A serious concern for the forest and wildlife heritage of india was recognized by the founding fathers of our nation. It was written in Indian constitution that “It shall be duty of every citizen of india to protect and improve the natural environment , including forests, lakes, rivers and wildlife and to have compassion for living creature. After independence in 1949 the government of india instituted the Central Board for Wildlife (CBW), in 1952 it was renamed as the Indian Board of Wildlife (IBWL) to monitor wildlife. The main aims of IBPL have been-
(1) Conservation of wildlife through legislation and other measures.
(2) Establishment of National parks, Sanctuaries and Zoological gardens.
(3) Promoting public interest and education in wildlife.
(4) Import and export policy of wildlife and products.
(5)Formulation of a environment conservation policy.
Prime Minister is always the chairperson of IBWL. This board has state Wildlife Advisory Board under its wings; scientists, naturalists and citizens off eminence are also included in board, which advices Government of India on all major issues related to Wildlife. In the states Forest departments are responsible for wildlife conservation and management.
IBWL was not enough to give legal protection to such a vast country then The Wildlife (Protection) Act in 1972 came. Under this act important wild animals have been put under five schedules. The most protected/rare/vulnerable animals are in schedule 1, and 2. The act provides
(1)Provision to include plants in protected categories,
(2)Control trade in wildlife products and,
(3)Creation of biospheres.
This act was adopted by all the states of Indian Union. The act made hunting of wild animals a punishable offence and it protect and conserve the biodiversity and endangered species in India. The central government of india has now full fledged Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), New Delhi. It is a nodal agency of central government for the planning, co-ordination and implementation of environmental programmes.
INDIA’S LEGISLATION TO PROTECT WILDLIFE AND ENVIRONMENT