The Union Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) has made Gram Sabha’s consent mandatory for declaring any area as Critical Wildlife Habitats (CWH) in its revised guidelines.
Revising the earlier guidelines set in 2008, it is now mandatory for the Gram Sabha to officially give its consent to the creation of the CWH within the limits of their village.
The new guidelines are prepared after taking into account the objections and suggestions made by social scientists, wildlife experts and others.
The public hearings to be held over CWH will now also have to have a representative from the concerned gram Sabha besides a social scientist, ecologist and a representative of non-governmental organization.
The new guidelines are kept open for 30 days to invite people’s comments.