Saturday, 10 November 2012

Tiger Tourism in India - 2

India’s Supreme Court lifted its interim ban on tiger tourism on the 15th October – so is everything back to normal for tiger watching trips? Absolutely not!

Most Indian states took little notice of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972, which rather vaguely said that tiger reserve ‘core zones’ should be ‘inviolate’. States made their own definition of what this might mean – some decided that any number of visitors could go provided they didn’t stay overnight; others decided the State could built tourist lodges in the core zone and others ignored it completely & left it as a free for all.

Community activist Ajay Dubey instigated the ban, because he was appalled at how the Wild Life (Protection) Act was being ignored. In lifting the ban states have been given six months to respond to the 69-page document of guidelines drawn up by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (part of the Ministry of Environment and Forests). A number of states, like Karnataka, recognise they don’t comply – so they have maintained the ban on tourists visiting their tiger reserves.

So if you’ve got a tiger watching trip booked - you might not get to see any tigers.

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