Monday, September 10, 2012

Government of India to Improve the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972

Bengal tiger

It has been recently announced that the government of India has made its decision to tighten the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972 by increasing the penal clauses. It is also beefing up the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau to stop poachers. Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh stated at a meeting of the National Board of Wildlife that the government has announced a number of improvements to the Wildlife Protection Act to increase the penal clauses, and assimilate the clauses of the Convention on the International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES) to give more power to the law. These proposed provisions include heightening the incarceration terms to seven years and increasing limits of fines up to fifty lakh. In addition to that, the government is also in the course of outlining the amendments that would provide a role to gram sabhas and panchayats in appointed areas in the acknowledgement and management of protected areas. Prime Minister Singh hopes to accept these improvements, and present a bill in the Parliament.
Asiatic lion

The effort to bolster the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau is being done with the adding of more field units, forensic labs, and regional offices. A national database on wildlife crime and criminals is also under process. Prime Minister Singh refused to make any comments on the issues concerning the establishment of a second home to Asiatic lions and the tiger conservation, even though both are on the agenda. Instead, he emphasized on the significance of conserving endangered species other than large mammals. The government-sponsored scheme named Integrated Development of Wildlife Habitats will focus on conserving other wildlife species, such as birds and marine life. Prime Minister Singh also stated that the central government would guarantee proper quota to protect wildlife habitat, which in turn would help in protecting critically endangered species like the great Indian bustard, the Jerdon's courser, the Kashmir stag, the Manipur brow-antlered deer, and the snow leopard. At the same time, he stated that the environment ministry has to install a monitoring mechanism to guarantee that funds are used. The ministry has also been directed to build up its regional offices by enlisting wildlife experts not only to survey the practice of wildlife schemes, but also to insure concrete cohesion to conditions of wildlife authorizations.
Great Indian bustard

I'm very proud and happy to see what the government of India is doing in an effort to help save the nation's wildlife. Not only has it proposed in making improvements to the Wildlife Protection Act, but has also laid out the groundwork on how it is going to protect and conserve the wildlife. These guidelines include increasing the number imprisonment terms to seven years, and strengthening limits of fines up to fifty lakh. Furthermore, the government is also strengthening the nation's Wildlife Crime Control Bureau with the establishment of more facilities such as forensic labs and regional offices, and enlisting new wildlife experts. In my opinion, this news clearly indicates that India is the poster child of why it is crucial to help protect and conserve wildlife. Therefore, I believe that other countries should look up to India in order to get some idea on how to protect their own local wildlife. In addition to that, it would also very much help if these countries would forge alliances with India which would further help in the conservation of wildlife around the world. Although Prime Minister Singh did not comment on conservation issues like the one concerning India's tiger conservation, there is news that the country has been hailed by the Wildlife Conservation Society for its commitment to the conservation of tigers. The society has also warned other Asian governments that the time to save their local wildlife is running out. This is why it is absolutely essential that governments across Asia, as well as in other parts of the world, to join forces with each other and various global conservation groups to save their threatened wildlife species by any means necessary. I also very much hope that the amendments made for the Wildlife Protection Act would help in the drafting of a bill which would later be submitted to the Parliament. The time is essential for India to save and conserve its wildlife, and so it is for other countries around the world.

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