Updated: December 10, 2021 7:16:26 am
Environment Minister Aaditya Thackeray has cleared the proposal of getting special status for Thane Creek wildlife sanctuary as per Ramsar Convention to the Centre.
The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance Especially as Waterfowl Habitat is an international treaty for the conservation and sustainable use of wetlands. It is also known as the Convention on Wetlands. It is named after Ramsar city in Iran, where the convention was signed in 1971.
The Thane Creek sanctuary lies on the eastern side of Eastern Express Highway and shares boundaries with Thane and Navi Mumbai. Created for giving more protection to flamingos, it is spread over 17 sq km and was declared a sanctuary in 2015.
At present, the Lonar crater and wetland inside the crater and Nandur Madhmeshwar are protected. There are 46 sites protected as per Ramsar Convention.
The state government had reached out to the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MOEFCC) with a proposal for the forest department to be empowered to take action against mangrove and wetland destruction under the Environment Act 1986. If the Act is amended, it will allow faster delegation of power to forest officials to take action in mangrove and wetland destruction cases, government officials said.
In January this year, Aaditya Thackeray in a letter to the then Union Minister for Environment Prakash Javadekar had said that forest officials are authorised to take action on cases of mangrove destruction on government land under the Indian Forest Act, 1927.
“However, the forest department has no authority to take cognizance of mangrove destruction on private land. Such violations are dealt with under the Environment Protection Act, 1986 read with Coastal Regulation Notification, 2011. The officer authorised to take cognizance of such offences under the EPA are the district collector, sub-divisional officer, state pollution control board and the state environment department,” read the letter.
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