What is Wild Life (Protection) Amendment Bill passed by Lok Sabha
New Delhi The Lok Sabha on Wednesday approved the Wildlife (Protection) Amendment Bill, which aims to ensure the ecological and environmental security of the country. The Bill envisages development and environment to go hand in hand so that they are not in conflict with each other. The Wildlife (Protection) Amendment Bill, which was introduced in the Lok Sabha in December last year, was passed by a voice vote after the House rejected several amendments moved by opposition members.
Environment Minister Bhupendra Yadav said that awareness should be spread among people to boycott items like shawls and cosmetics produced by killing wild animals. “Development and environment are not in conflict. Integrated development is one that takes into account environmental issues,” Bhupendra Yadav said. Noting that India has a network of wildlife protected areas, the Minister said that there are forest dependent communities in India.
What is Wildlife (Protection) Amendment Bill
- The Wildlife (Protection) Amendment Bill seeks to amend the parent Act for better management of protected areas and to include an explanation for certain permitted activities such as grazing or movement of livestock, drinking and actual use of domestic water by local communities. .
- According to the Statement of Objects and Reasons of the Bill, the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 was enacted to provide for the protection of wild animals, birds and plants to ensure the ecological and environmental security of the country.
- The Bill seeks to incorporate aspects of “protection” and “management” of wildlife that are covered by the Act and make amendments for better management of protected areas.
- It proposes to rationalize and revise the schedule listing wildlife species for the purposes of clarity, and to ensure better care of confiscated live animals and disposal of confiscated wildlife parts and products.
- The Bill seeks to enable the control of invasive exotic species and allow the transfer or transport of live elephants by a person holding a certificate of ownership, as per the conditions prescribed by the Central Government.
- It also proposes to insert a new chapter VB in the parent Act for regulation of international trade in endangered species of wild fauna and flora and allow state boards to constitute standing committees for wildlife.
- India is a party to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, which requires that appropriate measures are taken to implement the provisions of the Convention.
Why did the opposition oppose the bill
Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury objected to the provision in the bill that empowers the central government to declare certain categories of wild animals as vermin and said experts have suggested that the provision should be made for 41 species of mammals, birds and animals. 864 species, 17 species will be endangered. north and amphibians, and 58 observations. This in turn will lead to ecological imbalance and affect the local food chain, he said.
Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said, “Experts have also recommended the need for a well-established scientific process for cataloging and removal of species.”
Earlier, participating in the debate, NPP member Agatha K Sangma said that though the bill bans trade in wild animals, including wild elephants, it excludes live elephants from the general prohibition.
“Article 27 allows commercial trade of elephants for the first time in 50 years which is a very dangerous and regressive step,” he said and demanded the government to reconsider the provisions.