India: Some conservationists say proposed new private PA policy amounts to green light for overdevelopment

BENGALURU: The Siddaramaiah government is planning to launch private forests in the state all along the protected areas from Bhimgad to Bannerghatta.For private lands (comprising trees and grassy blanks with perennial water sources) to become eligible, they should fall in demarcated areas around Protected Areas (PAs), buffer areas or eco sensitive zones with connectivity to sanctuaries and reserves.

In a tectonic policy shift and that too with the Assembly elections nearing, the state government has quietly prepared the draft of Karnataka Private Conservancy Rules, 2017, which it claims will reduce human-animal conflict, connect fragmented wildlife corridors and encourage eco-tourism.

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