Biodiversity in tourism business represent a new and dynamic partnership. The alliance between tourism and conservation offers enormous potential benefits for all mankind provided if its conducted in a sustainable manner. The United Nations proclaimed 2010 to be the International Year of Biodiversity, and people all over the world are working to safeguard this irreplaceable natural wealth and reduce biodiversity loss. This is vital for current and future human wellbeing. 

The International Year of Biodiversity is also a unique opportunity to increase understanding of the vital role that biodiversity plays in sustaining life on Earth and nature, and to stop the loss. We are an integral part of nature; our fate is tightly linked with biodiversity, the huge variety of animals and plants, the places they live and their surrounding environments, all over the world. We rely on this diversity of life to provide us with the food, fuel, medicine and other essentials we simply cannot live without. Yet this rich diversity is being lost at a greatly accelerated rate because of activities related to tourism development. 

Tourism is increasingly being located in natural areas that are frontier, inaccessible, ecologically fragile and critical in terms of their biodiversity Of late nature tourism and adventure tourism are becoming very popular. This kind of tourism activity requires infrastructural development in pristine areas to provide services to the tourists. Developmental activities can impoverish as well as weaken the ability of the living systems, on which tourism depends, to resist growing threats such as climate change. Tourism has an important perspective in development of Islands as these areas are constrained with limited, land resources and scope for industrial growth. 
India has a vast geographical diversity, which resulted in varieties of nature tourism such as water falls in Western Ghats, Forests of Western Ghats, Hill Stations ,Wildlife reserves and deserts. Andaman and Nicobar Islands have special tourism perspective due to beach tourism, snorkeling, scuba diving and scenic beauty are some of the features which make islands an important tourism area apart from the history, tribal people, forests, coral reefs, mangroves, coastal areas, rich marine life, endemic birds and plants. The beaches of the Islands are rated by United Nations Development programme as one of the best in the world. Further these Islands consists of two volcanoes namely Narkondam Island and Barren Island. The former is dormant one where as the later is the only active volcano in the country. There are naturally formed lime stone caves and mud volcanoes in Baratang Island, which is thronged by cross section of visitors through out the year. Thus in Andamans, tourism is interlinked to and dependent on Ecological sustainability because the pristine nature of the various ecosystems adds intangible value to the Islands in the promotion of eco-tourism
 The ANI are also recognized as international biodiversity hotspots for their rich diversity of forests, marine, coral and mangrove ecosystems with six tribal communities who survive on the ecology of the islands and rank third in our country, apart from the Himalayas and Western Ghats,. The tourism here is essentially based on Nature. These Islands were once inhabited only by the aboriginal Tribes. As these Islands witnessed influx of people from the mainland, the virgin forests also witnessed influx of non native flora and fauna over the years. The alien species of flora and fauna invade and affect the native biota in each and every ecosystem and expand very fast. The cost in terms of loss of biodiversity can be immense. 
Environmental challenges associated with tourism are managing mass tourism and conservation of natural resources. As mass tourism grows, the tourist destinations face the danger of losing their originality. Ecotourism activities have been expanding rapidly over the past two decades without actually understanding the true concept of ecotourism and there is little consensus about its meaning among the various stake holders involved. Tourism might provide a livelihood for the native residents of the place but it could be sustained only if the natural resources are prudently used.
Tourism can also be planned, managed and implemented in an appropriate manner that acts as a tool for conservation of natural areas. Further, it should be emphasized that people in the developed countries should leave some form of positive legacy to the earth to understand the best ways of doing by gaining an understanding and appreciation of environment of developing countries which will inspire action for its protection.
On the global stage, tourism promotion and industry bodies like the World Travel and Tourism council and the UNWTO have constantly fallen back on global guidelines and agreements to showcase their Commitment to sustainability and to the environment. Key global documents linked to tourism have core ideas running consistently which promote the principle of free market, protectionism in trade and investment is to be dismantled and the initiatives should be voluntary and industry led. UNWTO global code of ethics(!!), agenda 21 for the travel and tourism industry, UNEP (IYE), tourism guidelines in the CBD all reflect these principles .

Tourism is an industry that cuts across virtually all other sectors meaning that the industry can affect them and they in turn can have impacts on tourism. Perhaps the most obvious and important linkage in Andaman and Nicobar Islands is the critical one between tourism and the environment. Indeed the tourism industry is highly dependent on the natural and heritage resource base. Tourism needs to be developed to protect the resources, and also needs to work hand-in-hand with those in the environmental agencies to ensure that any activities do not contribute to its degradation. Tourism Industry needs to have strong linkages with the Department of the Environment and Forests, with respect to environmental impact assessment and pollution control etc., and with departments responsible for natural resources, fisheries and archaeology who manage parks and protected areas and heritage sites. 

We can no longer see the continued loss of biodiversity as an issue separate from the core concerns of society: to tackle poverty, to improve the health, prosperity and security of present and future generations, and to deal with climate change. Each of those objectives is undermined by current trends in the state of our ecosystems, and each will be greatly strengthened if we finally give biodiversity the priority it deserves.

We are blessed indeed to have a land that nature has endowed so richly; to still have intact natural forest, unpolluted areas and a clean sea; to have wildlife in abundance, a tribal presence and pristine coral reefs. Let us take careful consideration of these remarkable assets and let us pause and make sure that we do not misuse or waste them. Carefully husbanding, such extraordinary natural wonders can be kept perfectly intact, and at the same time significantly contribute to the welfare of all our people.

Aparna Singh, lecturer, (Environmental Studies)
J N R Mahavidyalaya, Port Blair.