[Prelims Spotlight]Government Bodies related to environment conservation in India

Government Bodies related to environment conservation in India

Central Pollution Control Board

Established: It was established in 1974 under the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974.

Objective: To provide technical services to the Ministry of Environment and Forests under the provisions of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986.

Key Functions:

  • Advise the Central Government on any matter concerning prevention and control of water and air pollution and improvement of the quality of air.
  • Plan and cause to be executed a nation-wide programm for the prevention, control or abatement of water and air pollution
  • Co-ordinate the activities of the State Board and resolve disputes among them
  • Provide technical assistance and guidance to the State Boards, carry out and sponsor investigation and research relating to problems of water and air pollution, and for their prevention, control or abatement
  • Plan and organise training of persons engaged in programme on the prevention, control or abatement of water and air pollution
  • Organise through mass media, a comprehensive mass awareness programme on the prevention, control or abatement of water and air pollution
  • Collect, compile and publish technical and statistical data relating to water and air pollution and the measures devised for their effective prevention, control or abatement;
  • Prepare manuals, codes and guidelines relating to treatment and disposal of sewage and trade effluents as well as for stack gas cleaning devices, stacks and ducts;
  • Disseminate information in respect of matters relating to water and air pollution and their prevention and control
  • Lay down, modify or annul, in consultation with the State Governments concerned, the standards for stream or well, and lay down standards for the quality of air.
  • Perform such other functions as may be prescribed by the Government of India.

 

National Biodiversity Authority

Established When: It is a statutory autonomous body under the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India established in 2003, after India signed Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in 1992

Headquarter: Chennai

Objective of the body: Implementation of Biological Diversity Act, 2002

Key Functions:

It acts as a facilitating, regulating and advisory body to the Government of India “on issues of conservation, sustainable use of biological resources and fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising out of the use of biological resources.”

Additionally, it advises State Governments in identifying the areas of biodiversity importance (biodiversity hotspots) as heritage sites.

 

National Tiger conservation authority

Established: It was established in December 2005 following a recommendation of the Tiger Task Force, constituted by the Prime Minister of India for reorganised management of Project Tiger and the many Tiger Reserves in India.

Headquarter: Delhi

Objective:

  • Providing statutory authority to Project Tiger so that compliance of its directives become legal.
  • Fostering accountability of Center-State in management of Tiger Reserves, by providing a basis for MoU with States within our federal structure.
  • Providing for an oversight by Parliament.
  • Addressing livelihood interests of local people in areas surrounding Tiger Reserves.

Key Functions:

  • to approve the tiger conservation plan prepared by the State Government under sub-section (3) of section 38V of this Act
  • evaluate and assess various aspects of sustainable ecology and disallow any ecologically unsustainable land use such as, mining, industry and other projects within the tiger reserves;
  • provide for management focus and measures for addressing conflicts of  men and wild animal and to emphasize on co-existence in forest areas outside the National Parks, sanctuaries or tiger reserve, in the working plan code
  • provide information on protection measures including future conservation plan, estimation of population of tiger and its natural prey species, status of habitats, disease surveillance, mortality survey, patrolling, reports on untoward happenings and such other management aspects as it may deem fit including future plan conservation
  • ensure critical support including scientific, information technology and legal support for better implementation of the tiger conservation plan
  • facilitate ongoing capacity building programme for skill development of officers and staff of tiger reserves.

 

Animal Welfare Board of India

Established When: It was established in 1962 under Section 4 of The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act,1960.

Headquarter: Ballabhgarh, Haryana

Objective: To advise Government on Animal Welfare Laws and promotes animal welfare in the country.

Key Functions:

  • Recognition of Animal Welfare Organisations: The Board oversees Animal Welfare Organisations (AWOs) by granting recognition to them if they meet its guidelines. The organisation must submit paperwork; agree to nominate a representative of the Animal Welfare Board of India on its Executive Committee; and to submit to regular inspections. After meeting the requirements and an inspection, the organisation is considered for grant of recognition.
  • The AWBI also appoints key people to the positions of (Hon) Animal Welfare Officers, who serve as the key point of contact between the people, the government and law enforcement agencies.
  • Financial assistance: The Board provides financial assistance to recognised Animal Welfare Organisations (AWOs), who submit applications to the Board. Categories of grants include Regular Grant, Cattle Rescue Grant, Provision of Shelter House for looking after the Animals, Animal Birth Control (ABC) Programme, Provision of Ambulance for the animals in distress and Natural Calamity grant.
  • Animal welfare Laws and Rules: The Board suggests changes to laws and rules about animal welfare issues. In 2011, a new draft Animal Welfare Act was published for comment. Guidance is also offered to organisations and officials such as police to help them interpret and apply the laws.
  • Raising awareness: The Board issues publications to raise awareness of various animal welfare issues. The Board’s Education Team gives talks on animal welfare subjects, and trains members of the community to be Board Certified Animal Welfare Educators.

 

Forest Survey of India

Established When:  It is a government organization in India under the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change for conducting forest surveys and studies. The organization came into being in, 1981.

Headquarter: Dehradun, Uttarakhand

Objective

The objective of the organization is monitoring periodically the changing situation of land and forest resources and present the data for national planning; conservation and management of environmental preservation and implementation of social forestry projects.

Key Functions

  • The Functions of Forest Survey of India are:
  • To prepare State of Forest Report biennially, providing assessment of latest forest cover in the country and monitoring changes in these.
  • To conduct inventory in forest and non-forest areas and develop database on forest tree resources.
  • To prepare thematic maps on 1:50,000 scale, using aerial photographs.
  • To function as a nodal agency for collection, compilation, storage and dissemination of spatial database on forest resources.
  • To conduct training of forestry personnel in application of technologies related to resources survey, remote sensing, GIS, etc.
  • To strengthen research & development infrastructure in FSI and to conduct research on applied forest survey techniques.
  • To support State/UT Forest Departments (SFD) in forest resources survey, mapping and inventory.
  • To undertake forestry related special studies/consultancies and custom made training courses for SFD’s and other organizations on project basis.

Forest Survey of India assesses forest cover of the country every 2 years by digital interpretation of remote sensing satellite data and publishes the results in a biennial report called ‘State of Forest Report'(SFR).

Central Zoo Authority of India

Established: It was established in 1992 and constituted under the Wild Life (Protection) Act.

Headquarter: Delhi

Objective 

The main objective of the authority is to complement the national effort in conservation of wildlife.

Standards and norms for housing, upkeep, health care and overall management of animals in zoos have been laid down under the Recognition of Zoo Rules, 1992.

Key Functions

  • Since its inception in 1992, the Authority has evaluated 513 zoos, out of which 167 have been recognized and 346 refused recognition.
  • The Authority’s role is more of a facilitator than a regulator.  It, therefore, provides technical and financial assistance to such zoos which have the potential to attain the desired standard in animal management. Only such captive facilities which have neither the managerial skills nor the requisite resources are asked to close down.
  • Apart from the primary function of grant of recognition and release of financial assistance, the Central Zoo Authority also regulates the exchange of animals of endangered category listed under Schedule-I and II of the Wildlife (Protection Act) among zoos.
  • Exchange of animals between Indian and foreign zoos is also approved by the Authority before the requisite clearances under EXIM Policy and the CITES permits are issued by the competent authority.
  • The Authority also coordinates and implements programmes on capacity building of zoo personnel, planned conservation breeding programmes and ex-situ research including biotechnological intervention for conservation of species for complementing in-situ conservation efforts in the country.
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Manoj Kanaujiya
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The Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI), headquartered at Ballabhgarh in Haryana state, is a statutory advisory body advising the Government of India’s Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change. It was previously based at Chennai