Analysis of Wildlife Clearances in India , 2019 (Jan- June)
The National Board for Wildlife (NBWL) is a statutory body created under India’s Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. It is a 47 member committee headed by the Prime Minister of the country1 and is tasked with promoting conservation and development of wildlife and forests. In addition to framing policies and advising Central Government on matters related to conservation, it is responsible for regulating activities within India’s Protected Areas i.e. National Parks (NPs), Wildlife Sanctuaries (WLSs) and Conservation Reserves (CRs) and Community Reserves (CMRs)2. The law mandates the NBWL to constitute a Standing Committee for carrying out its various duties and functions3. Having been delegated the powers of the NBWL, the standing committee is required to consider proposals which involve use of land from protected areas (NPs, WLSs and CRs) for activities such as mining, irrigation, roads, highways etc. It is the responsibility of the Standing Committee of National Board for Wildlife (SC NBWL) to screen these proposals, seek additional information or studies, order for site inspections and subsequently approve or reject the proposal (MOEF Wildlife Division 2012). Prior approval from SC NBWL is also mandatory for proposals involving alteration of boundaries of WLS and NPs4.