Wildlife Protection Act 1972 Current Affairs - 2019

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Measures for the protection of Sentinelese Tribe

The Sentinelese Tribe are indigenous people inhabiting North Sentinel Island in the Bay of Bengal in India and are considered one of the world’s last uncontacted peoples. They are considered as Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Group (PVTG).

Laws to Safeguard the interests of Sentinelese Tribe

Laws promulgated for the protection of interests of Sentinelese Tribe are:

  • A &N Islands (PAT) Regulation 1956.
  • Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.
  • Restrictions under Foreigner (Restricted Area) Orders, 1963.
  • Visa Manual Conditions/Passport Act 1920.
  • Indian Forest Act, 1927.
  • Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.

Other Steps to safeguard their interests

The major steps taken towards protection of their interests include:

  • The entire North Sentinel Island along with 5 km coastal sea from high water mark is notified as a tribal reserve.
  • The Sentinelese are still in isolation practising primordial hunting and gathering way of life. The Government has adopted an ‘eyes-on and hands-off’ practice to protect and safeguard the Sentinelese tribe.
  • A protocol for the circumnavigation of the North Sentinel Island has been notified.  The ships and aircraft of Coast Guard and boats of Marine Police make sorties around North Sentinel to keep surveillance.
  • The coastal sea up to a fixed extent of 1 Km to 5 Km abutting the tribal territory has also been notified as a tribal reserve so that marine resources like fish, turtle etc are available exclusively for the Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs).

The Sentinelese tribe is at the verge of extinction. The 2011 census estimates their numbers at a mere 50.

National Wildlife Board Approves Trishna Gas Project of ONGC

The National Wildlife Board has given its approval for the Trishna Gas project of ONGC which falls in the Trishna Wildlife Sanctuary in the Gomati district of Tripura.

Trishna gas project

ONGC has discovered 10-12 gas bearing wells in the Trishna Wildlife sanctuary. The gas extracted from these wells would be supplied to the North Eastern Electric Power Corporation Ltd (NEEPCO) owned 100 MW gas-based thermal power project at Monarchak in Sonamura subdivision of Sipahijala district of Tripura.

The Tripura unit of ONGC has also committed to provide Rs 25 crore to the state government for carrying out Swacch Bharat Abhiyan.

Trishna Wildlife Sanctuary

The Trishna Wildlife Sanctuary was established in 1988. The vegetations in the sanctuary fall under four broad categories of tropical semi-evergreen forest, the east Himalayan lower Bhanar sal, Moist mixed deciduous forest and the Savanah woodland.

Prominent medicinal plant species are Kurcha, Tulsi, Vasak, Sarpaganda, Rudraksha, Bel, Chirata, and Kalamegh can be found here. The wildlife prominent in the sanctuary comprises of Indian Gaur(bison), Deer, Hooklock Gibbon, Golden Langur, Capped Langur, Pheasants and Reptiles.

National Wildlife Board

National Board for Wild Life is a statutory organization constituted under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. It is an apex body to review all wildlife-related matters and approves projects in and around national parks and sanctuaries.

The National Board for Wild Life is chaired by the Prime Minister, Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change is the vice-chairman of the Board and the members include 15 non-government members, 19 ex-officio members and 10 government officials such as secretaries.