Wildlife (Protection) Amendment Bill: Basics Explained

The Rajya Sabha passed the Wild Life (Protection) Amendment Bill, 2022 which seeks to give effect to India’s obligations under the Convention on International Trade on Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (‘CITES’), which requires countries to regulate trade of all listed specimens through permits.

The Bill  seeks to  strengthen the protection of endangered species and enhance punishment for illegal wildlife trade.

In India, illegal animal trade is regulated under Custom Act, Foreign Trade Development Regulation Act and Exim Policy and Wildlife Protection Act. However, the bill is brought since CITES requires independent framework for Wildlife protection.

The Bill is also beneficial for local tribal communities as it inserts an explanation to provide for certain permitted activities such as grazing, movement of livestock, bona fide use of drinking and household water.

The Bill seeks to amend Section 43 of the principal Act to permit transfer or transport of a captive elephant for a religious or any other purpose by a person having a valid certificate of ownership.

Protection of wild animals and birds is a subject under Concurrent List of the Constitution. 

Art. 48-A of the Indian Constitution says that the state shall endeavour to protect and improve the environment and to safeguard the forest and wildlife of the country.

Art. 51A (g) imposes fundamental duty on the every citizen of India to protect and improve the environment and have compassion for living creatures.

Global biodiversity is facing a crisis with many species on a rapid path to extinction. CITES is an international agreement between governments. Its aim is to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten the survival of the species. Located in Geneva, Switzerland, the CITES is administered by the United Nations under its UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme) Wing           It regulates the cross-border movement of species (animal and plant) listed on the Appendices to the Convention for both trade and non-commercial (e.g., scientific) purposes. It applies to live animals, carcases and any parts or derivatives). Any such movement must be authorised by CITES import and export permits issued by the CITES Management Authority,     Although CITES is legally binding on the Parties – in other words they have to implement the Convention – it does not take the place of national laws. Rather it provides a framework to be respected by each Party, which has to adopt its own domestic legislation to ensure that CITES is implemented at the national level.        Appendix I includes species threatened with extinction, for which international trade is only permitted in exceptional circumstances. Appendix II includes species that may become threatened in the future if international trade is not regulated, and Appendix III contains species that are protected in a country, and is a way to seek other Parties’ assistance for controlling the trade in the listed species.


  1. All rights of people within a National Park have to be settled while rights over land can be allowed inside a Sanctuary.
  2. Grazing of livestock can be permitted inside a Sanctuary but not inside a National Park.
  3. A Sanctuary can be upgraded as a National Park. However a National Park cannot be downgraded as a Sanctuary.
  4. People can collect firewood, fruits, medicinal plants and other stuff in small scale from the sanctuary. But the park can not be used for any reason like, firewood, timber, fruits etc.

Protected Areas of India (As on December, 2021)

National Parks


Wildlife Sanctuaries


Conservation Reserves


Community Reserves


Protected Areas (PAs)





Leave a Comment


Welcome! Login in to your account

Remember me Lost your password?

Lost Password