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Thursday, 2 June 2016

Just 0-1 km buffer for Mount Abu Wildlife Sanctuary?


JAIPUR: On April 19 this year, a draft notification was uploaded on the website of the Union ministry for environment, forests and climate change. This draft proposes a buffer zone around Mount Abu Wildlife Sanctuary in Sirohi district of just 0-1 km!



There are already at least two building projects coming up close to the boundary of this
sanctuary. Guidelines from the wildlife division of the Union ministry of environment and forests in 2011 had ideally considered that "lands falling within 10 km of national parks and wildlife sanctuaries should be notified as eco-fragile zones".



However, since some states had dense populations and development already in this 10-km area near the parks or sanctuaries, they raised objections. The 2011 guidelines thus stated that buffer zones, called eco-sensitive zones, would be "site-specific and relate to regulation, rather than prohibition of specific activities".



The draft notification pertaining to Mount Abu notes that the wildlife sanctuary here was declared in 2008, and the terrain is home to tropical deciduous plant species; in the higher altitudes, there are evergreen species that provide a home to the Aravali red spur fowl, grey jungle fowl, nearly 42 species of reptiles, six amphibians, 16 species of fish, 127 bird species and 72 species of medicinal plants, eight of them endangered.

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