Thursday, September 20, 2007

Three steps to conservation

Finally some one is talking some sense about conservation. And can you believe that it took a political scientist to do that!! Indiana University political scientist Elinor Ostrom has proposed a new three tier framework for conservation that is flexible and adaptable to the needs and demands of the various idiosyncratic factors affecting the conservation plan in that particular region of the world.
The first 'tier' of the framework looks at the broad variables of resource systems, resource units, the governance system and the resource users. In each successive 'tier', these are progressively analysed with greater and greater detail. Policy makers are encouraged

"...first to examine the behaviors of resource users, then establish
incentives for resource users to aid a conservation strategy or,
at least, not interfere with it."

The 'flexibility' of the framework even claims to acc
ommodate non-political changes that may come with economic development and environmental change.

No doubt this will have its critics too, the primary criticism may come in the form of the time-line Ostrom is talking about to even get this framework started - 15 to 20 years. Many conservationists would argue that we cant afford the luxury of such long drawn plans when everything around us is collapsing.
Point taken! But, look at it this way.. atleast someone is thinking differently and if we can manage to pull this off, it may just work in many places in the world where the western blueprint of conservation is imposed on traditional people and their lifestyles, leading to a virtual lottery where the odds are heavily against success.
I can already see tremendous advantages of adopting such a thorough approach for north-east India where tradition, culture and tribal practices do not take too kindly to the inflexible laws that apply to all of India. Recognising and studying the problems in detail is the first step to solving them.

Original report .......Why Conservation Efforts Often Fail

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