Lessons from Gir
The credible contribution of forest dwellers in ensuring an increase in the Asiatic lion population defies all the misconceptions that they are often the root cause of wildlife destruction and habitat fragmentation (Editorial, May 14). Instead, these tribes have proved their integral and close-knit relationship with the forests. As these tribes have proved their worth, the government can proactively involve them in biodiversity conservation. I am sure that there are many such examples in forest stretches in India as it is they who understand the environment more pragmatically than any of us. The Gir lesson also shows that the time has come to respect their traditional rights over land, minor forest produce and water.
Nitin Chauhan, Noida, Uttar Pradesh