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New Delhi: India will launch a Rs 130 crore initiative with the World Bank for better management of protected areas by making people stakeholders, Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh said.
Addressing the Stakeholders' Consultation on the Convention on Biological Diversity held here, Ramesh said the initiative would be launched in the Rann of Kutch in Gujarat and a wildlife sanctuary in Himachal Pradesh.
Wildlife sanctuaries, bio-reserves and national parks are listed as protected areas. The government's decision to move out people from protected areas, especially tiger reserves, has drawn protests.
"It will be a new model of managing biodiversity as it makes local people stakeholders in biodiversity conservation. Whenever access to local community is chocked in protected areas, it creates barrier and people are up in arms," Ramesh said, reports IANS.
The Minister said the country needs to demonstrate a friendlier approach towards biodiversity conservation and its sustainability.
"There is a big challenge for India which nobody else has — to balance the demographic pressure and development challenge. We have different stakeholders and they have to be reconciled in a manner that biodiversity is protected and interests of local people are also protected," he said.