Conserving Biodiversity in Protected Area of Biodiversity Hotspot in India: A Case Study

Sunil K. Nautiyal, Rama Rao Nidamanuri

Abstract


The hotspots are the world’s most biologically rich areas hence recognized as important ecosystems not important only for the rich biodiversity but equally important for the human survival as these are the homes for more than 20% of the world’s population. India got recognition of one of the mega-diversity countries of world as the country is home of the two important biodiversity hotspots: the Himalaya in north and the Western Ghats in the southern peninsula. Policy makers and decision takers have recognized the importance of biodiversity (flora and fauna) and this has resulted to segregate (in the form of protected areas) the rich and diverse landscape for biodiversity conservation. An approach which leads towards conservation of biological diversity is good efforts but such approaches should deal with humans equally who are residing in biodiversity hotspots since time immemorial. In this endeavor, a study was conducted in Nagarahole National Park of Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, in Karnataka. Our empirical studies reveal that banning all the human activities in this ecosystem including agriculture, animal husbandry has produced the results opposite to the approach ‘multiple values’ of national park. To monitor the impact, existing policies have been tested from an economic and ecological view-point. Unfortunately, the local livelihoods (most of them belongs to indigenous tribes) in the area have received setbacks due to the implementation of the policies, though unintentionally. However, the ecological perspective is also not showing support for the approach and framework of the current policies in the hotspots. Satellite data showed that the temporal pattern of ecosystem processes has been changing. An integrated approach for ecosystem conservation and strengthening local institutions for sustainable ecosystem management in such areas is therefore supported by this study.

 


Keywords


Biodiversity Hotspots; Indigenous People; Socio-economy; Nagarahole National Park; Remote Sensing; GIS; Vegetation Dynamics; Landscape Change

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