Search This Blog

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

No need for tourism revenue to protect tigers: Forest dept

Subhash Chandra N S Bangalore: Aug 20 , 2012 DH News Service SC ban hasn’t affected conservation The theory that a ban on tiger tourism will affect the conservation of the critically endangered big cat was rubbished by the State Forest department, which claimed that it was able to initiate protective measures without funds from tourism. The Supreme Court’s interim order to ban tiger tourism in the last week of July created a flutter. Several wildlife enthusiasts and resort owners predicted almost “the beginning of the end of tiger conservation” in the country. Many of them claimed they supported conservation by sharing their revenue which will add to funds for conservation. They further said the Forest department would be the loser due to this order. “Especially during this year (2012-2013), when the funds for Project Tiger have not been released, the situation will be worse,” said a wildlife enthusiast who advocated controlled tourism to boost conservation. However, the department held a contrary view and says the ban has not affected conservation at all. Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF) and Chief Wildlife Warden Dipak Sarmah told Deccan Herald that it will not affect conservation programmes. “We have been able to manage things so far (since the day of the apex court order). We will continue to do so,” he said. He said tourism was just a source of income for the department. Tiger conservation receives funds from various sources. “It is just one source of income; there are several other sources. We have our department budget,“ he said. Explaining the funding for the project, the PCCF said tiger reserves received funds from the Union government as well as the State government. When asked about the delay in getting funds for conservation from the Union government, he said the State will get its funds by the end of September or October. The department has received about Rs 10 crore from the Union government for Project Tiger (Rs 148 lakh for the BRT tiger reserve, Rs 199 lakh for the Anshi-Dandeli tiger reserve, Rs 282 lakh for Bandipur tiger reserve, Rs 269 lakh for the Bhadra tiger reserve and Rs 192 lakh for Nagarhole). Another ten crore rupees would be contributed by the State government. Following a public interest litigation filed by Bhopal-based activist Ajay Dubey seeking direction to remove all commercial tourism activities from the core areas in the tiger reserves, the apex court had banned tiger tourism in core areas.

No comments:

Post a Comment