Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary : Eco-Sensitive Zone
The Supreme Court has issued notices to the Ministry of Environment and Forests and the Assam government in response to a plea seeking the declaration of the area around Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary in Assam as an eco-sensitive zone.
- Eco-Sensitive Zones (ESZs) are designated areas surrounding national parks and wildlife sanctuaries that are deemed ecologically fragile and important for the conservation of wildlife and their habitats.
- MoEFCC has mandated the declaration of land within 10 km of the park or sanctuary boundaries as ESZs under the Environmental (Protection) Act, 1986.
- However, the application of the 10-km rule can vary, and areas beyond 10 km can also be notified as ESZs if they contain significant ecological corridors.
- Categorization of Activities:
- Prohibited: Commercial mining, sawmills, polluting industries, major hydroelectric projects, and commercial use of wood
- Regulated activities include tree felling, the establishment of hotels and resorts, commercial use of natural water, the erection of electrical cables, and drastic changes in agricultural practices.
- Permitted activities in ESZs include ongoing agricultural or horticultural practices, rainwater harvesting, organic farming, the use of renewable energy sources, and the adoption of green technology for all activities.