ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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From 25 Years Ago: Sharing Benefi ts of Wildlife Conservation with Local Communities: Legal Implications

Vol XXXIII, No 40 OCTOBER 3, 1998

India has a long history of conservation, at both official and people’s levels. Areas were protected for their biodiversity as early as the third century BC in the times of emperor Ashok. There are also numerous examples of sacred land/waterscapes especially among the hunter-gatherer, agricultural, and pastoral communities spread throughout the country. One recent estimate suggests that upto 10 per cent of India may in the past have been covered by sacred spaces [Gokhale et al 1997] patches of forest and other ecosystems kept undisturbed by strict social sanctions. Even outside such spaces, hunting and fishing communities followed strict rules, such as, not killing the pregnant females and young ones/sub-adults, not hunting or fishing in certain seasons, and many others [Gadgil and Guha 1992]. [...]

 This is not to say that traditional management was a flawless system, and if continued as such would necessarily have led to better management of resources in the country. This is only to imply that there already existed a highly decentralised system of management, with elaborate sets of rules and regulations, which could have been built upon and modified to meet modern challenges.

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Updated On : 4th Oct, 2023
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