MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT, FOREST AND CLIMATE CHANGE
(DR. MAHESH SHARMA)
(a) and (b) As per the National Informatics Centre (NIC), as on date one hundred and seventy project proposals are in various stages of appraisal in the Ministry for more than one hundred and five days of which seven project proposals pertain to the State of Tamil Nadu.
(c) The Standing Committee of National Board for Wildlife considers various development projects falling inside the Protected Areas and within eco-sensitive zone of the Protected Areas in accordance with the Wild Life (Protection) Act. 1972 subject to the conditions and mitigation measures imposed by the State Chief Wildlife Warden for the protection of flora and fauna. The Standing Committee of National Board for Wild Lifeconsidered 687 projects during August 2014 to January 2019, out of which 682 projects were recommended and 5 projects were rejected.
(d) The Government has taken several steps to protect fauna and flora and the forest cover in the country, which inter-alia include:
(i) Legal protection has been provided to wild animals and some species of plants against hunting and commercial exploitation under the provisions of the Wild Life ( Protection) Act, 1972.
(ii) A network of Protect Areas namely viz. National Parks, Wildlife Sanctuaries, Conservation Reserves and Community Reserving covering important wildlife habitat have been created all over the country under the provisions of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972 to conserve flora fauna.
(iii) Special programmes like ‘Project Tiger’ and ‘Project Elephant’ have been launched for conservation of these endangered aperies and their habitats.
(iv) A specific component of “Recovery programmes for saving critically endangered species and habitats’ is provided in the Centrally Sponsored Scheme of ‘ Development of Wildlife Habitats’ for focused conservation action on selected critically endangered species.
(v) In addition to provision of stringent punishment for the offenders, the wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972 also provides for forfeiture of any equipment , vehicle or weapon that is used for committing wildlife offence (s).
(vi) Financial and technical assistance is provided to the State/Union Territory Governments under the Centrally Sponsored Schemes for providing better protection to wildlife including endangered species and improvement of its habitat.
(vii) The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has been empowered under the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972 to apprehend and prosecute wildlife offenders.
(viii) The Wildlife Crime Control Bureau has been set up to ensure Co-ordination among various officers and State Governments in connection with the enforcement of law for control of poaching and illegal trade in wildlife and its products.
(ix) Financial assistance is provided under Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS) of Development of Wildlife Habitats and Project Tiger for voluntary relocation of villages from within the Protected Areas. This helps in relocating people away from wildlife rich habitats and thus reducing conflict situations.
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