Protected Areas Governance

With beginnings of a group of school-college going kids interested in nature and birdwatching in and around Delhi, Kalpavriksh has come a long way in understanding Protected Area Governance. A more serious engagement with Protected Areas began when 5 people were killed in police firing at the Keoladeo Ghana Bird Sanctuary in Bharatpur, Rajasthan in November 1982. KV’s three member team investigated the issue and established that the root cause of the problem was the ban on grazing in the sanctuary and that the villagers’ entry was justified considering that the ban had been imposed without making provisions for alternative fodder sources, thus endangering their very livelihood. This investigation was KV’s first brush with the people and parks issue. Various debates and discussions conducted over four decades through field engagement, analysis of ground-level situations and detailed studies, have helped evolve our stand that wildlife conservation cannot be successful if it alienates local people.