Environment ministry favours tiger safari in buffer zones

Says will help in conservation efforts

By Kumar Sambhav Shrivastava
Published: Tuesday 15 May 2012

Notwithstanding the risk tourism might cause to the big cat, the Centre is planning to promote tiger safari in the buffer zones of the tiger reserves. The plan comes at a time when the Supreme Court is hearing a matter on whether tourism should be banned in the critical tiger habitats of the country.

An announcement on promoting tiger tourism in buffer zones was made by Union environment minister Jayanthi Natarajan at the 1st Stocktaking Meeting of the Global Tiger Recovery Programme in New Delhi on May 15. “There are concerns about the harmful effect of tourism on the wildlife. But it is also important to make people realise that a tiger alive is more valuable than a body of a tiger,” said Natarajan. The Centre is now waiting for the states to make proposals for such project.

Natarajan said it was important to incentivise communities to take part in the conservation efforts along with the government. “People agenda is a very important part of our tiger agenda. While we are determined to make core areas of the tiger reserves inviolate, we will promote inclusive multi-purpose use of the buffer zones,” she added.

The three-day conference, which started on May 15, is being organised by the National Tiger Conservation Authority, Union Ministry of Environment and Forests along with the Global Tiger Forum, Global Tiger Initiative and World Bank. In the conference, the 13 tiger range countries, including Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Russia, Thailand and Vietnam, have joined hands to take stock of the Global Tiger Recovery Programme (GTRP).

GTRP was initiated in the International Tiger Forum in St Petersburg in Russia in November 2010 in which the tiger range countries resolved to double the current global tiger count of around 3,200 by 2022.

In the conference, the representatives of these countries will discuss the progress made in the programme so far. The countries are also going to discuss the latest best practices and technology for tiger habitat conservation, poaching control, reducing demand for wildlife derivatives and sustainable development.  


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