Tiger Tourism Continues
Just read a newspaper report that the ban on Tiger Tourism in core areas of the tiger reserves has been lifted. Good news indeed. How else would the Save Tigers enthusiasts see for themselves if tigers are getting saved or not? NTCA has formulated fresh and strict guidelines. Salient points:
- Not more than 20% area (and not exceeding present usage) of the core reserve should be opened for tourism.
- If present usage exceeds 20% then Local Area Committee to put up a time-frame to bring it down to 20% or less.
- Tourism should be low-impact and regulated strictly adhering to site-specific carrying capacity.
- Focus to be shifted from wildlife tourism to ecotourism.
On our part, we at SaveTigers.com, request the GOs at tiger reserves to treat all NGOs as VIPs at par with GOs so we don’t face such banning situation in future 😉 Save Tigers! Not ours or theirs but everyones 😛
Some more good news
- While the Convention on BioDiversity (CBD) at Hyderabad, comes to a close, 5 cities – Hyderabad, Guntur, Thane, Varanasi and Shimla have signed MoUs with Local Action Biodiversity (LAB) India, to preserve biodiversity.
And some trivia
- India: GoM ayes Land Bill that allows land acquisition on agreement from 2/3 of the land-owners! Is the two-thirds by people count or by land holding 😛 The original bill had called for 80% consent and industry lobbyists had asked for dilution. दिख रहा है हमें हवा का रुख है किस तरफ और सुनामी का किस तरफ 😉
- India: Totos, one of the oldest tribes facing extinction will be provided free foodgrains. Well, how about letting them cultivate their own foodgrains?
- Jaswant Singh, MP, on Editorial page in The Hindu dated October 17, 2012: “Reform is not a synonym for unbridled consumerism. There are values beyond money and markets too!” We agree, Sir.
- Tarsh Thekaekara, Biodiversity Conservation Researcher, on Op-Ed page in The Hindu dated October 17, 2012: “Efforts towards conserving the country’s biodiversity are hobbled by the frightening insistence that development cannot be held up!” Rightly said. We, at Save Tigers frequently wonder – what exactly is development?
As we all know, tiger is at the top of the food pyramid, and tiger conservation cannot be done without conserving that food pyramid, which itself entails conserving the biodiversity of an ecosystem. Loss of green cover depletes the herbivores and depletion of the herbivores leaves the tiger hungry, real hungry! What a condition for the poor jungle king to be in? But, there is hope and some action. Acclaimed wildlife conservationists from all over the world recently got together and made a historical effort in the jungles of Madhya Pradesh – central India.
We bring our readers a special report on the Historic Reintroduction of the Indian Bison (Translocation from Kanha to the Bandhavgarh National Park). Read the full report published here with the kind permission of the author, Rakesh Shukla. An abridged version of this report first appeared in the print edition of Central Chronicle of Bhopal.
On a tour to the wildlife sanctuary at Kolleru lake in Andhra Pradesh, the union minister for environment and forests of India stated (source: The Hindu newspaper of 28 February, 2010) – “I don’t see the problem from the environment angle alone. Humans are more important than birds.”
The issue at stake is the reduction of the size of the wildlife sanctuary from present plus 5 contours to plus 3 contours.
Two local members of parliament and even the state government are reported to be pitching for this reduction in wildlife habitat. Pitiful situation indeed!
A final decision would be taken by the central government after a 5-member expert committee submits a report in about 3 months.
Thankfully, the minister recalled that the former chief minister of the state had sought a solution acceptable to all stakeholders.
The Kolleru wildlife sanctuary is a critically important avian habitat and stopover on India’s east coast between Chilika lake up north and Pulicat lake down south.
Jairam Ramesh, the central minister in charge of the environment and forest ministry in India, recently questioned the detractors of the proposal to divert the stretch of NH7 between Seoni and Nagpur. This stretch of about 130 KM passes through a critical area within Pench Tiger Reserve in central India, and it is feared that maintenance and up-gradation of the national highway would do irreparable damage to the protected area. The supreme court of India has put a stay on the highway up-gradation.
The diversion proposed via Chhindwara would increase the distance by about 40 KM, which is not a big price considering the damage that would be done otherwise. Chhindwara is an upcoming industrial town and this could also help the local people.