Published on: January 20, 2023

Eco-sensitive zones

Eco-sensitive zones


order neurontin online Why in news?   Pontian Kechil Creation of Eco sensitive zones has provoked protests in Kerala and some other regions of the country.


Highlights

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

What is the purpose of the creation?

  • 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.

What is the cause of concern?

  • The institutional mechanisms and procedures prescribed in the guidelines and the ESZ notifications disregarded many legal facts and statutory requirements.
  • Instead of gram sabhas in Scheduled Area and CFR forests and the Panchayat-raj institutions entrusted with soil conservation, water management, social forestry, etc., even though those activities fall squarely within the scope of ESZs.
  • There has been no information to the public on a Zonal Master Plan since 2012, when ESZs first began to be notified.