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  • Jeff Baierlein

Outdoor Adventure Risk Management in India: Webinar March 23

Viristar’s Jeff Baierlein and Shantanu Pandit of OutdoorPandit are presenting a webinar, in collaboration with the Association for Experiential education, on outdoor safety in India.

update: watch the webinar here!

The webinar is entitled “Risk Management Advances In Outdoor Adventure: An Historical Perspective from Maharashtra India.” It will be held on March 23, 2022, at 1:00 pm Eastern Daylight Time (UTC-4), and is free and open to anyone.

The webinar explores the evolution of risk management practices in outdoor education and recreation in India over the last 40 years. India has developed dramatically since the 1980s, and the advancement of safety practices in adventure tourism and experiential education in the country has been part of that story of progress.

In the 1980s, Shantanu was part of a large-scale expedition to summit Mt. Kangchenjunga in India, at 8,586 meters (28,169 feet) the world’s third highest mountain. Shantanu will relate the story of this mountaineering expedition, which resulted in both triumph and tragedy, and explain how safety advances in India since that time have dramatically influenced risk management of outdoor activities In India, from alpine mountaineering and parasailing to whitewater rafting, caving and nature walks.

In 2006, a critical incident involving a child on a trek in the Himalaya led to a push to develop safety regulations that would effectively manage hazards in adventure tourism activities. To guide the development of sensible regulation, Shantanu co-founded the Maha Adventure Council, which worked with government officials in the Indian state of Maharashtra on regulatory language. The adventure tourism regulations were issued in August 2021, and webinar participants will get an exclusive behind-the-scenes view of their development and public reception by Maharashtra’s adventure tourism industry.

In 2021, Shantanu participated in the Risk Management for Outdoor Programs course by Viristar, facilitated by Jeff. Shantanu will incorporate the current best practices for outdoor safety described in that course into his discussion of advances in India’s risk management standards.

Adventures on the Sandhan Valley Trek, Maharashtra India

Webinar Hosted by Association for Experiential Education

The webinar is hosted by the Association for Experiential Education, which for the last 50 years has elevated and expanded the global capacity of experiential education around the world.

Shantanu and Jeff have multi-year connections to the Association. Shantanu wrote the first draft of the 600-page Self-Assessment Study and played a key part in finalizing application documents which led in 2020 to the first organization in India being awarded accreditation by AEE. Jeff Baierlein volunteers as an AEE Accreditation Program reviewer and conference presenter, and has served as regional treasurer and Board member with AEE.


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