The Union Ministry for Environment, Forests and Climate Change has approved the declaration of 275 zones around wildlife sanctuaries and national parks in the country as ‘ecologically sensitive’, including six in Gujarat.
Union Minister of State for Environment Prakash Javadekar gave this information in the Rajya Sabha in reply to a question by Parimal Nathwani from Jharkhand.
The minister said out of a total 282 proposals received for eco-sensitive zones status from various state governments, 275 were approved.
The eco-sensitive zones identified in Gujarat are Marine National Park and Marine Wildlife Sanctuary, Girnar Wildlife Sanctuary, Narayan Sarovar Wildlife Sanctuary, Purna Wildlife Sanctuary, Vansda National Park and Thol Wildlife Sanctuary.
Javadekar said 215 of the eco-sensitive zones have been notified in the Gazette of India, of which 183 are draft notifications and 32 are final notifications.
As for the criteria adopted for eco-sensitive zones and the effect on local populace and their livelihood, the minister said the aim of “eco-sensitive zone is to conserve bio-diversity and endangered wildlife and protect the environment around national parks and wildlife sanctuaries as a safety zone, without impeding legitimate socio-economic development of the area”.
The minister said restrictions were being imposed on certain identified projects and activities that could have adverse impact on wildlife and other related activities.