Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972
#GS 03 Biodiversity Conservation
Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972:
- This Act provides for the protection of the country’s wild animals, birds, and plant species, in order to ensure environmental and ecological security.
- The Wildlife Protection Act also provides details about restrictions on hunting to safeguard animal species.
- Earlier, Wild Life Protection Act 1972 did not include the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
- However, after the reorganization act, J&K is covered under the Indian Wildlife Protection Act.
Features of the Act:
- The Wild Life Protection Act mandates the prohibition of hunting of wild animals in general while the hunting of wild animals would be permitted in certain cases for the purpose of education and scientific research.
- A wild animal listed under these schedules can be hunted/ killed only after getting permission from the Chief Wildlife Warden (CWLW) of the state if:
- It becomes dangerous to human life or to property (including standing crops on any land).
- It is disabled or suffering from a disease that is beyond recovery.
- The Act also prohibits picking, uprooting, etc. of a specified plant species.
- The CWLW, however, may grant permission for uprooting or collecting a specific plant for the purpose of education, scientific research, preservation in a herbarium or if a person/institution is approved to do so by the central government.
- The Wildlife Act 1972 provided for the declaration and protection of protected areas such as Sanctuaries and National Parks.
- The Act prohibits the trade in trophies, animals, and animal articles from certain animals.
- The Wildlife Conservation Act says that if an animal is hunted in a sanctuary or National Park, such animal or any animal article shall be the property of the Government.
Bodies Constituted under the Act
- As per the act, the central government of India shall constitute the National Board for Wildlife (NBWL).
- The state governments are responsible for the constitution of the State Board of Wildlife.
- The act provides for the constitution of Central Zoo Authority consisting of a total 10 members including the Chairperson and a Member-Secretary.
- The act provided for the constitution of Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) to combat organized wildlife crime in the country.
Constitution and Wildlife protection:
- The 42nd Amendment Act, 1976, Forests and Protection of Wild Animals and Birds was transferred from State to Concurrent List.
- Article 51 A (g) of the Constitution states that it shall be the fundamental duty of every citizen to protect and improve the natural environment including forests and Wildlife.
- Article 48 A in the Directive Principles of State policy, mandates that the State shall endeavor to protect and improve the environment and to safeguard the forests and wildlife of the country.