ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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The Downside of Environment Protection in India

Origin of Conservation Refugees

The conservation of biodiversity and natural resources can help offer a sustainable supply of goods and services to fulfil the right of people to development and livelihood. However, the conservation record is not inspiring in India and across the world, when its social, economic, and cultural impacts on local people are considered. Conservation projects that exclude local people may conserve natural resources to an extent but not people’s access to livelihoods. By being a densely populated country, India cannot encourage the strategy of “pristine nature” in its conservation initiatives.

The global North’s vision of untouched wilderness regarding the protection of natural ecosystems and the conservation of protected areas has permeated global policies and politics. The central strategy of conservationists and institutions with transnational conservation agendas is largely based on the preservation of undisturbed natural areas. They look upon national governments as the guardians of biodiversity, though the international conservation agencies have only nominal control over the areas set aside for conservation. In developing countries, conservation policies and the creation of protected areas with a wilderness approach have led to conflict between governments, institutions, and the local population. This approach has also catalysed the expulsion and marginalisation of people living in these regions, ignored the issue of the dependence of inhabitants on natural resources, and has disregarded the knowledge and traditions of local population in the conservation of ecosystems and biodiversity (Torri 2011).

Over the last few years, the significance of protected areas with expanding institutional structures has been constantly highlighted by committees and scholars in discussions about climate change. Protected areas have been understood as regions notified by the national governments for wildlife conservation, as a means of reducing pressures on wildlife and biodiversity. But, they are now being viewed as avenues for afforestation and reforestation, along with curbing deforestation as a cost-effective approach to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (Ghate and Ghate 2011; Lasgorceix and Kothari 2009).

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Updated On : 9th Dec, 2019

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