Environmental protectionism caused widespread relocation of people.Biosphere Reserves recognise local communities as an integral part of ecosystem and present an ecologically sustainable conservation model. This place-based approach is an alternative to the displacement-based protectionism
Global resurgence of environmental protectionism in the 1980s triggered widespread declaration of protected areas (PAs). As a result people living there much before the declaration of protected areas got displaced. At present 98,4000 Protected Areas covering approximately 20 million square kilometres of the globe and only nine percent of the terrestrial PAs are devoid of human habitation, rest of the PAs have people living inside them.
Countries in Africa ,Asia and Latin America , where human demands on land are great, could no longer follow the 'Yellowstone' model of conservation where local people are relocated outside the protected areas. We need an approach that accommodates both biodiversity conservation and livelihood needs of the local people by involving them in decision making. The point of debate here is not the goal but the path to achieve it.
Biosphere Reserves(BRs) are internationally recognised areas of terrestrial and coastal ecosystem promoting the conservation of biodiversity with its sustainable use, could address the problem. BRs recognise local communities as an integral part of ecosystem and present an ecologically sustainable conservation model presupposing ecology and economy as an inseparable whole by integrating the interface between natures' domain 'ecology' and humans' domain 'economies'. The human dimension of the BRs make them special from other protected areas with 'place-based' conservation approach as an alternative to the 'displacement-based' absolute protectionism . The panel welcomes papers on all aspects of the management and conservation of BRs and other protected areas appraising the situation without abridging the humane angle.