Linking conservation with CPLRs: Lessons from management of Gir- protected area

The policy discourse on management of protected areas (PAs) has come a long way from purely conservationist strategies to participatory approaches. In between these two there is a wide range of options that combine different elements of resource sharing, market regulation and privatization. Located in western part of India, Gir is surrounded by a substantially large human as well as livestock population having direct stakes in the ecology. The PA had faced severe risk of extinction of its core specie i.e. lion, before it was notified as sanctuary in 1965. Subsequently a number of conservation measures were initiated, leading to successful revival of wild life within the PA (Singh and Khamboj, 1995). By the turn of the century the wildlife population had overshot what was earlier considered as carrying capacity of the PA. To a large extent the success could be attributed to effective protection and habitat development practices, featuring the PA-management plan.