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In wildlife week

In wildlife week

Nature has varied representations of itself throughout the face of the earth. Human intervention has influenced it in numerous ways but none of those should have been destructive or regressive to the point where they lead to unrepairable damage. This is basic wisdom. However, when asked about the high approval rate shown by the Standing committee-National Board for Wildlife (SC-NBWL), Soumitra Dasgupta, inspector-general of forests for wildlife, told IndiaSpend that the SC-NBWL "cleared the proposals in its wisdom". Two versions of wisdom it seems. These are the same clearances that let wildlife area be wiped off and used for urbanisation in a nutshell: 519 projects cleared in 4 years (June 2014-May 2018) of NDA government adding to the 260 by the UPA-II (2009-2013). Instead of drawing a contrast, inevitably picking sides and pointing fingers vis a vis culpability, a potential discourse towards the misunderstood morality, and consequently an analysis of the unparalleled damage inflicted could be a better move. However, that isn't the subject matter over meetings since sanctioning clearances seemingly becomes the need of the hour, for some reason. Instances of species being endangered are rewarded with few frowns and notably slid inside different Schedules of Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. Overexploitation raises an alarm and media attention enforces action against the injustice to nature. Otherwise, it is a merry time for the stakeholders tampering the already fragile protected areas since they are happy breaking bread with the authorities over the slaying of wildlife under the garb of development. The global average of protected areas as per a country's land area is a mere 9.3 per cent while India stands at 4.9 per cent, while it still can't be considered the nadir of this concern. The wildlife week (2-8 October) celebrated across the country with a news of 23 lions dead in 20 days at Sasan, Gir creates an air of melancholy. Beyond the large area diverted for forest clearance and imminent development goes the impact that development process such as roads, settlements, etc., has on the ecological setup. Migratory birds can have their migration routes altered while animals are dispersed from their habitat, harming the pristine order of nature. The worst conclusion of such a poor state of affairs is how the innate discomposure that should haunt is casually submerged due to general insensitivity. It, certainly, wasn't due to this reason that it was enshrined in Article 51 A (g) of the Constitution that it shall be the fundamental duty of every citizen to protect and improve the natural environment including forests and wildlife. However, those with the mantle want to facilitate the "legal and statutorily approved destruction of wildlife" as put by environment lawyer Ritwick Dutta in a response to IndiaSpend.

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