Overview of Wildlife Conservation Plan
Wildlife Conservation Plan (WCP/WLCP) or Wildlife Management Plan are required for Biodiversity Management and wildlife protection in and near a projectarea. The plan's main objective is to provide a relatively stress-free habitat for wildlife in the impact area and meet the basic needs of resident wildlife. The WCP uses sustainable and scientific management of the area's natural wealth to provide safeguarding measures and wildlife protection from unsavoury elements and carry out developmental activities without affecting these resources. Therefore, biodiversity conservation and management plans are formulated in a way that can provide need-based, site-specific, and participatory eco-development inputs to local stakeholders for reducing their resource dependency on forests and for eliciting their support towards conservation in the area. Indian Government has initiated projects for wildlife conservation to check human encroachment. Some of the important ones are
Need of Wildlife Conservation Planning
Increasing man-animal conflict today is an outcome of fragmentation and deterioration of wildlife habitats. Unchecked development activities destroy flora and fauna of the impacted area but also disturbs the balance of the natural ecosystem. This is a crucial management issue and also comes up during project construction in or hear ecologically sensitive zones such as forests. Therefore conservation of flora, fauna around the project site (called the buffer zone) becomes essential as a partial Compliance of the Environmental Clearance from the MoEF&CC. Therefore, a wildlife conservation planning as a part of site assessment is needed. A project proponent must address the abovementioned issues in a WCP through innovative approaches for protecting and managing the forest ecosystems where the proponent will be starting a new project or expanding an existing one. A wildlife Conservation plan will be needed in case the project area falls near any of the following protected areas.
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Process of Wildlife Conservation Plan
The aim of a WLCP must be the assessment of the present status of flora and fauna and the habitat of significant wildlife species in the project area as well as 10km buffer area. The following are the key chapters included in WCP in any state.
Composition of a Wildlife Conservation Plan
Chapter 1: Introduction
This plan section should include Environmental and technical considerations such as project background, objective and scope of work, brief of the project and its utility and provisions of all relevant Acts and Regulations applicable to the particular WCP. The description of the topography, linear infrastructure, natural drainage, water bodies, movement of wildlife and the list of experts involved in the study must be included in this chapter.
Chapter 2: Project Impact and Conservation Plan for the Impacted Area
This section should include study reports on the impact of the project on the environment in general, including soil, vegetation, water regime and animals. This section must also address the possible threats on account of project implementation and the study techniques adopted.
Chapter 3: Mitigation Strategies
Mitigation strategies for the identified impacts must be addressed in this section along with other issues from the project in the project area and the buffer area. This section must also include
Chapter 4: Assessment of Biodiversity values in the Study Area and ways of Uplifting Local Economy
This section should describe the proposed management strategies within the project (core area) to be implemented by the project proponent and include the following.
Chapter 5: Maps and appendices
An executive summary, along with maps, appendices etc showing the location of the projects with respect to any protected areas mentioned in the plan must be included.
Application Process for the approval of Wildlife Conservation Plan
The project proponent will submit all the relevant documents to the Deputy Conservator of Forest (DCF), under whom the project area lies. The application must include details and documents such as
Details of flora and fauna duly authenticated for core and buffer zone, must be included based on the primary field survey indicating the Schedule of the fauna present. In case of any scheduled-I fauna found in the study area, the necessary plan for their preservation must be included.
The abovementioned documents and the comprehensive Wildlife Management Plan must be sent to Chief Wildlife Warden (India) CWLW office after authentication by the concerned DCF and recommendation of the concerned CCF (Chief Conservator of Forest).
Importance of Wildlife Conservation Plan for Environmental Clearance
When establishing any industry or a development or mining project, the project proponent has to apply for Environmental Clearance (EC) under the Environment Protection Act, 1986, to the project authorities. The MoEF notification dated 14th September, 2006 ensures that at the time of environmental clearance, the approval for forest diversion for projects situated beyond the 10 km distance from the Protected Areas will also be needed. The MoEF&CC stipulates conditions for preparation and implementation of Site Specific Wildlife Conservation Plan by the project authorities in consultation with State Forest and Wildlife Department.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Total population of the villages
- The total number of households in the study area
- Data such as sex ratio, literacy rate, marginal workers etc. in the study area
- Percentage of the scheduled tribe and scheduled caste in the study area
The parameters included in calculation of Total Cumulative Score are as follow
- Cumulative Score of Geology
- Cumulative Score of Soil and Noise
- Cumulative Score of Land Cover and Hydrogeology
- Cumulative Score of Water, Land Cover, Solid/ Hazardous, Ecology and Biodiversity, Socio-Economic and Hydrogeology
- Cumulative Score of Hazardous Risk.
- Forest Fires
- Depletion of Forests & Reduction in forest cover
- Loss of habitats of wild animals
- Restricted movement of wild animals due to construction of linear infrastructure
- Man-animal conflict
- Low-lying Areas
- Scrub & Plantation