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National Board for Wildlife reconstituted, will it save wildlife from corporate onslaught?

Written By Gopal Krishna on Sunday, March 02, 2014 | 4:02 AM



Will the reconstituted National Board for Wildlife save wildlife from the corporate onslaught?

Bittu Sehgal, Valmik Thapar, B.K. Talukdar, Koustubh Sharma, Biswajit Mohanty and Shekar Dattatri are all set to join the reconstituted National Board for Wildlife. The new members include the Green Life Society, Raman Sukumar and the Bombay Natural History Society. It has been reported that M.K. Ranjitsinh, K. Ullas Karanth, WWF, Brijendra Singh and the Nature Conservation Foundation besides Jyoti Mirdha, Dushyant Singh and M.S. Gill remain on the list recommended by conflict of interest ridden Environment & Forests Minister, Veerappa Moily and approved by the PMO. The board is headed by the Prime Minister. Moily's environmentally destructive decisions have made him one of the unpopular ministers in the post independent India.
 The term of the pre-existing board’s members expired on 5 September, 2013. The board had a total of 47 members. While 32 of these were serving or retired government officials, the rest were members of organizations that work in the area of conservation, such as the World Wide Fund for Nature, the Nature Conservation Foundation and some independent conservationists. The Board has been reconstituted. It is likely to be announced in March 2014.
 
The Government of India enacted Wild Life (Protection) Act 1972 with the objective of effectively protecting the wild life of this country and to control poaching, smuggling and illegal trade in wildlife and its derivatives. The Act was amended in January 2003 and punishment and penalty for offences under the Act have been made more stringent. The Ministry has proposed further amendments in the law by introducing more rigid measures to strengthen the Act. The objective is to provide protection to the listed endangered flora and fauna and ecologically important protected areas.
 
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