Political Economy of Compensatory Conservation: A Case Study of proposed Omkareshwar National Park Complex, India
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Proposed Omkareshwar National Park Complex (ONPC), is a planned park in Madhya Pradesh (central India) that is being designed as a compensatory conservation plan to overcome the loss of wildlife and forest by the construction and submergence from nearby Indira-Sagar and Omkareshwar dams, part of the infamous multi-purpose Narmada dam project. All the village communities in the ONPC largely depend on the forest resources for their daily sustenance, particularly fuel-wood and non-timber forest products such as tendupatta, mahua, kullu and dhavda gums. The local people typically engage as gatherers of non-timber forest resources, farmers or work as labors on other agricultural farms. Enclosing, this forest commons, threatens the livelihood opportunities of adivasis. Hence, this dissertation questions how compensatory conservation transforms the forest governance and the economic activities of the local communities. I examine how rules-in-use control spatial actions alter economic, political and social relationships within proposed ONPC in central India. I gathered the economic, social and political data through interviews, case-studies and surveys. Farmers benefit from the creation of the ONPC as a biodiversity offset, while other villagers engaged in off-farm and NTFP extraction labor, are more economically vulnerable. Adivasi depend mostly on the forest resource extraction for their income generation. Therefore, with increasing restrictions placed on the resource access and control, resource users are forced to travel outside their villages in search of wage labor.
Goel, Abhineety (2013). Political Economy of Compensatory Conservation: A Case Study of proposed Omkareshwar National Park Complex, India. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from