WILD LIFE AMENDMENT ACT, 2022 (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Env and Eco)

News-CRUX-10     7th March 2024        

Context: The notification of rules framed under Section 49M of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972 (as amended in 2022), was recently issued.

Wild life (Protection) Amendment Act, 2022

  • About: The Act aims to increase the scope of protected species by aligning with CITES, specifically targeting animals listed in the Appendices of CITES and Schedule IV of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972.
  • Compliance with CITES Regulations: The amendment enforces the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), necessitating countries to regulate trade through permits for all listed specimens.
  • Streamlining Schedules: It rationalizes schedules by reducing them from VI to IV, eliminating Schedule V which includes animals deemed vermin or those destructive to food crops.
  • Designation of Authorities: The Act designates the Central government to appoint a Management Authority and a Scientific Authority, responsible for granting trade permits and advising on the impact of trading on species' survival, respectively.
  • Regulation of Invasive Alien Species: It grants the Central government the authority to regulate or prohibit the import, trade, possession, or proliferation of invasive alien species.
  • Management of Sanctuaries: The Act entrusts the Chief Wild Life Warden with the responsibility to control, manage, and maintain all sanctuaries within a state, appointed by the respective State government.
  • Consultation for Special Areas: Management plans for sanctuaries in special areas must be prepared after consulting the concerned Gram Sabha, ensuring local participation and consideration.

Wildlife Protection Act, 1972

  • About: It establishes a legislative framework for the preservation of various wild animal and plant species. It also encompasses the management of habitats, regulation of trade in species' parts, and control of products manufactured from them.
  • Classification under the Act: The act includes schedules categorizing plants and animals, subjecting them to different levels of government protection and oversight.
  • India's Inclusion in CITES: The Wildlife Act played a crucial role in India's admission to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
  • Constitutional Provisions: Article 48A of the Indian Constitution mandates the State to safeguard and improve the environment, including the protection of wildlife and forests. 
  • This provision was added by the 42nd Amendment in 1976.
  • Article 51A: It imposes fundamental obligations on Indian citizens, emphasizing compassion for all living things and the preservation and enhancement of the natural environment, including woods, lakes, rivers, and wildlife.
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