Supreme Court Mandates Minimum 1 KM ESZ For Protected Forests
Tags: National News
In a significant order, the Supreme Court on 3 June directed that each protected forest, national park and wildlife sanctuary should have an Eco Sensitive Zone (ESZ) of 1 kilometre.
Directions of the court
The Court also directed that no permanent structure shall be allowed within the ESZ.
Mining cannot be permitted within a National Wildlife Sanctuary or a National Park.
If the existing ESZ extends beyond the 1 km buffer zone or if any statutory instrument prescribes a higher limit, such extended limit shall prevail.
The Chief Conservator of Forests of each state has been directed to make a list of the existing structures in the ESZ and submit a report to the court.
A three-judge bench of Justices L Nageswara Rao, BR Gavai and Aniruddha Bose, in its 60-page judgment, highlighted how the country's natural resources have been depleted over the years by mining and other activities.
What are the Eco-sensitive Zones (ESZs)?
ESZ are also called Ecologically Fragile Areas (EFAs).
These are areas notified by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) around Protected Areas, National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries.
They also act as transition zones from areas of high security to areas of low security.
An ESZ can go up to 10 kilometres around a protected area, as provided in the Wildlife Conservation Strategy, 2002.
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