Model Question and Answers for APSC | Assess the role of the Government of India in Biodiversity protection. (APSC Mains 2020 GS- I)
Ans : India is one among the 17 megadiverse countries of the world. But many plants and animals are facing the threat of extinction. To protect the critically endangered and other threatened animal and plant species, the Government of India has adopted many steps, laws and policy initiatives.
The role of Government of India in Biodiversity protection:
1. The Central Government has enacted the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972. The Act provides for the creation of Protected Areas for the protection of wildlife and also provides for punishment for hunting of specified fauna.
2. Wetland (Conservation and Management) Rules 2010 have been framed for the protection of wetlands in the States.
3. The Centrally Sponsored Scheme of National Plan for Conservation of Aquatic Ecosystem also provides assistance to the States for the management of wetlands including Ramsar sites in the country.
4. Wildlife Crime Control Bureau has been established for control of illegal trade in wildlife, including endangered species.
5. The Indian Government has banned the veterinary use of diclofenac drug that has caused the rapid population decline of Gyps vulture across the Indian Subcontinent.
6. The Centrally Sponsored Scheme ‘Integrated Development of Wildlife Habitats‘ has been modified by including a new component namely ‘Recovery of Endangered Species‘.
7. Financial and technical assistance is extended to the State Governments under various Centrally Sponsored Schemes, viz, ‘Integrated Development of Wildlife Habitats’, ‘Project Tiger’ and ‘Project Elephant’ for providing better protection and conservation to wildlife.
8. India is also a signatory to several major international conventions relating to conservation and management of wildlife. Some of these are Convention on Biological Diversity, Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals etc.