IT HAPPENS ONLY IN INDIA,
GREAT JOB MR. PARMAR
it is good to eat as many as vegetables and fruits (totally vegetarian), but my aurvedic doctor asked me to stop eating every...
One, regulations for managing the commercial tourist business remain virtually non-existent. The question is why conservationists -- who are on key decision-making bodies -- have been successful in other measures -- like the complete ban on grazing in the park -- but been unable to ensure that the commercial interests of tourism are restrained. Instead, all efforts to regulate land use and manage tourist pressure have been foiled.
Two, unbridled and unmanaged tourism will definitely damage the park and its animals. The question is whether people with interests in the business can indeed be part of the regulatory mechanisms. For instance, if there are attempts to restrain the number of tourists entering the park, or restrict further construction of hotels in the vicinity of the forests, will the position of conservationists not be compromised?
Today, the distrust in Ranthambore between the protectors of the tiger and the local inhabitants is so deep that even the recent news that poachers have confessed to killing tigers is not believed. Local papers have carried stories alleging that these "confessions" are part of the plan to take over the park -- for tourism and rich visitors (see box: Hostile takeover). Such antagonism will be detrimental to tigers.
But Ranthambore raises more fundamental questions. The fact is that tigers are being protected as a public trust, on public resources. Should the business of tourism, based on public resources, not be regulated so that it gives back to conservation? All the model now offers is a few jobs for locals -- and charity for tigers. But if there was no tiger, there would be no tourist. What then should be a conservation-based tourism model?
Protecting tigers in a populous and poor country like India will inevitably lead to hardships for people who share forests with wild species. The question is can we reinvent the model so that benefits are shared. Ranthambore is under siege today -- a war zone, where tigers are under fire. In this battle, the tiger will not win. And we will all lose.