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Conservation vs. Livelihoods?
An article published in the Hindu highlights the necessity to balance conservation and livelihoods concerns, so as not to alienate the communities who inhabit the forests conservationists mean to protect.
For instance, in Biligiri Rangaswamy Temple Wildlife Sanctuary, it is suggested that local populations angry at the government because of a recent ban on the collection of NTFP are less likely to report forest fires to authorities, which makes the forest and wildlife more vulnerable to fire destruction. The ban has reduced families' earnings by 50 to 90 percent, forcing a lot of them to migrate to find new sources of income. The issue of limited collection rights in protected area is widespread in India.
The article concludes that forest dwelling communities need to have a stake in protecting ecosystems and wildlife for them to cooperate in fighting poaching and wildfires. This would benefit both conservation and livelihoods.
Posted By Anne-Sophie Samjee at 2:44pm on August 27, 2007
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