Conservationists make pitch for ‘green bench’Conservationists have called for a ‘green bench’ in the judiciary including an expert to decide on cases related to forests and wildlife conservation.
Conservationists have called for a ‘green bench’ in the judiciary including an expert to decide on cases related to forests and wildlife conservation.
A recently concluded wardens’ seminar agreed to push a proposal to amend the National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act-1973 to set up the bench in order to handle environment-related petitions, and to incorporate technology to testify the evidence for court-related cases on environmental matters, including wildlife crimes.
At present, any criminal case related to environment and wildlife conservation is dealt with by respective conservation bodies such as the national parks and the Department of Forests before it is sent to the Appellate or Supreme Court if a final decision is necessary.
The seminar involving the chairpersons of protected area buffer-zone committees held last week in Taplejung district also decided to form joint operation rooms, one each at the department and the respective conservation areas across the country. It also decided to establish the Kanchanjunga Conservation Area as a biosphere reserve, provide insurance cover for officials who are injured or killed during their work and to facilitate the compensation procedure for people affected by wild animals.
The meeting decided to request the Defence Ministry to build adequate housing units and necessary infrastructure for Nepal Army personnel mobilised in the protected areas.