Matters concerned with Environment

Monday, May 21, 2012

Veerappan den to be tiger haven

Veerappan den to be tiger haven
Kalyan Ray, New Delhi, May 15 2012, DHNS:

For stars with stripes
Roars of tigers may soon be heard in the den of notorious forest brigand Veerappan—Sathyamangalam forest—as the Centre has “in-principle” agreed to declare it a tiger reserve.
“We are in the process of establishing more tiger reserves. Based on our 2010 assessment, a new tiger reserve (Kawal Tiger Reserve, Andhra Pradesh) has been constituted.  Further, ‘in-principle’ approval has also been accorded to declaring the Sathyamangalam Wildlife Sanctuary in Tamil Nadu a tiger reserve,” Union Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan said here on Tuesday at a regional stock-taking summit on tiger conservation.
The Sathyamangalam forest was the hideout of Veerappan until he was killed in an encounter in 2004.
This forest is also significant as a wildlife corridor in the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve between the Western Ghats and the Eastern Ghats and is a link between four other adjoining areas of Biligiriranga Swamy Temple Wildlife Sanctuary, Sigur Plateau, Mudumalai National Park and Bandipur National Park.
The minister said a national repository of camera trap photo database of tigers is also being set up that would enable linkages with similar repositories in states to keep track of wild tigers.
The Tamil Nadu government, too, stated in the Assembly that it had decided to create the state's fourth tiger reserve in Sathyamangalam on 1,40,924 hectares through a notification. The state has three tiger reserves at Mudumalai, Anaimalai and Kalakad-Mundanthurai.
India's official tiger count now stands at 1706, an increase of 295 tigers from the 2006 tiger estimate. The latest tiger census—based on camera trappings in the night, satellite tracking and prey-base estimates—actually provides a range, suggesting that the total number of tigers in India may vary from 1,571 on the lower side to 1,875 on the upper side.
“The 2010 country-level snapshot assessment of tiger and its habitat has shown an increase of 20 over the 2006 assessment. However, the outcome has highlighted the need for restoring the fringe areas of tiger reserves and connecting forest linkages,” the minister said.  Fourteen wild tigers were poached in 2012 whereas 18 died natural deaths.

The high court stays compulsory consultant accreditation for EIA

High Court relief for environment engineers | Deccan Chronicle
The high court has stayed an official memorandum by the Ministry of Environment and Forests which made it mandatory for environment consultants to obtain accreditation with the National Accreditation Board of Education and Training, Quality Council of India (QCI).

This comes as a major relief for such engineers, who conduct environment impact assessments (EIA) and prepare such reports to obtain prior environment clearance of projects from regulatory authorities. An environmental impact assessment is an assessment of the possible positive or negative impact that a proposed project may have on the environment, together consisting of the environmental, social and economic aspects.

Experts in the field of environment engineering, who prepared the report argued before the court that such mandatory scheme is illegal and beyond the law. In line with the National Environment Policy, the MoEF had issued Environment Impact Notification, (EIA Notification) in 2006, imposing certain restrictions and prohibitions on new projects or activities. It also mandated that all industrial activities and projects that are listed under the notification must get prior environment clearance.

“As the preparation of EIA Report is necessary for submission of application for clearance, the project proponents generally engage the services of Environment Consultants. However, the official memorandum which is challenged before the court restricted the area of consultancy to the accredited sectors and notified that the EIA reports prepared by non-accredited consultants would not be considered by the Ministry,” states petitioner.

They further state that after the scheme was made compulsory, the consultants were not only precluded from preparing the report and making representations before the appraisal committees but also had to await their turn for consideration of their application. They often have to wait for over a year considering the long queue of applicants and the fact that QCI does not possess the required manpower or the infrastructure.

Justice S. Abdul Nazeer while staying the memorandum also issued notices to Ministry of Environment and Forests and state government’s department of ecology and environment.


About Me

My photo
Ecologist, Environmental Scientist...