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The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) has introduced a massive restructuring plan that entails merging the 10 regional offices of the MoEF&CC and 19 centres of the Forest Survey of India (FSI), National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) and Central Zoo Authority (CZA) into just 19 regional offices of the Ministry.

Details and Criticisms

  • The stated objective of merging regional offices with the NTCA, WCCB, CZA and FSI centres is improving efficiency and ensuring better coordination.
  • These important organisations have very different objectives — forest management, species conservation, enforcement and research.
  • That this reorganisation exercise is being carried out secretly during lockdown is a cause of concern.
  • Reorganisation can result in loss of independence and integrity of NTCA, WCCB and FSI.
  • Pressure can be exerted on the officials to accord clearances for environmentally-disastrous projects.
  • There is, however, no plan to reduce staff strength in the restructuring.

Forest Survey of India (FSI)

  • Forest Survey of India (FSI) is a Government of India Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change organization founded in June 1981 and headquartered at Dehradun.
  • FSI was founded for conducting forest surveys, studies and research to periodically monitor the changing situation of land and forest resources and present the data for national planning, conservation and sustainable management of environmental protection as well for the implementation of social forestry projects.
  • One of the most important activity of FSI is making the State of Forest Report biennially (once every two years). The report gives an assessment of the latest forest cover in India, and the changes thereof.

National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA)

  • The Wildlife Protection Act of 1972 was amended in 2006 to provide for constituting the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) responsible for implementation of the Project Tiger plan.
  • Hence, NTCA is a Statutory Body.
  • NTCA was established in December 2005. It is set up under the Chairmanship of the Minister for Environment and Forests.
  • The Inspector General of Forests, in charge of project Tiger, will be ex-officio Member Secretary.
  • NTCA was established following a recommendation of the Tiger Task Force, constituted by the Prime Minister of India for reorganised management of Project Tiger and the many Tiger Reserves in India.

Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB)

  • Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) a Statutory Body established by the Government of India under the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change to combat organised wildlife crime.
  • The Wild Life (Protection) Amendment Act, 2006 provisions came in to force on 4 September 2006 and WCCB became Operational in 2008.
  • WCCB won the prestigious 2010 Clark R. Bavin Wildlife Law Enforcement Awards for its outstanding work on wildlife law enforcement in the country.
  • UNEP has also awarded WCCB with Asia Environment Enforcement Award, 2018.

Central Zoo Authority (CZA

  • The Central Zoo Authority (CZA) is the body of the government of India responsible for oversight of zoos.
  • Central Zoo Authority is a Statutory Body whose main objective is to enforce minimum standards and norms for upkeep and health care of animals in India zoos.
  • Zoos are regulated as per the provisions of Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972 and are guided by the National Zoo Policy, 1992. The Wild Life Protection was amended in 1991 to establish the Central Zoo Authority.

Extra Prelims Bit – Survey Organisations:

  1. FSI (Forest Survey of India)  
  2. ASI (Archaeological Survey of India)
  3. BSI (Botanical Survey of India)
  4. FiSI (Fishery Survey of India)
  5. GSI (Geological Survey of India)
  6. IIEE (Indian Institute of Ecology and Environment)
  7. NIO (National Institute of Oceanography)
  8. RGCCI (Registrar General and Census Commissioner of India)
  9. SI (Survey of India)
  10. ZSI (Zoological Survey of India)

are key national survey organisations of India.

-Source: The Hindu

February 2024