208 pages | 50 B/W Illus.
Despite decades of efforts to integrate conservation and development, India is torn between two very different worldviews of peoples’ place in the country’s natural environment. This book takes a critical look at nature conservation and poverty alleviation in India. It opens up discussion of the conservation–development nexus in a country that stands at a major crossroads, where forces of neoliberalism, globalisation and urbanisation are driving the future of India’s environment.
As the book shows, conservation in India is increasingly concerned with creating ‘theme parks’ – inviolate, albeit isolated, spaces for wild nature, whereas development is concerned with fast-tracking the construction of built infrastructure while also rolling out nationwide welfare programmes – promising food, clothing and shelter for the poorest of the poor living in rural India. Conservation and development therefore have very different motivations and attempts to find a common ground have been fraught with challenges. This has been particularly so on the fringes of wildlife parks, where the rural poor come in frequent contact with wild animals to the detriment of both people and wildlife.
Chapters are written by leading scholars on India to provide a vision of the future of Indian nature conservation. Whilst focused on India, the book will also be of interest to scholars and researchers of conservation and development more globally. As a ‘rising power’, the world’s eyes are set on India’s development trajectory and there is unprecedented interest in the course of development that the world’s largest democracy takes in the decades to come.
"Conservation and Development in India is an immensely valuable contribution to debates about the future of wildlife, poverty and sustainable development. India is at a crossroads: a vast democracy with a rapidly growing and industrialising economy, and many people locked in chronic poverty. Its biodiversity is remarkable, and nature is everywhere under pressure. The choices that are made about nature, society and economy are important both within India itself and for the model they offer to the wider industrialising world." - Bill Adams, Moran Professor of Conservation and Development, Department of Geography, University of Cambridge, UK
Chapter 1: Introduction: Conservation and development in India
Chapter 2: The impact of the Anthropocene in the locality: Eastern India in the nineteenth and twentieth century
Chapter 3: For the Environment against Conservation: Conflict between renewable energy and biodiversity protection in India
Shikha Lakhanpal and Ashwini Chhatre
Chapter 4: Species and Sites Matter: Understanding Human-Wildlife Interactions from 5000 surveys in India
Krithi K. Karanth and Akshay Surendra
Chapter 5: Thinking like an Elephant, looking beyond protected areas
Chapter 6: Biodiversity in Community-managed Landscapes: A View of Potential and Constraints in the Van Panchayats of Kumaon Himalayas
Ghazala Shahabuddin and Rajesh Thadani
Chapter 7: Mapping Landscapes: History, Culture and Local Knowledge in Biligiri Rangaswamy Temple Wildlife Sanctuary, India
Nitin Rai and C. Madegowda
Chapter 8: Conservation and Development: Beyond National Parks and Sanctuaries
Sushil Saigal, Swati Chaliha, Chetna Nahata and Sunpreet Kaur
Chapter 9: Ficus to Filter: Understanding complexities of market incentives for conserving biodiversity on private lands
Chapter 10: Conclusions: Reimagining wilderness