Protected areas

Cornerstones of biodiversity conservation
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Focal point contact information

Dr. (Mr.) Dhananjai Mohan
Wildlife Institute for India (WII)
Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India
E-Mail: dwii [ at ]
Country Statistics
3287263 km² 4.82% 1.46%
total country area
terestrial area protected
(156915.66 km²)
territorial waters protected
(2891.58 km²)
Source: WDPA

Information on the reporting framework

Person completing the survey: Dr. V. B. Mathur
Survey completed on 10/13/2009
Multi-stakeholder advisory committee Yes No
Strategic action plan for implementing PoWPA Yes No
Lead agency responsible for implementing the action plan: Ministry of Environment & Forests, Government of India

Progress in Implementation

Element 1

Strengthening protected areas systems and sites

1.1 Progress in assessing ecological gaps and representativeness

1.2 Progress in assessing integration and connectivity

View assessment results

Progress: 2 - Activity fully underway

View actions to improve integration
Improved natural ressource management to improve connectivity

Efforts are underway to reduce the natural resource dependence of local communities on PA resources by providing suitable alternative resources

Designated connectivity corridors and/or buffers

An excerise to delineate connectivity corridors and buffer zones is currently underway focussing first on the network of 39 tiger reserves in the country

Improved laws and policies within or around key connectivity areas

The buffer zones in the tiger reserves are now legal entities under the provisions of Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972

Restored degraded areas in key connectivity areas

Management interventions to restore degraded areas in key connectivity areas are being implemented

Other actions to improve connectivity and integration

An effort to mainstream wildlife conservation and protected area management in other development sectors has been initiated at the federal as well as state levels

1.3 Progress in assessing transboundary opportunities

View assessment results

Progress: 2 - Activity fully underway

View actions to improve transboundary protected areas
Established a multi-country coordination mechanism

Bi-lateral MoU has been signed with Nepal & Bhutan.

Created market incentives for promoting connectivity and PA

In many instances scientific information has been used to improve the existing management.

1.4 Progress in developing management plans

View assessment results

Percentage of protected areas with a management plan: 46-50%

View actions to improve management planning
Developed guidelines and tools for developing management plans

Comprehensive guidelines/manual is in place for the preparation of Management Plan

Provided training and/or technical support in management planning

Wildlife Institute of India regular training courses in Management planning and provides technical support.

Developed management plans for protected areas

Plans have been developed and being revised also.

Changed legislation and/or policy to allow for improved management planning

Already in place for Tiger Reserves in the country.

Conducted protected area resource

Research and scientific institutions are providing updated resource inventories.

Other actions to improve management planning

No comments

1.5 Progress in assessing protected area threats

View assessment results

Progress: 2 - Activity fully underway

View actions to mitigate and prevent threats
Changed the status and/or governance type of a protected area

In no of cases this activity is in process.

Improved staffing numbers and/or skills to prevent and mitigate

Being done in several states

Included measures to address threats in a management plan

Yes, partially

Improved management practices to prevent or mitigate threats

Yes, partially

Increased threat mitigation funding

Yes, partially

Improved monitoring and detection of threats

Yes, partially

Evaluated the efficacy of threat-related actions

Yes, partially

Improved public awareness and behavior regarding threats

Yes, partially

Restored degrated areas

Yes, partially

Developed and/or implemented strategies to mitigate and prevent threats

Yes, partially

Element 2

Governance, equity, participation and benefits sharing

2.1 Equity, Benefits and Governance

View assessment results

Progress: 0 - Not yet begun, no progress

View actions to improve equitable sharing
Developed compensation mechanisms

A range of compensation mechanisms are in place and they vary State to State.

Developed equitable benefits-sharing mechanisms

Some mechanisms are in place for sharing tourism benefits and biomass uses.

Diverted PA benefits towards poverty alleviation

Some successful attempts under ecodevelopment have been under taken.

Other actions to strengthen equitable benefits sharing

Legal provision exist. However mechanism to translate it in action is yet to be formalised.

View progress made in assessing protected area governance

Progress made in assessing protected area governance: 0 - Not yet begun, no progress

Percentage of protected areas assigned an IUCN category: 96-100%

View actions to improve and diversify governance types
Created new protected areas with innovative forms of governance

To a limited extent efforts have been made to create new types of PAs namely Community Reserves, Conservation Reserves and all Tiger Reserves

Changed laws or policies to enable new governance types

No comments

Legally recognized a broad set of governance types

Yes, but provisions are limited

Other actions to diversify governance types

Community conserved areas outside PA Networks have been recognised for Financial assistance.

2.2 Indigenous and Local Communities

View assessment results

Progress: 1 - Just started, limited progress

View actions to improve indigenous and local community particiapation
Improved laws and/or policies to promote participation

To limited extent.

Developed policies for prior informed consent for resettlement

For Terrestrial PAs (other then J&K) legal provisions are in place.

Improved mechanisms for participation of indigenous and local communities

To limited extent.

Increased participation of indigenous and local communities in key decisions

To limited extent.

Other actions to strengthen equitable benefits sharing

Civil Society organisation have been playing an important role in advocating enhanced participating mechanism.

Element 3

Protected area enabling environment

3.1 Policy, Institutional and Socio-Economic Environment

View assessment results

Progress: 3 - Significant progress, nearly complete

View actions to improve the protected area policy environment
Harmonized sectoral policies laws to suppport effective management planning and policies

Initial steps have been taken. National Environment Policy and National Bio-diversity Action Plan are in place.

Improved accountability and/or participation in decision-making

Initial steps have been taken.

Strengthened legal systems for establishing and managing protected areas

The Wildlife (Protection) Act is in place including recent amendments in 2002 & 2006. Supreme Court has also been proactive on the issues of conservation

Cooperated with neighboring countries on transboundary areas

MoU are in place with Bhutan & Nepal. Process for declaration of tranboundary areas has already initiated with Butan, Nepal & Bangladesh after identification of trans boundary Protected Areas

Other actions to improve the policy environment

Eco sensitive areas under the Environment (Protection) Act 1986 are proposed around PAs.

View progress made in assessing the contribution of protected areas to national economy

Progress: 0 - Not yet begun, no progress

View actions to value the contribution of protected areas
Implemented a communication campaign to value protected areas

Awareness campaign are carried out from time to time. A number of civil society organisations are already involved. However much more needs to be done to value benefits of PAs in economic terms.

3.2, 3.3 & 3.5 Protected Area Capacity, Technology and Education

View assessment results

Progress: 3 - Significant progress, nearly complete

View actions to improve capacity, the use of appropriate technology and/or strengthen education programs
Created a professional development program for protected area practitioners

A range of professional development programs are in place for building capacity of the park managers/staff at the Regional, National, State & PA level. New areas like climate change and governance need to be incorporated

Trained protected area staff

As above

Increased the number of protected area staff

Yes. In addition local people, Ex-army personals as well Eco task force of Army and Coast Guards play important role in protection aspects.

Developed a system for valuing and sharing traditional knowledge

At policy level it has been recognized. However a system is yet to be developed.

Developed protected area curricula with educational institutions

Yes no. of institutions have Post-Graduate courses in Wildlife Management which includes Protected Area Management.

Produced public outreach materials

Yes. A lot of outreach material has been published by Govt. Institutions as well as civil society organisations.

Conducted public outreach programs

As above. National Wildlife Week is also celebrated every year in the first week of October since last more than 50 years

Developed effective mechanisms to exchange lessons within and beyond the protected area system

Yes. Regular meetings to exchange lessions within and beyond PAs are conducted both at state and national level.

Developed equitable dispute resolution mechanisms and procedures

Modern technologies such as GPS, Remote Sensing & GIS, Telemetary & Camera Trap etc are used. Civil society organisations are documenting and building capacity on new governance types such as ICCA.

3.4 Sustainable Finance

View assessment results

Progress: 3 - Significant progress, nearly complete

Actions to improve the sustainable finance of protected areas
Developed new protected area funding mechanisms

Yes with respect to Project Tiger Areas new funding mechanisms have been developed

Developed revenue-sharing mechanism

Yes. To a limited extent.

Improved resource allocation

It has improved, but needs further strengthening.

Improved budgeting process

Yes. It has improved to considerable extent.

Improved accounting and monitoring

Accounting procedure are well laid out and in place. Monitoring requires further strengthening

Improve financial planning


Removed legal barriers to sustainable finance

At Federal level it has been done but at state level action is required.

Other actions to improve sustainable finance

In addition to Govt funding other sources including civil society organisations provide financial assistance.

Element 4

Standards, assessment and monitoring

4.1 & 4.2 Management Effectiveness and Best Practices

View assessment results

Progress: 2 - Activity fully underway

Percent of protected areas assessed for management effectiveness: 11-15%


View actions to improve management processes within protected areas
Improved management system and processes

Best practices are being incorporated in PA management.

Improved law enforcement

Strengthening of Legal instruments has been done.

Improved stakeholder relations

Some progress have been made.

Improved visitor management

Interpretive facilities are being provided at the major PA level, visitor management needs to be improved.

Improved management of natural and cultural resources

In certain areas religious tourism/pilgrimage is being regulated but needs to be done in many other areas.

Other actions to improve effectiveness

Training and capacity building is being provided: Documentation and dissimination of best practices is being made, but needs further strengthening. Focus on improving & diversifying governance is required at the local and system level. MEE of Marine PAs needs to be done.

4.3 & 4.4 Monitoring and Research

View assessment results

Progress: 3 - Significant progress, nearly complete

View actions to improve protected area research and monitoring
Assessed the status and trend of key biodiversity

No of studies on No. of species and hot spot of bio-diversity have been carried out. However such studies for no. of species still need to be done. In addition an action to prepare National Red List has been initiated for Fauna.

Developed or improved a biological monitoring program

Monitoring programme for select species Tiger, Co-predators & Prey species exist at the National level. In addition several key species like Rhino, Elehphants, Crocodile, Ghariyal, Dolphins, Marine Turtles, Water Fowl etc are also monitored.

Improved protected area research on socio-economic issues

Underway in many places but needs to be done in most of the PAs.

Promoted dissemination of protected area research

Being done but needs further strengthening.

Revised management plan based on monitoring and/or research results

Yes. Management Plans are being revised and updated on the basis s of improved research data and information.

Changed management practices based on the results of monitoring and/or research

Yes it is being done.

Other research and monitoring activities

Civil Society organisations, Universities and other institutions are also involved in Wildlife Research.