State Board for Wildlife Set To Reconvene as CM Appoints New Members to the Board

State Board for Wildlife Set To Reconvene as CM Appoints New Members to the Board

The State Board for Wildlife (SBWL) has officially been reconstituted as Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray approved new members to the board, now consisting of 29 people. It’s worth noting that it took the Maha Vikas Aghadi government up until now to put this in place.

The last meeting of the SBWL was held in December 2018. This means that key decisions relating to shifting of tigers and other conservation policies have been at a standstill since then.

The importance of the SBWL is underlined by the powers it has with regards to wildlife conservation and enacting policies. The board can use the powers provided under the Wildlife Act, 1972 for environmental protection. Additionally, the SBWL is responsible for making key decisions on protected forests, five national parks, six tiger reserves, as well as 49 wildlife sanctuaries across Maharashtra.

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In a resolution passed by the State, CM Uddhav Thackeray has been appointed as the Chairman while State Forest Minister Sanjay Rathore will serve as the Vice-Chairman.

Additionally, Nitin Kakodkar was appointed as the Member Secretary of SBWL on a three-year term starting July 7. Kakodkar previously served as the Principal Chief Conservator of Forest or PCCF (Wildlife). 

There’s currently as of now on when the next meeting of the SBWL will be held. “We hope a meeting is convened urgently to take several pending decisions on the lines of similar exercises that have been undertaken by the National Board for Wildlife, under the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC), via video-conference links because of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic,” Kakodkar said.

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