Nature-based tourism in India
Introduction This chapter critically examines the various contemporary conflicts involved in the use and management of nature-based tourism in India. It draws theoretically upon concepts of ecotourism and carrying capacity, ethics and community development to inform a discussion of these conflicts. Examples are drawn from some of the major national parks in India to illustrate these issues and conflicts (Hannam, 2005b). In so doing we wish to take a political ecology perspective in analysing the relationships between tourism and the environment in India. Blaikie and Brookfield (1987: 17) argue that a Third World political ecology combines the ‘concerns of ecology and a broadly defined political economy’. Contemporary political ecologists have examined the politics of environmental change in the developing world in terms of certain problems, concepts, socio-economic characteristics and regions, or used a combination of these (Bryant, 1992; Peet and Watts, 1996; Bryant and Bailey, 1997; Peluso and Watts, 2001). Furthermore, Bryant and Bailey (1997: 3) point out that:
Political ecologists appear to agree on two basic points. . . . Firstly, they agree that the environmental problems facing the Third World are not simply a reflection of policy or market failures . . . but rather are a manifestation of broader political and economic forces. . . . [A] second area of agreement among political ecologists is the need for far-reaching changes to local, regional and global political-economic processes.