Human settlements in tiger reserves are a threat to the delicate movement of wildlife and in turn, face the danger of sudden attacks by wild animals. It is the animals that are going to lose eventually. Relocation of local tribes and villages out of the reserves is the only solution for both the tribes and animals, because man and animals have failed to coexist in peace. Human activity of any kind, good, bad or ugly is a nuisance to the fragility of wild animals.
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I have heard about your site at sccs conference in bangalore. it is nice to have one place for all conservation issues. however, what is your stand on fra? in the caption above, you have claimed that relocation is the only solution? what if people do not want to move? fra protects their land. and why do you still encourage tourism while ask people like these to move out.
Hmm….While there is a lot to agree with the viewpoint in the caption (of “Human activity of any kind, good, bad or ugly is a nuisance to the fragility of wild animals”), it is quite unfortunate that we pick on the weakest of the lot to remove human activity. Stronger “human activity” that are more of benefit to the richer people are scarcely targeted and should be – mining, roads, tourism for starters. And secondly, “relocation of tribes” needs sustained local engagement to listen, understand and negotiate with them as to what they want. It cannot (in my opinoin) be a technical solution to what is essentially a socio-political problem.
You are right, Prashanth. Resettlement can be a win-win if done fairly (like in Bhadra) else will lead to several complications (which we see repeatedly from different parts of the country). Also, forest departments (who have traditionally been given this responsibility) are not geared to handle this sensitive task and is best done by trained NGOs.
Well, I am a bit disillusioned about entrusting it to NGOs. Unfortunately, we have no other go than to strengthen the FD. And we must do all we can in that direction. Working with the system at all levels is always better than complaining from outside (which many NGOs are adept at) instead of working with the system, which very few NGOs are able to (for various reasons).
Btw, very nice site, Ramki. I believe it is becoming a good place for conversation about conservation, and with time, perhaps more than just that. Fills an empty niche. I have become a regular here, although I am not commenting as much as I should or would like to!
Hello Venkat, you are certainly right. we should not encourage wildlife tourism and certainly not during these vulnerable times. coming to the FRA, it talks more about the woes of people living in and around the forest areas. now we have been talking about the woes of “humans” since time immemorial, and we have started talking about the plight of animals for a few decades that too when we realized the flora and fauna is threatened. As for these forest dwellers are concerned, they are very vulnerable. in the sense that they can easily aide or even become poachers. There are many incidents where these localites were caught selling the nails & teeth of tigers in Nagarahole. yes they may be unaware of the importance. But they cannot be ignored because they are unaware. Because to someone who earns Rs.100 a day, you show him how to make Rs.1000 a day, he will definitely want to take a chance. Leave the forests to the animals. It is their home. they only know to live there. and they have been living there for an astronomical time. we are sounding like we are trying to argue with the animals.