skip to primary navigation skip to content
 

Ms Prerna Singh Bindra

Ms Prerna Singh Bindra

PhD Candidate

'The Aftermath: The Human Implications of Conservation Related Relocations; and the Institutions That Shape Them'

Funding: St John's Benefactor's Scholarship
Begin: October, 2020

Biography

Career

  • Oct 2020-present: PhD student, Department of Geography, University of Cambridge
  • August 2017 to February -2018, Fellow, UNESCO Category 2 Centre, Wildlife Institute of India,
  • 2007-2016, Editor of TigerLink, a journal that collates and analyses news and issues related to tiger conservation across its range.
  • March 2012-Nov 2013, Senior Consultant, Conservation Support, Policy & Communications, with Wildlife Conservation Society-India.
  • Sept 2010-Sept 2013, Member, Standing Committee, National Board for Wildlife, Government of India. The NBWL, chaired by the Prime Minister, is a policy-making statutory body tasked with regulating development projects in PAs and Eco-Sensitive Zones; and advises on conservation-related policy
  • June 2011-February 2012, Regional Coordinator, Tiger Program, Panthera.
  • 2002-2009, Journalist/editor for various newspapers and magazines such as The Pioneer, India Today, The Week, Tehelka mainly covering environment and conservation.
  • 2011-2020 – As a free-lance writer/journalist wrote extensively in conservation issues in mainstream media

Qualifications

  • MPhil in Conservation Leadership, University of Cambridge, toped the cohort in October 2019 with distinction.
  • Masters in Labour Welfare, from Gujarat University, Ahmedabad, 1992-1994. First Class
  • Bachelor of Arts in Economics (Honours), from St. Xavier's College, Ahmedabad, 1989-1992. First Class

Awards

  • 2018-19, GREAT University of Cambridge Scholarship and the Robert Sansom Scholarship in Conservation Leadership
  • 2019, Awarded Rosemary Murray fund and Panton Trust Grant for Graduate Research
  • 2014, Chevening-Gurukul Scholarship for Leadership & Excellence.
  • 2012, The International Visitor Leadership Program, the U.S. Department of State's premier professional exchange program.
  • 2011, Ashoka ChangemakHER
  • 2007, ABN-AMRO Sanctuary Asia Wildlife Service Award.
  • Carl Zeiss Wildlife Conservation Award, 2007

Research

Voluntary, incentivised relocation from Protected Areas (PAs) to create inviolate habitats for viable tiger populations is a key component of India's conservation policy; with the concurrent intention to provide for development of marganalised communities. However, this is considered problematic as relocations typically lead to further impoverishment, landlessness, marginalisation, loss of social networks and cultural associations. An equally compelling reality is that in some cases relocations have led to improved well-being, and indeed, a few have been initiated by the communities themselves. The issue is factious, partly due to lack of critical social scholarship on impacts of resettlement – a gap my research aims to address.
Using ethnographic methods, I will examine the short and long-term socioeconomic impacts of conservation related relocation through case studies of three villages resettled from Protected Areas (PAs) in India. My research will also analyse the institutional mechanisms and aid provided to resettled families, how these have have evolved over time, and their influence on relocation outcomes. This analytic is expected to draw out best practises that can be potentially adapted and replicated in future relocations. This is of relevance in India with over 490 villages within tiger reserves, whose relocation has been prioritized by the government.

Broader research and conservation interests

Prior to my PhD, I have over 15 years' experience as a wildlife conservationist in India and have written extensively on conservation issues. I have a particular interest in PAs, conservation-related resettlement, impacts of development projects on wildlife habitats, human-elephant co-existence and conflict, conservation policy, strategies to mainstream conservation concerns and develop a robust nature ethic in society.

Highlights of my career include: Played a role in the creation of two PAs in a Himalayan state of Uttarakhand, instrumental in regulating varied development activities in PAs and their eco-sensitive zones, part of a team in assessing the management in tiger reserves, co-authored a report on strategies for protection of the endemic Kashmir Stag Cervus canadensis hangul, curated a Nature Writer's Festival for the UNESCO Category 2 Centre, Wildlife Institute of India.

Publications

Books

Articles in mainstream media

Selected reports

Coverage

Selected speaking events and conferences

  • July 2021, spoke to an audience of 300 strong audience of school students in Gurgaon, India (virtually) on conservation as a career
  • November, 2020: Presented on my MPhil research on resettlement of villages from Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary, India at a training workshop for Indian Forest Service officers on 'Relocation from Tiger Reserves" jointly organised by India's environment ministry and WCS-India
  • November 2020, spoke at the event On the Brink organised by Writers Rebel, Extinction Rebellion
  • April, 2019: made a presentation before the All-Party Parliament China Group of UK Parliament on tigers conservation
  • October, 2019…Plenary speaker at the Student Conference on Conservation Science, Bengaluru
  • January 12, 2019, Rewilding and its Effects on Nature and People, Cambridge

Teaching

  • 2016-2019, Guest faculty for communication and popular writing, MSc. Programme in Wildlife Biology and Conservation, National Centre for Biological Sciences, Bangalore.
  • 2013, 2012, 2011, Media module for Training Workshop on 'Biodiversity Conservation' for women scientists/ technologists', Wildlife Institute of India

External activities

  • Director, Hathi-Sathi Foundation
  • Advisor, Sigur Nature Trust
  • Fellow, Royal Geographical Society
  • Fellow, International League of Conservation Writers
  • Fellow, Zoological Society of London
  • Member of selection committee to select members for the National Green Tribunal, providing effective and expeditious remedy in cases relating to environmental protection, protection of forests
  • Steering Committee Member, Women in Conservation Leadership Network Cambridge Conservation Forum
  • Coordinated the 'Tiger Forum' of Members of Parliament under the aegis of the Constitution Club of India, New Delhi.