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Thread: Tourism

  1. #1

    Default Tourism

    The Supreme Court is about to decide the fate of tourism in core areas of TR's tomorrow. Should core areas be completely "out of bounds" for everybody but forest department staff and scientists,or do you think tourism,in its present form,is an essential conservation tool. Or are you in favour of strict curbs on tourism,if so,please specify how tourism can help wildlife more. As we all know in places like Corbett,private resorts have encroached upon prime wildlife habitat. On the other hand,if tourists are not allowed,the FD might be easily able to cover up mismanagement. Have your say

  2. #2
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    Default All eyes on SC decision on tourism in core areas

    Read this article about Banning Tourism in Core areas...

    All eyes on SC decision on tourism in core areas
    FRIDAY, 11 NOVEMBER 2011 01:00

    The Supreme Court decision on tourism in core areas which is likely in the first week of December has wildlife experts divided on the final verdict, reports Ritesh Mishra

    With the Supreme Court all set to take a decision on the Special Leave Petition (SLP) filed by a Bhopal-based NGO Prayatna seeking a ban on tourism in core areas of national parks in the first week of December, wildlife experts and those in the field monitoring activities say the issue has its own merits and demerits.

    The Court bench comprising Justice Deepak Verma and Justice KS Radhakrishnan, hearing the petition had decided to postpone the decision to the first week of December.

    Travel Operators for Tigers (TOFT) has also urged the Supreme Court to reject the Special Leave Petition (SLP) filed by Prayatna.

    The SLP demands an outright ban on tourism activities in the core and buffer area of national parks in Madhya Pradesh. The principal bench of the Madhya Pradesh High Court in Jabalpur had earlier rejected the PIL filed by the same NGO in this regard. TOFT, a non-profit wildlife association run by travel professionals, advocates, endorses and supports responsible use of wilderness in India.

    With the Supreme Court about to decide the case in the first week of December, what is giving sleepless nights to tourism stakeholders is the stand taken by the National Tiger Conversation Authority (NTCA) regarding the SLP.

    According to petitioner Ajay Dubey, who is the secretary of Bhopal-based environment protection NGO Prayatna, the Madhya Pradesh Government allowed tourism in core areas of the State's national parks and sanctuaries, which adversely affected the wildlife, especially tigers.

    The NTCA in its affidavit has advocated an outright ban on any kind of "human activity" in the tiger reserves' core and buffer areas.

    Commenting over this issue, TOFT office-bearer Vishal Singh had said banning tourism in national parks would be a "retrograde step" and it would only help alienate the local community from earning their livelihood. "Wildlife tourism has been one of the keys to saving our parks, being a watchdog, building media and public attention and is an alternative livelihood for rural communities bordering parks. Any attempt to ban nature tourism is a massively retrograde step in helping us save our forests and wildlife," he said.

    On the contrary the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) has opposed any move to permit tourism or any other human activity in core area of sanctuaries and tiger reserves in Madhya Pradesh, citing these areas should be kept 'inviolate' for tiger conservation.

    Lending support to petitioner Ajay Dubey's petition on tourism in core areas of the State's national parks and sanctuaries, the NTCA filed its reply before the Supreme Court on Friday.

    "The word 'inviolate' means without any disturbance by human beings. This is essential for conservation of tigers. There is also an ecological necessity to conserve critical corridor connectivity for saving tigers," the conservation authority said.

    The core or critical tiger habitat areas of national parks and sanctuaries, where it has been established, on the basis scientific and objective criteria that such areas are required to be kept inviolate for the purpose of tiger conservation, without affecting the rights of the Scheduled Tribes or such other forest dwellers, and notified as such by the State Government in consultation with an expert committee constituted for the purpose, said the NTCA.

    Calling the whole debate of banning tourism in core critical habitats 'strange,' Belinda Wright, Director of the Wildlife Protection Society of India, had said that, "Tourism is actually a conservation tool," and banning tourism would spell 'disaster' on wildlife conservation activity. In the whole debate, the voice of the local people who sustain on income from tourism is not heard, she said. "Big businesses which operate in the buffer areas can pack up and set up shop somewhere else, but what would happen to the local people?" she asked.

    Earlier, the petitioner had filed a PIL before the principal bench of the Madhya Pradesh High Court at Jabalpur to ban all kinds of commercial tourism, hoteliering and other human activities in the core and critical areas as notified in the tiger reserves of Madhya Pradesh.

    The High Court, however, disagreed with the petitioner and rejected his petition forcing him to move a SLP in the apex court.

    According to Dubey, he was forced to file the litigation as Madhya Pradesh is home to two-thirds of the country's tiger population. Besides this, in the past few years with the Government succumbing to commercial interests, the State's tiger population had registered a sudden decline.

    The stakeholders also stressed upon the fact that tourism has only helped in conservation of wildlife in the country.

    The Management Effectiveness Evaluation (MEE) of Tiger Reserves of India by NTCA has given a "very good" rating to most of the National Parks in Madhya Pradesh where the density of tiger population is also good. "We haven't come across any data so far which shows a decline in tiger population due to tourism activity.

    We cannot afford to ban tourism in the national parks based on emotional decisions," said Latika Nath Rana, India's first female tiger ecologist, who owns a Jungle Lodge, Singinawa, in Kanha. "If our future generations are deprived of park visits, they will not understand the importance of protecting and conserving them," she said.

    Meanwhile, Dubey said, "We are well aware of the fact as what we are doing by moving SPL in the apex court and even the wildlife law-making authorities are supporting us."

    Link - All eyes on SC decision on tourism in core areas
    Regards,
    Mrudul Godbole

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