‘NBWL essential wink for projects near a wildlife reserve’

The National Tiger Conservation Authority informed the Kerala High Court on Friday that prior clearance from the Standing Committee of the National Wildlife Council (NBWL) was mandatory for development activities within 10 km of a national park/sanctuary. wildlife.

The submission was made by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) when a written petition against the construction of an airstrip at Manjumala in Idukki, adjacent to the Periyar Tiger Reserve, was heard.

In a statement, the authority said the Chief Conservator of Forest (Wildlife) informed them that the airstrip was adjacent to the Periyar Tiger Reserve. The aerial distance of the runway was 630 meters from the reserve boundary.

The area had distinct ecological characteristics and contained important habitats such as ‘shola forest’ and ‘temperate montane grasslands’ which are vital for the sustenance of the carnivore prey base. In addition, any type of habitat disturbance due to flight operations can impact bird migration, reduce the reproductive capacity of animals, and affect the life cycle of wildlife in the area. The area adjacent to the airstrip had a high density of tigers and co-predators., CCF had reported to the authority.

The statement pointed out that the Union Department of Environment, Forestry and Climate Change had stipulated that proposals involving development activities/projects located in notified Ecologically Sensitive Zones (ESZs) would be regulated and governed by the notification. ESZ concerned.

It is also required that proposals involving development activities/projects located within 10 km of national parks/wildlife sanctuaries in which the final ESZ notification is not notified or the ESZ notification is at the draft stage, the Prior authorization from the Standing Committee of the National Wildlife Council was required.

In such cases, the project leader must simultaneously submit requests for the allocation of terms of reference/environmental clean-up and wildlife clean-up.

The petitioner argued that the construction of the airstrip on 4.8565ha in the village of Manjumala in Peerumade was illegal as it had not received environmental clearance and clearances under the Conservation Act forests.

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