Given that involuntary settlements and restriction of traditional access to resources in legally designated parks and protected areas can result in severe social and economic challenges for local communities, the World Bank has instituted Operational Policy (OP) 4.12 (Involuntary Resettlement) to provide safeguards where the state restricts access to resources “in legally designated parks and protected areas.” While conservation schemes may not always acquire land through eminent domain the declaration of nature reserves, the upgrading of protected area status, or the enforcement of earlier directives limits access to resources in the protected areas and directly affects livelihoods and incomes. These types of conservation projects fall within the purview of OP 4.12 because the new restrictions on resource use affect the livelihoods and well-being of the people who were using the newly restricted area. In these instances, the Bank has instituted a process framework to promote a participatory approach to conservation activities in legally designated parks and protected areas. Encouraging community participation in the design and enforcement of conservation activities under the process framework helps identify acceptable alternatives to unsustainable patterns of resource use and promotes community support for such alternatives. If sustainability requires that local residents stop or reduce their activities, these residents must be confident that they can find alternative sources of food or livelihoods.
Consistent with the ratings provided, the project is doing well at the mid-term, with some