Keywords: political ecology, protected areas, property rights, national conservation strategy, India, environmental protection, local communities, access rights, forests, socioeconomic development, forest management, resource management, forest resources, rural development, rural areas
Property rights regimes in protected areas and the development of local communities: what is the way forward? The case study of Sariska Tiger Reserve in India
The property rights regime forms the backbone of India's national conservation strategy, but its success in social terms has not been always evident. In particular, the consequences of the creation of protected areas, in which forests within these boundaries were nationalised resulted in local populations losing customary access rights. The paper analyses the implications of two approaches to management of protected areas. First, it analyses the current property rights regime for conservation of natural resources and the socioeconomic development of local communities in Sariska Tiger Reserve, Rajasthan, India. Second, it reviews an informal community–conservation initiative for a local forest in which local villagers in conjunction with local NGOs, manage forest resources. We draw on this analysis to make recommendations for achieving greater effectiveness in meeting conservation and rural development objectives.