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Zoos can now be set up in forests without green nod

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Zoos can now be set up in forests without green nod

Recently, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has approved a proposal of the Central Zoo Authority (CZA). Under which zoos can now be established in forests without environmental clearance.

It proposed to treat CZA approved zoos on forest land as forestry activity under the Forest Conservation Act (FCA), 1980.

Zoos, wildlife rescue centers etc. have been accepted as non-forestry activity under the Forest Conservation Act. For their installation, it is mandatory to get forest clearance from the central government.

Now, zoos will be exempted from seeking separate approvals under the FCA.

Forest Conservation Act

  • It was brought after the 42nd constitutional amendment. Forest subject was transferred from the State List to the Concurrent List by the amendment.
  • This law was brought to deal with the problem of deforestation.
  • This law has made it mandatory for the states to take the approval of the central government before using forest land for non-forestry purposes.
  • A Forest Advisory Committee has also been formed to recommend such reclassification.
  • Non-forestry purpose means clearing of any forest land or part thereof for any purpose other than reforestation.
  • Cultivation of tea, coffee, spices, rubber, palm, oil-rich plants, horticultural crops or medicinal plants also comes under non-forestry purposes.
  • However, any work related to conservation, development and management of forests and wildlife is not considered as non-forest purposes.

Central Zoo Authority (CZA)

  • The Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 provides for the establishment of the CZA (1992) to aid and strengthen the national effort in the conservation of the rich biodiversity of the country.
  • The CZA consists of a president, ten members and a member secretary.
  • Every zoo in India requires the approval of the CZA for its operation.

Source – The Hindu

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