Losing Ground: Why Are Protected Areas Still The Model Form of Conservation?

Hosted by Aarathi Ganesan 
Edited by Nidhi Rejithlal

As our series on Losing Ground has noted, the Protected Areas (PA) model of conservation is fraught by multiple ethical contests. On the one hand, PAs preserve and conserve habitats and animals. On the other, in order to ‘protect’ them, the homes of indigenous communities are cleared from these areas. Why is the model so absolute? Can’t the interests of both Nature and humans in these regions be preserved?

In the third and final instalment of this seres, we explore why, in spite of its many shortcomings, the PA model of conservation persists in India today. The answers—which are linked to legacies of colonialism, international organisations, and neoliberal development models—highlight how top-down conservation still can be. And thus, in the process, why conservation that empowers the lives and cultures of indigenous communities is the call of the hour.

This is the final instalment of our series on Losing Ground, produced in collaboration with the Environmental Justice Atlas and Kalpavriksh. To watch part one, which discusses the fallacies of the Protected Areas model of conservation in India, click here. To watch part two on the shortcomings of the implementation of the Forests Rights Act in PA, click here


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