Second look

the Union ministry of environment and forests (moef) is reviewing the World Bank (wb)-funded India Ecodevelopment Project, which has been ridden with controversies. The project was granted an extension of one year in 2002-2003 and is due to end this year. The wb is also reassessing the entire process through its own consultants. It is believed that both the reviews would set the stage for negotiations for the next round of funding.

The project was co-financed by the wb to the tune of us $47 million. Apart from this, the International Development Association provided us $28 million, the Indian government contributed us $5.36 million, the concerned state governments gave us $9.06 million and stakeholders pitched in with us $4.59 million. The project was aimed at conserving biodiversity by implementing ecodevelopment strategies in and around selected protected areas in the country. It also envisaged supporting future biodiversity projects.

Launched in June 1996, the venture was implemented at seven field sites: Buxa Tiger Reserve, West Bengal; Gir National Park and Sanctuary, Gujarat; Nagarhole National Park, Karnataka; Palamau Tiger Reserve, Bihar; Pench Tiger Reserve, Madhya Pradesh; Periyar Tiger Reserve, Kerala; and Ranthambhore National Park, Rajasthan.

The eighth site

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