In a first of its kind tiger conservation efforts, the Centre is mulling to give direct incentives to local communities to encourage them preserve the Tiger habitats.
Struggling to protect the endangered royal Tigers, the government seems to be viewing “payment for ecosystem services (PES)” as a new conservation instrument designed to provide direct incentives to the local communities living in the fringes of the sanctuaries.
On an experiment basis, Indian Statistical Institute (ISI) will soon start a pilot venture in Shencottah Gap (between Periyar and Kalakad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserves) in Western Ghats wherein the local people living in the buffer or fringe areas would be paid for preserving the sanctuaries.
The project was given a go ahead by Union Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh at a meeting of the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) recently.
“Steps to save tiger should not be seen in a micro view but macro as its conservation in a particular habitat provides ecological services such as carbon sequestration and rainfall to the society by conserving the ecosystem.
“Hence there is an urgent need to integrate wildlife concerns in various production centres operating in the buffer and fringe areas of tiger reserves,” National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) Rajesh Gopal said.
He said since the local people are the owners of such environmental services, they should be directly paid for preserving the same.