ICRI to observe International Year of the Reef (IYOR 2008)

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New Delhi, Mar 12 (UNI) The International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI), a partnership among governments, international organisations and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) throughout the world, has designated 2008 as the International Year of the Reef (IYOR 2008), Minister of State for Environment and Forest Namo Narain Meena said in the Lok Sabha today.

He said for the purpose of conserving the coastal environment, the Government had issued the Coastal Regulation Zone Notificdation, 1991. Under the notification, mangroves, corals and coral reef areas are classified as Coastal Regulation Zone - I. No developmental activities in these areas, other than those permissible under the notification, can be taken up. For implementing and enforcing the said Notification, the government has constituted State/union Territory has constituted one National and State / union Territory level Coastal Zone management Authorities under Environment (protection ) Act, 1986. These Authorities have been delegated with necessary powers under the aforesaid Act to take punitive action against violations. The Ministry of Environemnt and Forests also has a National Committee on Mangroves and Coastal Reefs to oversee their conservation and management.

Mr Meena said some species of fish are included in Schedule I Part II A of Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 and any trade of the scheduled species is not allowed under the provisions of the Act.

however, the Chief Wildlife of the concerned State/UnionTerritory Governemnts, with the prior permission from the Director, Wildlife Preservation, government can permit the collection of such Scheduled species for research purpose.

Besides, the Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries is regulating the import of exotic species inlcuding ornamental fish through the national Committee on introduction of Exotic Aquatic Species into Indian Waters.

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