Involve locals for saving Tiger: Govt told
New Delhi, Feb 6: Providing better relocation incentives for local communities living in tiger reserves and sharing benefits of tourism with them can work wonders for the government's project of making tiger habitats 'inviolate', the Monitoring Committee to oversee Project Tiger relocation process said today.
However, the Committee headed by Centre for Science and Environment director Sunita Narain, also favoured a cautious approach on the issue of ecotourism, which it said can be both beneficial and threatening to the ecology of the animal.
"We need to set a model of relocation that gives better incentives to local communities to move out of core areas of tiger reserves," Narain said after a meeting of the Committee that was attended by all stake holders, including forest wardens of several states and representatives of the tourism and environment sector among others.
She said the Tiger Task Force's recommendation of sharing the benefits of tourism with local people could help integrate them into the conservation process but will have to be done with a cautious approach to ensure that the influx of tourists does not hamper the ecology of the reserves.
"We have been informed that areas around the Jim Corbett National Park and to some extent Ranthambore have witnessed as much as 80 per cent growth in the number buildings in the last two years. This is a direct result of the increasing number of tourists to the areas," she said.