Human Ecology

, 36:717

Compensating Human–Wildlife Conflict in Protected Area Communities: Ground-Level Perspectives from Uttarakhand, India


DOI: 10.1007/s10745-008-9189-y

Cite this article as:
Ogra, M. & Badola, R. Hum Ecol (2008) 36: 717. doi:10.1007/s10745-008-9189-y


This paper examines people’s experiences with economic compensation for losses due to human–wildlife conflict (HWC) in Uttarakhand, India. Employing a combination of qualitative and quantitative approaches, we used a case study approach to investigate (1) socio-economic characteristics of applicant versus non-applicant households, (2) explanations for why only some households chose to apply, and (3) perceptions of program effectiveness. We found that despite widespread complaints, the participation rate was only 37%. Our results broadly support the findings of other studies which have identified inadequate remuneration, processing delays, and corruption as key problems. However, we also found that non-participation was itself a critical problem. Our study indicates that participation in the scheme was shaped by factors including wealth, gender, social networks, and pre-existing expectations. We highlight the need for improved communication about what “compensation” can and should be, advocate for reconceptualizations of compensation that are more closely based on ground-level realities, and point to the potential for alternative forms of payment to be more sustainable and socially just.


Human–wildlife conflict (HWC) Compensation Participation Protected areas India 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Environmental StudiesGettysburg CollegeGettysburgUSA
  2. 2.Department of Ecodevelopment Planning and Participatory ManagementWildlife Institute of IndiaDehradun (Uttarakhand)India

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