Wild Life (Protection) Amendment Bill passes in Rajya Sabha
Thursday, the Rajya Sabha passed the Wildlife (Protection) Amendment Bill, 2022, which strengthens the protection of endangered species and enhances penalties for illegal wildlife trade.
On Tuesday, Environment and Forest Minister Bhupender Yadav introduced the Bill cleared by the Lok Sabha on August 2.
Yadav said India signed the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, which requires specific legislation.
During the debate on the Bill in the Upper House, Yadav said it’s essential to protect forest land and the rights of the people who have lived there for centuries. The NDA government has increased green cover in the country since taking over in 2014, and it must protect wildlife according to the law.
Under the Wild Life (Protection) Act 1972, the Bill aims to protect and conserve wildlife by better managing protected areas and rationalising schedules.
In its statement of objects and reasons, the Wild Life (Protection) Act of 1972 aims to ensure the ecological and environmental security of the country by protecting wild animals, birds and plants.
BJP Rajya Sabha member Kumar Ketkar says “real estate sharks” are destroying forests and messing with wildlife. To protect wildlife, you shouldn’t just have strict laws, but you should also enforce them. “Real estate sharks are using their money and muscle power to delay enforcing the laws,” he said during an Upper House discussion.
“When discussing this Act, Nicobar jungles are being ruined and taken out for corporate profits. The wildlife is actually attacked by corporations and sometimes by Bollywood-type celebrities,” he said.
Jairam Ramesh, the senior Congress leader, opposed the Bill in its current form, saying it could be misused to transport captive live elephants for other purposes.
All India Trinamool Congress member Sushmita Dev asked why the government didn’t vote against the motion to restart the international ivory trade. She says the motion was defeated, but the government abstained.