Political Incentives for Biodiversity Conservation

Chhatre, A and Saberwal, V (2005) Political Incentives for Biodiversity Conservation. Conservation Biology, 19 (2). pp. 310-317. ISSN 1523-1739

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There seems to be a worldwide lack of political will for conservation that leads, inevitably, to an undermining of conservation policy. This is a standard complaint but one that has received little academic attention. In an attempt to better understand the gap between conservation policy and practice, we examined conservation policies and practice as they have played out in the Great Himalayan National Park, Himachal Pradesh, India, over the past two decades. In particular we consider the park's experience within two larger contexts: (1) Himachal's current development orientation, which seeks to transform the state into the electrical powerhouse of the country by building over 300 medium and large power projects and (2) electoral politics that result in politician's support for villagers and others denied access to national parks and wildlife sanctuaries. Each of these factors works to undermine state conservation policies. Conservationists need to build political bridges with local communities if they are to use electoral power to work for rather than against conservation. Only such electoral power can be expected to force governments to adopt more cautious policies in advancing a particular development agenda. In the absence of strategic alignments in places such as Himachal Pradesh with strong democratic traditions, one must expect continued political support for potentially destructive megaprojects and an absence of political support for the conservation of biological diversity.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: The research paper was published by the author with the affiliation of Duke University.
Subjects: Economics
Socio Political System
Date Deposited: 16 May 2019 17:01
Last Modified: 12 Jul 2023 18:16
URI: https://eprints.exchange.isb.edu/id/eprint/996

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