Infamous Poacher Narayan Chand Gets Five Years Imprisonment

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Narayan Chand, younger brother of notorious poacher Sansar Chand, has been sentenced to five years imprisonment in a leopard poaching case dating back to 2005. Narayan Chand is infamous as the poacher who was responsible for the poaching which eradicated the tigers in Sariska Tiger Reserve. Following his arrest in 2009, Narayan Chand confessed to having been involved in the purchase of pelts and body parts of 10 tigers from the Ramnagar area of Corbett Reserve. He also confessed to … Read More

CEC hearing on July 6 for illegal road widening in Valmiki Tiger Reserve in Bihar

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The central empowered committee (CEC), appointed by the Supreme Court to look into the cases related to the violation of Forest (Conservation) Act and Wildlife (Protection) Act, has fixed July 6 for the hearing of the case related to the violation of rules in a road widening work inside Valmiki Tiger Reserve (VTR) of Bihar. The CEC admitted the case on the basis of a petition filed by Ashok Kumar, vice-chairman of Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) based on an … Read More

Armed Poachers Arrested While Attempting to Enter Kaziranga

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Police arrested three armed poachers in the Bihali area of Sonitpur district in Assam, while trying to sneak into Kaziranga National Park. The three were found during a combing operation, hiding in the house of a local. The local escaped. A .303 rifle, ammunition, some food and camp materials were found on them. It is believed their plan was to spend a week inside Kaziranga and poach Rhinos. … Read More

Everything you need to know about the National Green Tribunal (NGT)

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Most conservationists would have heard of the National Green Tribunal (NGT), and some may have already filed applications before it. This short primer explains how, when and where to approach the NGT, and looks at the fundamental difference between courts and tribunals, and the structure and jurisdiction of the NGT.

The NGT was established on October 18, 2010 under the National Green Tribunal Act 2010, passed by the Central Government. The stated objective of the Central Government was to … Read More

Using RTI for Wildlife Conservation

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Excerpts from a presentation given by Biswajit Mohanty in Bangalore on 23rd August 2013. You can reach him for questions or comments at

What is Government?

This is a difficult question for an ordinary Indian citizen. He/she knows that Government is an omnipotent and omnipresent entity but is not exactly sure who “Government” is. When you want something from any government office, you will frequently hear the words … “Government will decide”. If there are dues/taxes to be … Read More

The Constitutional Imperatives in the Protection of Wildlife

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When the Constitution of India was adopted in 1950, the framers had not foreseen the importance of environmental preservation. This aspect did receive attention later and, in 1976, the 42nd amendment incorporated protection of wildlife and forests in the Directive Principles. It also included forests and protection of wild animals in the Concurrent List – Seventh Schedule (Article 256) of the Constitution.

It is now enshrined in Article 51 A (g) of the Constitution that it shall be the fundamental … Read More

Speedpost Parcel Containing Ivory caught in Guwahati

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Acting on specific intelligence, customs sleuths in the Guwahati airport confiscated an Ahmedabad bound parcel containing 3.45 kgs of Ivory. The parcel was seized as it was being boarded onto a Spicejet flight. The Ivory was concealed under paddy husks and the value of the tusks is estimated to be around Rs. 10.35 lakhs in the domestic market and crores abroad. Smuggling in the north east is increasingly said to be taking an aerial route.… Read More

MoEF indicts politicians and senior officers in Haryana Forest Scam

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The MoEF has indicted politicians and senior officials of the Haryana government for corruption and violation of environmental laws. It has also indicted the Centrally Empowered Committee (CEC) of the Supreme Court for going beyond its powers. The inquiry report had found embezzling of funds, violation of Supreme Court and Environmental Laws , hounding of a whistle blower and connivance to save the guilty. The CEC instead of prosecuting the guilty had asked the Haryana Government to deposit a sum … Read More

Legal Framework for Wildlife Conservation in India

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Reworked from Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) Report May 2007*.

Many people are under the impression that India does not have strong wildlife conservation laws. On the contrary, we have some of the most stringent legislations to protect wildlife and habitats. It is imperative that all conservationists familiarize themselves with these laws, so that they can contribute effectively. It is also vital to understand which institutions control land in India before any conservation interventions can be attempted in any landscape. … Read More

Bamboo declared a Minor Forest Produce

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In a letter to the Chief Ministers of all states, Union Minister of State for Environment and Forests, Jairam Ramesh has asked that the Forest Departments be directed to treat Bamboo as a Minor Forest Produce as per the Forest Rights Act (FRA) 2006. This directive gives Scheduled Tribes and traditional forest dwellers the right to own, access to collect and dispose of Bamboo. The forest departments have been refusing control in the past, as the Indian Forest Act, treats … Read More

Madras HC Gives Go Ahead To Tamil Nadu Government To Notify Elephant Corridor

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The Madras High Court has declared that the Tamil Government is fully empowered to notify The Elephant Corridor in Nilgiris District. The government is also empowered by the Centre’s Project Elephant. The court order concludes that no fault can be found with the government’s action to declare the corridor, as it has acted towards Article 51-A (g) of the constitution. The GO on the topic dated August 31, 2010 had been questioned by various parties as erroneous and that it … Read More

Supreme Court Panel directs State Government to stop construction activity in Ranthambore

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The Central Empowered Committee constituted by the Supreme Court has ordered that all construction activity that violates the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972 and other court directives, be stopped. The directive is the result of a petition by Belinda Wright, executive director of Wildlife Protection Society of India. Massive construction work is being undertaken by the forest department to construct 20 big dams. The forest department is undertaking these activities in response to a severe scarcity of water last summer. … Read More

The Institutional Framework for Wildlife Conservation in India

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Reworked from Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund Report May 2007* with inputs from Praveen Bhargav, Wildlife First.

To be an effective conservationist, it is important to understand which institutions control land in India and what laws govern the protection of forests and wildlife. Before any conservation interventions can be attempted in any landscape, the legal status of the land must first be ascertained so that one can engage with the correct authorities or agencies. This piece should be read alongside its … Read More

Environment Ministry seeks draft policy on Minimizing Impact of Linear Instrusions on Wildlife and Habitats

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TR Shankar Raman, a member of the Nature Conservation Foundation has been asked to draft a policy guideline to minimize the adverse impacts of man made intrusions, such as roads, powerlines and railway tracks, on wildlife habitats. Shankar Raman, has already presented a background paper on the subject in meeting held on Jan 24th by the Standing Committee of the National Board for Wildlife. Shankar Raman has identified the issues of fragmentation, spread of alien species, dessication, windthrow and animal … Read More