Promoting Ecotourism through Innovative climate change adaptation measures where people finds recreation and students academic demonstration

Combat Climate Change through educative ecotourism enterprise and disseminating innovative adaptation ideas in tourism sector.

Photo of Shamsul Momen Palash
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  • Yes, I fulfill all of the eligibility criteria.

Initiative's representative name

Khandakar Mohammad Shamsul Momen

Initiative's representative date of birth

26th December, 1973

Initiative’s representative gender

  • Man

Which eligible market are you based in?

  • Bangladesh

Where are you making a difference?

Cox's Bazaar, Chittagong, Bangladesh

Website or social media url(s)

When was your organisation founded?


Focus areas

  • Helping people adapt to technologies of the future
  • Financial skills and capability
  • Reskilling and upskilling the workforce
  • Creating digital tools

Project Stage

  • Pilot (have done first proof of concept)
  • Start-Up (first few activities have happened)
  • Growth (have moved past the very first activities; working towards the next level of expansion)

Yearly Budget: How much capital do you need to accomplish your proposed project?

  • $500k - $1m

Organisation Type

  • Non-profit / NGO

1. Founding story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that led the founder(s) to get started or the story of how you saw the potential for this to succeed

During our intervention in a deprived village of climate refugees people where we found hundreds of children are void of educational facilities. We set one preschools and started camping there for longer period with some other awareness activities as the place was very vulnerable to different weather related hazard due to its geographical location. After one long year of living in the nature let us observe some magnificent features of nature. We observe that the environmental services that protect those people are being exploited to meet their immediate need, thus their vulnerability becoming more acute. We discovered that there are alternates to these deleterious activities that can offer income and save the nature simultaneously.

2. The problem: What problem surrounding employability or financial capability are you helping to solve?

Sustaining one's livelihood depends on largely protecting the surrounding natural ecosystem. In this case our concern over gradual loss of natural richness that is gradually narrowing their scope of earning bread. Therefore, caring natural ecosystem is the best option for them to sustain livelihoods. Therefore, sustaining financial capability can help solving the ecological degradation process and create employment opportunity through ecotourism.

3. Your Solution: How are you planning to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.

Planning to reduce ecological footprint of the people through helping them get trained on generating livelihood by caring nature and selling the aesthetic values as ecotourism products. Creating employ-abilities to keep them away from destroying nature can help combat climate change and thus reduction of climate impact can create more opportunities and potentialities of large scale ecotourism opportunities. Extraction of dead snails, for selling in the market, from the underneath of the sand of foreshore, backshore and dunes which are driven here by the waves from the offshore. The organic mass protected by the mantle of snails are mixed with sands and get cemented when they are dead. This coagulation process succeed the natural appearance of some creepers plants like Beach Morning Glory that bind the sands and thus territorial expansion occurs. Thus the land become suitable for other tree plantation. But due to injurious anthropocentric activities this processes are disturbed and the succession process get hampered, creates more vulnerability. If the extraction of snails are reduced to one tenth are added with ornamental values can earn them the same financial returns.

4. How are you innovating or using unique approaches to solving the problem?

Utilizing alternate resources from the surrounding nature can help nature to thrive stably that can create opportunity of ecotourism. Initial 1 year is challenging until the nature is allowed to restore its own capacity to thrive. Here main target is to help nature restore its capacity to thrive and the aesthetic potentiality will be gradually converted into ecotourism products. As the students from across the world would gather here for the excursion facilities to learn about the innovative climate change adaptation techniques which are applicable anywhere appropriate. Thus mobilization of academic ecotourism could help these local vulnerable people to survive by ecotourism as well helping the planet to restore its natural balance.

5. Employability: how is your organization or project teaching people to develop the skills that they need to survive in the future job market?

Here the people will be taught how to generate natural products to help their livelihood. Their aids to the nature would be converted into ecotourism industry without harming it. Thus earth will be helped and in exchange they will be survived. The people will learn how to grow ecotourism products through helping nature to add aesthetic values that can be sold in the tourism market. They will learn how to grow organic food and promote those product in the academic tourism services. Extracting less snails & Beach Morning Glory plants and adding more ornamental values & enhancing the expansion of the beach will surely help them broaden the market. Thus more people will get jobs to sustain their livelihoods. This skills can be spread through thousands kilometers along the coastline teaching them climate adaptation and earning livelihood simultaneously.

5a. Please describe which future-oriented skills your organization is focused on fostering and how you have measured / plan to measure progress

Few disturbed or deterioration process to nature will be halted and resumed with reversed techniques in a very short time, say in a year or in cases few years. Definitely those will add aesthetic values to the concerned location and enhance the ecotourism potentialities. Once it was tried with a small scale ecotourism for a short time, and got tremendous feedback. The place is concerned is full of ecological potentiality to support large scale ecotourism in the future. Progress can measured by the ecological progress and the number of academic ecotourists get attracted gradually and steadily.

6. Financial capability: how is your organization or project creating innovative solutions that arm people with ability to optimize their current and future financial health

Once the ecological services by the people will be considered in terms of ecotourism values, they will be financially benefited and hence the long term sustainability will be achieved, as it is already been proved by a short term intervention in the near past. Moreover, the people here are so vulnerable that they understand the their future is hanging on the ecological balance of the nature, so they want to help the nature to fight back climate change impacts, thus their struggling activities to combat climate change can earn them a livelihood options. Gradual walk out from the extraction of valuable natural environmental engineers like snails & Beach Morning Glory plants will surely help them getting more stable lands & more territories respectively. These activities will arm the people to optimize their current and future financial health with the desired sustainability.

6a. Please describe what aspect of financial capability your organization is focused on fostering and how you have measured / plan to measure progress.

To combat climate change through adaptation measures that is also livelihood sustaining, the people need to change their previous attitude that are harmful to nature by enriching essential stewardship knowledge, developing alternate environment friendly skills, and honing self-efficacy & the combination of these is expected to foster the Financial capability that our organization aspires. Progresses would be measured through measuring the instabilities the nature is overcoming and letting the people conquering poverty through offered income generating options that were once absent.

7. Marketplace: Who else is addressing the same problem? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

So far the information reveals, the intervention is the first and virgin in Bangladesh that was broadcast on the media and on a documentary film produced by a Canadian university that helped few ecological workers to replicate it in Mexico. State and few entities that are technically unsound with ecological knowledge tried the same thing by other means with the spoilage of state fund proved to be unnecessarily expensive and yielding no results, but the ideas generated here cost little as environment is the most trustful engineer once it is cared and protected from anthropocentric impairments.

8. Impact: How has your project made a difference so far?

Initial introductions of few climate adaptive ideas generated immense enthusiasm among the vulnerable people as it could reflects the future potentiality of sustaining their livelihood through protecting and preserving biological as well as ecological diversity. In the intervention almost more than 100 people were engaged in varied activities from nursery raising, plantation, agriculture, coconut clinic & school operation, organization of women cooperative societies and dry fish processing to ornamental products creation from shells of dead snails. The gap between successful policies and positive impacts at local level were tried to be merged. Being it is situated in a disconnected community suddenly it became an inspiring story for others through print and electronic media. Consequently some academic communities came to learn it from domestic/foreign institutions and got applauded.

9. Financial Sustainability Plan. Can you tell us about you plan to fund your project and how that plan will be sustainable in the short, medium, and long term?

Once the project will run and start generating income, and its being a not-for-profit initiative, revenues excluding the overhead expenditure, will be reinvested. Thus initially ecotourism facilities in tents for the student/learner tourists will generate small scale income that can sustain a small team of local people who are vulnerable to climate change. This short term stage will be for a smaller period of time that will be upgraded to the medium term with added components to it, i.e., organic agriculture, dry fish, coconut based value added products. The third stage will be accompanied by wooden huts along with solar and bio-gas generated power supply and paid world class Climate Change Adaptation Training Courses for universities.

10. Team

Team is composed of best recognized specialists and truly spirited grassroots climate/environmental activists of the country. They constitute the executive body and a band of true volunteers across the country. Most of them are part time or volunteers due to lack of funding. As information on future potential experts are updated, hence , enriching its composition as the project grow is not that complicated. The main constraint is seed funding which can sprout diversity and bring success.

Help Us Support Diversity! Are you a member of an under-served , under-represented, or marginalized group in your country of residence? (yes/no) (this question is optional – if you choose to fill it out, the response will not be shared with your fellow contestants)

  • Political belief
  • Socioeconomic class
  • Other

If you selected “yes” to any of the categories above, please explain how being a member of this group has impacted you and your work?

Here in Bangladesh political discrimination is a habitually true incidence in every walk of lives, specially for those who believe in freedom of expression . Being a true environmentalist and with a weaker socioeconomic background it almost made it harder to get anything approved in terms of funding. Other factor is that here philanthropy is almost absent and social works are dominated by some corrupts as profitable enterprises, so once they get approvals eliminate our noble mission and vision.

How did you hear about this challenge?

  • Ashoka page or contact

Evaluation results

6 evaluations so far

1. OVERALL Evaluation:

Yes, absolutely! - 16.7%

Yes/maybe - 33.3%

Maybe - 33.3%

Maybe/no - 16.7%

No - 0%

2. Is this entry INNOVATIVE?

Yes, absolutely! - 0%

Yes/maybe - 50%

Maybe - 16.7%

Maybe/no - 33.3%

No - 0%

3. Does this entry have SOCIAL IMPACT?

Yes, absolutely! - 66.7%

Yes/maybe - 33.3%

Maybe - 0%

Maybe/no - 0%

No - 0%

4. Is this entry VIABLE financially and operationally?

Yes, absolutely! - 0%

Yes/maybe - 16.7%

Maybe - 66.7%

Maybe/no - 16.7%

No - 0%


Yes, absolutely! - 50%

Yes/maybe - 33.3%

Maybe - 16.7%

Maybe/no - 0%

No - 0%

6. FEEDBACK: Highlights

IMPACT POTENTIAL: You use specific numbers and evidence to describe what your project has achieved so far (or plan to achieve in the future) – and you have a concrete plan for future impact. You have specific tools for measuring impact. - 66.7%

QUALITY OF INNOVATION: You have a great understanding of the problem, have researched existing solutions, and have developed unique, thoughtful solutions - 0%

FINANCIAL AND OPERATIONAL SUSTAINABILITY: You have given a great deal of thought to not just the idea itself but how to make it work operationally and financially in the present and future; your plan is specific and you value sustainability. - 33.3%

CHANGEMAKING ACTIVATION: You have a good plan on how to activate changemakers and empower them to innovate through your product or programming - 100%

Other option - 0%

7. FEEDBACK: Areas for Improvement

IMPACT POTENTIAL: make sure to provide specific instances of your social impact (or how you plan to measure impact) – it may be helpful to describe the beneficiaries, the main activities/products, and provide evidence of (or plan for) impact evaluation - 60%

QUALITY OF INNOVATION: make sure to describe how your solution is unique and innovative – it is helpful to include the research you have done on past solutions and how your solution is different from (and/or builds upon) these. - 40%

FINANCIAL AND OPERATIONAL SUSTAINABILITY: make sure you have provided descriptive information about your financial sustainability plan. Where do the funds come from now and do you have a concrete plan for future sustainability? - 100%

CHANGEMAKING ACTIVATION: make sure you describe your plan for how to empower others to become changemakers through your programming, service, or product - 20%

WRITING STYLE. Try to be concise, descriptive, and specific. Avoid jargon. - 60%

Nothing stands out! I thought it was great. - 0%

Other option - 0%


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