NATIONAL BOARD FOR WILD LIFE (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Env and Eco)

News-CRUX-10     29th September 2023        

Context: National Wildlife Board's Standing Committee to Decide Conservation Strategies for Vanishing Grasslands.

  • Many natural grasslands have either degraded or lost due to agricultural expansions, overgrazing, large areas being converted to plantations / protected areas/ Industrial establishment.
  • The issue of conserving grasslands and other ecosystems is particularly significant because on August 4, the Centre notified the Forest Conservation Amendment Act 2023.

National Board For Wild Life (NBWL)

  • It is a statutory organization constituted in 2003 under the Wildlife Protection Act,
  • 1972 (2003 Amendment)
  • It is chaired by the Prime Minister and its vice chairman is the Minister of Environment.
  • Mandate: The Board is responsible for the promotion of conservation and
  • development of wildlife and forests.
  • It is responsible for publishing status reports of wildlife at least once in 2 years.
  • No alteration of boundaries in national parks and wildlife sanctuaries can be done
  • without recommendation of the NBWL.

Forest Conservation Amendment Act 2023

  • Exempted Categories of Land: The Act exempts some types of land from the Act, including forest land along a railway line or a public road maintained by the government.
  • Assignment/Leasing of Foreign Land: The Actl extends the prior approval requirement for assigning forest land to all entities, including government-owned ones. The approval must be subject to terms and conditions prescribed by the central government.
  • Land Under the Purview of the Act: It defines forest land as either land that is notified as a forest under the IFA, 1927 or any other law, or land that is notified as a forest on or after Oct 25, 1980, in a government record.
  • Permitted Activities in Forest Land: The Act restricts de-reservation of forests or use of forest land for non-forest purposes, but the central government may approve such use with conditions.