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Conflict or Conservation? A Roadmap for Management of Kaziranga National Park, India

Daisy Das ()

No 1502, Working Papers from Sam Houston State University, Department of Economics and International Business

Abstract: This study examines the benefits and costs of living around Kaziranga National Park (KNP), a protected area in Assam (India), by conducting a primary survey among the people who live in the neighboring villages. It finds no evidence of eviction or pecuniary punishment by the park authority against the households as feared by the villagers. The resource extraction pattern shows that it cannot be a cause of conflict between people and the park. Our findings show that potential conflict arises primarily because of the fact that people suffer damages due to animal raids but the park authority rarely takes any effective measures to contain it or to compensate for those damages. Besides, the eco-development programs are not effectively implemented to improve wellbeing of the people living in the neighboring areas. Furthermore, the gainful employment opportunities in tourism-related activities are confined to a relatively small segment of the local population. Consequently, people harbor a negative attitude toward the park authority. However, the study also shows that tourism and related activities generate substantial benefits (including income) that offset the losses caused by animal raids. Thus, tourism holds the promise of eliminating the negative attitude among people toward conservation and resolving potential conflicts. However, utmost care should be taken to ensure that the tourism activities do not hinder the efforts to conserve biodiversity of the park. The construction of tourism infrastructure should not destroy the flora and fauna of the park and should be sensitive to the ways of wildlife living.

Date: 2015-04
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-env and nep-tur
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