Sunday, August 19, 2012

Wildlife Conservation Laws & Environmental Legal Requirements to Protect the Wild Buffalo

Wildlife conservation laws and the environmental legal requirements continue to be discussed and widely debated on in many circles. But the fact is this: most development activities that are undertaken in wildlife areas tend to cause interference in the forest and also affects the privacy of wildlife. These are ultimately issues that triggers a negative impact on wildlife. 

Wildlife Conservation Laws: The National Wildlife Action Plan (2002-2016)

To avoid such a conflict from escalating, the Central government, the state governments and the Union territories are expected to evolve better preservation strategies in consultation with the Wildlife boards.

There are several wildlife conservation laws but here, let's take a look at the National Wildlife Action Plan (2002-2016). This Act aims to provide adequate protection to wildlife even in areas such as:

(i) government forests outside PAs
(ii) pvt forests interspersed with conserved areas like tea, coffee and cardamom gardens
(iii) farmlands
(iv) wastelands
(v) wetlands of birds
(v)catchment forests
(vi)turtle nesting sites
(vii)pastures for livestock

Environmental legal requirement to protect the Wild Buffalo 

The Centrally Sponsored Integrated Development of Wildlife Habitats Scheme 2009 highlighted the importance of protecting the habitat of the Wild Buffalo. It also deals with recovery programmes State governments in India have to enforce this environmental legal requirement by taking up initiatives such as legal wildlife program training. They have to come up with implementing proper course of action, management planning, eco-development activities and so on. 

In TN Godavarman Thirumulpad vs Union of India, the State of Chattisgarh took the stand that they do not have sufficient funds to undertake various programs to protect the wild Asiatic buffalo. The Asiatic buffalo is reported as one of the world's most impressive and magnificent animal. 

The Supreme Court held that the steps taken by the state to conserve the wild buffalo is far from satisfactory. It was observed that areas outside the protected areas within the forest have the maximum number of man-animal conflict as the animals fall prey to poachers easily in these places. 

The Supreme Court directed the State to take steps to initiate wildlife training programmes for the offocials of the State Forest Department. With this judgment, the Supreme Court clearly laid down that wildlife protection is the government's constitutional duty.

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