A critique of the legal framework governing wildlife protection and conservation in India.
A critique of the legal framework governing wildlife protection and conservation in India.
Wildlife includes both flora and fauna that grow in a wild area without the intrusion of humans. Off late human encroachment on forests has become a threat to wildlife. Large tracts of forest land are being cleared and converted to agricultural fields or are being used for non-environmental construction projects. As man is gradually encroaching on forests, the wild animals are left with no alternative but to proceed towards city limits which ultimately leads to their indiscriminate killing.
This paper aims to analyse and critically evaluate the various wildlife protection laws that are operational in India in addition to the perusal of landmark judgements. It is imperative to understand the interdependence of Wildlife and the Environment, hence the paper shall also examine certain forest laws that are a threat to the survival of animals.
The existing legal regime in India caters to the need of wildlife conservation but there are certain aspects of the law that need amplification, which shall be summarised in the following paper. The research methodology used in the paper is doctrinal. By the effective evaluation and expansion of the existing laws there can be a wider interpretation of wildlife conservation laws that shall help in the protection of wildlife.
Keywords: deforestation, non-environmental projects, indiscriminate killing, forest laws
The evolution of mankind has pivoted on activities like the hunting of wild animals for consumption and to derive products of usage such as animal hide for clothing, horns to make weapons and other materials of utility. Man is conventionally considered to be self-centred, this belief stems from the theory of anthropocentrism. Anthropocentrism is the theoretical view that human beings are the most important entity in the universe.
The rapid extinction of animals led to the formulation of conservation laws, the most primitive of these laws include the ‘Game laws’ of the Greek and Roman empire. The 18th Century English Game laws such as Game Act, 1831, were statutes that regulated the rights of certain aristocrats to take or kill certain kind of fish and wild animals to the exclusion of working class men. However, the basis for such a law was rooted in the anthropocentric view wherein animals were meant to be conserved because their shortage would cause scarcity of food and also to protects the hunting rights of the nobility.
The United Nations Conference on Human Environment also known as the Stockholm Conference held in 1972 at Sweden is regarded as the first major step taken internationally towards combating environmental issues. Principle Four enunciates that wildlife is threatened due to adverse factors and humankind has a responsibility to safeguard and protect wildlife and its habitat. The Indian legal framework for protection of wildlife is the cumulative result of legislations and policies enacted by the Union Legislature and principles borrowed from International Conventions.
The first section of the paper shall delve in wildlife protection laws operative in India and attempt to disclose the flaws and problematic provisions of the same. This section shall also summarise the judicial pronouncements that have enunciated the status of wildlife in the society. This section shall also throw light on few instances where the law has been misused to produce antithetical results. The second section shall examine the provisions in forest laws that are detrimental to the survival of Wildlife. In conclusion, the paper shall suggest improvements to the current legal framework and emphasises the approach that should be taken while formulating laws for the protection of Wildlife.
PREVENTION OF CRUELTY TO ANIMALS ACT, 1960
The following act still caters to the antiquity era rather than being a stringent law for the protection of animals. A perusal of the penalties defined under the act gives the impression that the act is still stuck in the era of its inception and requires an urgent and necessary revamp. The Act prescribes a paltry fine of 10 rupees (maximum Rs. 50) for a first-time offender. This meagre fine does not serve the purpose of protecting animals. Furthermore, the offences are not penalised in accordance with their severity. The Animal Welfare Board of India had proposed amendments to the Prevention of Cruelty against Animals Act, 1860, one of the amendments suggested was the augmentation of fine to 10,000 rupees and a minimum of three years imprisonment. However, the proposed amendment was never implemented.
WILDLIFE (PROTECTION) ACT, 1972
The Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972 was passed by the Indian Parliament on 21st August, 1972 and implemented on 9 September, 1972. The Act empowered the State Governments and Administrators of Union Territories to constitute ‘State Board for Wildlife’ and to appoint a ‘Chief Wildlife Warden’ to enforce the said Act. The Act prohibited the hunting of wild animals, subject to the proviso that it may be permissible to kill an animal if it is authorised by the Chief Wildlife Warden that such an animal has become dangerous to human life or is so disabled or diseased as to be beyond recovery. However, the killing or wounding in good faith of any wild animal in defence of oneself or of any other person is not an offence. Section 11(b) of the Act permits the killing of wild animals if they are a threat to property, including standing crops on any land.
Protection to Vermin: An Issue
The widespread destruction and loss of habitat as a result of human encroachment in forests has forced the animals to proceed to city limits in search of sustenance and shelter, these animals have ultimately ended up destroying agricultural farms. The farmers in Rajasthan have faced rampant destruction of their crops by the Blue bulls (Nilgai). These farmers have adopted barbaric measures to prevent the intrusion of animals. They use ‘gophan’, a device used to throw stones towards animals to chase them away from fields. They also use shotguns, potash bombs and high voltage electric current fence around their fields to brutally injure or kill animals.
In 2016, hon’ble Minister Prakash Javadekar declared that Nilgai and wild boars can be killed on specific orders if they damage property, he went a step ahead and declared these species to be vermin, justifying the action as a ‘help’ to farmers. However, such an action promulgated the indiscriminate culling of these animals, often using barbarous and cruel methods.
The Wildlife Protection Act does not provide any protection to vermin and this lacuna has been used to the advantage of the Legislators to carry out indiscriminate killing of animals. Schedule five of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 lists animals and birds that can be declared as vermin. The common crow, fruit bat, mice and rats are included in Schedule five. As per Section 62 of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, the State can send a proposal to the Centre, to declare certain animals as ‘vermin’. After such a proposal is received, the Central Government by notification can declare any wild animal other than those specified in Schedule one and Part two of Schedule two, to be vermin for any area for a given period of time. As long as the notification is in force such wild animal shall be deemed to be included in Schedule five of the Wild Life Protection Act, 1972 and is not provided protection under the law.
The omission of a clear definition for ‘vermin’ and the extensive powers provided under Section 62 have proved catastrophic for certain animals. The absence of a set guideline for the declaration of animals as vermin has led to their indiscriminate killing. Various States had proposed to the Central Government to declare certain species of wildlife as vermin which has led to their ‘legalised’ culling. In Bihar, the wild boar and Nilgai, in Himachal Pradesh, the Rhesus Macaque and in Uttarakhand the wild boar had been declared vermin. The State Government of Goa following suit had proposed to declare peacock as vermin; however, such a notification was not issued. All these animals have been declared vermin by citing reasons such as damage to agricultural crops and other property.
The Punjab and Haryana High Court in the case of Karnal Singh and Ors. v. State of Haryana provided legal identity to animals the Court opined, that “The entire animal kingdom, including avian and aquatic, are declared legal entities having a distinct persona with corresponding rights, duties and liabilities of a living person. In accordance with the reasoning given by the Court in the above-mentioned case, it can be deduced that Article 14 of the Constitution of India shall apply to animals. An important pre-requisite for equality under Article 14 is protection from arbitrary State action. However, unless the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 is amended, the indiscriminate declaration of animals as vermin shall continue. It is suggested that the Act be amended to provide a comprehensive definition to ‘vermin’ and to limit the powers given to the State governments to declare any species to be vermin in accordance with their caprice. The farmers should be encouraged to deploy animal-friendly methods to safeguard their farms, the Government should ensure that savage methods of rancour against animals are abolished.
WILDLIFE (PROTECTION) AMENDMENT ACT, 2006
The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NCTA) was constituted under the aegis of this amendment Act. This authority protects Tiger reserves by prohibiting ecologically unsustainable activities in these areas. It provides guidelines for Project Tiger and lays down normative standards for tourism activities. The NCTA also addresses conflicts between humans and wild animals and emphasises methods of their coexistence. Project Tiger is an ongoing Centrally Sponsored Scheme of the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, providing central assistance to the States for tiger conservation in designated tiger reserves.
The decline in the tiger population of India has reached an overwhelming point. Various attempts have been made to protect the dwindling population of tigers in India. Despite stringent laws and mechanism for protection of tigers, there hasn’t been much improvement on ground. The massacre of tigress Avni compels us to question the credibility of such laws. Tigress Avni was brazenly killed on 2nd November, 2018 in the Yavatmal forest in Maharashtra by a private hunter. Avni was alleged to be a man-eating tigress and was considered a threat to humans living in the vicinity of the forest. The killing of Avni cannot be justified by any legal backing and is undoubtedly an act of brutality against animals. Section 11(a) of Wildlife Protection Act 1972 permits hunting of animals only with an order in writing by the chief wildlife warden specifying the reasons for such an order. However, no such order has surfaced to the limelight in order to substantiate the killing. Also, there is lack of proof by the State Chief Conservator verifying that Avni was a man-eater. Such a proof is required to be produced before the killing of any animal is executed in any State of India.
The incident of Avni is not isolated. In spite of a legal framework that outrightly condemns tiger killings, there are many incidents that go unnoticed. In 2019, a tigress was beaten to death using sticks by local villagers in the Pilibhit Tiger Reserve, about 200 miles east of New Delhi. The conviction rate in case of wildlife crimes is the lowest in India accounting to only 2% or 3% .
Revival of the Special Tiger Protection Force (STPF)
The low conviction rate in case of wildlife crimes can be tackled with the functional amalgamation of the Police force and the Forest Personnel. The idea of such an amalgamation is not a new one, the NCTA in 2009 had advised important tiger states to recruit and train special police personnel for patrolling the forests to safeguard tigers. However, the State Forest departments did not want the intrusion of police personnel in their domain and hence suggested specialised police training for forest staff. The Special Tiger Protection Forces were not set up in all tiger states and have largely remained defunct. It has been reported that police training to Forest Guards recruited for STPF was provided for the first and last time in 2011-2012 in the State of Karnataka. It is suggested that a collective effort by the police personnel and forest department can help combat the low conviction rates in case of wildlife crimes. A necessary revival of the STPF can help in effective patrolling to reduce wildlife crimes especially against tigers.
FOREST CONSERVATION ACT, 1980
The problems of Wildlife protection and the protection of forests cannot be isolated from each other. It is imperative to understand the interdependence of Wildlife and the Environment and the dangers posed by non-sensical clearing of forests to make way for setting up of industries. The State is supposed to be the guardian of the ‘Public Trust Doctrine’, but the result is antithetical when the state and industries join hands to propagate mindless industrialisation that is detrimental to the environment.
The Forest Conservation Act, 1980 provides for Compensatory Afforestation, which mandates that whenever a forest land is diverted for non-forestry purposes, equivalent non-forest land must be identified for compensatory afforestation. The User Agency is the agency (private/governmental) which proposes the diversion of the forest land for non-forestry purposes such as irrigation, mining, construction of roads, etc. The Central government is the authority that provides permission for the conversion of forest for non-forestry purposes. The Handbook of Forest Conservation Act, 1980 and Forest Conservation Rules, 2003 published by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change provides that compensatory afforestation is a scheme to compensate the loss of 'land by land' and loss of 'trees by trees'. This compensation is a façade as it does more damage than good for the species that live in the forests that are cleared. The Act fails to accommodate the threat to the biodiversity of the forest, when it is converted from a forest to non-forest purpose. The environmental clearance of a forest, wipes out numerous species that are living and sustaining themselves in these forests.
Multimillion-dollar companies often prosper at the cost of damage to environment and the only compensation they seem to offer is ‘Compensatory Afforestation’. The companies fail to realise that this compensatory afforestation is harmful to the environment and the results are antithetical to their proposed conservation. In compensatory afforestation, the companies tend to plant a huge number of single species (usually exotic species like eucalyptus) in a particular area. Over time, these species tend to overpopulate the area and become a threat to the indigenous species of that place. Eucalyptus is a drought-inducing speciethat modifies the groundwater level in the specified area as it disturbs the water table. Moreover, the colossal spreading of these non-native forest plantations tends to drive out indigenous animal species because their natural dietary provisions are no longer available. These animals migrate out of the region, further affecting the natural biodiversity. One such example of destruction of biodiversity was challenged in the Supreme Court of India in the case of K. M. Chinnappa, T. N. Thirumalpad v. Union of India. The case was a legal battle fought to conserve the biodiversity hotspot, the Kudremukh National Park, in the Western Ghats of Karnataka. Even though a lot of damage was already done by the mining activities of Kudremukh Iron Ore Company Ltd. (KIOCL), the victory of this legal battle has set a precedent for future actions targeting biodiversity.
People’s Biodiversity Registers (PBRs)
India became a signatory to the Convention on Biological Diversity at Rio de Janeiro which provided a framework for the sustainable management and conservation of a country’s natural resources. In accordance with Article 253 of the Constitution of India, the Biological Diversity Act was enacted in 2002 in order to conserve biodiversity, manage its sustainable use and enable fair and equitable sharing benefits arising out of the use of biological resources with the local communities.
The Act calls for the appointment of a National Biodiversity Authority (NBA) at the national level, State Biodiversity Boards (SBBs) at the state level and Biodiversity Management Committees (BMCs) at local body levels. The primary responsibility of the BMCs is to document the local biodiversity and associated knowledge of the local people in the form of People’s Biodiversity Registers (PBR). Here, the implementation of the law has dallied and garnered special attention of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) to spring back to action. In a petition before the NGT, the tribunal directed compliance in the constitution of BMCs and preparation of PBRs within six months and directed the Ministy of Environment Forests and Climate Change and the National Biodiversity Authority to monitor the same. Further in a 2019 order, the NGT directed 100 percent compliance in the constitution of BMCs and preparation of PBRs by January 31, 2020 and emphasised a fine of Rs. 10 lakhs per month from February 1, 2020 in case of default. As on January 31, 2020, the Biodiversity Management Committee compliance stands at 90 percent and issuance of People’s Biodiversity Registers stands at 39.12 percent.
The Notification under Environment Protection Act, 1986 provides that an environmental impact assessment report must be completed before undertaking any construction project that shall bring about drastic changes to the environment such as clearing of forests. The People’s Biodiversity Registers are the basic records of a region’s biological resources. The non-availability of the PBRs makes the Environmental Impact Assessment reports futile as they lack the necessary assessment of indigenous species of a particular area. The PBRs can help in assessing the true ecological cost of any non-environmental project.
CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
The protection and conservation of wildlife is a constitutionally recognised allegiance. A fundamental duty envisaged in Article 51 A (g) of the Constitution mandates that every citizen shall protect and improve the natural environment including forests and wildlife. Furthermore, under the Directive Principles of State policy, Article 48 A mandates that the State shall endeavour to protect and improve the environment and to safeguard the forests and wildlife of the country. Although the Indian legal framework for the protection of Wildlife is a comprehensive framework that ranges over a broad spectrum of rules, the implementation of the rules prescribed, seems to be the problem on ground. A case study conducted in the Kashmir Valley on the attitudes of local people towards wildlife conservation illuminated that livestock losses and crop damage were two main reasons for a negative attitude towards wildlife conservation. A key facet of the declining standard of protection of wildlife is the ‘human-wildlife’ conflict. In a situation arising out of such a conflict, it is apparent that human interests will prevail over that of the animals. As stated earlier, Section 11(b) of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 permits the killing of wild animals if they are a threat to property, including standing crops on any land with the prior permission of the Chief Wildlife Warden. This clause conveys the human-centric essence of the act.
Human- Wildlife Conflict
The rapid encroachment of humans in the natural habitats of the wildlife increases the instances of human-wildlife conflict. There is loss on both sides of the spectrum because humans lose their livestock and property and animals are culled for destroying the same. The only way to cease this endless war is to ascertain that killing of a wild animal is the last resort under any circumstances even if the animal is considered a threat to humans. The animals should be tranquilised instead of killing on the first instance and should be sheltered in sanctuaries.
The need to embrace an eco-centric approach
In order to protect and conserve the wildlife, there is a need to shift emphasis from anthropocentric to eco-centric approach to laws. The hon’ble Supreme Court of India has emphasised the need to embrace an eco-centric approach towards formulation of laws for wildlife. In the case of T. N. Godavarman Thirumalpad v. Union of India, the court advocated the eco-centric approach to protect the Asiatic wild Buffalo, which is declared as an endangered species in Schedule I of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. Also, in the case of Centre for Environment Law, WWF- I v. Union of India, the court emphasised the need to protect the endangered species from extinction and stated that it is an issue rooted in ecocentrism and should be decided with an eco-centric approach. Another case to be cited to necessitate the eco-centric approach is United States landmark case, Tennessee Valley Authority v. Hill et all,in this case the applicant wanted to preserve and protect a tiny fish-snail darter. This fish was discovered in a stretch of the Little Tennessee River dam project area. The construction of a dam that had already cost taxpayers $100 million came crashing to a halt because if the water was allowed to fill in the dam, it could have destroyed the tiny fish. The intense legal battle was contested all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. The U.S. Supreme Court did not permit the authorities to fill the water in the dam area fearing it would cause irreparable loss and one species of fish would be lost forever.
Discrepancy in Statistics
It has been observed that there is always a discrepancy in the figures provided by the Government and figures published by NGOs in matters related to the statistics of tiger population, poaching crimes etc. Now, the precision of the statistical reports cannot be ascertained, nor can it be identified whether political forces are responsible for the non-alignment of the statistics. However, it is suggested that the Government should concur with reputable NGOs to provide accurate data on wildlife statistics. Such a step would allow the pooling of interests of wildlife activists and also ensure active participation of the general public in the protection of wildlife. The collaboration with NGOs will also ensure transparency in the working procedure of the various Wildlife Conservation wings such as the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau and Project Tiger.
The acclaimed Philosopher and Historian, Yuval Noah Harari has claimed in his book, ‘Sapiens: A brief history of Mankind’ that Homo sapiens (Mankind) have jumped to the top of the food chain too quickly whereas other animals such as lions and sharks evolved into the position very gradually taking millions of years. The prolonged evolution enabled the ecosystem to develop checks and balances that prevented lions and sharks from wreaking too much havoc. However, the leap taken by mankind has caused too much catastrophe already and we can only to wish to slow down the ticking bomb rather than attempting to reverse the damage.
 ENCYCLOPEDIA BRITANNICA 1911, https://theodora.com/encyclopedia/g/game_laws.html(last visited Nov. 14, 2020).
 Declaration of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment (Stockholm declaration), 1972 and
the Rio declaration on Environment and Development, 1992; Principle 4.
 Vageshwari Deswal, Are animals children of a lesser god? Need to amend the Prevention of Cruelty against Animals Act, 1960, THE TIMES OF INDIA (Nov. 14, 2020, 12:22 P.M), https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/blogs/legally-speaking/are-animals-children-of-a-lesser-god-need-to-amend-the-prevention-of-cruelty-against-animals-act-1960/
 The Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, No. 53, Acts of Parliament, 1972 (India).
 The Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, § 4, No. 53, Acts of Parliament, 1972 (India).
 The Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, § 11(a), No. 53, Acts of Parliament, 1972 (India).
 The Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, § 11 (b), No. 53, Acts of Parliament, 1972 (India).
 R P Meena et al, Indigenous Measures developed by farmers to curb the menace of Blue Bull (Boselaphus tragocamelus) in district Rajsamand, Rajasthan, India (Sept. 23, 2020 11:30 P.M.) http://nopr.niscair.res.in/bitstream/123456789/26015/1/IJTK%2013%281%29%20208-215.pdf
 The Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, § 2 (34), No. 53, Acts of Parliament, 1972 (India).
 The Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, § Schedule five, No. 53, Acts of Parliament, 1972 (India).
 The Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, § 62, No. 53, Acts of Parliament, 1972 (India).
 Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change Notification 2015.
 Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change Notification 2016.
 Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change Notification 2016.
 Karnail Singh v. State of Haryana, 2019 SCC P&H 704.
 Id. at p. 29.
 The Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, § 38L, No. 53, Acts of Parliament, 1972 (India).
 Ashwini, Setting a Dangerous Precedent: Authorities Justify the Killing of Tigress Avni, (May 9, 2020, 1:53 P.M), https://www.tourmyIndia.com/blog/controversy-on-killing-of-tigress-Avni/
 The Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, § 11 (a), No. 53, Acts of Parliament, 1972 (India).
Scroll Staff, Uttar Pradesh: Tigress beaten to death by villagers with sticks near Pilibhit reserve, SCROLL.IN (Nov. 14, 2020, 12:37 P.M), https://scroll.in/latest/931860/uttar-pradesh-tigress-beaten-to-death-by-villagers-with-sticks-near-pilibhit-reserve
Staff Reporter, Rate of Conviction in Wildlife crimes is 2%, THE HINDU, (Nov. 14, 2020, 12:37 P.M), https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Coimbatore/rate-of-conviction-in-wildlife-crimes-is-2/article29588184.ece#:~:text=The%20rate%20of%20conviction%20in,)%2C%20said%20here%20on%20Thursday.
 P. Oppilli, Special Tiger Protection Force to be formed, THE HINDU, (Nov. 14, 2020, 12:37 P.M), https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/Special-Tiger-Protection-Force-to-be-formed/article14941887.ece
 B. K. Singh, Revive the defunct Special Tiger Protection Force, THE DECCAN HERALD (Nov. 14, 2020, 12:37 P.M), https://www.deccanherald.com/opinion/panorama/revive-the-defunct-special-tiger-protection-force-796258.html
 The Forest Conservation Act, 1980, § 2, No. 69, Acts of Parliament, 1980 (India).
 Id. at § 2.
 HANDBOOK OF FOREST CONSERVATION ACT, 1980 AND FOREST CONSERVATION RULES, 2003 PUBLISHED BY THE MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT, FORESTS AND CLIMATE CHANGE, https://mpforest.gov.in/img/files/Handbook_FC_Act_2019.pdf (last visited Nov. 14, 2020)
 Bhanu Sridharan, Did you ever think that tree plantation drives could threaten an ecosystem?, MONGABAY, (Nov. 14, 2020, 12:37 P.M), https://india.mongabay.com/2019/03/did-you-ever-think-that-tree-plantation-drives-could-threaten-an-ecosystem/
 K. M. Chinnappa, T. N. Thirumalpad v. Union of India, (2002) 10 SCC 606.
 INDIA CONST. art. 253.
The Biological Diversity Act, 2002, Preamble, No. 18, Acts of Parliament, 2002 (India).
 The Biological Diversity Act, 2002,§8, §22, §41(1), No. 18, Acts of Parliament, 2002 (India).
 Rule 22(6) of Biological Diversity Rules, 2004 published by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change.
 Chandra Bal Singh v. Union of India and Ors., O.A No. 347 of 2016.
 Praveen Kakkar v. Ministry of Environment and Forest, O.A. No. 661 of 2018.
 Ministry of Environment and Forests Notification under sub-rule (3) of Rule 5 of the Environment (Protection) Rules 2006.
 Mridhu Tandon, India’s Biological Diversity Act finally shows progress due to NGT, MONGABAY, (Nov. 14, 2020, 12:37 P.M), https://india.mongabay.com/2020/06/commentary-indias-biological-diversity-act-finally-shows-progress-due-to-ngt/
 INDIA CONST. art. 51, cl.(g).
 INDIA CONST. art. 48A.
 Zaffar Rais Mir et al, Attitudes of Local People Toward Wildlife Conservation: A Case Study from the Kashmir Valley, 35 International Mountain Society, 392-400, (2015), https://www.jstor.org/stable/mounresedeve.35.4.392
 The Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, § 11 (b), No. 53, Acts of Parliament, 1972 (India).
 T.N. Godavarman Thirumalpad v. Union of India, (2012) 3 S.C.C 277.
 Centre for Environment Law, WWF- I v. Union of India, (2013) 8 S.C.C 234.
 Tennessee Valley Authority v. Hill et all, 437 U.S. 153 (1978).
 Satish C. Shastri, Environmental Ethics Anthropocentric to Eco-centric Approach: A Paradigm Shift, 55 Journal of the Indian Law Institute, 522-530, 530, (2013), https://www.jstor.org/stable/43953654
 YUVAL NOAH HARARI, HOMO SAPIENS: A BRIEF HISTORY OF MANKIND (Penguin Books 2015).