Public participation: rhetoric or reality? An analysis of planning and management in the Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve
Biosphere reserves have evolved out of a responsibility to resolve conflict by reconciling the needs of humans with the need to maintain ecological integrity and biodiversity. Participatory approaches to planning and management are seen as key to linking conservation and sustainable development. The purpose of this research was to investigate participation in planning and management activities in the Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve (NDBR) located in Uttaranchal, India. Eco-development and microplanning have emerged in India as two government-initiated mechanisms allowing greater opportunity for other sectors to have a role in conservation-related planning and management activities. Although there has been progress in the application of participatory processes, the two case studies in this research illustrate the need to bolster civic and private sector participation in planning and management of the NDBR. One important and positive outcome of the participatory processes that were applied was that relationships had improved between the sectors.
Conservation, Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve, Participation, Eco-development, Microplanning