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Wild Life (Protection) Amendment Bill, 2021 approved by Lok Sabha

The Wild Life (Protection) Amendment Bill, 2021 is approved by the Lok Sabha. The Wild Life (Protection) Act of 1972 already protects a number of species, but the proposed legislation would also implement CITES, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. The Rajya Sabha still needs to pass the Bill, though.

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Wild Life (Protection) Amendment Bill, 2021: Key points:

  • Development and the environment are accorded equal weight by the government. The number of protected areas in the nation has risen from 693 to 987 over the past eight years, including 52 tiger reserves.
  • According to Bhupender Yadav, the Union Environment Minister, the government operates under the Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam principle and strives to improve both humankind and all other animal species.
  • The Union Environment Minister has also urged people to avoid purchasing upscale goods derived from animals from threatened or endangered species.

Wild Life (Protection) Amendment Bill, 2021: Changes that are being Proposed:

  • To comply with the international treaty Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, a specific chapter has reportedly been inserted.
  • The proposed bill includes revisions for improved management of protected areas as well as justifications for certain approved activities like livestock movement or grazing as well as legitimate local community usage of drinking water until they receive a better relocation strategy.
  • The Act now includes six schedules for specifically protected animals (four), plants (one), and vermin species (one). Small creatures that spread disease and contaminate food are referred to as vermin.
  • In the proposed Bill, there are just four schedules overall because:
  1. limiting the number of schedules for animals with special protections to two (one for greater protection level),
  2. deletes the vermin species schedule, and
  3. adds a new schedule for specimens classified in the CITES Appendices (scheduled specimens).

About the Wild Life (Protection) Bill:

  • The Bill calls for the central government to appoint a Management Authority, which issues permits for the export or import of specimens, and a Scientific Authority, which would provide guidance on issues pertaining to the influence on the survival of the specimens being traded.
  • According to the Bill, anyone who trades a scheduled specimen must inform the Management Authority of all relevant information.
  • The Bill also forbids anyone from changing or removing the specimen’s identification mark.
  • The Management Authority must issue a registration certificate to anyone in possession of live scheduled animal specimens.
  • The Bill gives the government the authority to alert a conservation reserve, an area near to sanctuaries, or national parks to safeguard the flora and fauna, as well as to provide stronger control and regulation of wildlife sanctuaries.
  • Additionally, it allows for the voluntary surrender of any confined animals or animal products by any person, with no payment given in exchange; instead, the commodities become the property of the state government.

Wild Life (Protection) Amendment Bill, 2021: Provisions Relating to Foreign Species that are Invasive:

  • The central government may control or forbid the importation, trade, possession, or spread of invasive alien species, according to the Bill.
  • The term invasive alien species refers to plant or animal species that are not native to India but may have a negative influence on wildlife or its environment if they are introduced.
  • In this situation, the central government may give an official permission to confiscate and get rid of the invasive species.

Wild Life (Protection) Amendment Bill, 2021: Penalty Increase:

  • The proposed Bill has doubled the fine for infractions. The whole fine was raised from Rs 25,000 to Rs 1,00,000.
  • The fine for breaking the rules pertaining to specially protected species has doubled from Rs 10,000 to at least Rs 25,000.

Wild Life (Protection) Amendment Bill, 2021: FAQs:

Ques: What is wildlife Protection Amendment bill 2021?

Ans: The legislation aims to conserve more species under the law and control international trade in wild animal and plant specimens in a way that does not jeopardise the existence of the species. The Wild Life (Protection) Act of 1972 already protects a number of species, but the proposed legislation would also implement CITES, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.

Ques: When was the Wild Life Protection Act amended?

Ans: The Bill includes 50 suggested changes to the Act. The Bill attempts to implement CITES, which was adopted in 1979 after being signed into law in Washington, D.C., on March 3, 1973, to allow governments to exchange plant and animal specimens with one another without endangering the existence of the species.

Ques: Has Wildlife Protection Act passed in India?

Ans: The 1972 Wild Life (Protection) Act. A law to protect wild animals, birds, and plants, as well as matters related to, incidental to, or connected to them, in order to safeguard the nation’s ecological and environmental security.

Ques: How many wildlife sanctuaries are there in India?

Ans: In India, there are currently 565 wildlife sanctuaries, which occupy 122560.85 sq km, or 3.73 percent, of the nation’s total land area (National Wildlife Database, May. 2022). In the Protected Area Network Report, 218 additional sanctuaries totaling 16,829 sq km are suggested.

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