This article is written by Kushagra Tiwari, a student of Amity University, Lucknow.
In recent times, wildlife conservation has gained people’s attention, However it can be said that considerable qualifications can be found in the common ideas of natural life protection, especially with the ongoing thought that stresses basic entitlements. Natural wild life government assistance and untamed life rights are not equal, with government assistance progressively perfect with the sensible and legitimate use of natural life. The UN Conference on the Human Environment has transformed condition into a significant worldwide issue and mirrors the development of biological issue in humankind’s perspective during the seventy’s. Expressing the need to defend characteristic assets and to interface natural and formative concerns, it allowed a 113 nations meeting to improve reflections and activities on the intricacy of ecological concerns. This research paper considers the striking principle of Stockholm conference held in year 1972 which was for wildlife conservation and environment concerns across the globe, this paper also contains the impact and relevance of the 1972, Stockholm Declaration on conservation of the wildlife in India.
Loving the Nature and the wildlife by enjoying the peace of the God-gifted environment has always been seen in our Indian Culture, most commonly seen in variety of Arts and Cultural beliefs, Folklore, Religious Crafts, Traditional practices and in day to day live of Indian People from those early times which cannot be counted in numbers. But there as there are two sides of a coin, we also have faced such activities that bring destruction to the natural beauty of our environment, nature, especially in the part of Wildlife, flora and fauna, etc. the wildlife crimes and trade is also practiced in our society since very long time. These practices were done for many reasons like for fun, for trade, for livelihood by humans in large which was just growing up day by day, year by year across the Globe, especially during 1960’s.
In response to the increase in Environmental Movements during 1960’s, governments of various countries decided and took action to protect the nature and the harm caused to the environment within the borders of their own countries. But still there was no stoppage in the illegal practices and the harm to the environment was still increasing globally, and then in 1970s, the Governments realized that it was not enough to control such practices going on only in their countries, they needed a big plan. Mutual relations and harmony was required at an International level to fight together and bring such Environmental issues to an end, which affected every country and their Government worldwide.
Indigenous individuals in various nations attribute heavenly powers to plants, creatures, seas, mountains, animals, the breeze, the sun and the moon. Numerous Hindu divine beings and Goddesses are appeared to utilize the creatures as mounts.
Holy forests and Holy trees protected with venerations have been a piece of Hindu and Buddhist culture. In Christianity and in Islam too, protection of the nature depends on the rule that nature and its part are made by God, and people are endowed with obligations of ensuring it and have responsibility of protecting it. Numerous religious and moral philosophies have claimed the solidarity of all the life on the earth and commitment of individuals to think about them.
This research paper will increase our knowledge about what and why Wildlife Protection Act came into force after Stockholm conference, 1972 and will enlighten us about the impact of it in the environment.
Stockholm Conference, 1972 and India
In 1972 in Stockholm, Sweden, the United Nations facilitated its first Conference on the Human Environment, the official statement of which is ordinarily called the Stockholm Declaration of 1972. The 26 standards inside the assertion comprehensively perceive human effect on the earth, implying without precedent for history that ecological issues have been tended to openly and on a worldwide scale. The affirmation underscores the requirement for countries to structure integrative advancement designs that join science and innovation so as to decrease air, land, and water contamination and human effect on nature. It asks every country to make guidelines for ensuring untamed life and moderating the normal assets that are accessible inside that nation, and recommends making national populace approaches, since overpopulation intensifies the strain on characteristic assets.
The Stockholm Declaration gave an establishment to a significant number of the ecological arrangements that have been set up in the 113 taking interest nations. Moreover, the center standards introduced in the statement and the conversations that prompted it started the making of the United Nations Environmental Program, which has accordingly grown progressively explicit conventions to ensure the earth.
Stockholm principle regarding Wildlife Conservation
“Man has a special responsibility to safeguard and wisely manage the heritage of wildlife and its habitat which are now gravely imperiled by a combination of adverse factors. Nature conservation including wildlife must therefore receive importance in planning for economic development”.
This conference also had a great impact on the environmental related laws. After the year 1972, India enacted the Water Act of 1976, Environment Protection Act of 1986, Air Act of 1981 and many other policies and notifications of environmental law.
As given in Article 1, the objective of the Stockholm Convention is to protect human health and the environment (forest, wildlife, etc) from persistent organic pollutants.
Wildlife Protection Act, 1972
The act provides the safety and promises to protect the country’s wild animals, birds, flora and faunas, and plant species with the aim of ensuring environmental and ecological balance and security.
The act also lays down the punishments on hunting various animal species. The act was last amended in year 2006. An amendment bill was introduced in Rajya Sabha in the year 2013 naming it a Standing committee, but later in year 2015, it was withdrawn.
The Government enacted this act with the initial motive of effectively protecting the wildlife of the country and to control poaching, illegal trading and smuggling in wildlife and its derivatives. After the amendment of 2003, the punishments and penalties of the crimes and offenses related were made more strict and stringent. The government has proposed and is continuously working to provide more amendments in the law and to strengthen this act it will introduce more rigid measures in this act as to provide protection to he listed endangered wildlife animals, plants, flora and fauna and other important parts of our ecosystem.
Constitutional Provisions of the Wildlife Act
- ARTICLE 48A- of the Constitution of India directs the State to improve and protect the environment and the safeguard wildlife and forests. This article was added in the 42nd Amendment in year 1976.
- ARTICLE 51A- of the Constitution imposes certain fundamental duties for the People in India and one of them is to protect and improve natural environment that includes lakes, forests, rivers and wildlife and to have compassion for living creatures of the environment.
- The First law related to it was passed officially by the British Government in the year 1887 and was known to be the Wild Birds Protection Act, 1887. The law made the possession and sale of wild birds which were either killed or were captured illegally.
- During the British Era, Wildlife Protection was not given a priority, it was just then in 1960 that the issues of the protection of Wildlife and the prevention of Endangered species from becoming extinct came into the force.
- In the year 1912, a second law was enacted which was famously known as the Wildlife Birds and Animals Protection Act. This was further amended in 1935 when the Wildlife Birds and Animals Protection (Amendment) Act, 1935 was passed.
Need for the Wildlife Conservation and Wildlife Protection Act, 1972
Wildlife is an important part of our nature which cannot be left out, and so it was included as the state subject until the parliament passed their laws in the year 1972.
The need to make a nationwide law in the domain of environment especially for wildlife includes the following:
- India is a hub filled with varied flora and fauna. Various species during the 90’s period were seen declining rapidly in numbers, for example: during 20th century, India was very close to 40000 tigers but by the seventies, there was drastic reduction in number up to 1820.
- There was a drastic imbalance in the number of flora and fauna which caused ecological degradation and effected climate & the ecosystem in those times and now too.
- The numbers of national parks in India prior to this enactment of Wildlife protection act were only five.
- There was most recent act which was passed during British times of Wild Birds and Animals Protection, 1935 which needed to be upgraded regarding the punishments awarded to the poachers and illegal wildlife traders.
Salient features and initiatives taken by the government for wildlife conservation
In Wildlife Protection act, 1972 there were many essential features and important rules put up by the government for the welfare of wildlife sectors in the act which is as under:
- The act prohibits killing and hunting of Endangered species.
- The act provides the advisory boards for the formation of advisory boards for wildlife conservation, wildlife wardens, specify their powers and their duties.
- It was for the first time that a comprehensive list of the endangered wildlife species of the country was prepared.
- It helped India become a party to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Flora and Fauna (CITES), where CITES became a multinational treaty with the endangered animals and plants.
- The act provided for the establishment of wildlife sanctuaries, national parks, etc.
- The act also provided for the establishment of National tiger Conservation Authority, which is a statutory body of the Ministry Of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.
- The act maintains the strength and gives rise and power to Tiger Conservation In India.
- The act introduced Six Schedules which gave varying degrees of protection to classes of Flora and Fauna in which:
- Schedule 1 and Schedule 2(part II) includes absolute protection and offences under these schedules which also brings us with maximum penalties.
- Schedules also include species which may be hunted down.
Importance of wildlife for the development of human and the society
Untamed life has assumed a significant job in the advancement of dress, clinical materials, trial models, and logical exploration. Creature skins and hide have been utilized for attire for centuries, and even today are images of style. Wild creatures have likewise given sustenance to people, framing a critical extent of our eating routine.
At the beginning phase of Homo sapiens, wide-spread cultivating and fundamental arrangement of farming creation expanded human food bounty and assortment, which again added to an expansion in mind volume. At the late phase of Homo sapiens, with the appearance of essential horticulture, creature cultivation, and the modern insurgency, the structure, propensity, and idea of the human eating routine has tended towards dependability. Correspondingly, the physical structure has remained prevalently unaltered Clinical progression has additionally been critical in the advancement of people. Untamed life additionally gives crude materials to logical and clinical exploration.
People and natural life are firmly interrelated, particularly with respect to culture, customary drugs, food, chasing, and eco-the travel industry. Subsequently, it is difficult and suitable to isolate natural life from human. It is both socially and logically significant, in this manner, that we explain how best to ensure natural life and whereupon idea of untamed life preservation this insurance is based.
The world isn’t ecologically uniform. Countries vary in their natural assets, in terms of value and amount. Taking into consideration, there are no single arrangement works wherever to ensure environment protection. The ecological imbalances on the planet are resembled by financial ones, which are significant deterrents to fulfill the fundamental human needs, particularly in creating nations, and an obstruction to the amicable advancement of humankind. The monetary advancement currently appreciated by the created nations was in some cases accomplished without due respect to the safeguarding of human condition, and today they are considered as the bosses of human rights defenders. In any case, it is properly brought up that the overall standards and solutions of universal law are appropriate to the issues of transnational contamination and ecological debasement. Along these lines, the worldwide condition has been satisfactorily ensured through Local, Regional, National and International laws, Policies, Treaties and Conventions and they maintained the balance in the ecology especially in the country like India.
Today when people are concern about corruption in wildlife sectors, degradation of the nature throughout the world, and sad results of this, customary morals of environment conservation and protection could be seen as a source of inspiration and direction to the future generations. Maybe no other culture can give such a significant assortment of social practices and naturally stabled relationship with nature as the Indian culture.
Wildlife sector obviously needs new strategies developments and strictness regarding its punishments of illegal wildlife trading and crimes increasing day by day.
- More explores ought to be accomplished for featuring the current issues about wildlife, environment issues, biodiversity and endeavor has been accomplished for protection of biodiversity.
- There is a solid need to joint effort of Government furthermore, Stakeholders with NGOs for various projects worry to protection of biodiversity and natural life government assistance.
- Government ought to endorse enactment for illicit exercises that drives biodiversity to the edge of termination.
- There ought to be open mindfulness about wildlife conservation significance through social, print and electronic media.
- Students study visit ought to be orchestrated at school, school what’s more, college level for giving mindfulness about the significance of biodiversity and essential activities for its preservation.
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