Analysis of Wildlife Clearances in India, 2020
The National Board for Wildlife has a mandate to “promote the conservation and development of wildlife and forests by such measures as it thinks fit”. The Standing Committee of the National Board for Wildlife (SC-NBWL) has the discretion to perform the duties and exercise powers that are delegated to it by the Board. The SC-NBWL has been found to be taking all the decisions while the National Board has not met in over six years, since its reconstitution. Both the SC-NBWL and the Board in their current form have functioned contrarily to their mandate. For years, they have continued to grant approvals for projects that provide no benefit to wildlife but instead cause dissection and destruction of crucial habitat. Our report has examined all the decisions taken by the SC-NBWL in 2020, their violations of the Wildlife Act and the likely impacts of the approved projects on wildlife habitats and protected areas.