I’m on the road and will be giving a presentation on women’s rights and rights of nature in Montreal later today. I just came across this headline though and wanted to post the article. It mentions the ‘people vs. wildlife” situation that we will be hearing more and more about, not just in India.
India seeks $30 million fund to save tigers
TNN | May 16, 2012, 01.47AM IST
While India hosted the meeting which saw around 150 delegates and experts come together, the differences of approach between the World Bank initiative and Indian government’s approach were visible even on the inaugural day of the workshop.
While Varma referred to the US law on creating wilderness spaces – wildlife zones with no permanent human presence — environment and forests minister Jayanthi Natarajan emphasized that conservation in India had to be more inclusive, involving and protecting the rights of people living in vicinity of forests.
“The ‘people agenda’ ranks prominently in our ‘tiger agenda’. While we do not imagine any coexistence in the inviolate core areas, a viable inclusive agenda involving local people is fostered in the surrounding buffer,” Natarajan said.
Earlier too, while the initiative was taking off, India had pushed for country-specific solutions to conserve the tiger and won the debate on maintaining the issue as a ‘sovereign one’ – something that member secretary of the National Tiger Conservation Authority Rajesh Gopal stated yet again on Tuesday at the stock-taking exercise.
The workshop is expected to set the agenda for this year and negotiate and deliberate common parameters to assess conservation efforts.
Varma also advocated a greater role for the private sector in conservation efforts – something the government has not allowed so far though several agencies and corporates have shown interest in getting involved in management of such reserves, which improves their branding and is also a lucrative business proposition with tiger tourism being a key market.
The Union government is expected to present before the Supreme Court fresh guidelines about regulating tourism around tiger reserves within the next few days.