Environment, development not in conflict with each other: Environment minister Yadav in LS
Lok Sabha on Tuesday passed the Wild Life (Protection) Amendment Bill, with Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav asserting that development and environment can go hand in hand and are not in conflict with each other.
The bill was passed by voice vote after several amendments moved by opposition members were rejected by the House.
The bill which had undergone scrutiny of a parliamentary panel seeks to amend the principal Act for better management of protected areas and inserts an explanation to provide for certain permitted activities such as grazing or movement of livestock, bona fide use of drinking and household water by local communities.
Responding to a debate on the bill, Yadav said awareness should be spread among people to boycott items such as shawls and cosmetics which are produced by killing wild animals.
''Development and environment are not in conflict. Integrated development is what which takes into account environmental issues,'' he said.
Noting that India has a network of wildlife protected areas, the minister said India' has forest dependent communities.
''Through this bill, we have decided that we will rehabilitate the people before declaring any area as a national park,'' he said, adding the grazing rights of the animals of people living in those areas will be preserved.
Yadav said all efforts will made to ensure dignified life for the displaced persons.
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.
It was introduced in Lok Sabha in December last year.
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 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.
Earlier, participating in the debate, NPP member Agatha K Sangma noted that the bill though prohibits trade in wild animals including wild elephants but it excludes live elephants from the general prohibition.
''The Clause 27 permits commercial trade of elephants for the first time in 50 years which is a very dangerous and regressive move,'' she said and demanded the government to reconsider the provisions.
The Congress member Adhir Ranjan Chowdhary objected to the provision in the Bill that vests power in the central government to declare certain category of wild animals as vermins and said experts have suggested that this provision would endanger 41 species of mammals, 864 species of birds, 17 species of replies and amphibians, and 58 inspects.
This in turn will lead to ecological in balance and impact local food chain, he said ''Experts have also recommended the need for a well established scientific process for listing and delisting of the species,'' he added.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)