इंडियन आवाज़     27 Feb 2024 02:16:12      انڈین آواز

Govt clears 222 eco-sensitive zones to safeguard wildlife

Environment and Forest and Climate Change Minister Prakash Javadekar has said National Forest Policy is being revised to improve forest quality with participation of tribals and forest dwellers. Talking to media persons on achievements of his Ministry in one year of NDA rule, the Minister said more than 20,000 hectare have been added to forest area for reforestation while approving projects.

He also said a Bill for higher penalties for violations of forest laws is under consideration. Mr Javadekar said through Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority, CAMPA, Rs 38,000 crore are being unlocked for more afforestation. He said 14th Finance Commission has given 7.5 per cent weightage for forest cover and provided for nearly Rs 55,000 crore for afforestation. On pollution, Mr Javadekar said government has mandated 24×7 monitoring for 3206 highly polluting industries.

Replying to a question on improving air quality of Delhi, Mr Javadekar said multi-stakeholder approach including all neighbouring states is being adopted. He said a three month action plan is being prepared to tackle the issue. On wildlife, Mr Javadekar said there has been robust growth in the past year and attributed it to better wildlife management. Mr Javadekar said 222 eco-sensitive zones have been approved for effective buffer zone for wildlife areas and three new tiger reserves are in the pipeline.

Felling of trees, drastic change in agriculture systems and commercial use of natural water resources, including groundwater harvesting and setting up of hotels and resorts, are activities regulated in Eco sensitive zones. He said new Diploma and Degree courses in Animal Welfare will be launched soon. Saying that preserving bio diversity is very important, the Minister said National Mission on Himalayan studies has been established in order to remove knowledge deficit in a very sensitive environmental zone.

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