Abstract

Kaziranga National Park (henceforth, KNP) is a protected area situated in the North Eastern part of India. The park is a World Heritage Site and has a very rich ecosystem. KNP is an attractive tourist destination and occupies a significant place in the life and culture of the people living in this part of the country. Conservation of the park started more than a century ago, and local people have often contested such efforts. This is mainly because indigenous people have been facing displacement and deprivation from resources, which they have been using for centuries. Besides deprivation, wild animals often damage their properties and paddy fields. This leads to resentment among local people and become potential cause of grudge in the form of encroachment, poaching, biodiversity loss, and excessive collection of forest products. As a result, conservation measures may fail to deliver desired outcome. This paper tries to examine the gains and losses for living around KNP and assess the park-people relation. We conduct a case study in some periphery villages of the park and find that people have been suffering from difficulty in rearing livestock and loss caused by wild animal. However, people gain from tourism business. Based on the findings we recommend extension of tourism/allied activities and community welfare measures. The findings may be used to derive policy implication for sustainable management of the park.