Parliament on Thursday passed the Wild Life (Protection) Amendment Bill which seeks better management of protected areas and also provides for certain permitted activities like grazing or movement of livestock and bona fide use of drinking and household water by local communities.
The bill was passed in Rajya Sabha by a voice vote. Lok Sabha had cleared the legislation in August during the monsoon session.
The Wild Life (Protection) Amendment Bill, 2021, which had undergone scrutiny of a parliamentary panel, seeks to conserve and protect wildlife through better management of protected areas and rationalise schedules which list out species under the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972. According to the statement of objects and reasons of the bill, the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972, was enacted to provide for the protection of wild animals, birds and plants with a view to ensure the ecological and environmental security of the country.
The bill also seeks to include the aspects of ”conservation” and ”management” of wildlife which are covered by the Act and make amendments for better management of protected areas.
It proposes to rationalise and amend the schedules, which list out wildlife species, for the purposes of clarity, and ensure better care of seized live animals and disposal of seized wildlife parts and products.
The bill further seeks to enable control of invasive alien species and allow for transfer or transport of live elephants by person having ownership certificates in accordance with conditions prescribed by the central government.
It also proposes to insert a new Chapter VB in the principal Act for regulation of international trade in endangered species of wild fauna and flora and allow state boards for wildlife to constitute standing committees.
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 enforce the provisions of the convention.