India lifts tiger tourism ban

  • October 1, 2012

The Indian Supreme Court has lifted the ban on tourism within tiger reserve core areas. This change has brought new guidelines which will allow regulated low impact tourism within key tiger habitat areas.

The new guidelines state that there is to be no new tourism infrastructure implemented in core tiger habitats. They also went on to state that buffer forest areas should be developed into wildlife habitats through involvement from local communities. This would mean that the habitat of the tiger would be increased while getting local communities involved in tiger conservation. This is a win-win situation as the communities would benefit from increased tourism while the tiger will have a larger habitat area. Through the involvement of the local community, it is hoped that the number of human-tiger conflicts will reduce.

The Supreme Court has also asked state governments to draw up conservation plans that are in line with the National Tiger Conservation Authority. The new guidelines limit tourism to 20% of the core areas of India’s tiger reserves and national parks. Conservation of wild tigers is critical in India as the country is home to over half the wild population of tigers – 1,700.

“This is a welcome judgment and tiger conservation will now get cooperation and support from local people,” says Bibhab Talukdar of the TigerTime supported Aaranyak Society in Assam.

TigerTime are relieved to hear of this change in the tourism ban and hope that the new guidelines are followed to make national parks and tiger reserves in India a safer place for the wild tiger to live.

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Written by: Chantelle M Henderson
Sources: Times of India
Photo Credit: Michael Vickers