh & Madhya Pradesh Ecotourism Boards.
Outline the specific skills you bring or contributions you hope to make to the ATCF Board.
Eco tourism /Responsible Tourism practices knowledge and experience both from an academic and well as a practitioner point of view and having been a Judge on several Environmental / Resp tourism Award programmes of WTTC, PATA , SKAL etc , a clear sense of Best practices and methodologies that can succeed to make a difference.
Why do you seek a position on the ATCF Board of Directors?
To be able to make a difference with the limited knowledge and experience I can share amongst a robust adventure tribe that can be the vanguards of showcasing best environmental /eco practices.
Describe any experience with sustainable tourism.
I have helped evolve the Sustainable Tourism Criteria of India (STCI) based upon the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria, for the Ministry of Tourism,Govt of India as a core committee member. Also wrote in the Sustainable Tourism agenda for India's 12th five Year Plan as part of the Govt committee. I have also undertaken some initiatives like the Icewalk- International students expedition to the Arctic to measure the Ozone hole and Global warming 1989,The International Ecotourism Expedition to the Andaman & Nicobar Islands 2002 and also edited the 3 editions of the Environment & Ecotourism Handbook published by the Ministry of Tourism , Govt of India.
Describe any experience working in fundraising and development.
I started the Ecotourism Society of India and drove the Membership development initiative. Sporadic fundraising initiatives in the past for some organisations involved in Adventure and Youth development etc.
Describe any experience working with indigenous/community groups.
At local state levels with the hill communities in the Himalaya, the local tribes in Central India for wildlife & ecotourism stewardship etc. and the remote tribes of the Andaman Islands.