- Rationalizing schedules:Currently, the Act has six schedules for specially protected plants (one), specially protected animals (four), and vermin species (one). Vermin refers to small animals that carry disease and destroy food. The amended act reduces the total number of schedules to four by: (i) reducing the number of schedules for specially protected animals to two (one for greater protection level), (ii) removes the schedule for vermin species, and (iii) inserts a new schedule for specimens listed in the Appendices under CITES (scheduled specimens).
- (a) in clause (5), for the words and figures “Schedule I, Schedule II, Schedule III schedule IV”, the words and figures “Schedule I or Schedule II” shall be substituted;
|Old Schedule||New Schedule after Amendment|
|I to IV||I & II|
|IV ( To comply with Provisions of CITES)|
- Community reserve Management: Where a community reserve is declared on private land under sub-section (1) of section 36C, the community reserve management committee shall consist of the owner of the land, a representative of the State Forests or Wild Life Department under whose jurisdiction the community reserve is located and also the representative of the Panchayat concerned or the tribal community, as the case may be.”
- Power of central government to declare Conservation Reserve:
The Central Government may, if it is satisfied that the conditions specified in sub-section (1) of section 36A are fulfilled in relation to any area referred to in sub-section (1), declare such area, by notification, to be a conservation reserve and the provisions of sections 36A and 36B shall apply in relation to such conservation reserve as they apply in relation to a conservation reserve declared by the State Government
- Surrender of captive animals: Any person having a certificate of ownership in respect of any captive animal, animal article, trophy or uncured trophy, meat or ivory imported into India or an article made from such ivory, and who is not desirous of keeping it in his control, custody or possession may, after giving notice of seven working days to the Chief Wild Life Warden, surrender the same to him and any such certificate of ownership shall stand cancelled from the date of such surrender.
- No compensation shall be payable to any person for surrender of any such animal, article, trophy, meat or ivory to the Chief Wild Life Warden under sub-section
- CITES & Regulation of export: Amended act seeks to implement these provisions of CITES.
- The Central Government shall, by notification, designate an officer not below the rank of an Additional Director General of Forests as the Management Authority for discharging the functions and exercising the powers under this Act.
- The Management Authority shall be responsible for issuance of permits and certificates for trade of scheduled specimens in accordance with the Convention, submission of reports, and shall perform such other functions as may be necessary to implement the provisions of the Convention
- Section 49F will empower the Centre to designate one or more institutes engaged in research on species as a Scientific Authority to advise the Management Authority and monitor the export permits granted for specimens of species listed in Appendix II of Schedule IV and the actual export of such specimens.
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- Invasive alien species: The amended act empowers the central government to regulate or prohibit the import, trade, possession, or proliferation of invasive alien species. Invasive alien species refers to plant or animal species that are not native to India and whose introduction may adversely impact wildlife or its habitat. The central government may authorize an officer to seize and dispose of the invasive species.
- Control of sanctuaries:The Act entrusts the Chief Wild Life Warden to control, manage and maintain all sanctuaries in a state. The Chief Wild Life Warden is appointed by the state government. The amended act specifies that the actions of the Chief Warden must be in accordance with the management plans for the sanctuary. These plans will be prepared as per the guidelines of the central government, and as approved by the Chief Warden. For sanctuaries falling under special areas, the management plan must be prepared after due consultation with the concerned Gram Sabha. Special areas include a Scheduled Area or areas where the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 is applicable. Scheduled Areas are economically backward areas with a predominantly tribal population, notified under the Fifth Schedule to the Constitution.
- One of the most important amendments has been made to Section 43 by permitting elephants, Schedule I animals, to be used for ‘religious or any other purpose’.
The amended act will come into effect from 1 April 2023
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