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Consider the following statements: Once the Central Government notifies an area as a ‘Community Reserve’

1. the Chief Wildlife Warden of the State becomes the governing authority of such forest

2. hunting is not allowed in such area

3. people of such area are allowed to collect non-timber forest produce

4. people of such area are allowed traditional agricultural practices

How many of the above statements are correct?

(a) Only one
(b) Only two
(c) Only three
(d) All four

The correct answer is (c), only three.

Community reserves in India are specially designated protected zones. They typically serve as a transitional or connection area between recognized national parks, wildlife sanctuaries, and other reserved and protected forests in the country.

Statement 1 is correct: According to Section 33 of the WildLife Protection Act (WLPA), when an area is declared as a community reserve by the central government, the Chief Wildlife Warden of the state assumes control over it. His or her approval is mandatory for any decisions concerning the area.

Statement 2 is also correct: Once a forest area is designated as a community reserve, it becomes a no-hunting zone. Hunting within these reserves is strictly prohibited.

Regarding Statements 3 and 4: It’s accurate that individuals in community reserves are permitted to gather non-timber forest products. However, it is incorrect to state that they can engage in traditional farming activities like shifting (jhum) cultivation within these reserves. This is prohibited in community reserves. Therefore, Statement 3 is correct and Statement 4 is wrong.

Hence, only three statements are correct.

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