Title: Recognising 'conservationism of the poor' towards holistic sustainability: study of an Indian national park

Authors: Diptimayee Nayak; Bharati Puri; Vrajaindra Upadhyay

Addresses: Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee, Uttarakhand, 247667, India ' Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi-110016, India ' Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi-110016, India

Abstract: This paper analyses perceptions of poor households living in and around an Indian national park, the Bhitarkanika National Park (BNP), towards conservation, in the lens of the concepts 'conservationism of the poor' and 'environmentalism of the poor' as a theoretical tool. Values and motives held to conserve this pristine beauty are determined based on raison d'être cited by respondents. The paper analyses the matrix of values perceived about conservation at this park. Despite their low income, respondents assign non-use value as a reason to conserve this mangrove wetland. It is noteworthy that their willingness to pay (WTP) for the conservation of the BNP, in terms of labour hours is 295.6 times more than their WTP in terms of cash per annum. This paper insists on studying different types of values associated with conservation of the park and conjectures that non-use values form an important part in conservation, which must be recognised in a policy decision-making process for sustainability.

Keywords: national parks; people-park relationship; conservation; conservationism of the poor; non-use values; environmentalism; willingness to pay; WTP; India.

DOI: 10.1504/IJGENVI.2018.091473

International Journal of Global Environmental Issues, 2018 Vol.17 No.2/3, pp.230 - 261

Received: 02 Nov 2016
Accepted: 23 Aug 2017

Published online: 16 Apr 2018 *

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