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National Board for Wildlife (NBWL)

National Board for Wildlife (NBWL)

  • The National Board for Wildlife (NBWL) is constituted under Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.
  • The NBWL advises the Union Government on framing of policies and measures for conservation of wildlife in India.
  • It is an apex body to review all wildlife related matters.

Composition of NBWL

  • It has 47 members headed by PM as the chairperson. The vice-chairperson is the Union Minister of Environment, Forests and Climate Change.
  • Some members of the Parliament, representatives of the NGO, eminent environmentalists, conservationists, government secretaries of various departments, Army Chief, Director General of Forests, Director General of Tourism, etc., are also included.
  • In all, the members include 15 non-government members, 19 ex-officio members and 10 government officials such as secretaries.
  • There is a standing committee of the board which approves all the projects falling within the protected wildlife areas or within 10 km of protected areas.
  • The Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 does not specify formation of standing committee, but allows the Board to take decisions with half of the members.

Functions of NBWL

  1. The primary function of the NBWL is to promote conservation and development of environment and wildlife.
  2. It has the power to approve projects in and around the reserved areas.
  3. No alteration in reserved areas such as national parks and wildlife sanctuaries can be done without the approval of NBWL.

Reforms Required in the Board

  • The board has 47 members.
  • There is a need to resize the board.
  • However, the board should consist of adequate number of environmentalists and it should be practically autonomous from the government.

Animal Welfare Board of India

  • It was setup in 1962 under Section 4 of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960.
  • Thus, the board is a statutory body and it advises on animal welfare laws and makes recommendations for the promotion of animal welfare in India.

Central Zoo Authority

  • It was established in the year 1992. An amendment was made to Wildlife Protection Act (WPA) in 1991 to add a new chapter dealing with zoos and allowed the Central Government to constitute Central Zoo Authority.                  National Board for Wildlife (NBWL)
  • The Central Zoo Authority has the mandate to supervise and oversee the functioning and development of zoos throughout the territory of India.

National Biodiversity Authority

  • The National Biodiversity Authority (NBA) was established in 2003 to implement Biological Diversity Act, 2002. Its headquarters is located in Chennai.
  • The NBA is a statutory, autonomous, regulatory and an advisory body on conservation, sustainable use of biological resources and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the utilisation of biological resources.

Functions of NBA are as follows:

  1. It advises the Central Government on issues relating to the conservation of biodiversity, sustainable use of biodiversity and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the utilisation of biological resources.
  2. Any person seeking any kind of intellectual rights on biological resource or knowledge obtained from India has to get prior approval of NBA. The NBA imposes conditions for benefit sharing before granting approval.                          National Board for Wildlife (NBWL)
  3. The NBA advises the state governments in the selection of areas of biodiversity importance and measures for the management of such sites.
  4. It ensures protection of knowledge of local people relating to biodiversity through measures such as registration of such knowledge.
  5. The NBA may take measures, on behalf of the Central Government, to oppose grant of any intellectual property right in any country on commercial product derived from any biological resource from India or on knowledge associated with such biological resource.

Environment & Biodiversity

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