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ALERT highlights that India’s protected areas are rapidly disappearing

ALERT highlights that India’s protected areas are rapidly disappearing
June 3, 2020

The Alliance of Leading Environmental Researchers and Thinkers (ALERT) has highlighted that India has used the COVID-19 crisis to approve construction of dams, mining projects, thermal power plants, and large infrastructure projects like highways, ports, and airports. 

India, like many governments are creating even more danger by using the crisis to advance looser environmental regulations, hoping their actions will go unnoticed. The environmental regulations under assault are far-reaching, pertaining to pollution, protection for endangered species, and opening up forest areas for mining and other projects.

ALERT suggest that “in India and beyond, the rewriting of environmental laws to accelerate development provides a red carpet for wholesale exploitation of forests and could increase pollution affecting the health and wellbeing of millions of people. 

“Aside from this, a number of agencies related to the control of wildlife crime - in particular the protection of tiger reserves and reserve types - will be centralised. Wildlife experts fear this will make them toothless, with no real power.” 

Recently, nearly 300 conservation scientists and activists wrote a letter to the India’s Standing Committee of the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, asking that forest and environment clearances to be put on hold during the CoOVID-19 epidemic. 

India’s environmental laws are in real danger.  As a signatory of multilateral conventions such as the Convention on Biological Diversity and CITES, India has maintained a strong record in conserving endangered species such as the tiger. 

But ill-conceived measures like loosened environmental laws will not reflect well on India’s longstanding commitment to conservation.

ALERT advise that “the ongoing wave of predatory development in India is something that should worry us all.”

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