Forest Conservation Act 1980 Current Affairs - 2020

Annual Report of Environment Ministry

The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has released the Annual Report 2019-20.

Highlights

The report says that around 11,467 hectares of forest lands have been diverted in 22 states in 2019. The diversion has been made under Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980. The diversion was made for 932 non-forestry projects.

Of all the diversions made, one-third was for Odisha based projects. They were around 14 in number and 4,514 hectares of land was diverted. Odisha was followed by Telangana where the diversion was made for 11 projects diverting 2,055 hectares of land.

The maximum number of projects were in Haryana. However, the land diversion was comparatively less, 519 hectares.

Findings

The report also provided category wise details. The largest forest area land was diverted for mining projects and irrigation. The report observed that the ministry provided guidelines to help in relocation of villages. Whenever this was done, the legal-status of the land shall be changed to non-forest land under Forest Conservation Act.

Forest Villages

The report says that there was no conservation of forest villages in the year 2019. The forest villages were those that were set up by the Britishers to procure resources such as timber. Even today there are 2,500 forest villages in the country.

CAG Report: 40% of Environment Related Crimes in India are from Rajasthan

On March 6, 2020, the Comptroller and Auditor General tabled the report for the year that ended on 31st March 2018 (2017-18). The report was tabled in the assembly. According to the report, between 2014 and 2016, 40% of environmental crimes in India were from Rajasthan.

Key Findings of the Report

The report pointed out that Wildlife Crime Control units were not established in the state. The crimes violated Forest (Conservation) act and Wildlife Protect Act.

Between 2014 and 2016, the number of environmental crimes registered in the country were 15,723 and those registered in Rajasthan were 6,382.

Forest Reserves

The Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve and Sariska Tiger Reserve were not regulated due to the absence of Local Advisory Committee. In Ranthambhore, 5 out of 10 core areas were not closed in monsoon season.

Irritants

The CAG identified several irritants to the wild life in the area. The Abheda Biological Park in Kota had garbage dumping yard nearby. The other concerns were firing range of the army, industrial areas and slums.