Review of the Draft Wildlife Action Plan India

Neema Pathak Broome, a member of Kalpavriksh, Pune, writes:

This article attempts to analyse how the draft wildlife action plan (hereafter DWAP) having taken note of the injustices historically carried out upon the local communities addresses them to be able to create local support for conservation. Also in doing so, to what extent it has explored complementarities between national laws and international obligations. Indeed there are a few good suggestions in the DWAP towards creating a more participatory approach to conservation.

For example, taking into account a diversity of protected area categories as suggested by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) instead of looking at a highly restrictive protected area regime; promoting declaration of conservation reserves and community reserves rather than wildlife sanctuaries and national parks (the latter two being more restrictive for the local communities); expressing a need to look at “other effective conservation measures” rather than solely focusing on protected areas as a model of wildlife conservation; reviewing past relocations from there and working on newer strategies for relocation in future; and stressing on the need for people’s support for conservation. However, when it comes to suggesting concrete action points to achieve these, the DWAP still falls way short of the goal. This is an account of how the DWAP 2017–31 once again seems to have missed an opportunity to address the issue of alienation of local communities from the concerns for wildlife.
Read the full article in Economic & Political Weekly