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The genesis of the ecodevelopment strategy, as a means of securing in-situ biodiversity conservation within protected areas in India, can be traced back to about the early 1970s, when small scale efforts were initiated by some protected area managers (e.g., Kanha and Gir National Parks) to deal with the issue of dependency of local communities on protected area resources. The basic approach was to arrest and reverse the process of habitat degradation, resulting from the growing human and livestock pressures on biomass resources. By the early 1980s, the ecodevelopment strategy was formalized through policy statements and commended to the state against the consumptive use of protected area resources. Viewed in this context, ecodevelopment is perhaps the preferred management option in that it aims to achieve the dual purpose of in-situ biodiversity conservation while eliciting the support and participation of local communities in this effort by positively responding to their socio-economic needs. Ecodevelopment is thus, an effort at reducing the pressures on protected areas by extending ecologically sustainable alternatives to the dependent communities. This effort is also being complemented by a thorough review of the protected area legislation to incorporate additional categories, chiefly V and VI of the IUCN classification (see Lucas, Beresford and Aitchison, Table 1, this volume), so as to establish a comprehensive network and implement the full range of biodiversity conservation options which protected areas enable. Categories V and VI, Protected Landscape and Managed Resource Protected Areas respectively, allow for the maintenance of human interaction with nature and sustainable resource uses without detriment to the long term natural values of the areas. Ecodevelopment Initiatives

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January 1
Wilfrid Laurier University - Environments

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