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Looking beyond protected area networks: a paradigm shift in approach for biodiversity conservation

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Recognising that protected areas are key to conserving biodiversity, India has established a network of protected areas covering approximately 4.8 percent of its geographical area. Though India has set aside sizable areas for conservation, the goal of ensuring protection to the full range of its rich biodiversity is yet to be realised. Moreover, new approaches to conservation have occasionally been implemented to fulfill global and national-level commitments. This paper examines the constraints involved in bringing the entire range of biodiversity under the network of protected area, the challenges in managing them, and the effectiveness of the various approaches adopted. Learning from past experiences and to overcome deficiencies in protected area management, efforts are now being made to implement livelihood-based approaches to conservation on large landscapes. This is expected to address socio-economic issues alongside the varied ecological requirements of the country's rich biodiversity and sustainable management of natural ecosystems.
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Keywords: biodiversity; landscape approach; matrix; protected areas; regional planning

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Wildlife Institute of India, P.O. Box 18, Chandrabani, Dehra Dun 248 001, India.

Publication date: June 1, 2008

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