Protected areas are those in which human occupation or at least the exploitation of resources is limited. The definition that has been widely accepted across regional and global frameworks has been provided by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in its categorization guidelines for protected areas. There are several kinds of protected areas, which vary by level of protection depending on the enabling laws of each country or the regulations of the international organizations involved. The term "protected area" also includes Marine Protected Areas, the boundaries of which will include some area of ocean, and Trans boundary Protected Areas that overlap multiple countries which remove the borders inside the area for conservation and economic purposes.

National Parks

An area, whether within a sanctuary or not, can be notified by the state government to be constituted as a National Park, by reason of its ecological, faunal, floral, geomorphological, or zoological association or importance, needed to for the purpose of protecting & propagating or developing wildlife therein or its environment. No human activity is permitted inside the national park except for the ones permitted by the Chief Wildlife Warden of the state under the conditions given in CHAPTER IV, WPA 1972.

 

Protected Area Networks of India

There are 104 existing national parks in India covering an area of 40501.13 km2, which is 1.23% of the geographical area of the country (National Wildlife Database, May, 2019). 

Wildlife Sanctuaries

Any area other than area comprised with any reserve forest or the territorial waters can be notified by the State Government to constitute as a sanctuary if such area is of adequate ecological, faunal, floral, geomorphological, natural. or zoological significance, for the purpose of protecting, propagating or developing wildlife or its environment. Some restricted human activities are allowed inside the Sanctuary area details of which are given in CHAPTER IV, WPA 1972.

There are 551 existing wildlife sanctuaries in India covering an area of  119775.80 km2, which is 3.64 % of the geographical area of the country (National Wildlife Database, May, 2019).

Conservation Reserves

Conservation reserves and community reserves in India are terms denoting protected areas of India which typically act as buffer zones to or connectors and migration corridors between established national parks, wildlife sanctuaries and reserved and protected forests of India. Such areas are designated as conservation areas if they are uninhabited and completely owned by the Government of India but used for subsistence by communities and community areas if part of the lands is privately owned.

These protected area categories were first introduced in the Wildlife (Protection) Amendment Act of 2002 − the amendment to the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972. These categories were added because of reduced protection in and around existing or proposed protected areas due to private ownership of land, and land use.There are 88 Conservation Reserves  in the country with an area of 4356.49 Sqkm. 

Community Reserves 

Conservation reserves and community reserves in India are terms denoting protected areas of India which typically act as buffer zones to or connectors and migration corridors between established national parks, wildlife sanctuaries and reserved and protected forests of India. Such areas are designated as conservation areas if they are uninhabited and completely owned by the Government of India but used for subsistence by communities and community areas if part of the lands are privately owned.  These protected area categories were first introduced in the Wildlife (Protection) Amendment Act of 2002 − the amendment to the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972.  These categories were added because of reduced protection in and around existing or proposed protected areas due to private ownership of land, and land use.There are 127 Community Reserves  in the country with an area of 525.22 Sqkm.

Marine Protected Areas

A marine protected area (MPA) is essentially a space in the ocean where human activities are more strictly regulated than the surrounding waters - similar to parks we have on land. These places are given special protections for natural or historic marine resources by local, state, territorial, native, regional, or national authorities.  

Eco Sensitive Zones around Protected Areas.

Eco-Sensitive Zones (ESZs) or Ecologically Fragile Areas (EFAs) are areas notified by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC), Government of India around Protected Areas , National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries. The purpose of declaring ESZs is to create some kind of “shock absorbers” to the protected areas by regulating and managing the activities around such areas. They also act as a transition zone from areas of high protection to areas involving lesser protection.

Source and for More details: http://www.wiienvis.nic.in/Database/Protected_Area_854.aspx

Coastal Regulation Zone

Under the Environment Protection Act, 1986 of India, notification was issued in February 1991, for regulation of activities in the coastal area by the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF). As per the notification, the coastal land up to 500m from the High Tide Line (HTL) and a stage of 100m along banks of creeks, estuaries, backwater and rivers subject to tidal fluctuations, is called the Coastal Regulation Zone(CRZ). CRZ along the country has been placed in four categories. The above notification includes only the inter-tidal zone and land part of the coastal area and does not include the ocean part. The notification imposed restriction on the setting up and expansion[1] of industries or processing plaits etc. in the said CRZ. Coastal Regulation Zones(CRZ) are notified by the govt of India in 1991 for the first time. Under this coastal areas have been classified as CRZ-1, CRZ-2, CRZ-3, CRZ-4. And the same they retained for CRZ in 2003 notifications as well. 

CRZ-1: these are ecologically sensitive areas these are essential in maintaining the ecosystem of the coast. They lie between low and high tide line. Exploration of natural gas and extraction of salt are permitted

CRZ-2: these areas are urban areas located in the coastal areas. Now under new coastal zone regulations 2018, the floor space index norms has been de-freezed.

CRZ-3: rural and urban localities which fall outside the 1 and 2. Only certain activities related to agriculture even some public facilities are allowed in this zone

CRZ-4: this lies in the aquatic area up to territorial limits. Fishing and allied activities are permitted in this zone. Solid waste should be let off in this zone. This zone has been changed from 1991 notification, which covered coastal stretches in islands of Andaman & Nicobar and Lakshdweep


Ajit