Assessing Cost Effective Management Options of Eichhornia crassipes in Ecotourism Ramsar Sites, Nepal

Document Type: Regular articles

Authors

1 Central Department of Botany, Tribhuvan University Kirtipur, Nepal

2 Professor of Central Department of Botany, Tribhuvan University Kirtipur, Nepal.,

3 City College, CUNY, New York, NY, USA

4 Institute of Global Agriculture and Technology Transfer (IGATT), Fort Collins, CO, USA

Abstract

Ecotourism is growing business in Nepal due to domestic and international visitors. Specifically, natural lakes in Ramsar sites are very potential avenues for boating, scenic beauty and study the aquatic ecosystem. However Eichhornia crassipes has been threatening the beauty, ecosystem and eco-tourism business. This research was objectively carried out to explore income generation from ecotourism and determine socio-economic management of Eichhornia crassipes for manure or biobriquette. Four Ramsar sites namely Beeshazari, Maipokhari, Lakes Clusters of Pokhara and Jagdishpur Lakes were selected for the study. Data were collected through expert consultation organizing four workshops, direct observation and sampling. Meanwhile record of manpower, removal cost and utilization of Eichhornia crassipes were also collected. Affected sites of Eichhornia crassipes were calculated analyzing the current image of Google earth pro using ArcGIS. Samples were collected establishing sixty plots of 1m×1m and these were analyzed. Altogether about US$ 785260 was earned from tourism business between 2011 to 2015. The highest income was generated about US$ 397500 between 2011 to 2015 from visitors of Lakes of Pokhara. Removal cost of Eichhornia crassipes was the highest about US$ 108.09 ha-1 of Beeshazari Lakes in 2015. Farmers could save cost about US$ 31931 using Eichhornia crassipes as manure and that could be nearly US$ 38315 for biobriquette in 2015. The B/C ratio, NPV and Profit Index could be nearly 6.13, 96059.91 and 7175.11 using Eichhornia crassipes of Beeshazari Lakes as manure while 4.81, 105868.50 and 12415.63 using it as biobriquette. The study could contribute design the ecotourism policy.

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