Supreme Court recently indicated it may consider taking up Kerala’s review of the Supreme Court’s judgment to have a one-km eco-sensitive zone ringing protected forests, national parks and wildlife sanctuaries.
About Eco-Sensitive Zones:
What are Eco-Sensitive Zones?
- Land within 10 km of the boundaries of national parks and wildlife sanctuaries are to be notified as eco-fragile zones or Eco-Sensitive Zones (ESZ).
- While the 10-km rule is implemented as a general principle, the extent of its application can vary.
- Areas beyond 10-km can also be notified by the Union government as ESZs, if they hold larger ecologically important “sensitive corridors”.
Why are Eco-Sensitive Zones created?
- They are created as “shock absorbers” for the protected areas, to minimize the negative impact on the “fragile ecosystems” by certain human activities taking place nearby.
- Furthermore, these areas are meant to act as a transition zone from areas requiring higher protection to those requiring lesser protection.
- Activities prohibited in an ESZ, such as commercial mining, saw mills, commercial use of wood, etc., apart from regulated activities like felling of trees.
- There are permitted activities like ongoing agricultural or horticultural practices, rainwater harvesting, organic farming, among others.
Source : The Hindu