It is all about Money!

Save TigerWhat an Idea to save paper

Thank you for reading your blogs so carefully and with so much interest. It is what makes them available. But not every action everywhere are good. The context determines it.

To recapitulate, Govind Singh some time back listed in his post on this very blog, five main reasons to save tigers. I had shared the impact of this increased consciousness on the shift in status of the tribe called the Moghiyas from being brave Tiger hunters to being poachers to be shunned by society. And being one more reason why and how 1411 tigers are left to ‘save the tiger’. So you can pay higher and higher to ad agencies and cricketers and hockey players to raise consciousness and spend (and make) lots of money.

A telecom company is making every attempt to go environment friendly as against its competition and is talking of saving the paper. What is an average Delhi resident going to contribute?  Besides talking about it, blogging, chatting etc. is they will want to go and visit these 1411 animals.

Already at Ranthambore Tiger Reserve, during any given season when the park is open, there are a minimum of 60 to 80 tourist vehicles each carrying a minimum of 4 to 5 tourists and for 8 months of the year say 200 days. Tiger reserve visitor proxy to back of the envelope calculations indicate that if each tourist on an average stays for three days and spends say about 3000/- per day or Rs. 10,000/- a visit. This leads to a conservative economy of 80 crores. If the advertising actually leads to increase in environmental tourism, the impact it has on the tigers is humongous. Not all of it is good. For example every tourist visiting the reserve wants to go and ‘site’ a tiger. The tiger on the other hand loses its ear of humans and obviously cannot differentiate between a hunter and a tourist. So hunting becomes easier.

Mainly it leads to a thriving economy that generates its own economic and political interests. These interests then generate their own vested interests in having tigers but how many? Keeping just a few decorative show pieces, not unlike circus animals, on display is all that is needed. Next comes the leopards that are used by jewelers to advertise their jewelry. Next is what..not..

It is all about Money, Honey! Think about it.

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Environmental anthropologist by training, been in the field for over 20 years. I am mainly concerned with the infrastructure and technology project impacts on people communities and their physical environment. Their adaptation and mitigation strategies, interests me, now especially in the context of climate change and CDM.

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