New Delhi:The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Environment and Climate Change proposed a new body to handle the growing number of climate change-related issues. human-animal conflict.
Rajya Sabha Member Jairam Ramesh was the minister for environment and forests under the Manmohan Sin government. The Committee is led by Jairam Ramesh Member of Parliament. submittedThursday’s comments and suggestions were made on the Wildlife Protection Amendment Bill 2021, which was introduced into Parliament in December 2017. The Committee urged the government for state-level Human/Animal Conflict Advisory Committees to help mitigate such conflict. It called it a complex issue that is as serious as hunting.
The Wildlife Protection Amendment Bill was introduced to amend the Wildlife Protection Act 1972, a law that provides a framework to protect wild plants, birds, animals.
The amendments were meant to align it with the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, to which India is a party. CITES is an international trade regulation system that regulates wild animals and plants. Member states must enact appropriate legislation.
Although a framework is welcome to manage international wildlife trading, the Committee stated that the Bill’s approach will make it too difficult and confusing.
The Committee received IllustrationsMany wildlife experts and organizations expressed concern about the introduction of a Standing Committee for State Wildlife Boards.
Also read:How Ladakhs pashmina goatherds turned deathtraps into shrines: How they learned to live with wolves
Elephant transport: Scraps provision
The State Board for Wildlife, (SBWL), is the state-level body responsible for conservation and protecting wildlife. It can advise state governments on how to select protected areas and grant clearances for project funding. They are often headed by high-ranking officials like the chief minister. To make these boards more purposeful, the government proposes to create a Standing Committee that can make decisions for them.
However, the House panel stated that this proposal has caused great anguish in wildlife conservation communities, primarily because it is a rubber stamp for quicker clearances of projects.
The proposal follows the national model. The Standing Committee of National Board for Wildlife makes all decisions and grants clearances for projects for the NBWL. rarely.
If the proposal is to be accepted, the panel must mandate that it includes at least three members of institutions such as the Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education and the Director (or nominee), of the Wildlife Institute of India. A third of the members should not be from the SBWL in order to avoid being crowded by officials.
Jairam Ramesh-led Committee recommended that the Bill be scrapped because it allows for live elephants to transport and be transferred by certified private owners. In its comments, the panel states that nothing should be done that would give the impression of encouraging private ownership and trade in elephants. It does however state that religious institutions should be allowed to purchase elephants. This will ensure that age-old traditions don’t get in the way.
The Wildlife Protection Act as it stands todayProhibitedAny wild animal may be sold or transferred.
Also read: Exemptions for strategic highways and extensions to mining: How government can reshape environmental clearance
Another important change proposed by the Bill is to add a new chapter to the Act that addresses specifically the regulation and international trading of endangered species in order to fulfill the requirements of CITES. The amendment also includes a list indicating which species the chapter applies to.
The House panel stated that this could lead to contradictions in a law that is prohibitive because the underlying theme behind CITES is facilitative and enabling.
Instead of recommending a chapter addition, the Committee recommended minor changes to existing sections and definitions. This would meet CITES requirements without affecting the fundamental structure of the principal Act.
However, the Ministry of Environment rejected this proposal and stated that it would not significantly improve India’s implementation of CITES. They will, however, result in the application of very strict domestic regulations to CITES species that are not required under the Convention.
The Bill also replaces the six current Schedules, which are based upon how much protection each plant and animal receives, with three Schedules.
Schedule I species will receive the highest level protection under the new regime. Schedule II species will receive a lower degree of protection. Schedule III covers plants.
“Currently, the Schedules I, II, and III are having most of the bird species, but the same cannot be said for mammals, reptiles, amphibians, fish, invertebrates, and plants,” the panel said in its report.
The Committee agrees with this proposal. It finds that there are a number species that are missing from all three Schedules. The panel report also found species that should have been in Schedule I, but were instead placed in Schedule II. It also stated that the government must correct this anomaly.
(Edited and written by Uttara Ramaswamy
Also read:Study reveals a 10-fold increase in India’s intense forest fires between 2000 and 2019. This is a sign of climate change.