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Politics of biodiversity conservation and socio ecological conflicts in a city: the case of Sanjay Gandhi National Park, Mumbai

By Sen Amrita, Pattanaik Sarmistha

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Loss of the green belts in the cities as an antecedent outcome of haphazard and irregular urbanization as one of the principle factors has a negative bearing on the socio ecological services that nature entails. Our paper represents the conditions under which the contemporary statist conservationist efforts to preserve the urban protected areas (PAs) in India induces a marginal existence and livelihood vulnerability upon the survival of the population residing within these PAs. A recent survey to Sanjay Gandhi National Park in Mumbai reflects the ways in which a politics of conservation operates not only in the rural regions but also in cities, in highly inequitable and fabricated ways. This has consequently affected the impoverished, disempowered and impecunious inhabitants who comprise a considerable segment of population in cosmopolitan Mumbai, residing within the PAs. The present article assesses the ways in which in metropolises, PAs by definition determine jurisdictions and exercise rights to exclude the social groups who are marginal and less powerful. This is to preserve a pristine people free aesthetic environment in cities, for which there is an increasing demand from the local elite. The results of the study indicate the socio ecological aspects of the conservation politics in the city of Mumbai. The emergent consequences are in terms of the questions of universal rights to the PAs or reflecting an elitist provision of environmental integrity to the privileged visitors in the city.

Publication Title Journal of Agricultural & Environmental Ethics
Volume 29
Issue 2
Pages 305-326
ISBN/ISSN 0893-4282
Language English
Author Address Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, Mumbai - 400 076,
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Asia
  2. Biodiversity
  3. Commonwealth of Nations
  4. Conservation
  5. Developing countries
  6. India
  7. Livelihoods
  8. Marginalization
  9. parks
  10. peer-reviewed
  11. politics
  12. socioeconomics
  13. urban areas
  1. peer-reviewed