Expert body needed on man­animal conflict: House panel

GS Paper 3, Conservation.


  • According to a report by the Standing Committee on Science, Technology, Environment, and Climate Change, the Environment Ministry must form an advisory group of specialists to address the escalating occurrences of human-animal conflict.
  • The report examines the Wildlife (Protection) Amendment Bill, 2021, which was introduced in the Lok Sabha in December 2021.
  • The Wildlife (Conservation) Act of 1972 establishes a legislative framework for the protection of numerous wild animal and plant species.
  • While it has been revised multiple times, the most recent set of suggested revisions by the Environment Ministry were intended to make it more consistent with the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), to which India is a signatory.

1972 Wildlife (Protection) Act

  • The Wildlife Protection Act of 1972 protects the designated species of flora and wildlife and establishes a network of ecologically significant protected areas. The Wildlife Protection Act of 1972 empowers both the federal and state governments to designate any place as a nature reserve, national park, or closed area. Commercial activity is completely prohibited in these protected areas.
  • The authorities are responsible for overseeing and enforcing the act, as well as controlling hunting and poaching of wild animals, protecting particular flora, protected areas, national parks, and closed regions, restricting commerce in wild animals or animal-derived goods, and other things.
  • The law forbids hunting of animals unless an authorised authority grants authorization and the animal has become hazardous to human life or property, or is handicapped or sick and cannot recover.

The Wildlife Act’s Constitutional Provisions

  • Indian wildlife has received periodic protection for over a century. The majority of early legislation were designed to keep game animals from being hunted. The Indian Forest Act of 1927 established sanctuaries and set hunting restrictions in reserved or guarded forests.
  • The provisions for environmental protection in the constitution were added four years after the Stockholm Conference, in 1976, with the 42nd amendment, which reads as follows:

According to Article 48-A of the Constitution:

  • The state will work to conserve and develop the environment, as well as to protect the country’s forests and animals.

The constitution’s Article 51-A (g) states:

  • Every Indian person has a responsibility to maintain and develop the natural environment, including forests, lakes, rivers, and animals, as well as to have compassion for all living things.
  • There are several laws and statutes in place to safeguard wild animals. Among them are:
  • The 1972 Wildlife Protection Act;
  • The Wild Life (Transactions and Taxidermy) Rules were enacted in 1973.
  • The Central Rules for Wild Life (Stock Declaration), 1973;
  • The 1983 Wild Life (Protection) Licensing (Additional Matters to Consider) Rules
  • The Wild Life (Protection) Regulations of 1995;
  • The Wild Life (Specified Plants – Possession Conditions by Licensee) Rules, 1995;
  • 1980 Forest Conservation Act; 1981 Forest (Conservation) Rules
  • The National Forest Policy was established in 1988, and the Biological Diversity Act was enacted in 2002.
  • Aside from these Acts, there are several laws concerning air, water, environment, hazardous material management, solid waste management, noise pollution prevention, Project Tiger, 1973; Project Elephant, 1991, etc.
  • The major grounds for enacting this legislation were that India was seeing a significant decline in the number of birds and wild animals.
  • They are India’s richest and most diverse wildlife resources, which have resulted in a significant burden. Many animals and birds have been extinct for a long time, while others are on the edge of extinction.

Important Characteristics of the Wildlife Protection Act

  • This Act allows for the preservation of a number of specified animal, bird, and plant species, as well as the development of a network of ecologically significant protected areas throughout the country.
  • The Act establishes wildlife advisory boards and wildlife wardens, as well as their authorities and tasks.
  • It aided India’s accession to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
  • The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) is a global treaty aimed at conserving endangered animals and plants.
  • It was approved as a consequence of a gathering of IUCN members and is also known as the Washington Convention.

Wild Life (Protection) Amendment Bill, 2021:

The Minister of Environment, Forests, and Climate Change introduced the Wild Life (Protection) Amendment Bill, 2021 in Lok Sabha.

The bill modifies the 1972 Wild Life (Protection) Act.

The Act governs the conservation of wild animals, birds, and plants. The Bill aims to expand the number of species protected by law and to put the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora into effect (CITES). The following are some of the Bill’s key features:

CITES: The Convention on International Trading in Endangered Species (CITES) is an international agreement between states to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not endanger the survival of the species. Plant and animal specimens are grouped into three groups under CITES depending on the threat to extinction. The Convention requires governments to use permits to restrict the trade of all designated specimens. It also aims to control the holding of live animal specimens. The Bill attempts to put these CITES regulations into effect.

Rationalising Schedules: The Act now comprises six schedules for particularly protected plants, specially protected animals, and pest species. Small creatures that spread illness and destroy food are referred to as vermin. The Bill reduces the total number of schedules to four by-

(i) reducing the number of schedules for specially protected animals to two (one for a higher level of protection),

(ii) removing the schedule for vermin species, and

(iii) inserting a new schedule for specimens listed in the Appendices under CITES (scheduled specimens).

Obligations under CITES: The Bill requires the central government to appoint a:

  • Management Authority, which awards export or import licences for specimen trading; and
  • Scientific Authority, which offers recommendations on factors relating to the influence on the survival of the specimens being traded.

Every individual who trades a scheduled specimen must disclose the transaction to the Management Authority.

Invasive alien species: The Bills give the government the authority to control or ban the importation, trade, ownership, or growth of invasive alien species. Invasive alien species are plant or animal species that are not indigenous to India and whose introduction may have a negative influence on wild life or its environment. The central government may delegate authority to a police officer to capture and dispose of the invasive species.

Control of sanctuaries: The Chief Wild Life Warden is tasked by the Act with controlling, managing, and maintaining all sanctuaries in a state. The state government appoints the Chief Wild Life Warden. The Bill states that the Chief Warden’s actions must be in compliance with the sanctuary’s management plans. These plans will be developed in accordance with central government criteria and will be approved by the Chief Warden. The management plan for sanctuaries classified as special areas must be developed in conjunction with the relevant Gram Sabha.

  • A Scheduled Place or an area where the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 applies are examples of special areas. Scheduled Places are economically depressed areas with a mostly tribal population that are listed in the Fifth Schedule to the Constitution.

The SDGs particularly address wildlife trafficking with specific Targets under Goal 15, as follows:

  • 15.7 Take immediate measures to eradicate poaching and trafficking of protected flora and fauna, as well as to address both the demand and supply for illegal wildlife goods.
  • 15.c Increase global support for measures to fight poaching and trafficking of protected species, particularly by boosting local populations’ capacity to seek sustainable livelihood alternatives.
  • Conservation reserves: Under the Act, state governments may designate areas close to national parks and sanctuaries as conservation reserves, with the goal of safeguarding flora and animals as well as their environment.

Penalties: The Act specifies jail sentences and penalties for violations of the Act’s provisions. These fines are increased under the Bill.

Protected Areas under Wildlife Protection Act:

  1. Sanctuaries: “A sanctuary is a safe haven where injured, abandoned, and abused wildlife can dwell in peace in their natural surroundings without human intervention.”
  2. National Parks: “National Parks are places designated by the government for the conservation of the natural environment.”
  3. Conservation Reserves: After consultation with local people, the state government may designate an area (especially those near to sanctuaries or parks) as a conservation reserve.
  4. Community Reserves: After consulting with the local communal or a person who has volunteered to protect wildlife, the State government may establish any private or community area as a community reserve.
  5. Tiger Reserves: In India, these places are designated for the preservation and conservation of tigers. They are declared based on the National Tiger Conservation Authority’s recommendations.


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