There is more than just fun for the occasional visitor to a national park - the economics of its conservation
NOTWITHSTANDING all loud discussions
on preserving national parks and
Nomr@es, the economics of the issue has
resnained largely unsubstantiated.
Vlie"ntly, two studies were conducted by
a research team at the Indira Gandhi
VwWtute of Development Research
("M). Bombay, on the contingent val
of the Borivli National Park
and by M Murty and S
us, Institute of Economic
Delhi, on the economic aspects
fto todtitife protection in the Keoladeo
10how" park, Bharatpur.
The studies extensively document use of 'contingency valuation mehtods proving it to be a better means 'IOU awaku the recreational aspects of d natural reserves. It was found i4FW_Zto under-priced facilities (low fees, low accomodation the park incurs a large debt.
The IGIDR study cites the example of MW aw. also known as Sanjay Gandhi asawl Park, which attracts more than hon visitors annually. This parl incurred a staggering annual Of Rs 13 million in 1994. More a adbon encroachers reside on the !JoWs kw~ft and about 1,800 adivasis bw mot* the park- Firewood collection !!&W ampaw kiling reduces forest cover md dqpades wilMe habitats.
The survey also revealed that people in Bombay were aware of the BNP'S importance for whose upliftment they displayed a high degree of'willingness to pay' - Rs 8 monthly per household for the next five years on an average.
The goal ofthe Bharatpur study was, to evaluate the application of current techniques of wildlife economics, to provide data from a specific case study at the Keoladeo National Park, and to propose possible policy options to improve people-park relations.
Increased user charges or gate fees, wildlife protection tax on domestic nationals, and voluntary contributions through environmental NGOS were suggested as efficient measures.
We are a voice to you; you have been a support to us. Together we build journalism that is independent, credible and fearless. You can further help us by making a donation. This will mean a lot for our ability to bring you news, perspectives and analysis from the ground so that we can make change together.
Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.