. The Wild Life (Protection) Amendment Bill, 2021 was introduced in Lok Sabha by the Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change on December 17, 2021. The Bill amends the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972. The Act regulates the protection of wild animals, birds and plants. The Bill seeks to increase the species protected under the law, and implement the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). Key features of the Bill include:
Key features of the Bill
- Implementing Provision of CITES: The Bill seeks to implement provisions of Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). The Bill provides for the central government to designate a:
- Management Authority, which grants export or import permits for trade of specimens.
- Every person engaging in trade of a scheduled specimen must report the details of the transaction to the Management Authority.
- As per CITES, the Management Authority may use an identification mark for a specimen.
- The Bill prohibits any person from modifying or removing the identification mark of the specimen.
- Additionally, every person possessing live specimens of scheduled animals must obtain a registration certificate from the Management Authority.
- Scientific Authority, which gives advice on aspects related to impact on the survival of the specimens being traded.
- Invasive Alien Species: The Bills empowers the central government to regulate or prohibit the import, trade, possession or proliferation of invasive alien species.
- Invasive alien species refers to plant or animal species which are not native to India and whose introduction may adversely impact wild life or its habitat.
- The central government may authorize an officer to seize and dispose the invasive species.
- Control of Sanctuaries: The Act entrusts the Chief Wild Life Warden to control, manage and maintain all sanctuaries in a state.
- The Chief Wild Life Warden is appointed by the state government. The Bill specifies that the actions of the Chief Warden must be in accordance with the management plans for the sanctuary.
- For sanctuaries falling under special areas, the management plan must be prepared after due consultation with the Gram Sabha concerned.
- Special areas include a Scheduled Area or areas where the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 is applicable.
- Scheduled Areas are economically backward areas with a predominantly tribal population, notified under the Fifth Schedule to the Constitution.
- Conservation Reserves: Under the Act, state governments may declare areas adjacent to national parks and sanctuaries as a conservation reserve, for protecting flora and fauna, and their habitat.
- The Bill empowers the central government to also notify a conservation reserve.
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