Published on: October 15, 2023

Eco-sensitive zones

Eco-sensitive zones

Why in news? Karnataka Cabinet gives in-principle nod to declare eco-sensitive zones in six forest areas


  • The six forest areas are Kappattagudda, Bukkapatna, Kammasandra, Nagarahole, Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary, and Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary.

What are Eco Sensitive Zones?

  • As per the National Wildlife Action Plan (2002-2016), issued by the MoEFCC , land within 10 km of the boundaries of national parks and wildlife sanctuaries are to be notified as eco-fragile zones or Eco-sensitive Zones.
  • They are regulated under the Environment Protection Act 1986


  • The purpose is to create some kind of “shock absorbers” to the protected areas by regulating and managing the activities around such areas.

How exactly were the ESZs implemented?

  • The MoEFCC guidelines for ESZs stated that based on the forest rangers’ inventory of land-use and wildlife corridors within 10 km of each protected area
  • A committee consisting of the Wildlife Warden, an ecologist, and an official from the local government was to determine the extent of each ESZ.
  • Chief Wildlife Warden to then list the activities that were to be prohibited, to be restricted with safeguards and to be permitted.
  • Then, the State government would submit this list, the geographical description, biodiversity values, the rights and entitlements of local communities, their economic potential , as a proposal to the MoEFCC for notification.
  • Within two years of notification, the State government is required to draft a Zonal Master Plan for each ESZ in consultation with a number of departments.
  • State had to set up a monitoring committee for each ESZ and committee is required to report the actions taken, to the Chief Wildlife Warden every year.