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

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Management of Marine Protected Areas in India

The contributions of Marine Protected Areas vary greatly depending on their size, age, types and intensity of resource extraction in their area and level of financial support for management. Taking India as a typical example, how modern legal rationality, especially with respect to conservation, is entrenched in the idea of territorial control, undermines the efforts of the forest department in seascapes, and triggers conflicts, is described. Marine conservation should be motivated by a non-territorial rationality and engage seriously with alternative approaches such as dynamic co-management and legal pluralism.

National Board for Wildlife and the Illusion of Wildlife Protection

The recent approvals granted by the National Board for Wildlife permitting ecologically destructive activities within national parks and sanctuaries have generated a lot of concern. A significant part of the concern is with respect to the timing, and whether it is appropriate to approve projects during the COVID-19 lockdown. Other larger issues of concern point to the fact that the NBWL has become a “clearing house” for projects, where, irrespective of its impact on wildlife, projects are approved and that the decisions of the board are guided more by economic, strategic, political and other considerations and rarely in terms of wildlife conservation. The NBWL is the apex body for conservation of wildlife and its habitat, and the NBWL’s role is of critical importance to ensure the long-term protection of India’s biodiversity.

The Multiple Meanings of Nature Conservation

With increasing concerns about the degradation of forests threatening the existence of wildlife, conservation projects are seen as the need of the hour. However, conservation as a concept is often understood differently by the local community, the scientific community, and the state. A critical examination of the ongoing efforts for tiger conservation in Dibang Valley, Arunachal Pradesh, exposes the fault lines in the narrative of nature conservation as the state imposes its agenda through the establishment of sanctuaries and reserves, without considering the needs of the local Mishmi tribe and excluding their traditional conservation practices.
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