BIODIVERSITY AND CONSERVATION – 06
POWER OF CENTRAL GOVERNMENT TO TAKE MEASURES TO PROTECT AND IMPROVE ENVIRONMENT
- co-ordination of actions by the State Governments
- planning and execution of a nation-wide programme
- examination of such manufacturing processes
- carrying out and sponsoring investigations and research
- Establishment of environmental laboratories, standards for the quality of environment (See standards related to air, water, hazardous substaces etc.), manuals and codes.
- Central Government may, in the exercise of its powers and performance of its functions under this Act, issue directions in writing to any person, officer or any authority
- Central Government may appoint officers with such designation as it thinks fit for the purposes of this Act
BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY ACT, 2002:
Biological diversity is a national asset of a country; hence the conservation of biodiversity assumes greater significance. According to article 253 of Indian constitution biological diversity act, 2002 was enacted to give effect to the convention on biological diversity (CBD) of UNFCCC 1992 to which India is party
Objectives of the act:
- To conserve the Biological Diversity.
- Sustainable use of the components of biodiversity.
- Fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising out of the use of the B.D.
Regulating access well as pushing the officially sponsored, documentation of biological resources and traditional practices through people’s diversity registers at the local and data bases at the national levels, respectively. It further probes the extent to which the principles of conservation have realized.
Provisions of the Act:
- Prohibition on transfer of Indian genetic material outside the country without specific approval of the Indian Government.
- Prohibition of anyone claiming an (IPR) such as a patent over biodiversity or related knowledge without permission of Indian Government.
- Regulation of collection and use of biodiversity by Indian national while exempting local communities from such restrictions.
- Measures from sharing of benefits from use of biodiversity including transfer of technology, monitory returns, joint research and development, joint IPR ownership etc.
- Measuring to conserve sustainable use of biological resources including habitat and species protection (EIP) of projects, integration of biodiversity into the plans and policies of various Departments and Sectors.
- Provisions for local communities to have a say in the use of their resources and knowledge and to charge fees for this.
- Protection of indigenous or tradition laws such as registration of such knowledge.
- Regulation of the use of the genetically modified organisms.
- Setting up of National, state and local Biodiversity funds to be used to support conservation and benefit sharing.
- Setting up of Biodiversity Management committees (BMC) at local village levels. State Biodiversity Boards at state level and National Biodiversity Authority.
Biodiversity Heritage Sites:
Under Section 37 of Biological Diversity Act, 2002 (BDA) the State Government in consultation with local bodies may notify in the official gazette, areas of biodiversity importance as Biodiversity Heritage Sites (BHS). Biodiversity Heritage Sites” (BHS) are well defined areas that are unique, ecologically fragile ecosystems – terrestrial, coastal and inland waters and, marine having rich biodiversity
Various projects by government
1) Project Elephant:
Project Elephant (PE) was launched by the Government of India in the year 1991-92 as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme with the following objectives:
- To protect elephants, their habitat and corridors
- To address issues of man-elephant conflict
- Welfare of domesticated elephants
After October 2015 the funding pattern changed from 100% to the ratio of Central: State share to 60:40 and 90:10 for North East and Himalayan states). Presently the Project is being implemented in 22 States/UTs, viz. Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Tripura, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Rajasthan, Andaman & Nicobar, Bihar, Punjab, Gujarat and Haryana (where an elephant rescue centre has been set up supported by Project Elephant). There are 30 notified and 1 proposed Elephant Reserve in the country (Khasi Hills Elephant Reserve in Meghalaya).
2) Indian Rhino Vision 2020
Started in: Phase 1 of IRV 2020 was conducted from 2005 to 2008.
Objective: Its goal is to have a wild population of at least 3,000 Greater one-horned rhinos in the Indian state of Assam – spread over seven protected areas – by the year 2020.
Its main initiatives include:
- Improving the protection and security of rhinos in all rhino areas in Assam.
- Expanding the distribution of rhinos over seven protected areas to reduce the risks associated with having a whole population in one area.
- Translocating rhinos from two source populations (Kaziranga and Pabitora) into five target protected areas (Manas, Laokhowa, Buracharpori-Kochmora, Dibrusaikhowa and Orang)
- The project also aims to reduce the rhino population pressures in any single habitat by ensuring a better distribution of the rhino population over suitable ranges.
- In addition, the project concentrates on integrating the local communities into the conservation effort. It aims to provide jobs for people living around the national parks (in conservation or tourism), to help to protect crops from being raided and to implement further educational methods.
3) Project Snow Leopard
Started in: This project was launched in 2009
Objective: To safeguard and conserve India’s unique natural heritage of high-altitude wildlife populations and their habitats by promoting conservation through participatory policies and actions.
- It is an initiative for strengthening wildlife conservation in the Himalayan high altitudes, covering Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim.
- It aims at promoting a knowledge-based and adaptive conservation framework that fully involves the local communities, who share the snow leopard’s range, in conservation efforts.
- The project is facilitating a landscape-level approach to wildlife conservation by developing scientific frameworks for comprehensive surveys, rationalising the existing protected area network and improving protected area management.
- It has developed a framework for wildlife conservation outside protected areas and promote ecologically responsible development.
Project Tiger / National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA):
The Government of India has taken a pioneering initiative for conserving its national animal, the Tiger, by launching the ‘Project Tiger’ in 1973. From Nine Tiger Reserves since its formative years, the Project Tiger coverage has increased to fifty at present, spread out in18 tiger range states. This amounts to around 2.21% of the geographical area of our country. The Tiger Reserves are constituted on a Core and Buffer strategy. The Core areas have the legal status of a National Park or a, Wildlife Sanctuary whereas the buffer or peripheral areas area a mix of forest and non-forest land, managed as a multiple use area. The Project Tiger aims to foster an exclusive tiger agenda in the core areas of Tiger Reserves, with an inclusive people oriented agenda in the buffer. Project Tiger is an ongoing Centrally Sponsored Scheme under the umbrella scheme of Integrated Development of Wildlife Habitat of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change for providing central assistance to the Tiger States for tiger conservation in designated Tiger Reserves, and tiger bearing forests outside tiger reserves.
It Is In accordance to double the global tiger population (T X 2)by 2022 as envisaged by the Petersburg Declaration on Tiger Conservation issued at the St. Petersburg Tiger Summit.
National Tiger Conservation Authority:
The National Tiger Conservation Authority is a statutory body under the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change constituted under enabling provisions of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, as amended in 2006, for strengthening tiger conservation, as per powers and functions assigned to it under the said Act.
The National Tiger Conservation Authority has been fulfilling its mandate within the ambit of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 for strengthening tiger conservation in the country by retaining an oversight through advisories/normative guidelines, based on appraisal of tiger status, ongoing conservation initiatives and recommendations of specially constituted Committees
Objective of the NTCA
- Providing statutory authority to Project Tiger so that compliance of its directives becomes legal.
- Fostering accountability of Center-State in management of Tiger Reserves, by providing a basis for MoU with States within our federal structure.
- Providing for an oversight by Parliament.
- Addressing livelihood interests of local people in areas surrounding Tiger Reserves.
GLOBAL TIGER FORUM
The Global Tiger Forum (GTF) is the only inter- governmental international body established with members from willing countries to embark on a global campaign to protect the Tiger. Utilizing co-operative policies, common approaches, technical expertise, scientific modules and other appropriate programme and controls the GTF is focused on saving the remaining 5 sub-species of Tigers distributed over 13 Tiger Range countries of the world.
The GTF was formed in 1993 on recommendations from an international symposium on Tiger Conservation at New Delhi, India.
The first meeting of the Tiger Range countries to setup the forum was held in 1994, in which India was elected to the Chair and was asked to form an interim secretariat. In 1997, the GTF became an independent organization.
- Promoting global campaigns to save the Tiger, its prey and its habitat.
- Increasing the number of secure habitats for Tigers.
- Promoting comprehensive legal frameworks for Tiger conservation.
- Providing financial and infrastructural capabilities for Tiger Conservation.
- Promoting training and research.
- Eliciting support from Governments, Inter- governmental organizations and individuals.
- Promoting bilateral co-operation.
- Establishing a trust fund to enable the implementation of agreed programmes.
- Calling upon Range Countries to prepare and update their National Action Plans for Tiger conservation.
- To urge countries to enter into relevant conventions for conservation and elimination of illegal trade.
TIGER RANGE COUNTRIES:
The tiger range countries that are part of the Global Tiger Recovery Program are Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Russia, Thailand, and Vietnam