Fresh guidelines for creating Critical wildlife Habitat to be prepared in consultation with Tribal Affairs ministry
The Ministry of Environment and Forests has withdrawn its latest guidelines for creating inviolate space for wildlife. The guidelines for creating Critical wildlife Habitat (CWH), issued on February 7, violated the Forest Rights Act, 2006, and threatened the interests of the forest dwellers (see: ‘Misguided rules’).
The ministry also asked the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) to draft a fresh set of guidelines for declaring the Tiger Reserves in the country.
On March 4, Minister for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh held a consultative meeting with the non-profits working for tribal rights and with wildlife activists and experts along with the chief wildlife wardens of the states to review the latest guidelines. The ministry was under fire for issuing guidelines that did not follow the criteria and procedure for declaring CWH given in FRA. Ramesh said the ministry will prepare a fresh draft of guidelines for CWH by April end which will be in consonance with FRA.
The draft will be put for the public consultation. The earlier guidelines were prepared by the wildlife wing of the ministry without any consultation with any other department. Even the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, the nodal agency for FRA, was not consulted. Ramesh said the new draft will be prepared in consultation with state governments and the tribal affairs ministry.
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