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Section 1 – Wild Life (Protection) Amendment Act,2006

Wild Life (Protection) Amendment Act,2006

Section 1. Short title and commencement

Wild Life (Protection) Amendment Act,20061

[No. 39 OF 2006]

[September 3,2006]

An Act further to amend the Wild Life (Protection) Act,1972

Be it enacted by Parliament in the Fifty-seventh Year of the Republic of India as follows:-

Prefatory Note-Statement of Objects and Reasons.-Project Tiger was launched in the country on 1st April,1973 for conserving the endangered tiger. Initially, 9 Tiger Reserves were covered under the project, which has now increased to 28 Tiger Reserves, falling in 17 States. The Central Government provides funding support to projects prepared by the States in this regard. Since then, the Project Tiger is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme. The implementation of the project over the years highlighted the need for a statutory Authority, having legal backing with well defined functions, for conservation of tigers in the country. Despite the project ongoing for more than three decades, the status of tigers in the country remains critical, which necessitate the need for addressing the issue rights from planning to administration and making provisions for dealing with cases of violation.

Any conservation effort to save tiger, must take care of the prevailing peculiar circumstances in the country, where forests are not wilderness areas but also where tribal and other people live. On the basis of the recommendations of the National Board for Wild Life, a Task Force was set up to look into the problems of tiger conservation in the country and to suggest comprehensive measures for its improvement.

The recommendations of the Task Force, inter alia, include strengthening of Project Tiger by giving it statutory as well as administrative powers. It has also recommended that the report relating to Project Tiger should annually be sent to the Central Government for laying in Parliament so that the commitment to the Project Tiger is reviewed from time to time.

With this twin objective of tiger conservation and harmonizing the rights of the tribal people living in and around tiger reserves, it is proposed to amend the Wild Life (Protection) Act,1972, to provide for the National Tiger Conservation Authority responsible for implementation of Project Tiger plan for protecting endangered tigers; and to harmonize and facilitate the implementation of the Tiger Conservation Plans prepared by the State Governments taking into account the needs and concerns of the local people. The amendments are aimed at putting in place, a mechanism which will balance and manage, the livelihood needs of the local people with the imperatives of tiger conservation. The proposed amendment, inter alia, envisage-

(i) constitution of the National Tiger Conservation Authority;

(ii) powers and functions of the Tiger Conservation Authority, so as to include,-

(a) approval of Tiger Conservation Plan prepared by State Governments;

(b) lay down normative standards, guidelines for tiger conservation in the buffer and core areas of tiger reserve, apart from ensuring their due compliance;

(c) providing information on protection measures including future conservation plan, tiger estimation, disease, surveillance mortality survey, patrolling, reports on untoward happenings and such other management aspects as it may deem fit, including future plan for conservation;

(d) approve and co-ordinate research on tiger, its habitat and related ecological and socio-economic parameters;

(e) ensure that identified tiger bearing forests are not diverted for ecologically unsustainable uses, except in public interest, and with the approval of the National Board for Wild Life on the advice of the Tiger Conservation Authority;

(f) facilitate and support tiger reserve m
anagement in the State through eco-development and people’s participation as per approved management plans, and to support similar initiatives in adjoining areas consistent with the Central and State laws;

(iii) preparing the Annual Report of the Tiger Conservation Authority and submission of the audited report to the Central Government for laying before Parliament;

(iv) constitution of Steering Committee by States;

(v) preparation of the Tiger Protection and Conservation Plans by State Governments including staff development and deployment, protection, habitat inputs, addressing the livelihood concerns of local people and compatibility of forestry operations in the adjoining Forest Divisions;

(vi) ensuring the agricultural, livelihood, developmental and other interests of people living inside forests or in tiger bearing forest areas in and around a Tiger Reserve;

(vii) establishing a Tiger Conservation Foundation by States for supporting their development.

The Bill seeks to achieve the aforesaid objects.

——————–

1. Received the assent of the President on September 3,2006 and published in the Gazette of India, Extra., Part II, Section 1, dated 4th September,2006, pp. 1-9, No. 45.

(1) This Act may be called the Wild Life (Protection) Amendment Act,2006.

(2) It shall come into force on such date (Came into force, w.e.f. 4-9-2006, vide S.O. 1402(E), dt. 4-9-2006) as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, appoint.

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