Saturday, January 28, 2012


An emerging trend in areas meant for wildlife conservation is the demand for urban amenities for ‘developing the life of people’. Any decision in this direction requires careful deliberations and planning about (a) where and how to preserve anthropological heritage and traits, (b) where to provide urban amenities inside the forests, and (c) where to take the people out of the forests closer to developed urban set up. While attitudinal evolution of human society is inevitable, conservation of biodiversity in any form is also a survival necessity. From early 1970s one of the ‘recommended approaches’ in wildlife conservation is to relocate human population from designated areas which offer better chances for survival of wildlife. Implementation of the idea of relocation or its results has not been encouraging. Where implemented, it has been only in part, and only the brighter side or only its opposite is presented to the world. Often there is unhappiness on either side----, the relocated family feels neglected, and the Protected Area Manager is unable to make use of the area deemed to have been vacated for him. Similipal in the district of Mayurbhanj in Odisha, India is an example of activities under Tiger Conservation, Crocodile Conservation, Elephant Conservation, Eco-development, Biosphere Reserve Management and the programme for development of primitive tribal families namely, Khadia and Mankedia. With experience and lessons drawn from Similipal forests, it is urged that (1) only the primitive Khadia tribals may be able to prolong a sustainable living without going away from the forests. (2) For all other ‘tribal people’ education should be so much interwoven into their desire for change and urbanization that they grow fast with it away from pressure of complying to measures for nature conservation. (3) Those willing for relocation should be done fast with distinct pre-relocation and post-relocation packages. Post-relocation requires long term care and development. (4) Back in forest the Policy should be clear to handle ‘motivators’ and other people encroaching into sanctions that may accrue only for ‘primitive tribals’.