Eco-Sensitive Zone Around Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary:
The draft notification of the Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change (MoEFCC) on an Eco-Sensitive Zone (ESZ) which runs around the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary (WWS) has triggered protests in Wayanad (Kerala).
- The 118.5 sq km area has been earmarked as an Eco-Sensitive Zone (ESZ), of which 99.5 sq km is outside the sanctuary and the remaining 19 sq km comprises revenue villages within the sanctuary.
- There will be restrictions on several human activities in ESZ, including a ban on all new and existing mining, stone quarrying and crushing units, and new industries causing pollution.
- It also includes a ban on the establishment of major hydroelectric projects and the setting up of new sawmills, brick kilns, and commercial use of firewood within ESZ.
- Besides, no new commercial hotels and resorts shall be permitted within 1km of the boundary of the protected area or up to the extent of ESZ, whichever is nearer.
- It also bars the felling of trees in private lands without prior permission of the competent authority in the state government.