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

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Relocation from Tiger Reserves under the NTCA Guidelines

Relocation under the National Tiger Conservation Authority Guidelines for Voluntary Village Relocation in Notified Core/Critical Tiger Habitats of 2011, represents a paradigmatic shift from the previous history of displacement from protected areas. About a decade later, this article attempts an overview of the state of relocation under the Guidelines and seeks to throw light on the implementation challenges faced so far.

The “protected area” network based on the logic of creating inviolate spaces for nature and wildlife free from human interference has often been at great cost to communities residing in and around these areas with a traditional dependence on forests. It is estimated that globally, the overlap between protected areas and the lands of indigenous people1 is about 50%–80% creating a “near constant state of confrontation and ongoing potential for conflict and violence” with the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples noting that conservation measures have resulted in forced evictions, disrupted links with spiritual sites and denial of access to justice and remedy (Tauli-Corpuz et al 2018: 6). Conservation induced displacement has engendered profound social costs particularly among the poorest and most marginalised (Borinni-Feyeraband et al 2004; Brockington 2002) subjecting them to what Cernea and Schmidt-Soltau (2006: 1824) refer to as the impoverishment risks of landlessness, joblessness, homelessness, marginalisation, food insecurity, increased mortality, loss of access to common property, and social disarticulation in the absence of “equitable planning for sustainable resettlement, compensation, and recovery.”

In India, conservation induced displacement has a long history dating back to pre-independence days. It gained momentum, as Lasgorceix and Kothari (2009) observe, during the 1970s with the enactment of the Wildlife (Protection) Act (WPA), 1972 and the launch of project tiger in 1973 leading to the creation of 50 tiger reserves till date. In their review of 28 cases of displacement from protected areas, they found that majority of the relocations have been forcible or induced and done in a non-transparent, conflic­tual, mismanaged and non-participatory manner. Relocation plans for the most part have been faulty owing to the lack of adequate provision of technical and financial inputs required for successful creation of agricultural livelihoods in the new setting (Rangarajan and Shahabuddin 2006).

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Updated On : 28th Jul, 2020

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