Wildlife Protection (Amendment) Bill 2022

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Wildlife Protection (Amendment) Bill 2022

  • The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has introduced the Wildlife Protection (Amendment) Bill 2022 in the Rajya Sabha.
  • The Bill has been introduced to amend the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.

The Bill has the following objectives.

  • Strengthen conservation efforts for threatened species,
  • increasing the punishment for illegal wildlife trade,
  • increasing the number of species protected under the law, and
  • To implement the provisions of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

Main provisions of the Bill

  • The number of schedules has been reduced from 6 to 4 – 2 schedules for specially protected animals, 1 schedule for flora, and
  • 1 new schedule for species listed under CITES.
  • The schedule relating to vermin has been omitted. Pests are animals that cause harm to humans, crops, livestock or property.
  • Obligations under CITES: The Central Government will appoint the Management Authority and the Scientific Authority.

Management Authority: It will grant export/import permits for international trade in flora and fauna.

Scientific Authority: Will advise on all aspects relating to the impact on the survival of the wildlife or plant species being traded.

Invasive Alien Species: The Central Government has been empowered to regulate or prohibit the import, trade, possession or spread of invasive alien species.

Control of Sanctuaries: The Chief Wild Life Warden (CWW) is entrusted with the control, management and protection of all the sanctuaries located in a State.

Conservation Reserve (CR): State/Central Governments can declare areas around National Parks and Sanctuaries as Conservation Reserves to protect the flora and fauna.

Surrender of captive animals: Any person may voluntarily surrender any captive animal or animal products to the Chief Wild Life Warden.

  • CITES is an international agreement between governments. Its purpose is to ensure that international trade in wild fauna and flora does not threaten the existence of their species.
  • It came into force in the year 1975. At present, 184 countries including India are party to it.

Proposed schedules

  • Schedule I: Wildlife species that have the highest level of protection.
  • Schedule III: Protected Plant Species.
  • Schedule IV: Species listed in the Appendices of CITES.

Source – The Hindu

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