TN forest department against diluting wildlife board's powers

The Tamil Nadu forest department has raised objections to the dilution of powers of the state wildLife board.

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The Tamil Nadu forest department has raised objections to the dilution of powers of the state wildLife board.

The forest department has in a communique to the Union environment ministry said that certain new rules inserted in the Wildlife Protection Act amendment Bill 2021 are against the spirit of the conservation of wildlife.

A new section, 8A(1) was inserted on the basis of which a standing committee of the state wildlife board will be set up. It will be headed by the forest minister and have 10 members nominated by the minister.

This, according to the NGOs and the state forest department, will lead to the state government having full control of the conservation policy as well as approval of project proposals that require the use of forest areas.

The state forest department sent a message to the parliamentary standing committee on environment headed by former Union minister, Jairam Ramesh stating that this amendment was an unnecessary insertion and that the state wildlife board was only to clear projects and to give significant inputs to the state government on wildlife conservation and species management.

The forest department in the message also said that replacing the state wildlife board with a standing committee headed by the forest minister will not do any good.

Jairam Ramesh in a tweet said that the Wildlife (Protection)Amendment Bill 2021 is not been based on widespread consultations with the experts in the industry. He said the Bill has several shortcomings and was poorly drafted.

Ramesh said that he had received over 70 responses from experts and institutions on the amendment to the Wildlife (Protection) Amendment Bill. He added that the parliamentary committee has a very complicated task of examining the 50 amendments proposed. He said that he is involving a large number of professionals for the multidisciplinary tasks.

Kasinathan, president of the NGO 'Thanal' that works for the conservation of animals, told IANS, "If the bill is passed there will be several issues including too much political interference."

He said that until now state boards are still able to speak in the interest of wildlife.


Source : IANS


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