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Thread: Supreme Court orders ban on tourism in core areas of tiger reserves

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    Default Supreme Court orders ban on tourism in core areas of tiger reserves

    Your Views?

    New Delhi: Supreme Court has today ordered that tourism be banned in core areas of all tiger reserves in the country.

    It has said this ban should continue till it passes final orders in the matter filed by Bhopal-based environment protection NGO Prayatna. The NGO is demanding a ban on tourism in 'core areas' of tiger reserves while it can continue in the 'buffer areas' of tiger reserves.

    The court had earlier directed the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), under the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), to submit final guidelines related to tourism in core area by July.


    The court will hear now the matter on August 22 next, to examine the guidelines submitted by the authority.

    The court also asked, "Why should tourism be allowed in core area? Tigers are practically on the verge of extinction whatever the statistics."

    The court also slammed the Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Bihar, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh governments for not notifying the buffer and core areas in tiger reserves in their states. Only once buffers are notified can only tourism be banned in core areas.

    These states will now have to pay Rs. 10,000 as fine. They have been given three weeks to issue notification on buffer zones in tiger reserve in their states.

    Tour operators have been opposing the ban, but the court stuck to its decision.


    Article from : Supreme Court orders ban on tourism in core areas of tiger reserves | NDTV.com
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Regards,
    Bibhav Behera
    www.bibhavbehera.com

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    With my little knowledge I understand that none of the reserve's core areas are fully open to tourist. There are touristy zones where gypsies generally go, and the routes are fixed. To get permit for more one needs to constantly make rapport or bribe the FD. Hotels/resorts are just outside core and inside buffer. Banning tourism totally will fully help poachers. Who knows, the petitioner is not a poacher in disguise?
    Remember the case of Sariska , the officials kept on feeding cooked up stats on numbers. But still some restrictions are necessary as sometimes the bandhavgarh tigers made to look like act in tamasha.

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    I echo Subhajit...
    First, I should mention that I wasn't aware of tourism in the core zone proper, unless it has been going on illegally. My bad if I've been ignorant.
    Banning tourism appears to be either an irrational step by well-meaning people, or (possibly?) something to aid poaching/tapping resources in the core zone as Subhajit thinks. In the long run, banning tourism won't help conservation. Along with the FD, visitors do a large lot of the monitoring and documentation. What is needed is stricter regulation, not a ban.

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    as per my views to this SC orders, Banning tourism totally will does not help anyways in conservation but worsens still, pouching will become even more and now govt. order is like giving pouchers licence to kill.
    As per my knowledge i thought till now we were not allowed to the reserve's core areas, only safaris are held in the Tourism Zone(ie Buffer Zone).
    please somebody let me know the safaris held in Bandipur,Kabini,kgudi... and in central india and other places is in Core areas or in Buffer zone areas.

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    Sucheth,

    The managing director of Jungle lodges and Resorts, Mr. Anur Reddy, clarified yesterday that since all safaris in Kabini (Sunkadkatte zone), Bandipur, K Gudi and Bhadra are in the core area, their properties across Karnataka might have to be shut down at least temporarily.
    Bhargava

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    The Supreme court would do a great service to the country if it could enforce initiatives through the states on controlling poaching and other illegal activities in the jungle, rather than cutting out a huge revenue stream (Tourism).

    Having said that, Safari's, especially up north have kind of spiralled out of hand, with the big cats almost craving for attention or putting up a display for a bee line of vehicles lining up as audiences. There is no denying the fact that they are a lot more used to vehicles, humans and crowds, which, otherwise, would have never been part of their natural existance.

    What is possibly required is regulation of Tourism rather than a ban. The Safari's are Kabini are a good example. A few years ago, there were atleast 40 vehicles of different resorts criss crossing the entire jungle space every morning and evening. A well networked Walkie Talkie system ensured that the minute a big cat was spotted, the message was flashed across to the other vehicles and there was mad rush towards the sighting area, where all vehicles would converge. Today, this has been completely regulated. None of the resorts are allowed to operate their vehicles inside the jungle and JLR have been entrusted the responsibility of the safaris. Walkie Talkies have been abolished and the number of vehicles deployed at a given time are regulated. Routes are clearly marked for each vehicle and they are not allowed to deviate from their routes at any cost (even if they get a message on their mobile phone on the sighting of a tiger nearby, which is not part of the assigned route) or face stern action. This has brought in a lot of sanity into the operations.

    Long story short, in my personal view, while banning tourism is not the solution here, regulating tourism is an important thing for the court to consider.

    regards
    Rajan

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    Tigers and Tourism can't co - exist . . . Check this out.

    Tigers, tourism can’t co-exist: SC | The Asian Age

    regards
    Rajan

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    Just when things were indeed looking up and the entire country seemed to be rejoicing the arrival of new cubs at all our TRs, comes this heart-breaking news.

    The ban on tourism in the core areas is till 22 August, when the Supreme Court is scheduled to give a final ruling in this matter.

    Apparently, RTI activist Ajay Dubey (who had filed a petition in the SC which ultimately led to this ban) insists that this judgement will not only mitigate the direct impact of tiger habitat due to tourism but also reckons that Tiger numbers in the country will improve due to this ban. Really ? This is ridiculous !

    I truly hope sanity prevails and the SC takes the NTCA to task in order to better implement the Wildlife Act & frame sustainable tourism-friendly guidelines rather than pass such judgements as a knee-jerk reaction.

    As Belinda Wright of WPSI has rightly said, "Tourists act like the eyes and ears for protection of tigers and tigers have lost them today".

    It isn't surprising to note that Mr. Ramesh Gopal of the NTCA, whom I've been in touch, with remains incommunicado. Dear Moderators, I request you to kindly involve each & every Indiawilds member and start a campaign to ensure that this ban is lifted please.
    Last edited by Vijay Rajan; 25-07-2012 at 03:10 PM. Reason: grammatical error

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    Bhargava,

    JLR is the finest when it comes to preaching & practicing responsible eco-tourism, it's a pity they might need to shut down, courtesy a few unscrupulous elements running resorts on encroached land and wreaking havoc around most of our Tiger reserves. Marriage parties, bursting of crackers at such places have only added fuel to fire.

    Keeping fingers crossed till 22nd of August & hope sanity prevails.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bhargava Srivari View Post
    ,

    The managing director of Jungle lodges and Resorts, Mr. Anur Reddy, clarified yesterday that since all safaris in Kabini (Sunkadkatte zone), Bandipur, K Gudi and Bhadra are in the core area, their properties across Karnataka might have to be shut down at least temporarily.

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    I sort of disagree with most of you on this. ..The SC orders are regarding tourism in core areas. Not in the buffer zones or in tourism zones and this is specifically in reaction to some states deliberately not notifying core areas. The responsibility of notifying these areas is with the state so is the choice of weighing the relative pros and cons of allowing tourism in protected areas. In the very words that the court has used why should tourism be allowed in the core areas??? The contention that tourism will act as a deterrent to poaching doesn’t sound convincing. Will somebody go back and check the last 5 reported incidents of tiger poaching in our country. where did they happen?? To my knowledge BRT, Nagarhole, Wayanad, Chandrapur.

    The economic angle of how tourism provides employment to the local population deterring them from poaching and over exploitation of the forest resources might have some substance. But what % of the local populace is getting supported?? At what cost?? has some one tried to understand the effect of safari jeeps crisscrossing core areas? If at all there is a rational equation to this are the benefits so good that we cannot keep at least the core areas inviolate?? How much money / efforts are the wild life tour operators and resort owners of this country spending for conservation?? If the day to day responsibility of running tourist operations in the core areas of a forest as per a model code of conduct is given to private enterprise, God save our protected areas and their inhabitants. I hope we are not forgetting that this is India with all its crude realities.


    If tourism is allowed in the core areas we are looking upto the NTCA to provide guidelines on the how and who and expecting the the FD to implement them. What guidelines are these??? You will see the tiger and it willnot see you, anybody who disturbs the vigil of a chital with Staccato firing of a DSLR will get fined, the quantity of fumes emitted by the safari jeeps shall not exceed __cubic feet? If that sounds ridiculous then anything else even if made and implemented is absolutely useless….. because that is why you need places called core areas which are absolutely inviolate and secure from unnecessary human interventions.


    Rgds
    Roopak

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    I do agree that core zones were meant to be inviolate areas of the forest. If the SC says tourism in CZs is to be "banned", was this not an existent law all these years? On paper, yes, it was. Practically, obviously not, at least in the parks concerned here. And since the concerned FDs have not demarcated a definite core zone, how would the new law identify which vehicles have entered it and which haven't? In fewer words, the law seems to be crude.

    Secondly, these areas have been disrupted already, be it by photographers/conservationists, tourists or poachers. The new law will keep out the first two. What about the third? We all know how rampant poaching has been all these years, and how unfortunately unsuccessful the attempts to curb it have been. Poachers obviously wouldn't hesitate to operate in core zones. Tourism (regulated) would mean the CZ would be patrolled more effectively, even if not perfectly. If tourism is banned in the CZ, it would have to be patrolled entirely and very responsibly by the FD. If this is definitely done, I could say the ban is justified. Can it be done? I'm not that sure. One may think of defending threatened core zones with rules such as shoot-at-sight, but though many of us feel in favour of this, it ultimately raises ethical questions and is not guaranteed to work out (and, as I imagine, may even lead to dire complications).
    It would have been an entirely different matter if poaching had never raised its head in India. But once it has been going on so rampantly, we can't risk leaving any of these areas unwatched.

    The solution would be to regulate tourism here. At least in the parks where it is already going on. The system Rajan has mentioned is one effective solution. Another would be to hike safari prices if entering the core zone (though I'm not sure how well this would work, since the powers backing poaching won't have a problem with it). For the CZs that are as yet untouched, selective implementation of this law would be good, or, hopefully and better still, the matter wouldn't arise at all.

    My apologies if anything seems wrong / out of context here.
    Last edited by Abhishek Jamalabad; 25-07-2012 at 07:08 PM.

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    Agree with Roopak on this.

    The question that comes to my mind is "Why do we need tourism in core areas?"
    The answer "tourism will help reduce poaching in core areas" doesn't sound very convincing enough to me.

    I do agree that tourism has an impact on reducing poaching but to what extent needs to be studied in details.

    Another question that comes to my mind is "Is indian govornment incapable to prevent poaching and need help of jeeps moving around in the core areas?"

    More forest guards can be employed in the core areas to prevent poaching. Locals can be hired and trained for this purpose providing them with income opportunities.

    I don't know if analysis has been done on this but 'How many times has a tiger or leopard has missed out an opportunity of a possible meal due to human intervention?'

    There are instances where human greed have taken over the conservation needs.

    Banning tourism in core areas will definately hit the pockets of the tour operators and also will reduce photography opportunities for tourists. If our main interest is conservation then these factors doesn't count.

    I would prefer core areas to remain free of human intervention with necessary steps taken to prevent poaching.

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    This has been covered in the latest issue ie in the IndiaWilds Newsletter Vol. 4 Issue VII. You guys will be getting the mails. It is now online and you can find it here: http://www.indiawilds.com/diary/indi...l-4-issue-vii/

    I will answer the other issues raised here later.
    Sabyasachi

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    I feel what Roopak and Atul has said is right, that tourists should not be allowed in the core areas. Less people in the jungle would be definitely good for the tigers. The poaching part is something which needs quite strict handling by the forest department. If that is done then tigers would definitely benefit in the long run. Looks like photography and viewing pleasure will be sacrificed for sometime. Lets see what the final order of Supreme Court is.

    P.S - May be we need to photograph other species now?
    Abhishek - will need some pointers from you
    Last edited by Mrudul Godbole; 26-07-2012 at 05:31 PM.
    Regards,
    Mrudul Godbole

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mrudul Godbole View Post
    I feel what Roopak and Atul has said is right, that tourists should not be allowed in the core areas. Less people in the jungle would be definitely good for the tigers. The poaching part is something which needs quite strict handling by the forest department. If that is done then tigers would definitely benefit in the long run. Looks like photography and viewing pleasure will be sacrificed for sometime. Lets see what the final order of Supreme Court is.

    P.S - May be we need to photograph other species now?
    Abhishek - will need some pointers from you
    Suits me...

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    Default Tiger reserves in Karnataka ban safari following Supreme Court order

    Karnataka and Tamil Nadu have banned tourists. Dont know how it has been implemented in the north.

    Tiger reserves in Karnataka ban safari following Supreme Court order
    Jul 25, 2012, 08.46PM IST

    MYSORE: As the tourists staying put at Bandipur woke up on Wednesday, they had a message from the forest department. 'You have to vacate the room and move outside the tiger reserve.'

    Armed with the Supreme Court directive banning tourist activities in core areas in tiger reserves, the authorities asked the visitors to vacate and also cancelled the bookings. The safari too has been banned. The crowd was less given it is weekday, sources at the Bandipur tiger said. The advance will be refunded, they stated.

    The tiger reserves in Karnataka implemented the apex court order within 24 hours and banned eco-tourism activities. "We've banned safari at Bandipur, Nagarahole National Park and at BRT Wildlife Sanctuary following the apex court directive," APCCF and field director (Project Tiger) B J Hosmath told The Times of India. A senior official at Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary said the ban has been enforced and the tiger reserve is out of bounds for educational activities too.

    Bandipur and Nagarhole are the two main tiger reserves hit by the visitors and two reserves also form one of the largest contiguous protected tiger habitat in the world. Annually they log some 1.50 lakh tourists.

    While the conservationists are happy, the tourism sector is apprehensive. It'll impact the tourist flow adversely. It will cut down the flow by 10 per cent, M Rajendra of the Karnataka Hotel Owners' Association said. Eco-tourism is one of the main draws for travelers to Mysore. They like to see the wildlife in their den. The ban is denying the opportunity since the safari is stopped, Rajendra, who is president of the Mysore Hotel Owners' Association, told TOI. "The apex court should strike a balance," he said.

    Since 1980s eco-tourism is alluring the visitors. It has picked up since a decade earning crores for the forest department. In 2011-12, the forest department netted Rs 2.14 crore at Nagarhole up from Rs 1.37 crore earned in 2010-11.

    At Bandipur, Rs 2.35 crore was earned in 2011-12. Part of the reason for the rise in the revenue is hike in the rates both for staying and safari. A senior official, who didn't want to be quoted, expressed his displeasure at the blanket ban on tourism activities at the tiger reserves. "The budgetary support for tiger conservation is not big. We were utilizing part of the revenue towards conservation activities like employing tibals at anti-poaching camps. This will be hit if the ban is continued," he stated.

    According to him, such conservation formula has worked for the tiger habitats which have seen a rise in the number of big cats. It is about striking balance between the conservation and eco-tourism. The tiger reserves in North India didn't regulate tourists flow, which is affecting us too, he stated. There are some 200 tigers in Karnataka's reserves.
    Last edited by Mrudul Godbole; 27-07-2012 at 03:41 PM.
    Regards,
    Mrudul Godbole

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    Default Supreme Court bans tourism in Core areas of Tiger Reserves:

    Supreme Court bans tourism in Core areas of Tiger Reserves:

    Lets accept the reality that the way tourism is run in this country is not right. Tourism in its current form is having its negative impact on the wilderness areas and wildlife.

    Please don't mistake the images of a few cubs jumping in cemented water holes as the success of conservation in general and tiger conservation in particular.

    There are many conservationists-cum-hoteliers/tour operators-cum-photographers. Please don't take their quotes as the holy grail. Lets not feel that the entire tiger population plus other wildlife will be decimated if tourism is stopped.

    Tourists can act as eyes and ears for protection of tigers to some extent. Not everywhere and everytime. To lay a snare a poacher doesn't need to enter the forest during the time the tourists are there. Local people staying in the villages within the vicinity or within the forests are employed to do these dirty job. Don't you find people inside ranthambhore, bandhavgarh and other tiger reserves during a drive?

    What do you do? The driver or guide tells you that the people are there for pooja in one of those temples or to collect mahua etc. Did you stop to notice or search if that fellow is laying a snare or has a weapon hidden in the bush? How many of you even slow down to look? Perhaps the tiger is waiting in the next bend, so you better race your jeep. That is the attitude. So how on earth are you an effective patrolling unit?

    The primary job of protection is that of forest department. Others can supplement at times with information. Don't mistake the tourists providing inputs being capable of having adequate knowledge. The forest department becomes too busy in managing the tourists and neglects their primary task which is protection.

    The tourism lobby propagates the myth that because of tourism more tigers are present in the few national parks. Lets face it. Tourism is not a magnate to attract tiger and its prey to the tourism areas. Tigers are not attracted by the strong scent of various deodorants and other perfumes used by the tourists or by the garish clothes they wear to the forests.

    Tourism follows wildlife ie. Whenever a place is known to have good concentration of wildlife, tourism zone is created.

    Lets face it. If we have to save our wilderness areas and wildlife, then the first act is to make our forests inviolate and resettle all the villages that are at present inside the forests, give our wilderness areas strong protection, re-establish corridors between our forests. Tourism as a list of priorities is much lower.

    I have been told by many people that they don't want to go to places where there are no AC rooms and cable TVs and swimming pools.

    In Bandipur, Tusker Trails has got a small swimming pool. You can find lot of people, kids, women shouting and jumping into the small pool. They are having a good time. Others want to play cricket. For God's sake, don't demand these facilities to be created inside the core areas. You want to have these, then go to places outside the buffer areas.

    Tourism helps in creating awareness. So we need to create an ecotourism policy that ensures tourism doesn't have high impact. We can't have thousands of people invading our core areas in the name of tourism. Lets stop the nonsense that happens in the name of tourism.

    The Supreme Court ban exposes the sheer confusion in the ministry. Since they never took any action earlier, they are now unprepared to face it. There appears to be no clarity in thought.

    I am told that tourism has been banned in all the wildlife sanctuaries in Tamil Nadu. Clearly, there is lot of confusion following the Supreme Court judgement on banning tourism in core areas of tiger reserves.

    Why the MoEF could not create an eco-tourism policy despite our repeated submissions, analysis of good ecotourism practices of Botswana and other places etc. A draft eco-tourism policy was created and it had died after the minister was kicked up to cabinet rank in another ministry. Now, due to the supreme court case, they woke up and try to concoct something in the name of ecotourism policy. That is not how things ought to happen.

    Creating a policy which ensures that vehicles can’t stop in a forest or have to moved like the Prime Ministers cavalcade with adequate distance between vehicles is just creating red tapism. Ensure that the number of vehicles and/or tourists entering the forest is restricted. Only when the number of vehicles entering the forest is more, this kind of idiotic guidelines like pacing of vehicles/adequate distance between each vehicle etc is required.

    A distinction has to be created between the kind of people allowed to enter into the forests. Let all the pleasure seeking individuals remain on the outskirts/buffer.

    I again repeat. Tourism in its present state in India has to stop. Let the Supreme court ban on tourism in core areas of tiger reserves act as a wake up call. We have to make a new begining. There has to be a paradigm shift in the tourism as practiced in India.

    Sabyasachi

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    I agree that tourism in its current form is detrimental and very intrusive....buffer areas are also areas where wildlife live, its their home and in my travels to national parks, the behavior of most tourist remains a matter of shame.

    However this is an implementation which is completely knee jerk. Its a sign if the state of governance in this country. There can be a well through eco tourism policy and its the responsibility of ministers and the forest department to apply themselves to do their job! The SC order is justified but what's the status of demarcation of buffer and core zones?
    Extremes of anything is bad and we are swinging across extremes. The need of the hour is a balanced thought through approach. We should apply our minds to the problem and come up with a holistic framework, ratify it within this community to start with and take it to the government. I will think and contribute my ideas and will look forward to fellow community members' suggestions. Lets do something about this!

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    Default To be or not to be?!

    2 very interesting articles(one of them an editorial)appeared in The Hindu,dated 31.7.2012.In one of the articles,Mr.Champati Sarath,asks a few fundamental questions;

    1.Out of 41 tiger reserves,only 10 have active tourists presence.The tiger population havn't shown any encouraging increase in the reserves where there is less activity

    2.If after 40 years,the tiger population havn't increased,are the tourists responsible.

    3.Actually the people who visit the reserves can function as ambassadors for conservation

    4.On the contrary to beliefs,in some of the Tiger reserves,the animals are breeding so well that there is a habitat problem(not enough space)

    5.One has to accept that some of the resorts out side the reserves are causing blockade to wildlife

    6.The Kabini reserve deserves accolades for their whole conduct in channelising the tourists and helping the local peolple

    7.Even if tourists are allowed into core areas,it cannot be considered "violative",because they dont stay there permanently,but spent just a few hours

    Please click on the following link to read the full article by Sarath.....

    http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-e...?homepage=true

    The Hindu(dated 31.7.2012,same day) runs an editorial,where it supports the Supreme Court decision of not allowing tourists in core areas.The habitat of the tigers have shrunk drastically to 1% of the legally protected land.The ban will givethe MoEF time for thought.The tourists may bring big revenue but the income is not reaching,some of the well deserved ones,notable among them are the locals living in the reserves.Creating new buffer lands,identifying viable cores,reducing human pressure on better-preserved forests hold the key for healthy cat densities.

    Click on the following link to read this editorial;

    http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/edit...cle3704439.ece

    Regards

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    Hi all

    I was at Ooty y/day and drove down to Masinagudi and Bandipur to check out the scene. Most of the resorts in the Bandipur area are empty, while those in the Masinagudi have very few visitors hanging around. Safari's at both the places (theppakadu in the Tamil Nadu side and Bandipur on the Karnataka side) have been called off. The elephant camp at Theppakadu (Mudumalai) is out of bounds for tourist.

    However, covered private jeeps carrying few visitors do ply on the main roads (not the safari routes), looking out for wildlife, for there is no ban on vehicle movement on the Gudalur - Bandipur - Gundalpet stretch. However, the whole place looks deserted and non lorry traffic on the stretch has considerably come down.

    There is quite a bit of animal movement on the main roads. I drove past this place around noon and saw Elephant, Indian Gaur, Cheetal, Malabar squirrel, a pair of Wild Dogs and a variety of birds . . . right on the roadside!!

    On a lighter vein, the moral of the story seems to be . . . if tourists don't go looking for the wild animals on safaris into the jungle, the animals come out to the roads looking for people :-) Just kidding . . . .

    regards
    Rajan

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    A few valid points have been made in the article by Champati Sarath in Hindu (link provided in #19 by Sankar).

    However, not everything he says is right either.
    Quoting from his article:
    "The recent ban by the Supreme Court on tourism in core areas of tiger reserves in India raises some fundamental questions:

    1. Is tourism, however intense, the real culprit behind the killings of tigers and their seemingly low breeding capacity?

    2. If after four decades of implementing the Wildlife (Protection) Act, and efforts by Project Tiger and the National Tiger Conservation Authority, tigers are near extinction today, can banning reserve tourism reverse the situation?

    3. Can people be denied the right to visit national parks to watch the most admired animal in the world?"

    First of all tigers don't have low breeding capacity as he claims in his question no. 1. There are many cases where tourists have blocked the path of a tiger or tigress hunting, increasing the load of the tiger. In case of a tigress with small cubs, it would mean the tigress to remain away from her cubs for a longer period of time, there by increasing the possibility of the cubs being harmed by other carnivores.

    I don't think the Hon'ble Supreme Court said that banning tourism is the panacea of all ills afflicting our tiger reserves. So let us not base our arguments on that.

    His third question is really troubling. He feels that people should not be denied the right to visit a park to see a tiger. We have a billion plus population. If a minuscule percentage of that population decides that it is their birth right and descends on a tiger reserve, then we know what will happen. This cannot be a fundamental right like freedom of speech. There has to be some restrictions of people getting into the forest.

    I do agree with his point raised later in the article about impact of pilgrims. That needs to be restricted, which ever religion those pilgrims may be. They are a major source of nuisance. As they say, two wrongs don't make it right. So unrestrained tourism as it is seen now cannot be justified on the basis of unrestrained pilgrimage to places of worship within a tiger reserve.

    An weird statement in his article: "Nobody is claiming that tourism is increasing the fecundity of tigers, but there is some evidence to show that it is not destroying it." Better not to elaborate on it.

    Tourism follows a conservation success story. Any place which gets protection, which has ample prey base helps the tiger population to bounce back. It is not a fact that tigers only breed well in Tiger Reserves. Giving some awards like "Life time achievement award" to a tiger or tigress in bandhavgarh or ranthambhore by the tourist operators doesn't make it a fact that tigers in other areas don't breed well.

    The tourism lobby often harps upon job creation as a benefit of tourism. At the moment in India, all the job creation is happening in the much lower level of cooks, drivers etc. The real benefit doesn’t go to the locals. Infact, in many of these places there were no villages. For eg Tala village on the outskirts of bandhavgarh had about 6 families. Today it is a small town. People have come from other places to take up jobs. Do we need job creation in inviolate places and set up townships destroying the wildlife corridors? Many tourist resorts have come up in Corbett blocking the path to the river. Is that an achievement? We need a lot of restraint. We have rethink the way tourism is run in this country. Only people with a purpose should be allowed to get into the core areas, so that there can be documentation.

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    Default Expert wants PM to review tiger park ban

    Expert wants PM to review tiger park ban
    Nitin Sethi, TNN | Aug 20, 2012, 12.35AM IST

    NEW DELHI: In what could force Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to intervene in the raging debate on tiger versus tourism, Valmik Thapar, one of the most prominent tigerwallahs, has demanded that the Union government's guidelines restricting tourism in breeding areas of big cats be discussed in the September 5th meet of the National Board of Wild Life (NBWL), which is chaired by the PM and of which Thapar is an expert member.

    The board - the apex body to oversee wildlife-related issues — is headed by Singh and has several external experts, besides senior government officials.

    Thapar's move comes when the ministry had filed its guidelines before the Supreme Court in an ongoing case recommending that tourism business be taken out of the core of tiger reserves, which the law now mandates to be kept inviolate — free of human presence. The Union environment ministry has recommended a five-year term to phase out business from the breeding areas of tigers and also suggested a 10% tax on revenue of tourist operations around the core areas. The ministry had noted that if tribals and villagers were to be relocated out of the core of tiger reserves to create 'inviolate spaces' for the big cat, tourism could not be allowed to rake in profits out of these forest lands.

    The ministry's move has got the conservation community divided since several prominent wildlife activists and their relatives too run resorts and tourism operations in and around tiger reserves. Thapar's relatives also run a resort next to Ranthambore Tiger Reserve. Earlier, he was quoted speaking against an absolute ban on tiger tourism, but in his demand to list the issue on the NBWL agenda he has not made any comments on the guidelines.

    In its last hearing, the SC had put an interim ban on running tourism operations inside the core areas of tiger reserves and asked state governments to respond to the Centre's guidelines. At least three states— Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Uttarakhand — that house some of the most popular tiger reserves are set to oppose the Centre's guidelines and hectic lobbying through political networks are on to get the UPA to either withdraw or change its stance in the court.

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/h....cms?prtpage=1
    Last edited by Mrudul Godbole; 20-08-2012 at 09:55 PM.
    Regards,
    Mrudul Godbole

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    my view..

    1) ban all wildlife tourism - this is in consideration of the behaviour of tourists, whether they are on wildlife tours or other tours. It would also help animals live in peace hopefully.

    2) give employment to less privileged people who are working in the tourism industry in the FD as guards/similar posts, so that no one will go jobless due to ban on tourism. Resort owners will always have other options.

    3) Introduce a taxing system, like green tax or wildlife tax. This will make people aware that there is something called wildlife and this will help Govt. raise funds for wildlife protection(although they may not use it)

    4) For those who wants to go to Forests to see wildlife must seek special permission for the same from the concerned departments.

    the above points may be impractical, but could be effective.

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    Since this is a forum for healthy discussions, here are my two cents on Prasanth's views :

    1) A complete ban on tourism does not necessarily enable animals to live in peace. Approx. 950,000 people visit the Kruger National Park (South Africa) every year and yet it remains one of the most developed and accessible ecotourism destinations in the world. The White Rhinos of KNG have bounced back from the near-extinction situation of 1980s. Although the tourists may not have contributed directly to the Park's conservation efforts, there are not many pristine, untouched wilderness areas in the world that are as well preserved and yet also as accessible as the Kruger National Park. I agree it is truly unfair to compare Kruger NP with any NPs of India. However, a ban is not the ONLY solution. A clear roadmap & effective implementation of conservation initiatives are the need of the hour. If these can happen in India or not is a an entirely different issue altogether.

    2) Employment of local / tribal population : Your views are contradictory. You propose a ban on tourism and at the same time, call for providing employment to the local populace. If there is no tourism, no visitors, no resorts, no safaris, where would the employment be generated from ? Mining ?

    3) Wildlife Protection Tax : India has one of the highest areas of taxation already. You propose a Wildlife tax and yet suggest depriving taxpayers from entering the very wilderness for which taxes might have been paid ?

    4) Special permission : Truly valid point indeed. However, it might breed corruption & protected areas are the last places on earth to let corruption sow it's seeds.

    I hope my views do not seem offensive to Prasanth and look forward to the Supreme Court's judgement today.

    Vijay

    Quote Originally Posted by Prasanth Sreenivasan View Post
    my view..

    1) ban all wildlife tourism - this is in consideration of the behaviour of tourists, whether they are on wildlife tours or other tours. It would also help animals live in peace hopefully.

    2) give employment to less privileged people who are working in the tourism industry in the FD as guards/similar posts, so that no one will go jobless due to ban on tourism. Resort owners will always have other options.

    3) Introduce a taxing system, like green tax or wildlife tax. This will make people aware that there is something called wildlife and this will help Govt. raise funds for wildlife protection(although they may not use it)

    4) For those who wants to go to Forests to see wildlife must seek special permission for the same from the concerned departments.

    the above points may be impractical, but could be effective.

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    Dear All,
    The Hon'ble Supreme Court of India has given directions to continue the ban on tourism in core areas of tiger reserves till it delivers the final orders. It has come down heavily on the Govt and rightly so. It will hear the case again on August 29.

    Though the ban pains people, I have hope that this may act as the much needed catalyst to save the tiger. The Hon'ble Supreme Court has asked " What are you going to do to save the tiger?" ....

    I am sharing a report first published in Hindustan Times.
    Sabyasachi

    Tiger tourism ban to continue: SC
    PTI
    New Delhi, August 22, 2012

    Extending the ban on tourism activities in the core areas of tiger reserves, the Supreme Court on Wednesday pulled up the Centre for the depleting population of the wild cats in the country.

    A bench of justice AK Patnaik and justice Swatanter Kumar put some searching questions as it made a fresh plea for the review of the apex court's July 24 order banning tourism in the core areas of tiger reserves.

    "You are trying to make up. You have done it (guidelines) after due deliberation. We want to know on what basis you want to do it? What is the data available?
    "What are you going to do to save tigers? Earlier it was 13,000, now it has come down to 1,200. You are more worried about the commercial activities," the bench told the Centre's counsel Waseem Ahmed Kadiri.
    The apex court made the observation after the Centre made a mention of its affidavits filed in the court for permission to review its earlier guidelines for conservation of tiger.
    The apex court earlier on July 24 had imposed an interim ban on tourism in core areas of tiger reserves on the basis of same guidelines. The ban extended on Wednesday would remain in place at least till next hearing on August 29.
    "What have you done for the tiger project? What about the core areas you have promised to take steps for? The Union of India has not done anything except filling affidavits. Why did you initially recommend the ban?," the court asked the counsel.
    The apex court later while ordering that its interim ban order would continue posted the matter for further hearing to August 29.
    The Centre had filed an affidavit seeking permission to review the existing guidelines for conservation of tigers in the wake of the apex court's order banning tourism in core areas of tiger reserves.
    In its asffidavit, the Centre had also contended that the states have expressed concern that many local people depend on tourism for their livelihood and banning tourism in core areas of the tiger reserves would result in loss of such income leading to discontent which may be a threat to wildlife and forests.
    The additional affidavit jointly filed by the National Tiger Conservation Authority and the ministry of environment and forests said the earlier guidelines framed by it on the basis of which the apex court had imposed the interim ban needs to be reviewed.
    "The guidelines submitted in the context of ecotourism in and around protected areas require further review based on more consultations with all stakeholders, including the state governments and the representatives of the local, indigenous communities," the Centre had said.
    "The respondents may be permitted to further review the guidelines and conduct more consultations with all stakeholders including state governments and representatives of local indigenous communities, besides reviewing the process adopted by states in notifying the buffer areas of tiger reserves," the affidavit had said.
    Under the existing guidelines and rules of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, the states have to notify the list of core and buffer areas of tiger reserves in their respective jurisdictions.
    As per the guidelines, buffer zones are the areas which lie in the periphery of core areas, also known as critical tiger habitats. Tiger breeding takes place in core areas which are meant to be kept free of any disturbance, including tourism.
    The buffer zones constitute the fringe areas of tiger reserves up to a distance of 10kms. There are an estimated over 1,700 tigers in the country.
    A bench of justice Swatanter Kumar and justice Ibrahim Kalifulla had earlier warned of initiation of contempt proceedings and imposition of exemplary costs on states which fail to notify the buffer zones in their respective tiger reserves.
    The apex court had said despite its earlier directions of April 4 and July 10, several states have failed to notify buffer zones in their respective reserves to regulate commercialisation of revenue land around big cat habitats and help preserve the endangered species.
    The apex court had also imposed a cost of Rs. 10,000 each on Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Bihar, Maharashtra and Jharkhand for not complying with its directions.
    "We make it clear that till final directions are issued by this court, the core zones or core areas in the tiger reserves will not be used for tourism," the bench had said.
    The apex court passed the order while dealing with a PIL filed by conservationist Ajay Dubey demanding ban on commercial tourism activities in core areas of the tiger reserves.

    Source: http://www.hindustantimes.com/India-...e1-917581.aspx

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    Default SC STANDS FIRM After govt. abandons the tiger

    It may not be out of place to quote only two points as contained in the Editorial of this fiercely independent newspaper:

    "EDITORIAL
    The Statesman Kolkata 24 August 2012

    SC STANDS FIRM
    After govt. abandons the tiger

    .....................but it might be worth reminding them of the guts Indira Gandhi displayed when she, officially, slammed diplomats for misusing their immunity and going on illegal "shoots" in the vicinity of the Capital. That was the commitment underlying the 1972 legislation, the launch of initially-acclamied Project Tiger etc.
    .......................
    There are no two opinions that wildlife tourism can contribute to conservation, but just about everyone not involved in the trade is aware of the irresponsible manner in which it functions.
    ........................"

    SaktiWild
    Last edited by Saktipada Panigrahi; 25-08-2012 at 07:06 PM.

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    Default SC extends ban on tourism in core areas of tiger reserves

    SC extends ban on tourism in core areas of tiger reserves
    29 AUG, 2012, 03.20PM IST, PTI

    NEW DELHI: Extending the ban on tourism activities in the core areas of tiger reserves, the Supreme Court today pulled up the Centre for the depleting population of the wild cats in the country.

    A bench of justices A K Patnaik and Swatanter Kumar put some searching questions to the Centre as it made a fresh plea for the review of the apex court's July 24 order banning tourism in the core areas of tiger reserves.

    "You are trying to make up. You have done it (guidelines) after due deliberation. We want to know on what basis you want to do it? What is the data available?

    "What are you going to do to save tigers? Earlier it was 13,000, now it has come down to 1,200. You are more worried about the commercial activities," the bench told the Centre's counsel Waseem Ahmed Kadiri.

    The apex court made the observation after the Centre made a mention of its affidavits filed in the court for permission to review its earlier guidelines for conservation of tiger.

    The apex court earlier on July 24 had imposed an interim ban on tourism in core areas of tiger reserves on the basis of same guidelines. The ban extended today would remain in place at least till next hearing on August 29.

    "What have you done for the tiger project? What about the core areas you have promised to take steps for? The Union of India has not done anything except filling affidavits. Why did you initially recommend the ban?," the court asked the counsel.

    The apex court later while ordering that its interim ban order would continue posted the matter for further hearing to August 29.

    The Centre had filed an affidavit seeking permission to review the existing guidelines for conservation of tigers in the wake of the apex court's order banning tourism in core areas of tiger reserves.

    In its asffidavit, the Centre had also contended that the states have expressed concern that many local people depend on tourism for their livelihood and banning tourism in core areas of the tiger reserves would result in loss of such income leading to discontent which may be a threat to wildlife and forests.

    The additional affidavit jointly filed by the National Tiger Conservation Authority and the Ministry of Environment and Forests said the earlier guidelines framed by it on the basis of which the apex court had imposed the interim ban needs to be reviewed.

    "The guidelines submitted in the context of ecotourism in and around protected areas require further review based on more consultations with all stakeholders, including the state governments and the representatives of the local, indigenous communities," the Centre had said.

    "The respondents may be permitted to further review the guidelines and conduct more consultations with all stakeholders including state governments and representatives of local indigenous communities, besides reviewing the process adopted by states in notifying the buffer areas of tiger reserves," the affidavit had said.
    Regards,
    Mrudul Godbole

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    Default THE STATESMAN 30 August 2012 EDITORIAL: JUDGEMENT DAY : Rule of law reinforced

    "EDITORIAL
    THE STATESMAN KOLKATA THURSDAY 30 AUGUST 2012


    THE JUDGMENT DAY
    Rule of law reinforced

    ..........................The apex court on Wednesday refused to be hustled, and extended its interim ban on wildlife tourism in the core area of tiger parks. What will it take for the government to develop a comprehensive policy? Tigers disrupting Parliament?"


    Note:
    The editorial contained the viewpoints on a series of judgements delivered on the previous day. I have quoted the relevant portion relating to tiger.The paper has used the wording 'Judgment'.
    The newspaper has reported that while extending ban on tourism in the core tiger reserve areas till 27 Sept, 2012, the Supreme Court indicated (on 29.08.2012) that it was not averse to regulated tourist activities, subject to the Centre evolving suitable revised guidelines to protect the depleting cat.
    SaktiWild
    Last edited by Saktipada Panigrahi; 30-08-2012 at 07:28 PM.

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    Default Wildlife buffer zone: SC seeks govt response

    Wildlife buffer zone: SC seeks govt response
    Sat Sep 22 2012, 02:35 hrs

    The Supreme Court on Friday sought a categorical stand of the Centre on a recommendation that there must be mandatory buffer (safety) zone of 2 km for country’s all national parks and wildlife sanctuaries having area of 200 square km or more.

    Observing that the suggestion mooted was “justified” in the wake of the fact that the total dense forest cover in the country had been reduced to less than 2 per cent, a Forest Bench led by Justice Aftab Alam asked the government to convey its response on making 2-km safety zone mandatory for all parks and sanctuaries.

    The suggestion was pitched by senior advocate Harish Salve, amicus curiae in a PIL on conservation of national parks and wildlife sanctuaries. Citing the report of the Central Empowered Committee, he told the court that the present guideline defines the buffer zone up to 2 km but it was necessary to make a uniform rule that no activity shall be allowed in a 20-km zone from the periphery of parks and sanctuaries.

    “I would also request the court to pass an order to ensure there is no discretion with the central or the state governments to decide the limits of this zone on a case-to-case basis since such discretion usually frustrates the purpose. There must be a fiat that in a 2-km area, there cannot be any activity. The dense forest cover has already been reduced to 1.89%,” said Salve.

    Expressing dismay at the revelation, the court remarked: “I thought that after our intervention (constituting the Forest Bench) the things have improved.”

    The court will next hear the matter on November 2.
    Regards,
    Mrudul Godbole

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