• Success Story
Barnawapara Raising Bar in Conservation Practice
The success story of Barnawapara forests resembles the parable of the prodigal son. Originally, this sanctuary nestled the two villages of Bar and Nawapara. This Central India wilderness area today embraces as many as 22 villages in its ambit. Barnawapara Wildlife Sanctuary is a showcase of a conservation success story, having combated every single problem that threatened a forest's existence. The success story of Barnawapara forests resembles the parable of the prodigal son. Originally, this sanctuary nestled the two villages of Bar and Nawapara. This Central Indian wilderness area today embraces as many as 22 villages in its ambit. Barnawapara Wildlife Sanctuary is a showcase of a conservation success story, having combated every single problem that threatened a forest's existence.
While logging led to a shrinking wildlife habitat, associated hunting reduced animal numbers ruthlessly. Subsequently, this unique tiger-land turned muddy as the water courses became spoilt from massive soil erosion. The loggers had a lust for more liquid cash. This human intensive felling operation attracted more settlements in the forest.
Since 1860, loggers have run amok in the reserve. A nature's open treasure house, the indigenous Teak (Tectona Grandis), Sal (Shorea Robusta) and similar timber species were ruthlessly extracted for railway sleepers and for countless other construction purposes. This stripping of the forest took its first toll on the wildlife, and the second on the environment. While logging led to a shrinking wildlife habitat, associated hunting reduced animal numbers ruthlessly. Subsequently, this unique tiger-land turned muddy as the water courses became spoilt from massive soil erosion. The loggers had a lust for more liquid cash. This human intensive felling operation attracted more settlements in the forest. Thus the tiny hamlets of Bar and Nawapara exploded into a bulging population in 22 villages with 8,000 dwellers and 10,000 cattle, all competing for food and fodder with the wildlife.

This rapacity went unabated till independence, after which logging was supplemented with sowing of plantations in a systematic way. However, Barnawapara continued to be bracketed as a treasure trove for timber till 1976, until a new dawn arose with its denizens finding themselves in a nascent wildlife sanctuary. Over the next two and a half decades, protection came back limping for the remaining life forms in the forest, till the birth of Chhattisgarh State. A brand new forest department of
the State with enthusiastic, young officers saw the prospects of Barnawapara Wildlife Sanctuary's success and growth brighten.