Environment Editor, CNN-IBN
Environment Editor, CNN-IBN
Oct 09, 2012 | Closed
Should tourism be banned in tiger breeding areas?
Join CNN-IBN's Environment Editor Bahar Dutt for a webchat.
- Yes, the condition of wildlife conservation in India is not satisfactory at all. That is why I believe a fine line needs to be drawn b/w wildlife conservation and tourism. If more people visit national parks, of course limited and restricted, more attention will be drawn towards conservation along with funds. But without govt. support it is difficult. But I believe completely doing away with wildlife tourism is not the solution. Asked by: Abhishek Sharma
- Abhishek- but even the SC is not doing away with tourism. It only wanted to ban tourism in CORE areas, where tigers breed. If we are true nature lovers would we not support that?
- Can media work toward ensuring the effective ness of current initiatives by Govt of India and States? As laws seem sufficient , but it mainly implementation that is flawed. Asked by: Ravinder
- hi Ravinder, i agree its the implementation where we fail. And i think the media can play the role of a watchdog. Thats why we often focus on stories that are undercover investigations, or violations of some environment law. You will be amazed at the ease with which the green laws are broken!
- If there were natural calamity like floods (kaziranga) how prepared the Govt. is to ensure safety of endangered species as far as possible.. like clear high rise areas, floatation devices, helicopters, etc.. Asked by: ek_tha_tiger
- They have no such devices. This time when the floods hit Kaziranga there were ambulances but thats it. We need better rescue services at least during calamities.
- Why only tiger.. there are so many tiny insects and birds that have equal right to live who get wiped out with the commercial activities Asked by: ek_tha_tiger
- I agree, in fact our management practises focus so much on the megafauna we sometimes forget the state of the lower taxa that are equally important in an ecosystem
- Yes there shouldn't be any resorts in the periphery of Wildlife Sanctuaries or National Parks. Asked by: Abhishek Sharma
- i think i agree with you!
- I believe we dont need widelife tourism right now in India .... Please do something to save these tigers and all the other reserves ..... I dont want my kids to know about a tiger only through books and history like dinos ....... You media people can force politicians and governments to atleast bring these rules .... Please care about the animals ... No slaughtering of any kind either for food or for money or for anything ... Let them live ... Asked by: Usha Kiranmai
- Hi Usha i relate to your concern. But the role of the media is to show both sides. And we have been trying to show that yes tourism is good but its also become very harmful in some areas. A survey by the Ministry of tourism in fact shows that most resorts only care about the commercial enterprise with little thought for wildlife. Another paper by kriti Karanth states "Tourism provided direct employment to less than 0.001 per cent of the population living within 10 km of the reserves, the researchers found, and most locals were engaged in low-paid positions such as gardening and housekeeping, while higher-paid chefs and managers were outsiders".
- Yes the resorts are not helping. That's why we see so many reorts in Dhikuli, CTR earning heavily and the govt. doesn't care. But whose fault is this. Firstly, taxes in India are huge which resorts have to pay and then people don't care about the system or wildlife. But whose fault is this-the common man or corrupt officials? Asked by: Abhishek Sharma
- Probably both- not the common man, but the elites for sure who want to see tigers and go back to their energy intensive life in cities. I think we also need to join the dots between our own lifestyles and the threat to tiger habitats. For instance take a look at coal blocks allocated for electricity. Many are on tiger habitats!
- May be Bahar, right now funds are not coming through tourism. Forest staff is limited, then there is resource crunch. but then govts., esp. state govts. are to be blamed. Look at Costa Rica, South Africa or Kenya, where wildlife tourism is a major contributor to economy. But yes a fine line needs to be drawn-scientifically and realistically. After all it is we who have to conserve and preserve the biodiversity. Asked by: Abhishek Sharma
- i agree Abhishek. Do you know that as part of the earlier guidelines on tourism, the sector was asked to pay 10% of their profits for conservation but the resort owners refused .. So i think there must be a better connect between tourism and conservation. And frankly i just dont get the concept of energy intensive hotels with swimming pools etc located in areas where these resources are limited. I think the whole concept of nature tourism needs to be remodelled.
- Why is it important to prevent tigers from becoming extinct? Asked by: Dhawan
- Because the areas where our tigers live are the repositories of biodiversity, the catchment areas for most of our rivers and the source of the water you get in your taps. besides that anthropocentric arguement, how about the right of a species to live, irrespective of whether it is of use to humans or not!
- Do you think movies like 'Ek tha Tiger' help in creating awareness about protecting endangered species like the tiger? Asked by: Dhawan
- I dont know sorry i havent seen this movie. As far as i know the movie is about Salman Khan and not tigers!
- To prevail their extinction yes we must... But for that a strong social and political will require. Which is seriously lagging? Asked by: Kapil Sharma
- Yes of course. Thats one of the main reasons why wildlife conservation is still not a mainstream issue. the lack of political will. But i have hope, India is still one of the megadiverse countries in the world, despite all the problems, and one of the best set of environment laws!
- No, there shouldn't be a complete ban! But tourism in core areas should be restricted-say to 25% of the core area along with restrictions. Otherwise, where will the funds come from? Also, what is the need to have National Parks if people cannot be there? Asked by: Abhishek Sharma
- But Abhishek- funds right now dont come from tourism! they come from govt grants. Also National Parks are for biodiversity to thrive, at least some areas on Planet Earth should be left free of the human footprint no?
- What should be the best way to stop poaching ? Asked by: Inderjit
- hi Inderjit, of course poaching can never be eliminated completely. In conservation one of the approaches used to protect wildlife is the "fences and fines" method. Some say, "shoot at sight orders" work. I personally feel , we need to work better with the people who live around National parks, who could be our partners in conservation. But that of course is easier said than done..
- Why should it be banned? If tourism was affecting the tigers, then the popular national park would have less tigers. We have more tigers where tourism is allowed. There are many places where tourism is not allowed and those places have less or nil tigers. Asked by: Imtiaz Khan K
- Hi Imtiaz, yes you are right that tourism per se does not cause a decline in tiger populations. But there are other detrimental affects like the impact on corridors due to the prevalance of resorts, or habitat fragmentation for construction of roads through the national park. That said tourism can be a powerful tool for conservation, if practised responsibly!
- Why should not it be ban ? Tiger or for that matter, other species are not here to entertain human species. Let them live their natural way as we live our artificial way Asked by: LK Kapoor
- I agree, i definitely think we need to rethink the way we practise tiger tourism in India
- They say, 'Jo dikhta hain, wo bikta hain'. If we ban tiger tourism, do you think the interest in saving tigers will also wane? Asked by: Dhawan
- good question. But just to clarify the ban is only for tourism in CORE areas, its doesnt say a complete ban on ALL tourism. So we need to understand the nuances of the law here!
More chats with:Bahar Dutt
Environment Editor, CNN-IBN