Forest Conservation Efforts – NFP, Western Ghats, etc.

No easing of mining norms

Note4students

Mains Paper 3: Environment | Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Forest Advisory Committee, open forests

Mains level: Actvities allowed in protected forests and measures taken for the preservation of forests


Limits remain for exploratory boreholes

  1. Forest Advisory Committee (FAC) has shot down a joint proposal by the Coal, Petroleum and Mining ministries to fully exempt themselves from Forest department permissions to scale up the density of exploratory boreholes
  2. These boreholes are used to prospect minerals in forests
  3. FAC is an expert panel of Union ministry of environment & forests (MoEF) and India’s apex forest advisory body

Why the limits?

  1. Mining companies deploy heavy machinery and rigs to dig test, or exploratory boreholes, which are thin, cylindrical caverns that usually go hundreds of metres underground to look for signs of metals, minerals and coal
  2. The exploration of coal and other ferrous and non-ferrous metals damages the forest area
  3. Currently, companies can dig up to 20 boreholes a square kilometre in forests without taking the Central government’s permission

Easing the procedure

  1. State governments could permit the commissioning of such boreholes, provided they involved forests that had a tree-canopy density of less than 40% i.e. ‘open forests’
  2. For more heavily forested areas, the Central government’s permissions would be required
  3. There could be no permission accorded to companies to prospect in national parks and wildlife sanctuaries
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