|SARISKA NATIONAL PARK
national park and tiger reserve located
in the Alwar district of the state of Rajasthan
home to numerous carnivores including Leopard,
Wild Dog, Jungle Cat, Hyena, Jackal, and Tiger
well known for its large population of Rhesus Monkeys
|ü It was given the status of a tiger reserve making it a part of India’s Project Tiger in 1978.
ü It is the first tiger reserve in the world to have successfully relocated tigers(from Ranthambore).
ü Nearly 90% of the area in the sanctuary is covered with dhok trees accommodating various wildlife
ü location of several sites of historical importance such as the 16th-centuryKankwadi fort, originally built by Jai Singh II, located near the centre of the park
Scientists from the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) have discovered a new species of water strider from
Nagaland. The species, named Ptilomera nagalanda Jehamalar and Chandra, was found in the river Intanki, Peren district.
|ü group of insects adapted to life on the surface of water, using surface tension to their advantage
ü an indicator of water quality.
ü The attraction between water molecules creates tension and
a very delicate membrane. Water striders walk on this membrane.
ü Water striders eat insects and larvae on the surface of water, such as mosquitoes and fallen dragonflies.
ü three pairs of legs.
ü The striders possess needle-like mouth parts that are used for sucking the juice of prey.
More about the New Species
ü The species has been named as Ptilomera nagalanda Jehamalar and Chandra.
ü It was found in the river Intanki, Peren district.
ü They are only found in rocky, fast flowing streams and rivers that are not exposed to a lot of sunlight.
ü Ptilomera has hair on the middle legs that help the insects resist the strong current of streams.
ü Orange with black stripes on the dorsal side and a pale yellowish brown ventral part of the body, are
some of the features.
ü This particular species has long slender legs and measures about 11.79 mm.
|BAMBOO – ECOLOGICAL CHARACTER AND USES
ü Bamboos – group of woody perennial evergreen plants which
belongs to a true grass family
ü distributed in tropical and subtropical to mild temperate regions.
ü Most bamboos flower and produce seeds only once in their life
time and that too after 12–120 years’ growth.
ü Mizoram is known as Bamboo state of India. Around 57% of the geographical area of Mizoram is under Bamboo cover.
üan ordinance to exempt bamboo grown in non-forest areas from definition of tree, thereby dispensing with the requirement of permit for its economic use
|Benefits of Bamboo
ü nature’s substitute for the endangered rainforest hardwoods because its rate of biomass generation is unsurpassed by any other
plants (some of its species can grow as much as 30 cm per day.).
ü expands faster mainly through their roots and/or rhizomes,
ü used as an effective erosion control plant and natural control barrier due to its widespread root system.
ü minimizes CO2 gases (sequesters up to 12 tons of CO2 from the air per hectare) and generates up to 35% more oxygen then equivalent stand of trees.
ü Bamboo can be utilized for manufacture of furniture, handicrafts, house construction and several other
diverse industrial applications.
ü helps to reduce water pollution as it devours high amount of Nitrogen.
ü Bamboo can grow in arid regions where other crops fail due to droughts.
ü In the 2018-19 Budget, Finance Minister termed bamboo as Green Gold and announced a re-structured National Bamboo Mission.
in Odisha has emerged as the single largest habitat of Irrawaddy dolphins in the world with the spotting of 155 such animals
|ü The ‘Annual Monitoring’ was conducted by the Chilika Development Authority (CDA) to count the number of the marine mammals and to study the hydrological impacts of removal of pen culture (locally known as gherries)
ü The dolphins are now seen in different sectors of the lake where they were not seen before due to removal of obstruction for their migration.
ü The monitoring also revealed that the lake houses around 0.9 million birds
Every year March 3 : World Wildlife Day to raise awareness about the world’s flora and fauna
2018 theme “Big cats: predators under threat“
68th session, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) decided to
proclaim 3rd March as World wildlife day.
ü(March 3) – day of the adoption of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in 1973, which plays an important role in ensuring that international trade does not threaten the species’ survival
|ü The secretariat of (CITES), in collaboration with other relevant United Nations organizations, facilitates the implementation
of World Wildlife Day
ü The expanded definition of big cats is being used (in theme), which includes not only lion, tiger, leopard and jaguar — the 4 largest wild cats that can roar – but also cheetah, snow leopard, puma, clouded
ü Big cat species are found in Africa, Asia, and North, Central and South America, representing a virtually global distribution.
|EAST GODAVARI RIVER ESTUARINE ECOSYSTEM (EGREE) REGION
The number of water bird species has declined by half in most habitats across the East Godavari River
Estuarine Ecosystem (EGREE) region
during a census conducted in the region, including the Coringa Wildlife
Sanctuary and parts of Mada forest and Papikondalu regions.
ü The census was conducted on February 20 and 21 in accordance with Asian Waterbird Census
ü It was found that the number of waterbird species has come down to half compared with the Asian
Waterbird Census 2017
ü However, uncommon bird species such as Eurasian spoonbill or common spoonbill (Platalea leucorodia), Oyster catcher (Haematopus ostralegus) and Yellow bittern (Ixobrychus sinensis) were
recorded during the census
| East Godavari River Estuarine Ecosystem (EGREE) region
ü (in Andhra Pradesh) encompassing the Godavari
mangroves (321 km2) is the second largest area of mangroves along the east coast of India (after Sundarbans).
ü rich in floral and faunal diversity, and generates significant ecological and economic benefits such as shoreline protection, sustaining livelihoods and carbon sink services.
ü important nesting sites for migratory turtle species, notably the endangered Olive Ridley turtle
üserves as spawning grounds and as a sanctuary for the growth and development of numerous fin and shell fish.
ü Important Bird Area with a recorded population of 119 bird species, of which 50 are migratory.
ü a part of the EGREE area is gazette as Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary (CWLS)
ü The Government of India and UNDP-GEF, in partnership with the Government of Andhra Pradesh aims to mainstream biodiversity conservation into the production sectors of EGREE
Asian Waterbird Census
ü citizen science programme to count waterbirds in Asian region.
ü every January, thousands of volunteers across Asia and Australasia visit wetlands in their country and count waterbirds.
üan integral part of the global waterbird monitoring programme, the International Waterbird Census (IWC), coordinated by Wetlands International.
ü It runs in parallel with other regional programmes of the International Waterbird Census in Africa, Europe, West Asia, the Neotropics and the Caribbean.
ü initiated in 1987 in the Indian subcontinent and since has grown rapidly to cover major region of Asia.
ü an aquatic plant that grows in or near water and is either emergent, submergent, or floating, and includes helophytes (a plant that grows in marsh, partly submerged in water, so that it regrows from buds below the water surface).
üprovide cover for fish and substrate for aquatic invertebrates, produce oxygen, and act as food for some fish and wildlife.
|Role of Macrophytes
ü indicate water quality problems and changes in the ecological status of the water body: the result of excessive turbidity, herbicides, or salinization.
ü Conversely, overly high nutrient levels may create an overabundance of macrophytes, which may in turn interfere with lake processing
Ecosystem Functions of Macrophytes
üuptake of dissolve nutrients (N and P) from water.
ü Beside direct nutrient uptake, macrophytes indirectly influence nutrient cycling, especially N cycling
through influencing the denitrifying bacterial functional groups that are inhabiting on roots and shoots
ü promote the sedimentation of suspended solids by reducing the current velocities, impede erosion by stabilising soil surfaces.
ü They also provide spatial heterogeneity in otherwise unstructured water column.
ü Habitat complexity provided by macrophytes tend to increase the richness of taxonomy and density
|GLYPHOSATE AND AGROCHEMICALS
A study, in the peer-reviewed Environmental Health, indicated evidence for glyphosate in the urine
samples of several pregnant women in Central Indiana
ü the most popular herbicide in the world used to control weeds and grass in variety of crop cultivation.
ü It became very popular after the development of GM crops which were resistant to this herbicide.
ü It allowed the farmers to blanket-spray their fields with Glyphosate. Earlier the application of the herbicide was specific.
ü Several environmentalists argue that exposure to glyphosate is harmful to humans
üsubstances that contain active ingredient in a definite concentration along with other materials which increases performance and enhance safety of crops.
ü broadly classified into five types:
a. Insecticides: Insecticides provide protection to the crops from the insects by either killing them or by preventing their attack. They can be further classified based on their mode of action. Contact
insecticides kill insects on direct contact and leave no residual activity, hence causing minimal environmental damage. Systemic insecticides are absorbed by the plant tissues and destroy insects
when they feed on the plant; usually associated with long term residual activity.
b. Fungicides: Fungi are the most widespread causes of crop loss across the world. Fungicides protect the crops from the attack of fungi and two types – protectants and eradicates. Protectants
prevent or inhibit fungal growth and eradicates kill the pests on application.
c. Herbicides: Herbicides also called as weedicides are used to kill undesirable plants. They can be of
two types – selective and non-selective. Selective herbicides kill specific plants, leaving the desired
crop unharmed, while non-selective herbicides are used for widespread clearance of ground and are used to control weeds before crop planting
d. Bio-pesticides: Bio-pesticides are new age crop protection products manufactured from natural substances like plants, animals, bacteria and certain minerals.
e. Others: Fumigants and rodenticides are the chemicals which protect the crops from pest attacks during crop storage. Plant growth regulators help in controlling or modifying the plant growth
process and are usually used in cotton, rice and fruits
Union Minister for Science & Technology mentioned about different solar technology-led innovations
ü The government targets to cover 100,000 homes with “Suryajyoti” by the year 2019.
ü It is argued to be the world’s first hybrid solar lighting device.
|ü low cost and energy efficient Photo-Voltaic (PV) Integrated Micro Solar Dome (MSD).
ü one among the 4 solar products developed by NB Institute
of Rural Technology with the Department of Science and
Technology Funding for indigenous solar technology innovations.
ü It’s a day & night lighting single device unique in its features.
o It captures day light and concentrate the same inside a
dark room, particularly in urban slum or rural areas which lack electricity supply.
o The Micro Solar Dome (MSD) features a transparent semi-spherical upper dome which captures the sunlight and the light passes
through a sun-tube having a thin layer of highly reflective coating on the inner wall of the passage.
o contains a lower dome which can be closed, if light is not required in the daytime.
o leak proof and works throughout the day and 4 hours continuously after sunset.
|WORLD’S LARGEST SOLAR PARK
set up at an investment of Rs 16,500 crore at Pavagada in Karnataka’s
ü The 2,000 MW Park, named as ‘Shakti Sthala’, spans across
13,000 acres spread over five villages.
|ü The park’s development is anchored by the Karnataka Solar
Power Development Corp. Ltd (KSPDCL), an entity formed in
March 2015 as a joint venture between Karnataka Renewable
Energy Development Ltd (KREDL) and Solar Energy Corp. of India
ü executed within a record time of two years,with zero land acquisition.
ü Rs 21,000 per acre being offered as rental, an amount which has the scope to grow by five per cent every two years.
ü beneficiaries :2,300 Pavagada farmers.
ü create employment and act as an incentive for natives and farmers to explore new opportunities of socio-economic growth in the region.
|EARTH HOUR AND GIVE UP TO GIVE BACK
“Give Up to Give Back” campaign by switching off all non-essential lights
between 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm.
| Earth Hour
üan annual campaign -towards the climate change effects.
üby the World Wildlife Fund
ü Earth Hour started in 2007 when first Earth Hour was held on March 31 in Sydney, Australia at 7:30 pm, local time.
üworldwide phenomenon – the last Saturday of March.
Give Up to Give Back
üaims to inspire organisations, institutions and individuals to make the choice to curb habits, practices and lifestyles which may badly affect both our lives and the environment.
to choose alternatives to Connect to Earth.
üchoice to consume smart and ensure that the things we own don’t own us.
ü launched by WWF-India
|WORLD WATER DAY, WORLD WATER FORUM AND WORLD WATER COUNCIL
observed on 22nd of March.
theme : ‘Nature for Water’ – exploring nature-based solutions to the
water challenges we face in the 21st century.
25th Water Day
|ü by UN WATER and co-organized by Convention on Biological Diversity, UN Environment, UNESCO and World Water Council.
ü 8th World Water Forum is also organized as part of water day in Brasilia.
World Water Forum and World Water Council
ü World Water Council,an international organization founded in 1996
with its permanent headquarters in the French city of Marseille to
promote awareness, build political commitment and trigger action on
critical water issues at all levels.
ü The World Water Forum is the world’s biggest water-related event and is organized by the World Water Council (WWC).
ü The World Water Council organizes the Forum every three years together with the respective host country and city.
ü To date, there have been eighth editions of the World Water Forum, in different countries, on four different continents.
ü In 2018, Brazil hosted the 8th edition of the World Water Forum. It is the first time the event is held in the Southern Hemisphere
|REDUCTION OF HAZARDOUS SUBSTANCES (ROHS)
Why in news?
The Central Pollution Control Board will this year begin random checks on mobile phones, laptops and other
electronic goods to check whether their constituent metals exceed safety norms.
| About the new directive
ü Under this, officials will buy phones, disassemble them and, through chemical tests, check whether the levels of lead, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, mercury and polybrominated diphenyl ethers exceed prescribed norms.
What are Hazardous Substances?
ü any such substance that has one or more of the following hazardous properties
– Explosiveness, Flammability, Ability to oxidise, Human toxicity, Corrosiveness, Eco-toxicity.
Hazardous Substances Management Division (HSMD)
ü nodal point within the Ministry for management of chemical emergencies and hazardous substances.
ü main objective of the Division: to promote safe management and use of hazardous substances including hazardous chemicals and hazardous wastes, in order to avoid damage to health and environment
|ENERGY TRANSITION INDEX
Why in news?
India has been ranked at 78th, lower than its emerging market peers like Brazil and China, among 114
countries on the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) energy
|ü The Energy Transition Index ranks countries on how well they are able to balance energy security and access with environmental sustainability and affordability
ü title “Fostering Effective Energy Transition” has been brought down by World Economic Forum (WEF).
ü India has been ranked at 78th, lower than its emerging market peers like Brazil and China, among 114 countries that were ranked.
ü topped by Sweden, followed by Norway at the 2nd position and Switzerland at the 3rd rank.
ü According to report, India has taken bold measures to improve energy access, energy efficiency and to improve deployment of renewable sources of energy
|CII-NITI AAYOG CLEANER AIR-BETTER LIFE INITIATIVE
Niti Aayog has released three reports drafted by its Task Forces on
Biomass Management, Clean Fuel and Clean Transport under the CII-NITI Aayog Cleaner Air-Better
Life initiative. The report on Clean Industry is expected soon.
|ü The reports have stressed on managing the air-quality of the Indo-Gangetic plain as a whole, rather
than dealing with the National Capital Territory of Delhi as a separate geographical entity. The rationale
behind this is that the entire plain witnesses high air pollution levels every winter.
ü In addition to sector-specific recommendations, the reports lay down a specific implementation
timeline for prescribed recommendations and also identify authorities that would be responsible for
timely execution of each activity
|SAVING ASIA’S VULTURES FROM EXTINCTION
SAVE programme are trying to conserve the vultures in Assam
ü SAVE partners:
o Bombay Natural History Society,
o Bird Conservation Nepal,
o RSPB (UK),
o National Trust for Nature Conservation (Nepal),
o International Centre for Birds of Prey (UK) and
o Zoological Society of London
|ü a consortium to co-ordinate and drive forward the ambitious long-term international effort towards vulture conservation.
ü established in 2011.
ü like-minded, regional and international organizations
ü Main objective: save three critically important species from extinction through a single programme.
üto conserve mainly Critically Endangered oriental white-backed (Gyps bengalensis), longbilled (G. indicus) and slender-billed vulture (G.tenuirostris)
ü breeding residents in India, Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Bhutan, and Cambodia, and also have non-breeding or marginal status in Afghanistan, Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam.
|UN SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT SOLUTION NETWORK
World Happiness Report
ü mandate to work towards a post-2015 development agenda
ü intended to overcome problems of compartmentalization and integrated approach between
o different economic, social and environmental challenges
o technical and policy work
o private and public sector
o at local, national and global levels
|ü The World Happiness Report is a landmark survey of the state of global happiness and it is an annual
publication of the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network
UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network
ü an independent global network of research centers, universities and technical institutions
aiming to mobilize scientific and technical expertise for problem-solving in relation to sustainable development.
ü launched in 2012 as part of the UN’s response to the outcome of the UN Conference onmSustainable Development (UNCSD, Rio+20).
ü located in Paris, France, and New York, USA
üworks under control of UN secretary general.
ü an advisory body to facilitate the two-way flow of information and activities between SDSN members and the Secretariat/Leadership Council of the SDSN
|ANIMAL WELFARE BOARD OF INDIA (AWBI)
headquarter has been shifted from Chennai to
Ballabhgarh in Faridabad District of Haryana
|ü Rule 3 of the Animal Welfare Board (Administrative) Rules, 1962 reads as — The Headquarter of the Board hall be at New Delhi or at such other place as the central government, may, after consultation
with the Board direct.
ü The headquarters of the AWBI has been shifted to Haryana, after consultation with the board, for better coordination between the ministry and the AWBI for carrying out the animal welfare activities.
|NATIONAL BIODIVERSITY AUTHORITY (NBA) AND CEBPOL
Expressing concern over the increase in the import of ornamental fishes to the country, which is posing
a threat to India’s native fish populations, the National Biodiversity Authority (NBA) has urged the
government to come up with quarantine facilities at major seaports and airports.
|Centre for Biodiversity and Policy and Law (CEBPOL)
ü a bilateral collaboration between the Indian and Norwegian governments.
üfocus on biodiversity policies and laws that cater to the needs of national and international rule-making and subsequent implementation on issues of biodiversity.
ü The Government of India (GoI) has only approved the import of 92 species of ornamental fish but the
number of ornamental fish species being imported and in trade is somewhere between 200-300.
ü The huge market for Invasive Alien Species (IAS) is turning out to be major threat to India’s aquatic biodiversity.
ü Several studies have disclosed the occurrence of exotic ornamental fish in many inland aquatic systems, including biodiversity-sensitive areas such as the Western Ghats.
ü Under the Centre for Biodiversity and Policy and Law (CEBPOL), the NBA is trying to bring out a
national list of IAS.
ü established by the Central Government in 2003 to implement India’s Biological Diversity Act,2002
ü Statutory Body
it performs facilitative, regulatory
and advisory functions for the Government of India on issues of conservation, sustainable use of biological resources and fair and
equitable sharing of benefits arising out of the use of biological resources.
ü its headquarters in Chennai, Tamil Nadu,
ü The local level Biodiversity Management Committees (BMCs) are responsible for promoting conservation
|CONVERSATION ASSURED | TIGER STANDARDS (CA|TS)
found that only 13 percent of tiger conservation areas meet global standards.
Highlights of Survey
ü the first and largest rapid assessment of site-based tiger conservation across Asia.
ü Of the 112 global sites surveyed, only 12.5 per cent was currently able to meet the full CA|TS criteria.
home to approximately 70 per cent of the world’s wild tigers
|About Conversation Assured | Tiger Standards (CA|TS)
ü an accreditation scheme that encourages tiger conservation areas to meet a set of standards and criteria, created by an international group of experts and protected area managers, that assures effective and long term tiger conservation.
üpartnership between governments, NGOs and tiger conservation areas.
ü developed in response to the need for stringent conservation procedures that is essential to delivering on the goal of doubling the number of wild tigers by 2022 agreed to in declaration adopted at the St Petersburg Tiger Summit in 2010.
üprovides an opportunity for individual tiger conservation areas or networks of areas to demonstrate their commitment to, and success in, protecting tigers.
üto secure safe havens for wild tigers
ü Only three sites — Lansdowne Forest Division in Uttarakhand, India, Chitwan National Park in Nepal and Sikhote-Alin Nature Reserve in Russia — have been awarded CA|TS Approved status.
übased on a set of seven pillars with 17 minimum standards and associated criteria for effective management.
|VULTURE CONSERVATION INITIATIVES
In the wake of declining numbers of vultures, several vulture conservation initiatives assume
ü The Jatayu Conservation Breeding Centre, Pinjore (JCBC), is world’s largest facility within Bir Shikargah Wildlife Sanctuary for the breeding and conservation of Indian vultures in Haryana.
|ü Vulture Conservation Breeding Centres: It is established by Bombay Natural History Society at different locations in India.
ü A Vulture Safe Zone (VSZ): a geographical area, the natural habitat of wild vultures, of at least 100Km radius made free of the presence of the drug diclofenac in animal carcasses, the major food of
vultures. Usually, state government declare VSZs.
ü SAVE: Saving Asia’s Vultures from Extinction was established in 2011 as a consortium to co-ordinate
and drive forward the ambitious long-term international vulture conservation effort. SAVE is a
collaboration between a large and growing number of conservation and research groups.
Why in news?
The President of India planted a Baobab sapling in the gardens of
Rashtrapati Bhavan which was gifted by the University of Madagascar
|ü deciduous trees found mainly in Africa, Australia, and India.
ü nine species – Six species live in the drier parts of Madagascar, two in mainland Africa, one in Australia and three in India.
ü the national tree of Madagascar.
Benefits of Baobab
ü store large volumes of water in their trunks –elephants, eland and other animals chew the bark during dry seasons.
ü important as nest sites for birds.
ü cork-like bark and huge stem are fire resistant and are used for
making cloth and rope.
ü The fruit, called “monkey bread”, is edible, and full of vitamin C.
a tradition practiced commonly in Tamil Nadu for enhancing soil fertility naturally
|ü one of the traditional methods of enhancing soil fertility.
ü important part of Organic Farming.
ü Faecal matter and urine of the sheep are left in the field.
ü This would be incorporated to a shallow depth by working blade harrow or cultivator or cultivator.
Nagaland loses an average 30.62 metric tonnes of soil area per hectare annually due to ‘jhum’, shifting cultivation.
|Jhum Naga Mostly northeastern states
Dahi and Koman Bhuiya Mostly seen in central India.
Penda Muria Bastar (Chhattisgarh)
Podu Khond Mostly seen in Andrapradesh
Bewar Baiga Mostly seen in MadhyaPradesh
Milpa Central America and Mexico
Chena Sri lanka
Masole Central Africa
ü the process of clearing forest cover on land and burning it before onset of monsoon and cropping on it thereafter.
üknown as the slash and burn agriculture.
üburnt soil contains potash:increases the nutrient content of the soil
üAfter harvest, this land is left fallow and vegetative regeneration is allowed on it till the plot becomes reusable for same purpose in a cycle.
üThe prime reasons why this traditional system is failing are pressure on land because of increase in population and reduction in ‘jhum’ cycle from 20-30 years to about five years now
üThis is also causing higher water runoff and higher soil erosion and loss in biodiversity
|LAKE AND BIODIVERSITY HERITAGE SITES
Ameenpur Lake becomes the first Biodiversity Heritage Site in the country.
|Biodiversity Heritage Sites
ü Biodiversity Heritage Sites” (BHS) are well defined areas that are unique, ecologically fragile
ecosystems – It can be terrestrial, coastal and inland waters or marine ecosystem having rich
ü Under Section 37 of Biological Diversity Act, 2002 (BDA) the State Government in consultation with local
bodies may notify in the official gazette, areas of biodiversity importance as Biodiversity Heritage Sites
|About Ameenpur Lake
ü an ancient man-made lake located in Hyderabad.
ü The Lake dates back to the time of Ibrahim Qutb Shah, who ruled the kingdom of Golconda between 1550 and 1580
ü According to one account, the tank was excavated to irrigate a large public garden
|ü The lake is spotted with various birds such as bar-headed geese, cormorants, ruddy shelducks, and grey herons
Other Biodiversity Heritage sites in India
1 Nallur Tamarind Grove Bengaluru,Karnataka
ü This Site spread over 54 acres comprising a population of nearly 300 trees, is a picture of dynamic pattern of plant diversity.
ü The significant component of this popular structure is a group of old plants standing like ageless sentinels etc.
ü It is popularly believed to be a relic of the Chola Dynasty that ruled nearly 800 years ago
2 Hogrekan Chikmagalur,,Karnataka
ü The area has unique Shola vegetation and grass land with number of floral species -unique and having lot of medicinal value.
ü Hogrekan is moderately wooded land and its vegetation is of dry deciduous type
3 University of Agricultural Sciences, GKVK Campus, Bengaluru
ü Biological diversity of this campus constitutes a critical repository of various forms of flora and fauna (including 13 sp of mammals, 10 sp of reptiles, 165 sp of birds and 530 sp of plants)
4 Ambaraguda Shimoga,,Karnataka
ü It is a revenue land located between Sharavathi Wild Life Sanctuary and Someshwara Wildlife Sanctuary.
ü It has Shola vegetation which is primitive vegetation in the Western Ghat and also has grasslands
5 Glory of Allapalli Maharashtra
ü It is a reserved forest being preserved as natural forest having biological, ethinical and historical values
6 Tonglu BHS under the Darjeeling Forest Division
West Bengal ü It is a Medicinal Plant Conservation Areas
7 Dialong Village Manipur
8 Majuli Assam ü It is an island situated in the Brahmaputra River
which is harboring unique Ecological and Cultural Heritage
9 Ghariyal Rehabilitation Centre UttarPradesh
ü Icentre established for conservation and rehabilitation of critically endangered species of Gharial
|SAHARA FOREST PROJECT AND JORDAN
Jordan, a water-poor country that is 90% desert, has launched a project to turn its sand dunes into farming
land to produce food using sun and sea water
ü funded by Norway and the European Union.
ü use solar panels to provide power and include outdoor
planting space, two saltwater-cooled greenhouses, a water
desalination unit and salt ponds for salt production
ü Jordan is a sovereign Arab state in western Asia.
ü It is located on the East Bank of the Jordan River.
ü Jordan is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the south, Iraq to
the north-east, Syria to the north, Israel and Palestine
to the west.
ü The Dead Sea lies on its western borders and the country
also open to the Red Sea in its south-west.
ü Jordan is home to the ancient city of Petra. Known as “The
Rose City” it is famous for its unique architecture carved directly into the rock face. It is also a UNESCO
World Heritage Site
|EARTH OVERSHOOT DAY AND GLOBAL FOOTPRINT NETWORK
Global Footprint Network
ü an independent think tank originally based in the United States, Belgium and Switzerland.
ü to help end ecological overshoot by making ecological limits central to decision-making.
ü It releases National footprint Accounts every year
|About the Earth Overshoot Day
ü Earth Overshoot Day (EOD) is the day when human consumption ex ceeds the earth’s capacity in
that particular year to regenerate natural resources.
ü Earth Overshoot Day is calculated by dividing the world bio capacity by the world ecological footprint
and multiplying by 365, the number of days in one calendar year:
ü Ecological footprint is the humanity’s consumption of Earth’s natural resources for that year.
ü It is calculated by Global Footprint Network.
ü August 2, 2017 was the Earth Overshoot Day of the year 2017.
|INDIAN PARADISE FLYCATCHER
Why in news?
One of the common Migratory Birds in Vedanthangal and Karikilli is Paradise flycatcher which comes from
higher elevation of peninsular hills and central India
|ü a medium-sized passerine bird native to Asia.
ü It has been listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List.
ü It is the state bird of Madhya Pradesh.
ü It is native to the Indian subcontinent, Central Asia and Myanmar.
ü Indian paradise flycatchers are insectivorous
|SOUTH ASIAN CLIMATE OUTLOOK FORUM
Why in news?
South Asian Climate Outlook Forum predicts normal monsoon
More about the Forum
|ü The forum members are South Asian nations and forum is supported by the World Meteorological
ü It was established as a platform where meteorologists from South Asian Association of Regional
Cooperation (SAARC) member countries along with Myanmar, could discuss some of the common weather
and climate-related matters.
ü All these South Asian countries — except for Afghanistan, which is located in extreme northwest —
experience common weather and climatological characteristics, like Southwest monsoon
Why in news?
On Earth Day, the Prime Minister reiterated about India’s commitment in making the world a better place
to live in for the future generations
|ü Earth Day 2017 is being celebrated around the world on April 22nd.
ü Theme of Earth Day 2018 was “End Plastic Pollution”.
ü The aim of the day is to bring attention to environmental issues to spark changes that will result in a
healthy, sustainable environment.
ü This includes addressing climate change and finding ways to protect the planet for future generations.
|PANGONG TSO LAKE AND LAKES IN LADAKH
Other Lakes in Ladakh
ü It is a fluctuating salt lake situated in the Rupshu Plateau and valley in the southern part of Ladakh.
ü It is a lake in the Ladakhi part of the Changthang Plateau in Jammu and Kashmir in Northern India.
ü The lake and surrounding area are protected as the Tso Moriri Wetland Conservation Reserve
|ü The lake is situated in Jammu and Kashmir at a height of about
4,350 m in the Himalayas.
ü It is 134 km long and extends from India to China.
ü It is in disputed territory and the Sino-India Line of Actual
Control passes through the lake.
ü It is not a part of Indus river basin area and geographically a
separate land locked river basin
ü One-third of water body, its 45 km stretch, is in Indian control
while the rest of the 90 km is under Chinese control.
Why in news?
It is a term used to denote the giant lumps of floating waste produced due to leftover cooking oils and
grease washed down the sink mix with solids in the sewers
|ü Fatbergs may also contain other items which do not break down when flushed into a toilet, such as
sanitary napkins, cotton buds, needles, as well as food waste washed down sinks.
ü Fat blocked in a sewer can react with the lining of the pipe and undergo saponification (process of
producing soap), converting the oil into a solid, and soap like substance.
ü Fatbergs have been considered as a source of fuel, specifically biogas.
ü The masses are heated to separate the oils and fats from the solid waste.
ü The extracted oil is then treated with a few chemicals to yield an industry-standard biodiesel that can
be used for a string of purposes.
|EARTH BIO GENOME PROJECT
Why in news?
The Earth Bio Genome Project (EBP), as envisaged in the paper titled “Earth Bio Genome Project:
Sequencing life for the future of life”, proposes a detailed genome-sequence draft of every eukaryote
|About the Project
ü Earth Bio Genome project is a project to analyse and
catalogue the DNA of every documented eukaryotic
ü The project will help to reveal unexpected, evolutionary
connections among the genus, orders and families that make
up the so-called Tree of Life.
ü It will help us to understand the evolution and organization
of life on our planet by sequencing and functionally
annotating the genomes of 1.5 million known species of
ü The Project also plans to capitalize on the “citizen scientist”
movement to collect specimens
Why in news?
In the highland plateaus of the Western Ghats parts of Goa, scientists have identified a new species of frog
called Fejervarya goemchi.
|ü Fejervarya goemchi are large-sized terrestrial frogs.
ü They sit next to water bodies making calls to attract females for mating
ü It has been named after state of Goa where the species is discovered.
ü It was identified using combination of morphology, geographic
distribution range and molecular methods to distinguish from other
Fejervarya species found in South and South-East Asia
|UNITED NATIONS CONVENTION TO COMBAT DESERTIFICATION (UNCCD)
Why in news?
Union environment minister released the study of Economics of Desertification, Land Degradation and
Drought (EDLDD) conducted by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI
|ü United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification is a Convention to combat desertification and
mitigate the effects of drought through national action programs.
ü UNCCD was adopted in 1994 and entered into force 1996.
ü It is the only legally binding international agreement to address problem of desertification and other
ü The Convention has its genesis in Earth Summit in 1992 held in Rio De Janerio, Brazil.
ü The Convention addresses desertification and land issues specifically arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid
areas, known as dry lands.
ü India’s Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) is the nodal Ministry for this
|ü Colistin is an antibiotic produced by certain strains of the bacteria Paenibacillus polymyxa.
ü It was first isolated in Japan in 1949
ü It remains one of the last-resort antibiotics for multidrug-resistant cases.
ü The gene, mcr-1, could be transferred within and between species of bacteria
ü Rampant use of the drug in livestock farming has been cited as the most likely way mcr-1 was spread.
ü The World Health Organisation has called for the use of such antibiotics, which it calls “critically
important to human medicines”, to be restricted in animals and banned as growth promoters
|SYSTEM OF AIR QUALITY AND WEATHER FORECASTING AND RESEARCH (SAFAR)
Why in news?
India is tying up with the United States and Finland to develop a pollution-forecast system that will help
anticipate particulate matter (PM) levels at least two days in advance.
|ü System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) was India’s first air quality checking mobile application.
ü It was developed by Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune along with India Meteorological Department (IMD) and National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (NCMRWF).
ü It was introduced for greater metropolitan cities of India to provide location specific information on air quality in near real time.
ü The main objective of SAFAR project is to increase awareness among general public regarding the air quality.
Why in news?
Swachhathon 1.0 receives massive response from young innovators of the country.
|About Swachhathon 1.0
ü Swachhathon 1.0 is the first Swachh Bharat Hackathon organized by the Ministry of Drinking Water
ü It was organised to crowd source solutions to some of the Sanitation and Hygiene challenges faced in
various parts of the country.
ü It invited innovators from schools and colleges, institutions, start-ups and others to come up with
solutions for the following 6 challenges
o Monitoring usage of toilets
o Triggering behaviour change
o Toilet Technologies in Difficult terrains
o Working solutions for maintenance and operations of school toilets.
o Technological solutions for safe disposal of menstrual waste
o Solution for early decomposition of faecal matter
|ECOSYSTEM SERVICE IMPROVEMENT PROJECT
Why in news?
India signs Global Environment Facility (GEF) Grant Agreement with the World Bank for USD 24.64
Million for “Ecosystems Service Improvement Project”.
|About the Project
ü The project was launched to enhance forest ecosystem services and improve the livelihoods of
forest dependent communities in Central Indian Highlands.
ü The Project will be implemented in the states of Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh under the National
Mission for Green India.
ü The project will be entirely financed by the World Bank from its GEF Trust Fund.
ü The duration of the project will be 5 years.
ü For this India signed Global Environment Facility (GEF) Grant Agreement with the World Bank
|GREEN BUILDING CODE
The Bureau of Energy Efficiency launched a green building code.
About the code
ü a building code for architects, builders, designers and other stakeholders that prescribes the
energy performance levels for new commercial buildings
ü The ECBC (Energy Conservation Building Code) : to synchronise minimum levels of energy efficiency
in buildings with advances in technologies and building materials.
ü Day lighting and natural ventilation are highlights of the passive strategies of compliant buildings.
ü aims to optimise energy savings and prefers life-cycle cost effectiveness to achieve energy
neutrality in commercial buildings.
ü Additional improvements will enable new buildings to achieve higher grades like ECBC+ or Super ECBC, leading to further energy savings of 35 per cent and 50 per cent, respectively.
|How will the BEE monitor standards?
ü The BEE maintains a robust monitoring, verification and enforcement framework to ensure adherence
to its standards and labelling programmes.
ü A central aspect of this framework is suo moto testing of samples to ensure product models meet
ü A third-party NABL-accredited laboratory determines whether the test results conform to the relevant
schedule, standard or regulation and information on the label.
ü The permit-holder and relevant state designated agencies are informed if the sample fails in repeat tests,
and the permit-holder is asked to correct the label display, withdraw all stocks from the market and
change all promotional and advertising material.
ü The national plan proposes setting up of an apex committee under environment minister, a steering
committee under the secretary (environment) and a monitoring committee under a joint secretary
Why in news?
To further spread its green initiatives, Indian Railways had entered into partnership with the Confederation
of Indian Industry (CII) for GreenCo Ratings
|About GreenCo Rating
ü ‘Green Company Rating system’ is a rating system developed by Confederation of Indian Industry
so as to rate companies on their environment friendliness.
ü It is the “first of its kind in the World” holistic framework that evaluates companies on the
environmental friendliness of their activities using life cycle approach
What is Life Cycle Approach?
ü A life cycle approach implies that everyone in the whole chain of a product’s life cycle has a
responsibility and a role to play
ü This would be done by taking into account all the relevant impacts on the economy, the environment
and the society.
ü It starts from – Product design, then to further stages like Materials used, procurement, vendor
management, logistics, packaging, manufacturing, distribution, product use and works till disposal and
ü The Green Company Rating System advocates a performance based approach.
ü The rating system evaluates green features of companies against the following performance parameters:
ü They are certified on the basis of the rating as Platinum, Gold, Silver, Bronze and Level 1 etc.
Why in news?
The Environment Ministry will launch an environment awareness initiative, under which an online
environmental quiz competition named “Prakriti Khoj”
National Green Corps
ü NGC was initiated by Environment Ministry for creating environmental awareness among children by
formulating “Eco-clubs” in schools across the country.
ü The initiative was launched in 2001-02.
ü Here students are involved in various kind of activities such as cleanliness drives, carrying out waste
segregation, composting using bio-degradable wastes, subsisting the concept of three R’s, viz, Reduce,
Reuse and Recycle.
|About Prakriti Khoj
ü It is an environment awareness initiative by the Union Ministry of Environment.
ü Under the initiative, an online environmental quiz competition will be conducted at the national level
on the occasion of Teachers’ Day.
ü The objective of the quiz is to generate interest among school children about the science related to
environment, interactions within it and the problems therein.
ü It will trigger their sensitivity towards nature appreciation and conservation, leading to positive
environmental actions at different levels.
ü Schools under the National Green Corps (NGC) programme will get an opportunity to participate in the
first phase of this environmental quiz
|MANGALURU NARROW-MOUTHED FROG (MICROHYLA KODIAL)
Why in news?
The latest addition to India’s frog fauna has been found in a small industrial region in coastal Karnataka.
ü Microhyla kodial or Mangaluru narrow-mouthed frog is a new
frog species found in the small industrial region in coastal
ü The frog is seen only in a small industrial region here which
was a former timber dumping yard surrounded by seaport,
petrochemical, chemical and refinery industries.
ü It is small in size measuring just 2 cm long.
ü A thick olive-green band on its head, less-prominent dark
green bands on the rest of its body are some of the distinct
features of this frog.
ü However the most distinct feature is its very distinct loud,
|NEW BIOFUEL POLICY AND DIFFERENT TYPES OF BIOFUELS
|ü First-generation biofuels made from feed stocks
include food crops like corn, sugarcane, sugar beet, wheat and
ü easily extracted using conventional technology: conventional
ü Most common first-generation biofuels include:
|ü Second-generation from sustainable
feedstock , non-food feed stocks include woody crops and
agricultural residues or waste, which are a little more difficult to
ü Second-generation technologies cover a wider range of biomass
resources, from agriculture to forestry and waste materials
|About the Policy
ü The Policy categorises biofuels as
o “Basic Biofuels” viz. First Generation (1G) bioethanol & biodiesel
o “Advanced Biofuels” – Second Generation (2G) ethanol, Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) to drop-in fuels, Third Generation (3G) biofuels, bio-CNG etc
üexpands the scope of raw material for ethanol production by allowing use of Sugarcane Juice, Sugar Beet, Sweet Sorghum, Corn, Cassava, wheat, broken rice, Rotten Potatoes, unfit for human
consumption for ethanol production.
üallows use of surplus food grains for production of ethanol for blending with petrol
üprovides for a viability gap funding scheme of Rs.5000 crore in six years for second generation (more advanced) ethanol bio-refineries in addition to tax incentives and a higher purchase price as compared to first generation biofuels.
|ü Third Generation of biofuels is based on improvements in the
production of biomass. advantage of specially engineered energy crops such as algae as its energy source.
ü The algae are cultured to act as a high-energy and entirely renewable feedstock.
ü However the capital and operating costs of third-generation production are the highest
|ü Fourth-generation technology combines genetically optimized feed stocks, which are designed to capture large amounts of carbon.
ü These are done along with genomically synthesized microbes, which are made to efficiently make fuels.
ü Key to the process is the capture and sequestration of CO2, a process that renders fourth-generation biofuels a carbon negative source of fuel
|GREEN SKILL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM(GSDP)
Why in news?
Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change has said that the GSDP aims to get 80, 000
people imparted green skills.
|ü Green Skill Development Program is a recent initiative for skilling the youth in the country in the
environment conservation field.
ü Aim of the programme is to train over 5.5 lakh workers in environment and forest sectors in the
country through 30 courses by 2021.
ü MoEF&CC is utilizing the vast network and expertise of Environmental Information System (ENVIS)
hubs and Resource Partners (RPs) for the programme.
ü It will help in the attainment of the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), Sustainable
Development Goals (SDGs), National Biodiversity Targets (NBTs), as well as Waste Management Rules
ü Most of the courses under GSDP are open for admission to 10th and 12th dropouts
Why in news?
The critically endangered Bengal florican – a grassland bird more
threatened than the tiger – use not just protected grasslands but
agricultural fields, too, find scientists.
|ü The Bengal florican also called Bengal bustard, is a bustard
ü It is native to the Indian subcontinent, Cambodia and Vietnam.
ü The Bengal florican female is larger than the male.
ü They inhabit open tall grassland habitats with scattered bushes.
ü They are omnivorous and feed on seeds, berries, plant matter,
insects, other invertebrates and small vertebrates.
ü According to IUCN red list the bird is listed as critically
ü The major threats to conservation of these florican species are
habitat loss through modification of grasslands, agriculture and
plantation activities, overgrazing, and inappropriate cutting,
burning of grasslands, heavy flooding and dam construction
|WORLD MIGRATORY BIRD DAY, BONN CONVENTION AND MIGRATORY BIRDS IN INDIA
Why in news?
May 12 is observed as the World Migratory Bird Day, which reinforces education and awareness-raising
about the need to protect migratory birds and their habitats
|About World Migratory Bird Day 2018
ü World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD) is an annual awareness-raising campaign highlighting the need for
the conservation of migratory birds and their habitats.
ü The theme of this year is Unifying our Voices for Bird Conservation.
ü This year’s World Migratory Bird Day is dedicated to the world’s major bird flyways—the flight paths
of migratory birds that span continents and oceans.
ü The program focuses on the need for people celebrating the day to communicate and learn from each
other, across borders, within and between the world’s flyways.
ü WMBD 2018 is unifying the planet’s major migratory bird corridors: the African-Eurasian flyway, the
East Asian-Australasian flyway, and the Americas flyways
|WILD ASS SANCTUARY AND WILD ASS
About Wild Ass Sanctuary
ü Indian Wild Ass Sanctuary is located in the Little Rann of Kutch in Gujarat.
ü It is the largest wildlife sanctuary in India by area.
ü The sanctuary was established in 1972.
ü It was established to protect Indian Wild Ass.
ü It spans the districts of Surendranagar, Rajkot, Patan, Banaskantha and Kutch.
ü Several other species like chinkara, desert fox, jackals, nilgais, Indian
wolves, blackbucks, and striped hyenas are also found here
|Indian Wild Ass
ü The Indian Wild Ass or Khur is a subspecies of the Asiatic Wild Ass, the
ü It is arguably the fastest Indian animal, and can attain a top speed of 70-
ü According to IUCN, khur is listed as Near Threatened (NT).
ü It is protected under Schedule I of the Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972, India.
ü It is also included on Appendix I of the Convention on International
Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), making international trade in
this species illegal.
ü Its habitat includes saline deserts (rann), arid grasslands and shrub
Why in news?
Australia unveiled a US$34-million plan to help bring its koala population back from the brink, following a
rapid decline in their number
|ü Koala is an arboreal herbivorous marsupial native to Australia.
ü They are mostly nocturnal.
ü They are asocial animals, and bonding exists only between mothers and dependent offspring.
ü Young koalas are known as joey.
ü The koala feeds very selectively on the leaves of certain eucalyptus trees.
ü It was listed as Least Concern (LC) in 2008, the Koala was up listed to Vulnerable (VU) in 2016.
ü Current threats include habitat loss and modification, bushfires,
disease, and drought
Why in news?
For the conservation of Indus dolphins – one of the world’s rarest
mammals – the Punjab government along with WWF-India are
conducting the first organised census on their population.
|About Indus Dolphins
ü The Indus river dolphin is a subspecies of freshwater river dolphin
currently only found in the Indus river of India and Pakistan.
ü They are believed to have originated in the ancient Tethys Sea.
ü When the sea dried up approximately 50 million years ago, the
dolphins were forced to adapt to its only remaining habitat—rivers.
ü The first organised census will be conducted over period of five
days in 185 km stretch between Talwara and Harike Barrage in
Beas River in Punjab were riverine fresh water Indus Dolphins are
ü Dolphins are a key indicator of river health– if a river is healthy
the dolphins will be there.
ü The Indus river dolphin is listed by the IUCN as endangered on
their Red List of Threatened Species
ü Most dolphins are confined to a small stretch of the river and is
divided into isolated populations by barrages.
ü They have adapted to life in the muddy river and are functionally
ü They rely on echolocation to navigate, communicate and hunt prey
including prawns, catfish and carp.
Why in news?
The Talanoa Dialogue of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change will facilitate the parties to take
stock of progress post-Paris.
|ü Talanoa Dialogue has been established to serve as an initial stocktaking exercise among Paris
ü Talanoa is a traditional word used in Fiji and the Pacific to reflect a process of inclusive, participatory
and transparent dialogue.
ü The Dialogue is a mandated process requested by Parties to take stock of collective efforts to reduce
emissions and build greater resilience, in line with the long-term goals of the Paris Agreement and to
prepare updated or new NDCs by 2020
ü Ultimately, the goal is to help Parties achieve maximum ambition in implementing and improving
ü The Talanoa Dialogue was launched at COP23 in Bonn
Why in news?
The Director General of the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) inspected the Asita- Yamuna River
Front Development (RFD) project being implemented by Delhi Development Authority (DDA).
|ü Asita is Yamuna river front development project by Delhi Development Authority (DDA).
ü Yamuna RFD project aims to restore, revive and rejuvenate the river’s floodplains and make them
accessible to the people of Delhi.
ü The project is given the name “Asita” which is another name of river Yamuna.
ü River Front “walks”, a major component of the project, will enable people to develop a relationship with
ü The project envisages creating a green buffer area approx. 300mts wide along the river edge with species
of riverine ecology.
ü A wide belt of 150mts along the peripheral roads will be developed as greenways for public amenities
that will include a continuous trail of pathways and cycle tracks.
ü Wetlands will be created to store the flood waters and also to improve the groundwater recharge.
ü This would also help to revive the ecosystem of the floodplains, which will eventually result in flourishing
of biodiversity in the floodplains
|INTERNATIONAL DAY FOR BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY 2018
Why in news?
Every year May 22 is observed as The International Day for Biological Diversity (IDB) to increase awareness
on various biodiversity issues such as habitat destruction, marine pollution and climate change.
|About the Day
ü The International Day for Biological Diversity is
a United Nations–sanctioned international
day for the promotion of biodiversity issues.
ü It is currently observed on May 22.
ü It was first observed in 1993 by the Second
Committee of the UN General Assembly.
ü In 2000, May 22 was chosen as the International Day for Biological Diversity to commemorate the
Adoption of the Agreed Text of the Convention on Biological Diversity.
ü The theme for 2018 is “Celebrating 25 Years of Action for Biodiversity.”
|GREEN SEA TURTLE
Why in news?
Australia has pledged more than 500 million Australian dollars ($379 million) to help preserve the Great
Barrier Reef, in an attempt to help better protect the world heritage site from the effects of climate change.
It is also home to a number of endangered species, including the large green turtle and the dugong.
|Green Sea Turtle
ü The green sea turtle is a large sea turtle.
ü It is also known as the green turtle, black (sea) turtle or Pacific
ü Its range extends throughout tropical and subtropical seas
around the world.
ü They are distinguished from other sea turtles because they have
a single pair of prefrontal scales (scales in front of its eyes),
rather than two pairs as found on other sea turtles.
ü Mainly stay near the coastline and around islands and live in bays and protected shores, especially in
areas with sea grass beds
ü According to IUCN Red list they are listed as threatened.
ü The greatest threat is from the commercial harvest for eggs and food.
ü Other green turtle parts are used for leather and small turtles are sometimes stuffed for curios.
ü Incidental catch in commercial shrimp trawling is an increasing source of mortality.
|INTERGOVERNMENTAL SCIENCE-POLICY PLATFORM ON BIODIVERSITY AND
ECOSYSTEM SERVICES ( IPBES)
Why in news?
The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services has recently
identified pressing biodiversity issues for the Asia and the Pacific region.
ü It is an independent intergovernmental body established to strengthen the science-policy interface
for biodiversity and ecosystem services.
ü This would help the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, long-term human well-being and
ü It provides policymakers with objective scientific assessments about the state of knowledge regarding
the planet’s biodiversity, ecosystems and the benefits they provide to people, as well as the tools and
methods to protect and sustainably use these vital natural assets.
ü IPBES is placed under the auspices of four United Nations entities: UNEP, UNESCO, FAO and UNDP.
ü It is administered by UNEP.
ü Its headquarters is in Bonn, Germany.
ü IPBES does for biodiversity what the IPCC does for climate change.
ü IPBES currently has 128 member States.
ü India is also a member of the IPBES.
ü The work of IPBES can be broadly grouped into four complementary areas:
o Policy Support
o Building Capacity & Knowledge
o Communications & Outreach
Why in news?
Great Barrier Reef is also home to a number of endangered species,
including the large green turtle and the dugong.
ü Dugong is a medium-sized marine mammal.
ü The dugong is the only strictly marine herbivorous mammal.
ü Dugongs are cousins of manatees and share a similar plump
appearance, but have a dolphin fluke-like tail.
ü Dugongs graze on underwater grasses day and night, rooting
for them with their bristled, sensitive snouts and chomping
them with their rough lips.
ü They are commonly known as “sea cows”.
ü They are listed vulnerable according to IUCN red list.
ü The major causes of the Dugong’s decline are as follows: gill
netting, subsistence hunting, and habitat loss from extreme
weather events that are likely to be exacerbated by climate
change, human settlement and agricultural pollution
Why in news?
One of the world’s rarest species of shark has turned up in a fish market in Mumbai – after not being seen
About the Shark
ü Ganges Shark is a shark species which
inhabits the River Hooghly in West
Bengal, as well as the rivers Ganges,
Brahmaputra, Mahanadi in the states of
Bihar, Assam and Orissa.
ü While some of the other river sharks are
also known to inhabit saltwater, the
Ganges shark is only found in rivers and
possibly estuaries, with no confirmed records from oceans or seas.
ü This particular species can be identified by the first few lower front teeth, which have cutting edges along
entire cusp, giving the cusps a claw-like shape.
ü It is amongst the 20 most threatened shark species.
ü It is listed as a Critically Endangered species in the IUCN Red list.
ü Its population has been steadily decreasing due to over fishing, habitat degradation, increasing river
utilisation, and building of dams.
ü Its fin and jaws are in high demand in the international trade, and is also fished by locals for its meat
ü Recognising the dangers faced by this species, it is protected under Schedule I, Part II A of the Wildlife
(Protection) Act of India, 1972
Why in news?
Union Minister for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation inaugurated a workshop
on “Ganga and its Biodiversity: Developing a roadmap for habitat and Species Conservation”.
|About Ganga Praharis
ü Ganga Praharis are self-motivated and trained volunteers from among the local communities working
for biodiversity conservation and cleanliness of the Ganga River.
ü The aim of this initiative is to establish a motivated cadre to support the local level institutions and
monitor the quality of the natural resources of the river by mobilizing local communities at the grassroots level.
ü They have been identified through a series of site level consultative meetings and workshops held in select
villages, located on the bank of the Ganga River.
ü So far, 427 Ganga Praharis across five main stem Ganga basin states of Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh,
Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal have been involved in this project
|SULABH INTERNATIONAL AND NIKKEI ASIA PRIZE
Why in news?
The founder of Sulabh International, Dr Bindeshwar Pathak, has been honoured with the Nikkei Asia Prize
in Japan for his contribution to Asia’s development.
|About Nikkei Asia Prize
ü The Nikkei Asia Prize is an award which recognizes the achievements of people and organizations
that have improved the lives of people throughout Asia.
The awards are given to people in Asia who have made significant contributions in one of the three areas:
Economic and Business Innovation; Science, Technology and Environment and Culture and Community.
ü The prize was launched in 1996.
ü It is an NGO that works to promote human rights, environmental sanitation among other social
ü Dr Pathak founded the Sulabh International in 1970.
ü The foundation has built Sulabh flush composting toilets throughout India, contributing to bettersanitation, safety for rural women and freedom from the manual labour of removing human waste.
ü He has been awarded for his effort in tackling two of his country’s biggest challenges — poor hygiene and discrimination.
|SWACHH SURVEKSHAN 2018
Why in news?
Swachh Survekshan Survey was conducted to evaluate the progress of cleanliness in urban areas.
|ü Swachh Survekshan 2018 was the first pan Indian exercise to assess cleanliness in urban India.
ü The surveying was conducted among 4,203 cities from January 4 to March 10, 2018 by Ministry for
Housing and Urban Affairs.
ü As per Swachh Survekshan 2018 results, Indore was the cleanest city in India with Bhopal grabbing
the second position.
ü Jharkhand has been declared the best performing state, followed by Maharashtra, in this year’s
ü Mysuru has been ranked the cleanest medium-sized city in the country.
ü Cleanest State Capital: Greater Mumbai
India’s Cleanest City Zone-Wise –
ü North: Bhalso, Punjab
ü East: Bundu, Jharkhand
ü North-East: Kakching, Manipur
ü South: Siddipet, Telangana
ü West: Panchgani, Maharashtra
|CLEAN AIR INDIA INITIATIVE
Why in news?
Prime Minister of Netherlands, who is in India on a two-day visit, launched the ‘Clean Air India Initiative’ in
the national capital
|ü Clean Air India Initiative is a joint campaign by Dutch and India which aims to curb air pollution in
ü This would be done by promoting partnerships between Indian start-ups and Dutch companies and
which would build a network of entrepreneurs who would work on business solutions for cleaner air.
ü It is a collaborative project between Get in the Ring, a platform for start-ups, the government of the
Netherlands, Start-up India, and INDUS Forum, an online matchmaking platform of Indian and Dutch
ü Potential for sale of equipment (such as sensors), data, and solutions concerning air quality monitoring
(AQM) has been highlighted as a major business opportunity for Dutch firms.
aims to halt the hazardous burning of paddy stubble by promoting business partnerships that “upcycle” it.
ü This entails using paddy straw as feedstock to make materials that would find use in construction and packaging — a technology and expertise that Dutch companies are keen to market in India.
ü three primate species of genus Hoolock in the gibbon family.
ü native to eastern Bangladesh, Northeast India.
ü possibly occur in China.
üthe only ape found in India
| inhabits tropical evergreen rainforests, tropical evergreen and semi-evergreen forests, tropical mixed deciduous forests, and subtropical broadleaf hill forests.
üMajor threats are habitat loss, fragmentation, human interference
ü listed on CITES Appendix I prohibiting trade in this species.
ü They are listed under Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act (1972) and as an endangered as per the red list of IUCN.
ü Enhancing protection for the species, the Government of Assam upgraded the status of the Hoollongapar Reserve Forest in the Jorhat District of Assam to a Gibbon Wildlife Sanctuary in 1997, making this the first Protected Area ever named after a primate species
Why in news?
Belize Reef, an underwater natural wonder, may be removed from UNESCO’s list of threatened World
Heritage Sites due to its effective recovery
|ü an outstanding natural system consisting of the largest barrier reef in the northern hemisphere.
ü inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996 and is comprised of seven protected areas.
ü the largest reef complex in the Atlantic-Caribbean region and the second largest reef system in the world.
ü one of the most pristine reef ecosystems in the Western Hemisphere and was referred to ‘as the most remarkable reef in the West Indies’ by Charles Darwin.
ü However because of Belize’s plans to allow oil exploration nearby the reef system was placed on endangered status in 2009
Scientists rediscovered after 150 years a rare species of spider, which was believed have become extinct,
from Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary (WWS) located in the Western Ghats region of Kerala
|ü a species of spider of the genus Chrysilla.
ü found from Sri Lanka, India to Bhutan.
ü belonged to the family of jumping spiders (Salticidae).
ü first discovered by renowned arachnologist Ferdinand Anton France
Karsch of Berlin Zoological Museum from Pariej Lake in Gujarat in 1868
ü A species that is not seen for more than 100 years is considered extinct
The world’s oldest Sumatran orangutan named Puan, which had 11 children and 54 descendants spread across the globe, has died aged 62
Critically Endangered in IUCN list.
ü Sumatran Orangutans are also listed on CITES Appendix I
|ü one of the three species of orangutans.
ü found only in the north of the Indonesian island of Sumatra
ü rarer than the Bornean orangutan but more common than
the recently identified Tapanuli orangutan, also of Sumatra.
ü inhabit moist lowland forest, montane forest and peat swamps.
ü diurnal and almost exclusively arboreal; females virtually never travel on the ground and adult males do so only rarely.
ü tends to be frugivorous and insectivorous.
ü Preferred fruits include figs and jackfruits. It will also eat bird eggs and small vertebrates
ü seriously threatened by habitat loss and fragmentation
Why in news?
School children from rural Maharashtra are studying about wildlife as part of the unique E-mammal Citizen Science Project
ü a remotely activated camera that is equipped with a motion sensor, an infrared sensor, or a light beam as a trigger.
ü When an animal or other large object trips the sensor, an image or series of images is collected.
ü Camera trapping is a method for capturing wild animals on film when researchers are not present
|üa data management system and archive for camera trap research projects
ü This cyber-tool is designed to be useful to scientists and also to the citizen scientists who aid scientists in photo collection.
ü aimed at grassroots conservation through collection of scientific information by children.
ü implemented by the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS), along with the Sahyadri Nisarga Mitra (SNM).
ü It started in 2015, with three schools joining their contemporaries in Mexico and the U.S.
ü In its second phase in 2017, the project included 2,000 children in Class VIII and IX in 20 schools in
Palghar, Thane, Raigad, Ratnagiri, Sindhudurg, Kolhapur and Satara districts.
ü Each school was given three camera traps.
|ANIMAL WELFARE BOARD OF INDIA (AWBI)
Why in news?
The Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) has come up with the idea of animal hostels in smart cities and
has taken up the issue with the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (HUA).
|üa statutory advisory body
üestablished in 1962 under Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960
ü humanitarian Rukmini Devi Arundale was instrumental in setting up the board
ü The Board consists of 28 Members including 6 MPs (4 from Lok Sabhas and 2 from Rajya Sabha).
ü term : a period of 3 years.
ü The Board ensures implementation of the animal welfare laws in the country in a very diligent manner
and provides grants to Animal Welfare Organizations and advice the Centre, States and UTs on animal welfare issues.
ü The Board was initially within the jurisdiction of the Government of India’s Ministry of Food and Agriculture later transferred to the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate change
ü It is headquartered at Ballabhgarh in Haryana state
|VALLARTA MUD TURTLE
Vallarta mud turtle (Kinosternon vogti)
|ü one of the most threatened freshwater turtle species
ü formerly considered conspecific with the Jalisco mud turtle.
ü However further studies indicated that it was a separate species.
ü endemic to Mexican state of Jalisco.
ü only known from a few human-created or human-affected
habitats (such as small streams and ponds) found around Puerto
found near Najagarh jheel at Dhankot
village in Haryana and rescued
|ü a tall long-necked wading bird in the stork family.
ü mainly found in wetlands across south and south-east Asia,
and in Australia.
ü Carnivores and mainly eat fish, smaller aquatic animals and water
birds, and insects.
ü listed as near threatened under IUCN redlist
ü included in Schedule I of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act
ü also listed under appendix I of CITES
|ECO SENSITIVE ZONE (ESZ)
|Chitrangudi Bird Sanctuary
ü a Protected area declared in 1989 and a part of Chitrangudi village in
Tamil Nadu, India.
üadjacent to Kanjirankulam Bird Sanctuary.
ü nesting site for several migratory heron species that roost in the prominent growth of Babul trees there.
ümostly tropical dry deciduous forest.
üdominated by babul (thorn mimosa) along with Prosopis juliflora and the grasses Bermuda grass and Dichanthium foveolatum.
ü About 11,000 birds belonging to 43 species are known to visit the sanctuary during the peak season.
ü also home to pelicans, painted storks, Eurasian spoon bills, white ibis, among others.
ü The birds flock to the sanctuary from October to February
|ü areas notified by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) around Protected Areas, National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries.
ü also called Ecologically Fragile Areas (EFAs).
ü The purpose-to create some kind of “shock absorbers” to the protected areas by regulating and managing the activities around such areas.
ü also act as a transition zone from areas of high protection to areas involving lesser protection.
ü The MoEF (Ministry of Environment & Forests) has approved a comprehensive set of guidelines laying down parameters and criteria for declaring ESAs
ü basic aim is to regulate certain activities around National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries so as to minimise the negative impacts of such activities on the fragile ecosystem encompassing the protected
ü The guidelines include a broad list of activities that could be allowed, promoted, regulated or promoted.
ü The activities like commercial mining, setting of saw mills and industries causing pollution, commercial
use of firewood and major hydro-power projects, are prohibited in such areas.
Karaivetti Bird Sanctuary
ü a protected area located in the Ariyalur District of Tamil Nadu.
ü It was established on April 5, 1999.
ü It is one of the largest freshwater lakes in southern Tamil Nadu.
ü fed by the Pullambadi canal which gets water from Mettur dam.
ü The water birds arrive at the tank from September after water is released from the Mettur dam.
ü home to a variety of migratory birds that visit the sanctuary during the November.
ü Important birds here are long migrants including the high flying bar-headed goose, white stork, woollynecked stork, rosy pelican, spoonbill, open bill stork, and grey heron, night heron, Pond heron, purple heron, egrets and glossy ibis.
|ATAL BHUJAL YOJANA (ABHY)
The World Bank has approved funding for Atal Bhujal Yojana (ABHY), a Rs.6000 crore Central Sector Scheme
ü The priority areas identified under the scheme fall in the states of Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka,
Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.
ü These States represent about 25% of the total number of over-exploited, critical and semi-critical
blocks in terms of ground water in India.
ü They also cover two major types of groundwater systems found in India – alluvial and hard rock aquifers
|üa central sector scheme launched by Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation to tackle ever-deepening crisis of depleting groundwater level.
ü objective of scheme -to recharge ground water and create sufficient water storage for agricultural purposes.
ü focuses on revival of surface water bodies so that ground water level can be increased, especially in the rural areas.
ü The scheme will also facilitate convergence of on-going Government schemes in the states by incentivizing their focussed implementation in identified priority areas.
ü Funds under the scheme will be made available to the participating states as Grants.
ü The scheme is to be implemented over a period of five years from 2018-19 to 2022-23, with World Bank assistance.
ü The scheme will be running with the help of community participation.
Why in news?
IRCTC introduced bagasse based food packaging to commemorate World Environment Day 2018.
|ü the fibrous matter that remains after sugarcane or sorghum stalks are crushed to extract their juice.
ü burned as fuel in the sugarcane mill or used as a source of cellulose for manufacturing animal feeds.
ü Paper is produced from bagasse in several countries.
ü the essential ingredient for the production of pressed building board, acoustical tile, and other construction materials and can be made into a number of biodegradable plastics
ü easily available as a waste product with a high sugar content and has potential as an environmentally friendly alternative to corn as a source of the biofuel ethanol
Why in news?
“Methanol Economy”: NITI Aayog working on road map for India on World Environment Day, 2018
ü One of the reasons why Methanol has the potential to be an enduring solution to human energy needs
is because the emitting out C02 (greenhouse gas emission) both from using Methanol and while
producing Methanol can be tapped back to produce Methanol.
ü C02 from steel plants, Thermal Power plants, Cement Plants etc. can be tapped in large quantities to
|ü a colourless, flammable liquid chemical with the formula CH3OH.
ü also known as methyl alcohol or wood alcohol.
ü It acquired the name wood alcohol because it was once produced chiefly by the destructive distillation of wood.
ü used in the manufacture of formaldehyde and acetic acid, in chemical synthesis, antifreeze, and as a solvent.
ü a clean burning drop in fuel which can replace both petrol & diesel in transportation & LPG, Wood, Kerosene in cooking fuel.
ü Now it is produced from a variety of feedstock like Natural Gas, Coal (Indian High Ash Coal), Biomass,
Municipal Solid waste and most importantly from CO2.
ü burns efficiently in all internal combustion engines, produces no particulate matter, no soot, almost nil SOX and NOX emissions
ü near zero pollution.
ü gaseous version of Methanol : DME(Dimethyl Ether)
ü The DME can be blended with LPG and can be excellent substitute for diesel in large buses and trucks.
ü Methanol 15 % blend (M15) in petrol will reduce pollution by 33% & diesel replacement by methanol will reduce by more than 80%.
|INTEGRATED COASTAL ZONE MANAGEMENT PROJECT (ICZMP)
Why in news?
Society of Integrated Coastal Management (SICOM) under the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has embarked upon a programme for Blue flag certification of one Blue Flag beach in each of the
13 coastal States /UTs under the World Bank-assisted Integrated Coastal Zone Management Project
|ü a process for the management of the coast using an integrated approach, regarding all aspects of the coastal zone, including geographical and political boundaries.
ü This concept was borne in 1992 during the Earth Summit of Rio de Janeiro.
ü The policy regarding ICZM is set out in the proceedings of the summit within Agenda 21.
ü covers the full cycle of information collection, planning (in its broadest sense), decision making, management and monitoring of implementation.
ü uses the informed participation and cooperation of all stakeholders to assess the societal goals in a given coastal area, and to take actions towards meeting these objectives.
ü Integrated Coastal Zone Management Project (ICZMP) was started by Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) based on the recommendations of the expert committee report of the Prof M. S.
ü project was started with the assistance of the World Bank.
ü The overall objective – to support the Government in developing and implementing an improved strategic management approach for India’s coastal zones to preserve the long-term productivity
of region for continued sustainable development and economic growth.
ü The MoEF launched this Project by establishing a Society of Integrated Coastal Management (SICOM)
Society of Integrated Coastal Management (SICOM)
ü under the aegis of Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate change, Government of India to support implementation of Integrated
Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) activities in India.
ü Under the project, SICOM would be implementing the four components, namely,
o National Coastal Management Programme;
o ICZM-West Bengal;
ü National component includes
o Demarcation of hazard line for mapping the entire coastline of the mainland of the country;
o A National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management (NCSCM) has been established within
the campus of Anna University, Chennai with its regional centres in each of the coastal
States/Union territories to promote research and development in the area of coastal management
including addressing issues of coastal communities.
|BLUE FLAG STANDARDS
Why in news?
The Chandrabhaga beach on the Konark coast of Odisha will be the first in Asia to get the Blue Flag
|Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE)
ü non-governmental, non-profit organisation
promoting sustainable development through environmental education.
ü conducts mainly five programmes such as
o Blue Flag, o Eco-Schools,
o Young Reporters for the Environment (YRE),
o Learning about Forests (LEAF) and
o Green Key
|ü an international award presented to well managed beaches with excellent water quality and environmental education programmes
ü issued by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE)
ü include standards for water quality, safety, environmental education and information, the provision of services and general environmental management criteria
ü The Award is given to beaches, marinas and sustainable boating tourism operators as an indication of their high environmental and quality standards
ü issued on an annual basis to FEE member countries
ü announced yearly on 5 June for Europe, Canada, Morocco, Tunisia and other countries in a similar geographic location, and on 1 November for the Caribbean, New Zealand, South Africa and
other countries in the southern hemisphere.
ü The standards were established in the year 1985.
ü FEE has member organisations in 73 countries worldwide.
ü It was established in 198.
ü It’s headquartered in Copenhagen
|NATURALISED EXOTIC SPECIES
ü A non-native plant that does not need human help to reproduce and maintain itself over time in an area where it is not native.
ü Tamil Nadu (332) has the highest number of naturalised exotics, followed by Kerala (290), while Lakshadweep has the least (17)
ü A majority of these naturalised plants are herbs such as the invasive Siam weed Chromolaena odorata, native to south and Central America.
ü The ENVIS Centre on Floral Diversity hosted by the BSI lists more than 170 invasive plant species in
|ENVIS Environment Information System
ü one stop, web enabled and comprehensive portal which
provides information on environment and related subject areas to researchers, academicians, policy planners, environmentalists, scientists, engineers and the general public
ü established by the Government of India, in December, 1982.
ü ENVIS due to its comprehensive network has been designed as the National Focal Point (NFP) for INFOTERRA, a global environmental information network of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
ü In order to strengthen the information activities of the NFP, ENVIS was designated as the Regional Service Centre (RSC) of INFOTERRA of UNEP in 1985 for the South Asia Sub-Region countries
|ü a type of shark which is found in warm coastal waters around the world.
ü The species primarily eats bony fishes, but its diet also contains smaller amounts of crustaceans, such as shrimp and crabs and cephalopods.
ü Blacktip Shark meat is primarily consumed locally and fins are dried and shipped to the Far East where they are used in preparing shark-fin soup.
ü The shark’s preference for in-shore waters makes it particularly vulnerable to coastal development,
which eliminates critical habitat such as nursery sites
ü The commercial fishing, which is widespread in the southeastern United States, Mexico, and India is another important threat.
ü According to IUCN red list it is listed as near threatened
|CENTRE FOR CLIMATE CHANGE
National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) has launched the Centre for Climate
Change for accelerating concerted climate action by various stakeholders in government, private, financial
and non -government actors
|ü It is the first of its kind centre in South East Asia, located in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh
ü The new institution will also extend professional support to stakeholders for designing climate related
projects and take up collaborative studies and action research projects in the area.
ü It will also support capacity building and project preparation effort in developing countries in the
region as also in Africa.
|NATIONAL GREEN TRIBUNAL
mandated to make and endeavour for disposal of applications or appeals finally within 6 months of filing of the same.
not be bound by the procedure laid down under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, but shall be guided by principles of natural justice.
power to hear all civil cases related to following laws
o The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974;
o The Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980;
o The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981;
o The Environment (Protection) Act, 1986;
o The Public Liability Insurance Act, 1991;
o The Biological Diversity Act, 2002.
It has not been vested with powers to hear any matter relating to the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972,
the Indian Forest Act, 1927 and various laws enacted by States relating to forests, tree preservation
|ü established under the National Green Tribunal Act 2010.
ü aims for effective and expeditious disposal of cases relating to
o Environmental protection
o Conservation of forests and other natural resources including enforcement of any legal right.
ü specialized body equipped with the necessary expertise to handle environmental disputes involving multi-disciplinary issues.
ü New Delhi is the Principal Place of Sitting of the Tribunal and Bhopal, Pune, Kolkata and Chennai shall be the other four place of sitting of the Tribunal.
ü The tribunal shall consist of a full time chairperson ( Judge of Supreme Court or Chief Justice of High Court), judicial members and expert members with total members ranging between 10-20
|GANGA VRIKSHAROPAN ABHIYAN
National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG)
five main stem Ganga
basin states – Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal.
|ü a new afforestation scheme
ü Respective State Forest Departments are the nodal agencies for the smooth and effective execution of the campaign.
ü Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan (NYKS), Ganga Vichar Manch (GVM), NGOs and educational institutions, District Ganga Committees, of which District Magistrates are the Chairpersons, are involved
in the programme.
ü Divisional Forest Officers (DFOs) have been designated as the district level Nodal Officers and Chief Conservator of Forest (CCF) at the State level for organizing the events.
Rangila , the sloth bearwhich was smuggled into Nepal in December 2017 for use as a ‘dancing bear’, is
being sent back to India
|ü an insectivorous bear species native to the Indian subcontinent.
ü historical distribution includes a large portion of India, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka,as well as the southern lowlands of Nepal and Bhutan.
ü primarily eat termites and ants, and unlike other bear species, they routinely carry their cubs on their backs.
ü listed in Appendix I of CITES and are completely protected under Schedule I of the Indian Wildlife Protection Act of 1972.
ü Its IUCN red list status is Vulnerable.
(Schedule I) by the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act of 1972.
ü It is listed as endangered in IUCN red list
|ü an ungulate goats that is endemic to the Nilgiri Hills and the southern portion of the Western Ghats in the states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
ü Males are larger than the females, and have a darker colour
ü state animal of Tamil Nadu
ü Principal threats are habitat loss (mainly from domestic livestock and spread of invasive plants) and poaching
Destruction of mangrove cover in the Bandar Reserve Forest (BRF) is forcing the golden jackal (Canis aureus)out of its habitat, triggering a conflict with the local communities.
as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List and listed on Appendix III
|ü Due to their tolerance of dry habitats and their omnivorous diet,
the Golden Jackal can live in a wide variety of habitats.
ü These range from the Sahel Desert to the evergreen forests of
Myanmar and Thailand.
ü a very vocal species, using a variety of barking, growling, cackling and whining calls.
ü The most distinctive is the high-pitched, wailing howl, often given
in chorus at dawn and dusk, and thought to reinforce family bonds
or advertise territory ownership.
Haryana state launched the ‘Paudhagiri’ campaign.
Every student will get a sapling from the forest department and they can also name the plant as per their wish. They have to take care of it for the next three years
|ü students from class 6 to 12 of all government and private schools in Haryana will plant a sapling each during three months of monsoon — July, August and September
ü In every six months, the student will be required to upload a selfie with their plant on Paudhagiri App.
ü given an incentive of Rs 50 in every six months from the government for next three years.
ü Thus, the student will get Rs 300 in the next three years for looking after the sapling planted by them.
Harrier birds, a migratory raptor species that regularly visits vast swathes of India, are declining. This may foretell lurking dangers to the country’s grasslands
|ü a group of migratory raptor species.
ü nest in marshes or in tall grass and lay four to six dull whitish or bluish eggs
ü India has one of the largest roosting sites in the world for Pallid Harriers and Montagu’s Harriers.
ü Out of the 16 harrier species, only two are listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, even though most of them are declining
ü The gravest concern is the loss of grasslands, either to urbanisation or to agriculture.
ü Excessive use of pesticides in farms in crops such as cotton kills grasshoppers, the harriers’ primary prey, and could lead to mortality of the birds themselves as they are on the top of the food chain.
|CHAMPION OF EARTH PRIZE 2018 AND CIAL
The Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL) has been selected for the Champion of Earth Prize-2018.
ü The Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL) has been selected for the Champion of Earth Prize-2018.
ü CIAL, the company that owns and operates India’s first airport built under the public-privatepartnership mode.
ü The airport stands fourth in the country in terms of international traffic and seventh in total traffic.
ü The Cochin airport is the first such facility in the world to run fully on solar electricity
|ü the United Nations highest environmental honour
ü recognizes visionary people and organizations all over the world that exemplify leadership and advocate action on sustainable development, climate change and a life of dignity for all.
ü The United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment) established Champions of the Earth in 2005.
ü an agency of United Nations.
ü sets the global environmental agenda, promotes the coherent implementation of the environmental dimension of sustainable development within the United Nations system, and
serves as an authoritative advocate for the global environment.
ü founded by Maurice Strong, its first director, as a result of the
United Nations Conference on the Human Environment (Stockholm Conference) in June 1972.
ü It has overall responsibility for environmental problems among United Nations agencies.
ü works with governments, the private sector, civil society and with other UN entities and international organizations
across the world.
ü It is headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya.
ü Their work is categorized into seven broad thematic areas:
1. climate change
2. disasters and conflicts
3. ecosystem management
4. environmental governance
5. chemicals and waste
6. resource efficiency
7. environment under review
ü India was the global host of 2018 World Environment Day on June 5, 2018.
|GREEN RATING FOR INTEGRATED HABITAT ASSESSMENT (GRIHA)
All new constructions in CPWD are being undertaken with minimum three star GRIHA rating
|ü It was founded by TERI (The Energy and Resources Institute, New Delhi) with support from MNRE.
ü For rating building must have built-up area greater than 2,500 sq. m.
ü ‘Design and evaluate’ option is available for buildings that are still at the inception stages
|ü India’s own green building rating system and part of mitigation strategy for combating climate change as highlighted in INDIA’s INDC.
ü It evaluates the environmental performance of a building holistically over its entire life cycle,
thereby providing a definitive standard for what constitutes a ‘green building’.
ü This rating tool helps people assesses the performance of their building against certain nationally acceptable benchmarks.
Criteria and their weightage
ü a performance-oriented system where points are earned for meeting the design and performance intent of the criteria.
ü Different levels of certification (one star to five stars) are awarded based on the number of points earned.
ü Different Rating criteria are used for large buildings, existing buildings and so on
|BIOSPHERE RESERVES | KHANGCHENDZONGA IN WORLD NETWORK
Why in News?
UNESCO’s (MAB) Programme has added during its meeting in Indonesia’ Palembang recently including Khangchendzonga, the
11th Biosphere Reserve from India
|Biosphere reserves in India
ü Biosphere Reserves of India often include one or more National Parks or sanctuaries, along with buffer zones that are open to some economic uses.
ü Presently, there are 18 Indian Government designated biosphere reserves in India, of which
with the addition of Khangchendzonga, there are 11
listed on UNESCO’s world network.
ü List of Biosphere reserves in MAB Programme:
a) Nilgiri Biosphere- Oldest
b) Gulf of Mannar
d) Nanda Devi
h) Achanakamar- Amarkantak
i) Great Nicobar
j) Agasthyamalai- added in 2016
k) Khangchendzonga – Latest
|Structure of a Biosphere Reserve
Biosphere reserves have three interrelated zones:
ü The core area- a strictly protected ecosystem that contributes to the conservation of landscapes, ecosystems, species and genetic
ü The buffer zone surrounds or adjoins the core areas, and is used for activities compatible with sound ecological practices that can reinforce scientific research, monitoring, training and education.
ü The transition area – part of the reserve where the greatest activity is allowed, fostering economic and human development that is socio-culturally and ecologically sustainable
| Biosphere Reserves?
ü sites established and nominated by countries and
recognized under UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Program
ü Launched in 1971, UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere Programme (MAB) is an Intergovernmental Scientific Programme that aims to establish a scientific basis for the improvement of relationships between people and their environments.
ü MAB is a World Network of Biosphere Reserves currently counts 686 sites in 122 countries all over the world, including 20 transboundary sites.
ü Protection is to flora+ fauna of the protected region + the human
communities who inhabit these regions, and their ways of life
|the criteria to be designated a Biosphere Reserve?
ü minimally disturbed core area of value of nature conservation.
ü Core zone- sustain viable populations representing all Tropic levels in the ecosystem.
ü Management authorities to ensure local community involvement to bring the variety of knowledge and experiences to link biodiversity conservation and socio-economic development while managing and containing the conflicts.
ü Areas potential for preservation of traditional tribal or rural modes of living for harmonious use of the environment
|Khangchendzonga Biosphere Reserve
ü located in North and West Sikkim districts
ü one of the highest ecosystems in the world and the highest in India,includes the third highest mountain peak in the world- The Khangchendzonga.
ü within the Himalaya global biodiversity hotspot.
ü In the north, it adjoins the Qomolangma National Nature Preserve in Tibet and in the west, the Kanchenjunga Conservation Area in Nepal
Flora and Fauna
ü Eighty six per cent of the core lies in the Alpine zone and the remaining portions are located in the Himalayan wet temperate and sub-tropical moist deciduous forest.
ü identified as the biggest Important Bird Area in Sikkim.
ü home for many of the globally threatened fauna including Musk deer, snow leopard, red panda and Himalayan Tahr.
ühome to many ethnic communities :Lepcha, Nepalese, and Bhutia
ücontains Tholung Monastery, a gompa located in the park’s buffer zone-one of the most sacred monasteries in Sikkim.
ü listed as India’s first ‘Mixed World Heritage site’ in 2016.
ü Combining religious and cultural practices of Buddhism and the ecological significance, it is an outstanding example of traditional knowledge and environmental preservation.
ü one of the world’s 34 biodiversity hotspots that has
o Good species diversity with high levels of endemism
o With many mountains, peaks, lakes, caves, rocks, stupas (shrines) and hot springs
|TIGER CONSERVATION AND INITIATIVES
|ü home to 70% of the tiger population in the world
ü The Ministry of Environment recently said that 45% of the tiger deaths between 2012 and 2017 could be attributed to unnatural reasons.
ü Of the 45%, 22% of the deaths were due to poaching, 15% due to seizures of body parts and the
remaining could be attributed to road and railway accidents
ü The first successful inter-state translocation of a pair of tigers was carried out from tiger reserves in
Madhya Pradesh to Satkosia in Odisha
|Wildlife conservation trust
ü The Wildlife Conservation Trust (WCT) is a Mumbai-based registered public charitable trust dedicated
and committed to the preservation, protection and conservation of wildlife across India.
ü WCT is the largest organisation to support the State and Central governments in the field of tiger
conservation outside of the Government.
ü WCT is the only NGO in world that conducts large-scale tiger population estimation programmes
in corridors and habitats outside protected areas
The National Tiger Conservation Authority
ü a statutory body under the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change constituted under provisions of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.
ü Environment Minister : the Chairman of the NTCA.
ü Below chairman are eight experts or professionals having qualifications and experience in wildlife conservation and welfare of people including tribals, apart from three Members of Parliament (1 Rajya Sabha, 2 Lok Sabha).
Objectives of NTCA are
ü Providing statutory authority to Project Tiger so that compliance of its directives become legal.
ü Fostering accountability of Center-State in management of Tiger Reserves, by providing a basis for MoU with States within our federal structure.
Global Tiger Forum (GTF)
ü only inter- governmental international body established with
members from willing countries to embark on a global campaign to protect the Tiger.
ü formed in 1993 on recommendations from an international symposium on Tiger Conservation at New Delhi, India.
ü The first meeting of the Tiger Range countries to setup the forum was held in 1994
ü The GTF has a General Assembly meeting every 3 years and Standing committee meetings at least once a year.
|Conversation Assured | Tiger Standards (CA|TS)
ü an accreditation scheme that encourages tiger conservation areas to meet a set of standards and criteria, created by an international group of experts
ü partnership between governments, NGOs and tiger conservation areas
ü aims to meet the goal of doubling the number of wild tigers by 2022 agreed to in declaration adopted at the St Petersburg Tiger Summit in 2010
ü provides an opportunity for individual tiger conservation areas or networks of areas to demonstrate their commitment to, and success in, protecting tigers.
ü to secure safe havens for wild tigers.-Only three sites have been awarded CA|TS Approved status
o Lansdowne Forest Division in Uttarakhand, India
o Chitwan National Park in Nepal
o Sikhote-Alin Nature Reserve in Russia
ü based on a set of seven pillars with 17 minimum standards and associated criteria for effective management
|GREEN MAHANADI MISSION
ü objective :to stop soil erosion on river banks and recharge the groundwater reserve.
ü Volunteers will plant fruit-bearing trees like mango, jackfruit and jamun within one km radius of the river
ü implemented jointly by the departments of Forest, Horticulture and Watershed Development
one of the largest Indian peninsular rivers that drain into the Bay of Bengal.
Originates: Sihawa Mountain in Chhattisgarh
ü The major tributaries of Mahanadi : Seonath, Jonk, Hasdo, Mand, Ib, Ong, Tel etc.
ü Hirakud Dam is a major dam built across the Mahanadi River.
ü Satkosia Tiger Reserve in Odisha is on the banks of Mahanadi.
|RECOVERY PROGRAMME FOR CRITICALLY ENDANGERED SPECIES
|Northern River Terrapin
· This is a riverine turtle species found in Eastern India.
· hunted for its meat and carapace.
· native of Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia and Malaysia
· found in the Himalayan foothills.
· threatened due to habitat loss, poaching for its skin and is also
as a live pet trade.
· The IUCN : ‘Vulnerable’ and indicates a ‘declining trend in its population
|Arabian SeaHumpback Whale
· This whale species is found in all of major oceans but ship strikes,
unforgiving fishing gear and seismic explorations pose grave threat
|ü subcomponent of a centrally sponsored scheme of ‘Integrated Development of Wildlife Habitats’ and was started in 2008-09.
ü The MoEFCC, in consultation with Wildlife Institute of India and other scientific institutions/organizations, identified various species with the objective of saving critically endangered species/ecosystems that to ensure their protection outside Protected Areas, across the wider landscape/seascape.
ü Integrated Development of Wildlife Habitats is the new name of the scheme by MoEFCC “Assistance for the Development of National Parks and Sanctuaries”.
ü IDWH is meant for providing support to protected areas, protection of wildlife outside protected areas and recovery programmes for saving critically endangered species and habitats.
ü The 17 species already listed are Asian Wild Buffalo Asiatic Lion Brow-Antlered Deer or Sangai Dugong Edible Nest Swiftlet Gangetic River Dolphin Great Indian Bustard Hangul Indian Rhino or Great Onehorned Rhinoceros Jerdon’s Courser Malabar Civet Marine Turtles
Nicobar Megapode Nilgiri Tahr Snow Leopard Swamp Deer Vultures
|Red Panda · closely associated with montane forests with
· mainly in Sikkim, West Bengal and Arunachal Pradesh.
· It is poached for its meat, and for use in medicines, and as a pet.
· The IUCN has categorized Red Panda as ‘Endangered’ and as per
their Red List assessment of 2015, the population of the species is
ü The koalas are generally found in coastal areas of the mainland’s eastern and southern regions,
inhabiting Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, and South Australia
|ü arboreal herbivorous marsupial native to Australia.
ü mostly nocturnal, asocial animals, and bonding exists
only between mothers and dependent offspring.
ü Young koalas are known as joey.
ü inhabit open eucalyptus woodlands, and the leaves of these trees make up most of their diet
ü listed as Least Concern (LC) in 2008, the Koala was uplisted to Vulnerable (VU) in 2016.
ü Current threats include habitat loss and modification, bushfires,
disease, and drought
|EARTH OVERSHOOT DAY
Why in News?
This year’s Earth overshoot day fell on August 1st.
|How is the date of Earth Overshoot Day determined?
ü Global Footprint Network measures a
population’s demand for and ecosystems’ supply of resources and services.
ü Earth Overshoot Day = (Planet’s Bio capacity / Humanity’s Ecological Footprint) x 365
ü For each year, GFN calculates the number of days of that year that Earth’s bio capacity suffices to
provide for humanity’s Ecological Footprint. The remainder of the year corresponds to global
|The Country Overshoot Day for the US fell on March 15, 2018. If everyone lived like US residents, we
would need five earths to meet our annual consumption.
ü If a population’s demand for ecological assets exceeds the supply, that region runs an ecological deficit- meets demand by importing, liquidating its own ecological assets (such as overfishing), and/or emitting carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
ü At the global level, ecological deficit and overshoot are the same, since there is no net import of resources to the planet.
|ü previously known as Ecological Debt Day, marks the date when humanity’s demand for ecological resources and services in a given year exceeds what Earth can regenerate in that year.
ü hosted and calculated by an international thinktank Global Footprint Network (GFN).
ü The concept was first conceived by Andrew Simms of the UK think tank New Economics Foundation.
ü The first global Earth Overshoot Day campaign was launched in 2006. WWF has participated in Earth Overshoot Day since 2007.
Planet’s Bio Capacity?
ü The amount of ecological resources Earth is able to generate that year.
ü Likewise Bio capacity of a city or state or nation can also be determined.
ü A city, state, or nation’s bio capacity represents its biologically productive land and sea area, including
forest lands, grazing lands, cropland, fishing grounds, and built-up land.
What is Ecological Footprint?
ü It is the humanity’s demand for resources for the concerned year.
ü Both measures are expressed in global hectares—globally comparable, standardized hectares with
world average productivity. A hectare is equivalent to 10,000 square meters or 2.47 acres.
|PORTUGUESE MAN O’ WAR
A cluster of Portuguese man-of-war, washed ashore on the Baga beach in north Goa
|Why a warning?
ü Stings from a Portuguese man o’ war cause severe pain to humans. It leaves whip-like, red welts on the skin that lasts for days.
ü The venom can affect lymph nodes and can cause swelling of the larynx, airway blockage, cardiac distress, and an inability to breathe.
ü Other symptoms can include fever and shock, and in some extreme rare cases, even death
|ü Commonly known as ‘bluebottle’ or ‘floating terror’, the Indo- Pacific Portuguese man-of-war is a marine hydrozoan found in the Indian and Pacific Oceans.
ü Inot a single organism, but a siphonophore, a colonial animal made up of tiny specialised animals called polyps, which are all connected to each other and function like the organs and tissues of single multicellular organisms.
ü A gas-filled bladder allows it to float on the surface, propelled by currents, tides, and by a sail at the top of the bladder
ü A single long tentacle of venomous cnidocytes, hanging below the float, provides the animal with a means of capturing prey.
ü composed of four separate colonies of polyps and medusoids. The colony consists of a gas-filled polyp that keeps it afloat, and three other polyp types which help in capture and digestion of prey and reproduction.
ü two major species of Portuguese man-of-war- the Atlantic and the Indo-Pacific.
|INDIAN BULL FROG
The Indian bull frog, a recent arrival from the mainland, is steadily occupying the Webi village of Andamans’ ecosystem and threatening the local economy, where it is now a widespread invasive species
|ü large frogs and they grow up to 15 cms (6 inches) in length.
ü solitary and is usually nocturnal.
ü The diet of an Indian Bullfrog consists of insects, small mammals and small birds.
ü The Indian Bullfrog is the largest Indian frog.
ü The bullfrog is protected under Schedule IV of the Indian Wildlife Act 1972.
|GENETIC BANK FOR WILDLIFE CONSERVATION
India got its first scientific and most modern national wildlife genetic resource bank.
|ü India’s first scientific and most modern national wildlife genetic resources bank.
üstore genetic material of Indian species
located in Hyderabad at the Laboratory for the Conservation of Endangered Species (LaCONES),a research wing of the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB).
|ü It could be utilised to virtually resurrect an animal species in case it goes extinct.
ü It is India’s only research facility engaged in conservation and preservation of wildlife and its resources.
ü Effective conservation measures include both in situ habitat preservation, species protection and ex situ conservation.
ü Project LaCONES was established in 1998 with the help of
o Dept. of Biotechnology (DBT), Govt. of India
o Central Zoo Authority of India (CZA), New Delhi
o Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), New Delhi
o Government of Andhra Pradesh
|MAHADAYI TRIBUNAL, KALASA-BANDURI NALA PROJECT AND KOTNI PROJECT
Mahadayi water tribunal (MWT) gave its award allowing Karnataka to divert water.
|ü Also known as the Mandovi River, Mahadayi originates from a cluster of 30 springs at Bhimgad in
the Western Ghats in the Belagavi district of Karnataka.
ü It is described as the lifeline of Goa.
ü The Dudhsagar falls and Varapoha falls are on this river.
ü Panaji, the state capital is situated on the left bank of the Mandovi.
ü The rivers Mapusa, Kalasa and Bhanduri are tributaries of the Mandovi.
ü The island of Chorão, in the river, is home to the Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary
|ü Mahadayi Tribunal was constituted in 2010 to equitably allot Mahadayi river water amongKarnataka, Goa and Maharashtra.
ü The MWT allowed Goa 24 tmcft and Maharashtra to use 1.33 tmcft for drinking and irrigation.
ü Karnataka has been allowed to divert 2.18 tmcft of water at the proposed Bhandura dam and 1.72tmcft at the Kalasa Dam.
ü It was allowed an additional 1.5 tmcft for ‘in-basin consumptive use’ but was cautioned against the Kotni Hydro Project.
ü Water sharing to be overseen by Central government agencies or a Mahadayi water management Authority on lines of Cauvery management board
ü The tribunal recommendations ought to be adhered to until August 2048
|Kalasa-Banduri Nala project
ü a project undertaken by the Government of Karnataka to improve drinking water supply to North Karnataka.
ü building dams across Kalasa and Banduri, two tributaries of the Mahadayi river to divert water to the Malaprabha River, which supplies the drinking water needs of the 3 northern districts,
i.e., Dharwad, Belagavi and Gadag.
Why in news?
The Government of India has treated the Kerala flood situation as a disaster of serious nature and has
categorized the same as a Level – L3 Disaster under National Disaster Management Guidelines.
|different levels of disaster categorisation?
o managed within the capabilities and resources at the District
o However, the state authorities will remain in readiness to provide assistance if needed.
o This signifies the disaster situations that require assistance and active mobilization of resources at the state level and deployment of state level agencies for disaster management.
o The central agencies must remain vigilant for immediate deployment if required by the state.
ü corresponds to a nearly catastrophic situation or a very large-scale disaster that overwhelms the State and District authorities
|CALAMITY OF SEVERE NATURE
ü The NDRF is funded through a National Calamity Contingent Duty levied on pan masala, chewingtobacco and cigarettes, and with budgetary provisions as and when needed.
ü The SDRF corpus is contributed by the Union government and the respective State governments in a
75:25 ratio for general category States and 90:10 for Special Category States.
ü The allocation of the SDRF for each State is done by the Finance Commission
|ü According to the National Disaster Management Policy, the State governments have to provide disaster relief from their respective State Disaster Response Funds (SDRFs).
ü Only for a “calamity of severe nature”, additional assistance will be provided from the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF).
ü There is, however, no provision in the law or rules for the government to designate a disaster a
ü The cheetah is the fastest land animal.
ü The country’s last spotted feline died in Chhattisgarh in 1947.
ü It was declared extinct in India in 1952.
ü Nauradehi was found to be the most suitable area for the cheetahs as its forests are not very dense to restrict the fast movement of the spotted cat.
ü According to the earlier action plan, around 20 cheetahs were to be translocated to Nauradehi from Namibia in Africa.
ü The cheetah is a large cat of the subfamily Felinae.
ü The species is IUCN Red Listed as vulnerable
ü Cheetah is not naturally found in India.
ü In India Cheetah are extinct in the wild or regionally extinct.
ü Cheetahs are particularly vulnerable to habitat loss and fragmentation of their habitat.
ü One reason for their extirpation across most of their Asian range is thought to have been the live capture
of cheetahs, which were then trained to hunt deer and gazelle as sport for the aristocracy.
ü Other key causes of the disappearance of Cheetah from the region are likely to have been depletion of
wild prey, especially gazelles, the direct killing of Cheetahs
|COMMUTE RELATED POLLUTION
Why in News?
The report titled ‘The Urban Commute and How it Contributes to Pollution and Energy’, compiled by the
Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), was released
|ü 6 megacities and 8 metropolises evaluated on how they fare when it comes to pollution and energy consumption from urban commuting
ü Lowest overall emissions recorded in Bhopal.
ü Kolkata as the top-performing megacity.
ü Chennai was the first city to adopt a non-motorised transport (NMT) policy in 2004 that aims to
arrest the decline of walking or cycling by creating a network of footpaths, bicycle tracks and greenways.
About Centre for Science and Environment (CSE)
ü The Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) is a public interest research and advocacy
organisation based in New Delhi.
ü CSE researches into, lobbies for and communicates the urgency of development that is both sustainable
ü Established in 1980, CSE uses knowledge-based activism to create awareness about problems and
propose sustainable solutions
ü The Bombay Natural History Society is one of the largest non-governmental organisations in India
engaged in conservation and biodiversity research.
ü founded on 15 September 1883.
ü the partner of BirdLife International in India.
üdesignated as a ‘Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation’ by the Department of
Science and Technology.
ü The BNHS logo is the great hornbill.
üheadquartered in the specially constructed ‘Hornbill House’ in Mumbai.
ü in Odisha is Asia’s biggest internal salt water pond studded with few tiny islands.
ü It is located at the mouth of the Daya River, flowing into the Bay of Bengal.
ü Nalabana Bird Sanctuary
ü Chilika Lake was designated the first Indian wetland of international importance under the Ramsar Convention in 1981.
ü Migratory birds fly across continents from Caspian Sea, Baikal Lake and remote parts of Russia,
Mongolia and Siberia and flock to the marshy lands of the Nalabana Bird Sanctuary inside the Chilika Lake.
ü Apart from residents and migratory birds, Chilika Wildlife Sanctuary is also home to Blackbuck, Spotted
Deer, Golden Jackal and Hyenas.
ü It has rich aquatic wildlife also: Chilika Lake sanctuary also houses Prawn, Dolphin, Crab, Crustaceans
and Limbless Lizard.
|NATIONAL REDD+ STRATEGY
ü voluntary climate change mitigation approach that has been developed by Parties to the UNFCCC.
ü REDD+ means “Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation”, conservation of forest carbon stocks, sustainable management of forests, and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries.
ü aims to achieve climate change mitigation by incentivizing forest conservation.
ü The strategy seeks to address drivers of deforestation and forest degradation and also developing a roadmap for enhancement of forest carbon stocks and achieving sustainable management of forests through REDD+ actions
|Difference between REDD+ and the UN-REDD Programme
ü REDD+ is a voluntary climate change mitigation approach that has been developed by Parties to the UNFCCC.
ü aims to incentivize developing countries to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, conserve forest carbon stocks, sustainably manage forests and enhance forest carbon stocks.
ü The United Nations Collaborative Programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries – or UN-REDD Programme – is a multilateral body.
ü a collaborative programme of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and harnesses the technical expertise of these UN agencies
|ü partners with developing countries to support them in establishing the technical capacities needed to implement REDD+ and meet UNFCCC requirements for REDD+ results-based payments.
ü Other examples of REDD+ multilaterals include the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility and Forest
Investment Program, hosted by The World Bank
|THE INTERNATIONAL NITROGEN INITIATIVE
Why in news?
Indian scientist-academician, N Raghuram, has been elected Chair of the International Nitrogen Initiative
(INI), a global policy making initiative
|ü an international program
ü set up in 2003 under sponsorship of the Scientific Committee on Problems of the Environment (SCOPE) and from the International Geosphere-Biosphere Program (IGBP).
ü The key aims of the INI are to:
o Optimize nitrogen’s beneficial role in sustainable food production
o Minimize nitrogen’s negative effects on human health and the environment resulting from food and energy production.
ü The program is currently a sustained partner of Future Earth
|KAZIRANGA NATIONAL PARK
Why in News?
Assam’s Environment and Forest Department issued a notification saying the KNP had been split into two
|ü Kaziranga National Park has been split into the Eastern Assam and Biswanath division for “intensive wildlife management”.
üThe river Brahmaputra separates the two divisions. KNP (Kaziranga National Park), Assam
ühosts two-thirds of the world’s great one-horned rhinoceroses.
ü estimated 2,413 rhinos.
ü57% of the world’s wild water buffalo population, one of the largest groups of Asian elephants
and 21 Royal Bengal tigers per 100 sq.km –the highest
striped cat density.
ü 1968: State government designated Kaziranga a national park.
ü It is accorded official status in 1974.
ü It is a World Heritage Site since 1985.
ü It is declared a Tiger Reserve in 2006 (now the highest tiger density is in Orang National Park, Assam,
earlier it was KNP)
ü It houses elephants, wild water buffalo, and swamp deer.
ü It is also an important Bird Area by BirdLife International.
ü It is located on the edge of the Eastern Himalaya biodiversity hotspot
|IMD Colour Coded Alerts
Why in news?
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued a red alert for flood hit southern state of Kerala
|Four colour codes are issued to indicate various categories of alerts
1. Green (All is well): No advisory is issued.
2. Yellow (Be aware): Severely bad weather is possible over the next few days, possible travel delays
3. Amber /orange (Be prepared):
ü Increased likelihood of extremely bad weather, travel delays, road and rail closures, and interruption of power supply.
ü Amber means people need to be prepared to change plans and protect themselves.
4. Red (Take action)
ü Extremely bad weather is expected
|ü minute particles suspended in the atmosphere.
ü When these particles are sufficiently large, we notice their presence as they scatter and absorb sunlight.
ü Their scattering of sunlight can reduce visibility (haze) and redden sunrises and sunsets.
ü An optical thickness of less than 0.1 (palest yellow) indicates a crystal clear sky with maximum
visibility, whereas a value of 1 (reddish brown) indicates very hazy conditions.
ü The image released highlights the atmospheric aerosols on that day based on data from satellites Terra,Aqua, Aura and Suomi NPP
|Effects of Aerosols
ü Aerosols interact both directly and indirectly with the Earth’s radiation budget and climate.
ü As a direct effect, the aerosols scatter sunlight directly back into space.
ü As an indirect effect, aerosols in the lower atmosphere can modify the size of cloud particles, changing
how the clouds reflect and absorb sunlight, thereby affecting the Earth’s energy budget.
act as sites for chemical reactions to take place (heterogeneous chemistry). lead to the destruction of stratospheric ozone.
How it is measured?
ü Earth-observing satellites use the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) to measure the aerosol optical thickness from hundreds of kilometers above the Earth.
ü These measurements are based on the fact that aerosols change the reflection and absorption of visible
and infrared light in the atmosphere.
About Birdlife International
ü Bird Life International (formerly the International Council for Bird Preservation) is a global partnership of conservation organisations that strives to conserve birds, their habitats and global biodiversity.
üworks with people towards sustainability in the use of natural resources.
ü the world’s largest partnership of conservation organisations, with over 120 partner organisations.
ü founded in the year 1922 and it’s headquarter is at Cambridge.
ü Bird Life International publishes a quarterly magazine, World Birdwatch, which contains recent news and authoritative articles about birds, their habitats, and their conservation around the world.
ü Bird Life International is the official Red List authority for birds, for the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
About Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBAs)
ü aims to identify, monitor and protect a global network
of IBAs for conservation of the world’s birds and associated biodiversity.
ü serve as conservation areas for protection of birds at the global, regional or sub-regional level.
ü According to Birdlife International, designation of IBAs is based on standardized criteria, namely:
1. hold significant numbers of one or more globally threatened bird species,
2. be one of a set of sites that together hold a suite of restricted-range species or biome-restricted species and
3. Have exceptionally large numbers of migratory or congregator birds.
ü The IBAs contain a range of habitats, such as wetlands, mudflats, microhabitats in biodiversity hotspots, grasslands and scrublands, making them excellent indicators of biodiversity richness.
|ANIMAL WELFARE BOARD OF INDIA
Why in news?
Union Women and Child Development Minister and animal welfare activist Maneka Gandhi accused the
Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) of not enforcing rules with respect to depiction of animals in
films and television programmes
|üa statutory body established in 1962, under the Prevention of
cruelty to animals act, 1960
üan advisory body on animal welfare laws and promotes animal
welfare in the country.
üprovides grants as well as recognition to Animal Welfare
üalso advises the government of India on animal welfare issues.
ü The board has 28 members, each with a tenure of three years.
ü headquartered at Ballabhgarh in Haryana
ü under the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate change
|CENTRAL POLLUTION CONTROL BOARD (CPCB)
Why in News?
The number of polluted stretches of the country’s rivers has increased from two years ago, according to an
assessment by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).
üa statutory organization under the Ministry of
Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC).
ü It was constituted in 1974 under the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974.
|ü Further, CPCB was entrusted with the powers and functions under the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981.
ü the apex organisation in country in the field of pollution control.
ü Head office is in Delhi
ü headed by a chairman followed by the member secretary.
ü National Air Quality Monitoring Program is executed by CPCB.
ü Principal Functions of the CPCB
o To promote cleanliness of streams and wells in different areas of the States by prevention, control
and abatement of water pollution.
o To improve the quality of air and to prevent, control or abate air pollution in the country.
|FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION OF THE UNITED NATIONS (FAO)
ü formed on 16 October 1945, in Quebec, Canada
ü Headquarters is in Rome, Italy
ü parent organisation is UN Economic and Social Council
ü motto ‘Fiat Panis’ is Latin and means ‘let there be bread’.
|Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
ü a specialized agency of the United Nations that leads international efforts to defeat hunger.
ü acts as a neutral forum where all nations meet as equals to negotiate arguments and debate policy.
ü a source of knowledge and information, and helps developing
countries in transition to modernize and improve agriculture, forestry and fisheries practices, ensuring good nutrition and food security for all.
ü 197 member states, including the European Union (a “member organization”), Niue and The Cook Islands (States in free-association with New Zealand), and the Faroe Islands and Tokelau,
which are associate members.
|GLOBAL ENVIRONMENTAL FACILITY (GEF)
Why in news?
Government of India has partnered with Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN, to launch an
agricultural project, with a grant from Global Environment Facility
ü a funding mechanism for five major international environmental conventions:
o The Minamata Convention on Mercury,
o The Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs),
o The United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity(UNCBD),
o The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) and
o The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
|ü It was established in 1992 at the Rio Earth Summit
ü It is an international partnership of 183 countries, international institutions, civil society
organizations and the private sector that addresses global environmental issues.
ü GEF funds are available to developing countries and countries with economies in transition to meet
the objectives of the international environmental conventions and agreements.
ü The World Bank serves as the GEF Trustee, administering the GEF Trust Fund
A report titled ‘Black Spotted Turtle Trade in Asia II: A Seizure Analysis’ by TRAFFIC, an international
network monitoring trade in wildlife states that India accounts for 29% of black spotted turtles seizure
|ü leading non-governmental organization (NGO) working globally on the trade of wild animals and plants in the context of both biodiversity and sustainable development.
ü founded in 1976 as a strategic alliance of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
ü to ‘ensure that trade in wild plants and animals is not a threat to the conservation of nature.’
ü promotes sustainable wildlife trade (the green stream work) and combats wildlife crime and trafficking (the red stream work).
ü headquarter :Cambridge, United Kingdom.
|ü The Convention on International Trade in Endangered
Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, also known as the
Washington Convention is a multilateral treaty to protect
endangered plants and animals.
ü The convention was opened for signature in 1973 and
CITES entered into force on 1 July 1975.
ü Its aim is to ensure that international trade in specimens
of wild animals and plants does not threaten the survival
of the species in the wild.
ü It accords varying degrees of protection to more than 35,000 species of animals and plants through listing them in its three appendices
|ü Appendix I
o They are species that are threatened with extinction and are or may be affected by trade.
o Commercial trade in wild-caught specimens of these species is illegal (permitted only in
exceptional licensed circumstances).
ü Appendix II
o They are species that are not necessarily threatened with extinction, but may become so
unless trade in specimens of such species is subject to strict regulation in order to avoid
utilization incompatible with the survival of the species in the wild.
o International trade in specimens of Appendix II species may be authorized by the granting of
an export permit or re-export certificate.
o No import permit is necessary for these species under CITES.
ü Appendix III
o They are species that are listed after one member country has asked other CITES Parties for
assistance in controlling trade in a species.
o The species are not necessarily threatened with extinction globally
|FLIGHTLESS BIRD RESEARCH CENTRE
Why in News?
The Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (KVASU) has set up a flightless bird research
centre, a first in the State, on the university campus at Pookode in Wayanad district, Kerala
|About the center and flightless birds
ü The center envisages to carry out research on adaptation and comparative physiological studies of flightless birds and artificial incubation of their eggs.
ü includes birds such as the ostrich, rhea, and emu.
ü The ostrich produces the largest egg, weighing 1.5 kg.
ü Ostriches are the oldest birds on the earth that have existed for 120 million years and were even seen in India.
ü The varsity also plans to bring as many as 10 rhea birds to the center from the Thiruvananthapuram zoo in two weeks.
|CPCB RIVER GRADING
|About CPCB River Grading
ü The CPCB, since the 1990s, has a programme to monitor the quality of rivers primarily by measuring
ü It is a proxy for organic pollution — the higher it is, the worse the river.
ü The health of a river and the efficacy of water treatment measures by the States and municipal bodies are classified depending on BOD.
ü With a BOD greater than or equal to 30 mg/l termed ‘priority 1,’ while that between 3.1-6 mg/l is ‘priority 5.’
ü The CPCB considers a BOD less than 3 mg/l an indicator of a healthy river
|ü The CPCB says several of the river’s stretches in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh are actually far less polluted than many rivers in Maharashtra, Assam and Gujarat.
ü The above said three States account for 117 of the 351 polluted river stretches.
ü The most significant stretches of pollution highlighted by the CPCB assessment include the
o The Mithi River from Powai to Dharavi, Maharashtra with a BOD of 250 mg/l is the most polluted
o The Godavari from Someshwar to Rahed with a BOD of 5.0-80 mg/l.
o The Sabarmati from Kheroj to Vautha with a BOD of 4.0-147 mg/l.
o The Hindon from Saharanpur to Ghaziabad with a BOD of 48-120 mg/l.
ü The Ganga, with a BOD range of 3.5-8.8 mg/l is indicated as a ‘priority 4’ river.
|MOVE CYCLATHON AND GLOBAL MOBILITY SUMMIT
Minister of State Kiren Rijiju & Amitabh Kant, CEO NITI Aayog flagged off MOVE Cyclathon, a cycle rally
to promote cleaner, accessible modes of transport. The cyclathon was held in the run up to the MOVE:
Global Mobility Summit on September 7, 8 in New Delhi.
|About Mobility week
ü From 31 August to 6 September 2018– Mobility week– 17 events will be conducted- to facilitate interactions with various stakeholders across the mobility domain.
ü Participants include global and Indian leaders from across the mobility sector such as Original Equipment Manufacturers, battery manufacturers, charging infrastructure providers, technology
solution providers, representatives from the Indian government as well as foreign governments, various inter-governmental organizations, academia, and policy think tanks.
About MOVE: Global Mobility Summit
ü NITI Aayog, in collaboration with various ministries and industry partners organized ‘MOVE: Global
Mobility Summit’ in New Delhi on 7th and 8th September, 2018.
ü This is against the backdrop of steeply falling technology costs and business–model innovations which
are driving the world’s transition to renewable energy and electric vehicles.
ü The Summit will constitute three designated components – The Conclave, Digital Exhibition, and Featured Events.
ü The first of its kind summit is expecting over 1,200 participants from across the world including
leaders from the government, industry, research organizations, academia, think tanks and civil society
to develop a public interest framework by engaging with key stakeholders.
ü The issues will be discussed based on 5 thematic papers during the parallel sessions to evolve a shared, connected, zero emission and inclusive mobility agenda for the future
|INTEGRATED DEVELOPMENT OF WILDLIFE HABITATS
Why in news?
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has
approved continuation of the Centrally Sponsored Umbrella Scheme of Integrated Development of
Wildlife Habitats (CSS-IDWH) beyond the 12thPlan period from 2017-18 to 2019-20
|ü The scheme has following three components:
o Support to Protected Areas.
o Protection of Wildlife outside Protected Areas.
o Recovery programs for saving critically endangered species and habitats
|ü Ministry: Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change
ü The Government of India provides financial and technical assistance to the State/UT Governments for activities aimed at wildlife conservation through the Centrally Sponsored Scheme viz. ‘Integrated Development of Wildlife Habitat
Centrally Sponsored Scheme of Project Tiger (CSS-PT), Development of Wildlife Habitats (CSS-DWH) and Project Elephant (CSS-PE).
ü The scheme will be implemented through states in designated Tiger Reserves, Protected Areas and Elephant Reserves.
ü Major activities include
o Staff development and capacity building,
o Wildlife research and evaluation,
o Anti-poaching activities,
o Wildlife veterinary care,
o Addressing man-animal conflicts and
o Promoting eco-tourism
ü States will also be given financial assistance for relocation of communities
A citizen science initiative of documenting Indian hornbills is providing valuable inputs for the
conservation of the unique bird
|ü The Hornbill Watch initiative (www.hornbills.in) is an interactive web interface that allows a person to report on hornbills anywhere in India.
ü People can record the observation of a live hornbill, note its call or report a dead, hunted or captive bird
ü unique birds.
ü They get their name from the horn-like projection called a
casque on top of their beak.
ü omnivorous, feeding on fruit and small animals.
ü Hornbills are the ‘farmers of the forest’ as they disperse the
seeds of many tropical trees and keep the forest alive.
ü nine hornbill species in India.
ü This includes Great Hornbill, Rufous-necked Hornbill, Wreathed Hornbill, Narcondam Hornbill,Malabar Pied Hornbill, Oriental Pied Hornbill, White-throated Brown Hornbill, Malabar Grey Hornbill and the Indian Grey Hornbill.
ü The Rufous-necked Hornbill is listed as ‘Vulnerable’ by the IUCN.
|GLOBAL WETLAND OUTLOOK AND RAMSAR CONVENTION
The convention, adopted in the Iranian city of Ramsar nearly a half-century ago issued its first-ever global
report on the state of the world’s wetlands
|ü Wetlands, among the world’s most valuable and biodiverse ecosystems, are disappearing at an alarming
speed amid urbanisation and agriculture shifts, calling for urgent action to halt the erosion.
ü Around 35% of wetlands which include lakes, rivers, marshes and peatlands, as well as coastal and
marine areas like lagoons, mangroves and coral reefs were lost between 1970 and 2015, according to
this first-ever Global Wetland Outlook (GWO)
ü Wetlands are disappearing three times faster than forests.
ü Directly or indirectly, Wetlands provide almost all of the world’s consumption of freshwater and morethan 40% of all species live and breed in wetlands.
|About Ramsar Convention
üa global treaty ratified by 170 countries to protect wetlands and promote their wise use.
ü the only international convention on wetlands.
ü named after the city of Ramsar in Iran, where the Convention was signed in 1971.
ü Every three years, representatives of the Contracting Parties meet as the Conference of the Contracting Parties (COP), the policy-making organ of the Convention which adopts decisions to
administer the work of the Convention and improve the way in which the Parties are able to implement its objectives.
ü The Parties to the Ramsar Convention have committed to the conservation and wise use of all wetlands.
ü The Parties have designated more than 2,300 sites of international importance so far, making the
Ramsar List one of the world’s largest networks of protected areas.
ü The most recent COP12 was held in Punta del Este, Uruguay, in 2015.
ü COP13 will take place in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, in October 2018.
ü The 2nd of February each year is World Wetlands Day, marking the date of the adoption of the Convention on Wetlands on 2 February 1971
Nepal released 12 satellite-tagged white-rumped vultures which signifies a huge step for the vulture breeding and recovery programme in not just Nepal but the entire subcontinent
|ü Of India’s nine vulture species, four (including the white-rumped) are categorised as “critically
endangered” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature
|ü SAVE is a consortium that coordinates recovery efforts and conservation breeding programmes of vultures across Asia.
ü collaboration between a large and growing number of conservation and research groups.
ü established in 2011to co-ordinate and drive forward the ambitious long-term international conservation effort to save three formerly abundant species of vulture endemic to Asia from extinction.
üRapid removal of diclofenac and other drugs toxic to vultures from their food supply in key areas defined as Vulture Safe Zones (VSZs) where vulture populations remain is one of its key action.
|SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROJECT
Why in news?
Government of India has partnered with Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN, to launch an
agricultural project, with a grant from Global Environment Facility
|ü seeks to bring transformative change in the farm sector through conservation of biodiversity and forest landscapes.
üaims to transform agricultural production to generate global environmental benefits by addressing
biodiversity conservation, land degradation, climate change mitigation and sustainable forest management
Funding and Implementation
ü The project is being funded by the GEF.
ü It will be implemented by the agriculture and environment ministries of the government of India and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).
ü As an attempt to harmonize conservation and development efforts of the country, it will be
implemented in Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram, Odisha, Rajasthan and Uttarakhand
|THE GREAT DYING
A study published in the journal Nature Geoscience found that Ozone layer depletion may have contributed
to the largest mass extinction in the history of Earth
What is the latest finding?
ü The lithospheric studies of Siberian flood basalts revealed that before the volcanic eruption the Siberian lithosphere was heavily loaded with chlorine, bromine, and iodine, all chemical elements from the halogen group.
ü These elements seem to have disappeared after the volcanic eruption.
ü The study infers that the large reservoir of halogens that was stored in the Siberian lithosphere was sent into the Earth’s atmosphere during the volcanic explosion, effectively destroying the ozone layer at the time and contributing to the mass extinction
ü Dubbed as the End-Permian Extinction or the Great Permian Extinction, The Permian-Triassic extinction event wiped almost 96% of marine species and 70% of terrestrial vertebrate species from the
face of Earth.
ü occurred about 252 million years ago.
ü only known mass extinction of insects.
ü The recovery took up to 10 million years because of such high scale biodiversity loss.
ü believed to have caused by
o one or more large meteor impact events,
o massive volcanism such as that of the Siberian Traps, and the ensuing coal or gas fires and explosions,
o and a runaway greenhouse effect triggered by sudden release of methane from the sea floor
ü Possible contributing gradual changes include
o sea-level change,
o increasing anoxia,
o increasing aridity, and
o A shift in ocean circulation driven by climate change.
September 16 every year :the international day for the preservation of the Ozone layer
|ü In 1987, on September 16, the Montreal protocol on Substances that Deplete Ozone layer was signed.
ü To commemorate this day, the United Nations General Assembly, in 1994 proclaimed September 16
as the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer
About Ozone layer
ü absorbs about 98% of the Ultraviolet radiations and maintain the ozone – oxygen cycle.
ü mainly found in the lower portion of the stratosphere, from approximately 20 to 30 kilometers above Earth.
ügenerally thinner near the equator and thicker near the poles.
ü The majority of ozone is produced over the tropics and is transported towards the poles by stratospheric wind patterns, known as the Brewer-Dobson circulation.
ü Dobson unit :a unit which is used to measure the ozone in the atmosphere at a standard temperature and pressure.
|About Montreal Protocol
ü designed to reduce the production and consumption of ozone depleting substances in order to reduce their abundance in the atmosphere, and thereby protect the earth’s fragile ozone Layer.
ü legally enforces the phase-out of the production and use of
ozone depleting substances – chemicals often used in
refrigeration, air-conditioning, foam manufacturing, aerosol
production, and fire extinguishing.
ü Protocol stipulates that the production and consumption of
compounds that deplete ozone in the stratosphere chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), halons, carbon tetrachloride, and methyl chloroform– are to be phased out by 2000 (2005 for methyl chloroform).
ü A Multilateral Fund for the Implementation of the Montreal Protocol:
ü Multilateral Fund was established by a decision of the Second Meeting of the Parties to the
Montreal Protocol (London, June 1990) and began its operation in 1991.
ü main objective of the Fund – to assist developing country parties to the Montreal Protocol whose annual level of consumption of the ozone depleting substances (ODS) chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and halons is less than 0.3 kilograms per capita to comply with the control measures of the
ü Since 2010, the agenda of the Protocol has focused on the phase-out of hydro chlorofluorocarbons(HCFCs), an ozone-depleting substance mainly used in cooling and refrigeration applications, and in the manufacture of foam products.
|The Kigali agreement/amendment
|ü an amendment to Montreal
ü A historic agreement was signed by 197 nations in Kigali, Rwanda on 15th October 2016.
ü expected to reduce the manufacture and use of Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) by roughly 80-85%
from their respective baselines, till 2045.
ü This phase down is expected to arrest the global average temperature rise up to 0.5 ºC by 2100.
ü organic compounds containing hydrogen, Carbon, and fluorine.
ücommonly used as substitutes for Ozone depleting substances like Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and are used in refrigerators and air-conditioners.
ü Though HFCs are not as harmful as CFCs for ozone layer depletion, they have a thousand times more potential to cause global warming effect than commonly known greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide, methane etc
| Kigali agreement
ü a legally binding agreement between the signatory parties with non-compliance measures.
ü It will come into effect from 1st January 2019 provided it is ratified by at least 20 member parties by then.
ü considerable flexibility in approach while setting phase-down targets for different economies
ü divided the signatory parties into three groupso
The first group : rich and developed economies like USA, UK and EU countries who will start to phase down HFCs by 2019 and reduce it to 15% of 2012 levels by 2036
o The second group :emerging economies like China, Brazil as well as some African countries who will start phase down by 2024 and reduce it to 20% of 2021 levels by 2045
o The third group :developing economies and some of the hottest climatic countries like India, Pakistan, Iran, and Saudi Arabia who will start phasing down HFCs by 2028 and reduce
it to 15% of 2024-2026 levels till 2047
ü a provision for a multilateral fund for developing countries for adaptation and mitigation.
ü The Technology and Energy Assessment Panel (TEAP) will take a periodic review of the alternative technologies and products for their energy efficiency and safety standards.
|BROW ANTLERED DEER
|ü The population of the brow-antlered deer, aka dancing deer is found only in Manipur’s Bishnupur
ü The Phumlenpat Lake in Thoubal district is quite different from the Loktak Lake in Bishnupur district.
ü There is no plant or grass or floating bio mass in the Phumlenpat Lake which means the deer will starve to death and the villagers who will be denied entry in the lake will also starve.
Sangai | Brow Antlered Deer | Dancing Deer
üan endemic, rare and endangered subspecies of brow-antlered deer.
ü also state animal of Manipur.
ü The Sangai is now restricted to the Keibul Lamjao National Park (KLNP) in the Southeastern fringe of Loktak Lake in Manipur.
ü Phumdis, floating vegetation occupy about two-third of the surface area of the lake. They feed, live and breed on this 9km area of Phumdis.
ü classified as “Endangered” by the IUCN.
Why in news?
It is reported that Majuli is shrinking through the years.
ü It is a river island in the Brahmaputra River, Assam.
ü claimed as the largest riverine island in the world, it became the first island to be made a district in India.
ü formed by the Brahmaputra River in the south and the Kherkutia Xuti, an anabranch of the Brahmaputra, joined by the Subansiri River in the north.
ü Mājuli is the abode of the Assamese neo-Vaishnavite culture and is considered to be the cultural capital of Assam.
ü Majuli Island sits right in the middle of the Brahmaputra River. Each year the river levels rise higher and causes major flooding which consumes a massive part of the island.
ü inhabited by the Mishing tribes
|SATKOSIA TIGER RESERVE AND TIGER RESERVES IN MADHYA PRADESH AND ODISHA
|Satkosia Tiger Reserve
üa tiger reserve located in Odisha
ü located where the Mahanadi River
passes through a 22 km long gorge in the Eastern Ghats Mountains.
ü located in the Eastern Highlands moist deciduous forests ecoregion.
Tiger reserves in Madhya Pradesh and Odisha
ü Madhya Pradesh is also known as the ‘Tiger State’ as it harbors nearly 20% of India’s Tiger Population and nearly10% of the world’s tiger population as percurrent estimates
DNA Meta barcoding reveals herb-specific diet of pikas.
Faeces of Royle’spika, a small rabbit-like mammal found in India’s Himalaya reveal that these animals
survive almost entirely on specific plants that grow only in cold, wet conditions
ü small mammal, with short limbs, very round body,rounded ears, and no external tail.
ü belongs to the rabbit and hare family (Lagomorpha).
ü native to cold climates and live in the mountains or in
ü herbivores animals.
ü a keystone species and ecosystem engineers.
ü do not hibernate unlike other mammalian species inhabiting
such cold climates.
Researchers recently spotted ‘Pondicherry shark’ in the East Godavari River Estuarine Ecosystem
|ü an endangered species protected under the provisions of the Wildlife (Protection) Act.
ü on the verge of extinction.
ü The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has listed the Pondicherry shark as Critically Endangered.
ü The shark is among the 25 “most wanted lost” species that are the focus of Global Wildlife
Conservation’s “Search for Lost Species” initiative.
ü It is locally known as ‘Pala Sura’.
|BLACK SPOTTED TURTLE
ü With its polka dot skin and prominently patterned shell, the black pond turtle has an incredibly striking appearance.
ü recognisable by the small orange, cream or yellow wedge-shaped marks on the top of its shell
ü a short tail and webbed toes that aid with swimming and moving around in its swampy habitat.
|ü a carnivorous diet, small invertebrates, such as snails.
ü The black pond turtle is a relatively rare species, found only in the Indus and Ganges river drainages
in Pakistan, northern India, Bangladesh and Nepal.
ü IUCN red list : Vulnerable.
ü Appendix 1 of Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).
ü The species is threatened by smuggling, once for its meat and is now sought after as an exotic pet.
|ü only four coral major reef areas in the Indian waters in the
Andaman & Nicobar Islands, the Gulf of Mannar, Lakshadweep andthe Gulf of Kutch, where all of three major types of reefs — fringing, atoll & barrier — are found
|The great barrier reef of Queensland, Australia can been seen from outer space
||ü marine invertebrates – class Anthozoa -phylum Cnidaria.
ü live in compact colonies of many identical individual polyps.
üinclude the important reef builders that inhabit tropical oceans and secrete calcium carbonate to form a hard skeleton.
ü reproduce both sexually and asexually.
ü able to feed on small fish and planktons using their stinging cells on their tentacles, called cnidoblast.
üBut majority of their nutrition come from zooxanthelle with which it has a symbiotic relationship.
üZooxanthelle are photosynthetic unicellular dinoflagellates.
ürequire sunlight and grow in clear, shallow water, typically at depths less than 60 metres.
ü major contributors to the physical structure of the coral reefs that develop in tropical and subtropical waters.
üconsidered to be among the most dynamic ecosystems,
providing shelter, and physical and ecological support to marine flora and fauna.
the first known omnivorous shark species
|ü More than half of its nutrition comes from seagrass apart from eating bony fish, crabs, snails and shrimp.
ü a small shark species but Adult female can grow up to five feet in length.
ü Lacking the kind of teeth best suited for mastication, the shark may rely on strong stomach acids to weaken the plants’ cells so the enzymes can have their digestive effects
|NAHARGARH BIOLOGICAL PARK
ü Rajasthan’s first lion safari has been inaugurated at Nahargarh Biological Park
|ü Located in the Aravalli foothills near Jaipur, the park will serve for breeding lions and also center of attraction for tourists.
ü provide new habitat to lions + add tourism venue to the Pink City.
ü Lions in this park were brought from Gujarat
|COOLING ACTION PLAN
India develops a Cooling Action Plan
It gives thrust towards looking for synergies in actions for securing both environmental and socioeconomic
|ü Goals include
o Reduce refrigerant demand by 25% to 30% by year2037-38.
o Reduce cooling demand across sectors by 20% to 25% by year 2037-38.
o Reduce cooling energy requirements by 25% to 40%by year 2037-38.
o Train and certify 100,000 servicing sector technicians by 2022-23, in synergy with Skill India
o Recognize cooling and related areas as thrust area of research under national science and technology
programme to support development of technological solutions and encourage innovation challenges
The Indian Railways has come up with an initiative called “Plan Bee” to prevent speeding trains from
hitting elephants crossing tracks
|üinvolves setting up of devices near tracks, which emit the ‘buzzing’ sound of swarming bees, considered as a natural nemesis of elephants.
ü launched in November 2017 to stop elephants from being hit by speeding trains in the Northeast Frontier Railways (NFR), and has been a great success as the number of casualties has gone down
ü The buzz sound is audible to elephants 600 meters away and thus helps them in keeping away from the tracks.
|INDIAN ROOFED TURTLE
Installation of Kurma idol near the Lota Devi temple pond in West Bengal’s Jalpaiguri district has helped
the Indian roofed turtle species to revive
|ü The species, Pangshura tecta, is listed as ‘least concern’ in the IUCN list.
ü It can be distinguished by the distinct “roof” at the topmost part of the shell.
ü It is found in the major rivers of South Asia.
ü It is a common pet in the Indian Subcontinent.
|SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT RULES 2016
|Major highlights of the new SWM Rules, 2016
ü Segregation at source
ü Collection and disposal of sanitary waste
ü Collect Back scheme for packaging waste
ü User fees for collection
ü Waste processing and treatment
ü Promoting use of compost
ü Promotion of waste to energy
ü Revision of parameters and existing standards
ü Management of waste in hilly areas
ü Constitution of a Central Monitoring Committee
|Solid Waste Management Rules 2016
ü The Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) recently notified the new
Solid Waste Management Rules (SWM), 2016. These will replace the Municipal Solid Wastes(Management and Handling) Rules, 2000
Limitations of the revised Solid waste management rules:
üfail to incentivize and impose a strict penalty in case of poor implementation.
ü not pushed for decentralized management of waste but have encouraged centralized treatment such as waste to energy, the present state of which is not good in the country.
üinformal sector has been considerably neglected in the new rules.
ünot clear about the fine amount to be imposed on plastic manufacturers or how the monitoring system would be carried out
ü need is for behavioral change on part of people when it comes to domestic waste generation and on part of authorities when it comes to implementing the rules framed is not adequately focused
Why in news?
A rare-sighting of a snow leopard was reported from in Lippa-Asra wildlife sanctuary in Kinnaur district
of Himachal Pradesh
|Protection Status of Snow leopard
ü Vulnerable – IUCN Red List
ü Appendix I of (CITES) as well as Appendix I of Convention on Migratory Species (CMS)
Protection measures in India
ü Project Snow Leopard: It was launched in 2009
ü Snow leopards are given the same protection as the tiger, listed under Schedule I of the Wildlife
(Protection) Act, 1972 – the highest protection afforded to a species.
On the change of IUCN conservation status
ü The conservation status of the snow leopard had been downgraded from ‘Endangered’ to ‘Vulnerable
ü Hence, it has moved from ‘very high risk’ to ‘high risk’ category of extinction due to conservation
üa large cat native to the mountain ranges of Central and South Asia– including Himalayas, and Russia’s remote Altai mountains.
üinhabits alpine and subalpine zones at elevations from 3,000 to 4,500 m, ranging from eastern Afghanistan to Mongolia and western China.
ü In the northern range countries, it also occurs at lower elevations.
ü Its nutrition is dependent on wild animals and occasionally livestock. It’s able to kill a prey three times its own weight and usually hunts during dawn and dusk.
ü Their spotted coats change with the seasons – from a thick, white fur to keep them warm and camouflaged in winter, to a fine yellow-grey coat in summer.
ü found in states of Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim, and Arunachal Pradesh.
ü threatened by poaching for their fur, habitat destruction by infrastructure developments and climate change.
|ü A species is listed as ‘Endangered’ when there are fewer than 2,500 mature snow leopards and are
experiencing a high rate of decline.
ü If listed as ‘Vulnerable’, a species has under 10,000 breeding animals left, with a population decline
of at least 10% over three generations
|About Lippa-Asra wildlife sanctuary
ü Established in 1974, part of Kinnaur district and Moorang town of Himachal Pradesh
ü A varied elevation, different climatic situation and topographical type of weather
ü Major fauna : Yak, Ibex, Blue Sheep, Himalayan Musk Deer, Goral, Brown Bear and Himalayan Black Bear.
ü Major flora :dry alpine scrub and dry coniferous type of forest. Dwarf juniper scrub,coniferous forest and Himalayan temperate type of forest is also found
| RAIGANJ WILDLIFE SANCTUARY
|ü situated near Raiganj in Uttar Dinajpur district in West Bengal.
ü also known as the Kulik Bird Sanctuary, drawing its name from the river Kulik
|ü Kulik flows acts as the boundary in its eastern and southern parts.
||ü home to 164 species of birds and it was once claimed to be the largest bird sanctuary in Asia
ü However, Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary, now known as Keoladeo National Park is considered the largest in Asia.
ü The migratory species : open-bill storks, egrets, night herons and cormorants.
ü The resident birds : kites, flycatchers, owls, kingfishers, woodpeckers, drongoes, etc
Why in News?
The Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (KVASU) has set up a flightless bird research
centre, a first in the State, on the university campus at Pookode in Wayanad district, Kerala
|ü birds that through evolution lost the ability to fly.
ü includes the well-known ratites (ostrich, emu, cassowary, rhea and kiwi) and penguins.
ü The smallest flightless bird is the Inaccessible Island rail.
ü The largest (both heaviest and tallest) flightless bird, which is also the largest living bird, is the ostrich (2.7 m, 156 kg).
üany of a diverse group of large, flightless birds of Gondwanan origin, most of them now extinct.
üUnlike other flightless birds, the ratites have no keel on their sternum.- keel provides an anchor to which a bird’s wing muscles attach, thereby providing adequate leverage for flight.
ü Without this to anchor their wing muscles they could not fly even if they were to develop suitable wings.
ü ‘World’s largest bird’ title is conferred on Vorombe titan, an extinct Madagascan species: three metres tall and weighed up to 800 kg. Elephant birds were the biggest of Madagascar’s mega fauna
|ü Large-bodied animals have an enormous impact on the wider ecosystem they live in via controlling vegetation through eating plants, spreading biomass and dispersing
seeds through defecation.
to promote Compressed Bio-Gas as an alternative, green transport fuel.
It invited Expression of Interest (EoI) from potential entrepreneurs to set up Compressed Bio-Gas (CBG) production plants and make available CBG in the market for use in automotive fuels
ü GOBAR-DHAN (Galvanizing Organic Bio-Agro Resources) scheme : central government scheme
convert cattle dung and solid waste in farms to CBG and compost.üfunded under Solid and Liquid Waste Management (SLWM) component of Swachh Bharat Mission-Gramin (SBM-G)
ü The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy – nodal ministry
|ü Sustainable Alternative Towards Affordable Transportation (SATAT) is a developmental effort that would benefit both vehicle-users as well as farmers and entrepreneurs.
üCompressed Bio-Gas plants are proposed to be set up
ü CBG produced at these plants will be transported through
cascades of cylinders to the fuel station networks of OMCs for
marketing as a green transport fuel alternative.
Basics on bio-gas
ü produced naturally through a process of anaerobic decomposition from waste / bio-mass sources: include agriculture residue, cattle dung, sugarcane press mud, municipal solid waste, sewage treatment plant waste, etc.
ü After purification, it is compressed and called CBG, which
has pure methane content of over 95%.
ü Compressed Bio-Gas is exactly similar to the commercially available natural gas in its composition and energy potential.
|ASIATIC LION, CANINE DISTEMPER DISEASE AND GIR FOREST
|About Canine Distemper Virus/Disease
ü (sometimes termed hardpad disease) is a viral disease that affects a wide variety of
ü includes domestic and wild species of dogs, coyotes, foxes, pandas, wolves, and large cats, as well as pinnipeds, some primates, and a variety of other species.
ü affects several body systems, including the gastrointestinal and respiratory tracts and the spinal cord and brain.
ü highly contagious via inhalation.
üIn 1994, the Canine Distemper Virus (CDV) was responsible for an epidemic in the Serengetti region
of Africa, where 1,000 lions died in 3 weeks. (Serengetti region is located mainly in northern Tanzania
and extends into south-western Kenya)
|About Gir Forest
ü also known as Sasan Gir, is a forest and wildlife sanctuary near Talala Gir in Gujarat.
ü only surviving wild Asiatic lion population.
ü part of the Kathiawar-Gir dry deciduous forests ecoregion.
ü part of the Nawab of Junagarh’s private hunting grounds.
ü Maldharis tribes (who were originally nomadic) are a tribal herdsmen community in Gir forest, Gujarat
|About the Asiatic Lion
ü one of the five pantherine cats inhabiting India.
ü Until the 19th century, it occurred in eastern Turkey, Iran, Mesopotamia,
and from east of the Indus River to Bengal and Narmada River in Central India.
ü Since the turn of the 20th century, restricted to the Gir Forest National Park and surrounding areas.
ülisted in Schedule I of Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972, in Appendix I of CITES and as Endangered on IUCN Red List
ü The Bengal tiger, Indian leopard, snow leopard and clouded leopard are the other pantherine cats found in India.
|Difference between Asiatic and African Lions
ü subspecies of the same species.
ü Asian lions are slightly smaller than African lions.
ü Lions are the only wild cats that live in groups called pride. However, unlike the African lion, the Asiatic lion does not live with the females and the cubs except during mating season.
ü The mane of the Asiatic male lions is short, sparse and darker in colour.
ü Asiatic lion is the longitudinal fold of skin that runs along its belly. This is absent in African lions
|Plans of re-introduction of Asiatic lions
ü The Asiatic Lion Reintroduction Project is an initiative of the Indian Government to provide safeguards to the Asiatic lion (Panthera leo leo) from extinction in the wild by means of
üintroduced to Chandra Prabha Wildlife Sanctuary in Uttar Pradesh in 1957, but the population disappeared after 1965
ü Later, The Asiatic Lion Reintroduction Project, ranked the Kuno-Palpur Wildlife Sanctuary as the most promising translocation site
|GHOST NETS AND INITIATIVES TO CONTAIN GHOST FISHING
ü Ghost nets are classified under Abandoned, Lost or otherwise Discarded Fishing Gear (ALDFG), which
includes lines, traps, hooks, dredges and buoys.
ü Ghost nets can kill marine wildlife, including vulnerable species, and destroy the benthic ecosystems that exist at the lowest level of a body of water
ü High quality synthetic nets can last in the oceans for centuries, and lead to micro-plastic ingestion
by aquatic life.
Initiatives to contain ghost fishing
ü ‘Dive against Debris’: TRF organises ‘Dive against Debris’ sessions, where certified divers volunteer
for underwater clean-ups.
|GRIZZLED GIANT SQUIRREL AND CHINNAR WILDLIFE SANCTUARY
|ü Grizzled Squirrel Wildlife Sanctuary is located in Shenbagathoppu, Srivilliputtur, Tamil Nadu
About the Grizzled Giant Squirrel
ü large tree squirrel – Sri Lanka and in southern States of
Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu
ügot name from the white flecks of hair over its greyish body
üseen in pairs or as a family party of three individuals only during the breeding season.
ü Chinnar population is troubled by the increased predator pressure and the extremely low regeneration of its preferred food plant species due to heavy grazing by cattle.
üIUCN near threatened due to habitat loss and hunting.
|ü Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary is home to second largest population of Grizzled Giant Squirrel after Srivalliputhur in Tamil Nadu
|Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary (CWS)
ü one of twelve wildlife sanctuaries of Kerala.
üearned the name for only rehabilitation centre for star
tortoise in India.
üunder the jurisdiction of and contiguous with Eravikulam National Park to the south, Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary is to the north and Kodaikanal Wildlife Sanctuary is to the east.
ü It forms an integral part of the block of protected forests
straddling the Kerala-Tamil Nadu border in the Anaimalai
Why in news?
‘Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C’ by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
says India faces the threat of deadly heat waves
|ü If the average global temperature rises by more than one degree Celsius from the present, India could “annually” expect conditions like the 2015 heat wave that killed at least 2,000.
ü The global net human-caused emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) would need to fall by about 45% from 2010 levels by 2030, reaching ‘net zero’ around 2050
Health Impacts of Heat Waves
ü involve dehydration, heat cramps, heat exhaustion and/or
heat stroke. The signs and symptoms are as follows:
o Heat Cramps: Ederna (swelling) and Syncope (Fainting) generally accompanied by fever below 39ºC.
o Heat Exhaustion: Fatigue, weakness, dizziness, headache, nausea, vomiting, muscle cramps and sweating.
o Heat Stoke: Body temperatures of 40ºC or more along with delirium, seizures or coma. This is a potential fatal condition
|About Heat Wave
üa period of abnormally high temperatures, more than the normal maximum temperature that occurs during the summer season.
typically occur between March and June, and in some rare cases even extend till July
ü The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has given the following criteria for Heat Waves:
|o Heat Wave need not be considered till maximum temperature of a station reaches at least 40ºC for Plains and
at least 30ºC for Hilly regions
o When normal maximum temperature of a station is less than or equal to 40ºC,
§ Heat Wave Departure from normal is 5ºC to 6ºC
§ Severe Heat Wave Departure from normal is 7ºC or more.
o When normal maximum temperature of a station is more than 40ºC
§ Heat Wave Departure from normal is 4ºC to 5ºC
§ Severe Heat Wave Departure from normal is 6ºC or more
o When actual maximum temperature remains 45ºC or more irrespective of normal maximum temperature, heat waves should be declared
The first Kiwi of the Netherlands was hatched in the Avifauna bird park
|ü The kiwi:an icon of New Zealand, and the association is so strong that the term Kiwi is used
internationally as the colloquial demonym for New Zealanders.ü The kiwi’s brown, hairy, ovoid shape is the reason the bird shares a name with the kiwi fruit
|the smallest flightless bird species in the world and by far the smallest living ratites
originally only occurred in New Zealand.
estimated 60 thousand of these birds left in the wild.
status on the IUCN upgraded to ‘vulnerable’ from ‘endangered’.
ü large eggs relative to their own body size.
ü short and stout legs.
ü use their nostrils at the end of their long beak to detect prey before they ever see it.
|REPORT ON CLIMATE RELATED DISASTERS AND UNISDR
UN has released a report titled ‘Economic Losses, Poverty and Disasters 1998-2017’ which was put
together by the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction.
highlights the impact of extreme weather events on the global economy.
greatest economic losses have been experienced by the US, followed by China, Japan, India and Puerto Rico.
Climate-related disasters dominate the picture, accounting for 91 per cent of all major recorded events between 1998 and 2017.
Floods and storms are the two most frequently occurring disasters.’
The report concludes that climate change is increasing the frequency and severity of extreme weather events
About UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR)
ü an organisational unit of UN Secretariat and is led by the UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction (SRSG).
ü established in 1999 as dedicated secretariat to facilitate implementation of International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR).
ü headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.
ü Mandate: To serve as focal point in United Nations system for coordination of disaster reduction and to ensure synergies among disaster reduction activities of United Nations system and regional organizations and activities in socio‐economic and humanitarian fields.
|IMPACTS OF WIND POWER GENERATION
Why in news?
Researchers from Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History (SACON) found that Windmills
pose a threat to wildlife in forests through collisions and noise.
|Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History (SACON)
üa national centre forinformation, education and research in ornithology and natural history.
ü an autonomous organisation established in 1990
|ü The noise levels near windmills go up to 85 decibels (dB), which is way higher than ambient noise in forests which is less than 40 dB.
ü Researchers found birds avoiding windmill sites. The avoidance is seen among mammals too.
Herbivores moved away, with predators following them.
Other impacts of Wind Power Generation
ü The generation of electricity from wind energy using large numbers of wind turbines can disrupt both landscapes and habitats.
ü Installation can cause severe environmental damage.
ü Shadow Flicker and Reflectance
o Shadow flicker is caused by intermittent chopping of the sunlight behind the rotating blades- casts a shadow that appears to flick ON and OFF as the wind turbine blades rotate. It
can be a nuisance to nearby humans.
o Reflectance, also known as blade glint, is the opposite of shadow flicker in that the sunlight is reflected of the blades surface. On a bright sunny day, it has the potential to annoy people.
ü It was a public-NGO partnership between the MoEFCC, and the Bombay
Natural History Society (BNHS).
ü Its headquarters are at Anaikatti, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu.
ü SACON’s mission is “To help conserve India’s biodiversity and its sustainable use
through research, education and peoples’ participation, with birds at the centre
The Kerala Agricultural University (KAU) has initiated a study on the farming practices of garlic to
promote the hill garlic variety that is on the verge of extinction
|üvariety of garlic grown on the hills of Kanthalloor and Vattavada areas of Idukki district of Kerala
known for its unique flavour, pungency, taste, medicinal properties and longer shelf life.
ü But the variety has a long crop duration. This has led the tribal farmers of the area cultivate hybrid varieties.
ü The steps to obtain geographical indication (GI) status for the Kanthalloor garlic has been initiated.(It currently does not have GI tag
|CONFERENCE OF PARTIES
India is trying to forge alliances and compel developed countries to make good on promises to provide enough
finance and technology to stem runaway global warming ahead of the December 2018 climate talks in
|The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a report that compiled scientific evidence to show
that the planet was on course to reaching the 1.5C mark by 2030-2052 and to halt it would require
global, carbon dioxide emissions to be half of 2017 levels by 2030
|ü Developed countries have promised to provide $100 billion annually to developing countries to check such warming over the years,
ü The ‘Like Minded Developing Countries’ (India, China, Venezuela and Iran) and BASIC (Brazil, South Africa, India, China) are networks that are formed to lend weight to developing country concerns.
About Conference of Parties
ü the supreme decision-making body of the United Nations Climate Change Convention.
ü All States that are Parties to the Convention are represented at the COP.
ü A key task for the COP is to review the national communications and emission inventories submitted by Parties.
ü meets every year
ü first COP : held in Berlin, Germany in March, 1995.
ü The COP meets in Bonn, the seat of the secretariat
ü Just as the COP Presidency rotates among the five recognized UN regions – that is, Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, Central and Eastern Europe and Western Europe and Others – there is a tendency for the venue of the COP to also shift among these groups.
|GREEN CLIMATE FUND
Green Climate fund approves $1 billion for green projects in poor countries.
|set up by the 194 countries who are parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 2010(COP 16 at Cancun in Mexico), as part of the Convention’s financial
|ü a global fund created to support the efforts of developing countries to respond to the challenge of climate change.
ü only stand-alone multilateral financing entity whose sole mandate is to serve the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
ü accountable to the United Nations and it is guided by the principles and provisions of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
ü governed by a Board of 24 members, comprising an equal number of members from developing and developed countries.
ü aims to deliver equal amounts of funding to mitigation and adaptation.
ü headquartered in Incheon City, Republic of Korea.
|CLIMATE CHANGE ADAPTATION GUIDELINES FOR COASTAL PROTECTION AND RELATED
C- Guide system
ü The ‘C-Guide’ system developed for administration of norms is a checklist of choices to protect the coast under climate change and provides guidance for practitioners and decision makers.
|Environmental Softness Ladder (ESL)
well-structured method for decision making, based on an audit
of existing coastal protection works.
introduced to evaluate the protection measures before their selection.
to rank potential environmental effects of structures
ü The key element is the need for proponents to discount all options lower on the ladder before proceeding
to a harder solution.
ürequire justification through studies which demonstrate that the lower options are not feasible
|ü part of Asia Development Bank Technical Assistance Project “Climate Resilient Coastal Protection and Management Project”
ü funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF).
ü prepared by FCGANZDEC (New Zealand) based on a
ü The executing agency is MoWR, River Development and
Ganga Rejuvenation through Cental Water Commission.
ü MoEF&CC provides coordination and participates in
monitoring and evaluation.
ü New concepts of ‘Environmental Softness Ladder’,
‘Minimum Beach level’ for coastal sites, ‘Minimum Floor
level’ for buildings and a ‘C-Guide’ system to administer the
norms are the key features.
Minimum Floor Level (MFL)
üthe highest vertical level that may occur due to floods, waves and Sea Level Rise.
ü defined relative to the present day Mean Sea Level at the site.
ü New construction in the CRZ should only be above the Minimum Floor Level (MFL) which allows for tides, storm surge, wave effects and climate change on sea levels
üthe deliberate setting fire of the straw stubble that remains after the crop have been harvested
|Advantages of stubble burning
ü a cheap method for quickly clearing the field.
ü kills off weeds in the field, otherwise resistant to the herbicides.
ü kills slugs and other pests harmful to the crop.
ü reduce nitrogen deficiency in the soil.
Disadvantages of stubble burning
ü a major reason of air pollution: about 20% of the particulate matter emission during winter.
ü loss of nutrients from the soil increasing fertilizer requirement.
ü damage to electrical and electronic equipment from floating threads of conducting waste.
ü a risk of fires spreading out of control.
What are the alternatives?
ü Ploughing the stubble back into the ground.
ü Using machineries such as combine harvesters-cum-straw management system, seed drillers and rotary harvesters
|CHANGPAS, PASHMINA GOATS AND HIMALAYAN WOLF
The Changpa or Champa are a semi-nomadic Tibetan people found mainly in the Changtang in Ladakh and in Jammu and Kashmir.
ü high altitude pastoralists, raising mainly yaks and goats.
ü speak Changskhat, a dialect of Tibetan, and practice Tibetan Buddhism.
ü classified as a Scheduled Tribe.
ü herders of the highly pedigreed and prized Changra goats that yield the rare Pashmina (Cashmere) fibre
|About Changra (Pashmina) Goats
ü a breed of goat inhabiting the plateaus in Tibet, Nepal and
Ladakh in Jammu and Kashmir.
ü also called Changthangi.
ü raised for ultra-fine cashmere wool (known as pashmina once woven) but were also reared for meat in the past.
ü pashmina fibre is the finest fibre of all goat hair.
üprovide the wool for Kashmir’s famous Pashmina shawls.
About Himalayan Wolf
ü predominantly white coat.
ü found in the Ladakh region and the Lahaul and Spiti region of Himachal Pradesh.
ü also found in Nepal and in Qinghai Province of China.
ü listed under Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act.
ü Threats include retaliatory killing, habitat loss and hybridization with feral dogs.
|SATHYAMANGALAM TIGER RESERVE AND MUDUMALAI TIGER RESERVE
Why in news?
The Nilgiris district administration has proposed a road that would cut through the core area of the
Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve (STR) in Erode and the buffer zone of the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve
(MTR) in Udhagamandalam.
|About Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve
ü situated in the Erode district in Tamil Nadu.
ü the fourth reserve in Tamil Nadu after Mudumalai, Anamalai and kalakad-Mundanthurai reserves.
About Mudumalai Tiger Reserve| National Park| Wildlife sanctuary
ü The Mudumalai National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary is also a tiger reserve,
ü lies on the northwestern side of the Nilgiri Hills.
ü The protected area is home to several endangered and vulnerable species including Indian elephant,Bengal tiger, gaur and Indian leopard.
ü also home to critically endangered Indian white-rumped vulture and long-billed vulture.
ü The Western Ghats Nilgiri Sub-Cluster, including all of Mudumalai National Park, is under consideration by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee for selection as a World Heritage Site
|SATKOSIA AND BANDHAVGARH TIGER RESERVE AND TIGER RESERVES IN INDIA
About Satkosia Tiger Reserve
ü tiger reserve located in the Angul district of Odisha.
ü located in the Eastern Highlands moist deciduous forests ecoregion.
ü The Mahanadi River passes through the reserve forming a gorge in the Eastern Ghats Mountains.
ü vegetation : mixed deciduous forests and riverine forests.
ü designated in 2007
ü comprises the Satkosia Gorge Wildlife Sanctuary and the adjacent Baisipalli Wildlife Sanctuary
About Bhandavgarh Tiger Reserve
ü The Bhandavgarh National park, also a declared tiger reserve is
located in the Umaria district of Madhya Pradesh.
ü spread in the Vindhya Hills and divided into three major
zones named as Magdi, Tala and Bamera.
ü the highest density of Royal Bengal Tigers.
ü houses ancient Bandhavgarh Fort
ü Apart from tigers, Bandhavgarh is a popular breeding spot for
leopards and various species of deer.
üvegetation : moist deciduous, mixed deciduous and grasslands with trees such as sal, saja and dhobin and bamboo thickets
Tiger Reserves in India
ü As per the WLPA, every State Government has the authority to notify an area as a tiger reserve.
ü However, the conservation plans must be approved by the National Tiger Conservation Authority.
ü Also, Central Government via NTCA can advise the state governments for creation of Tiger Reserves.
ü 50 tiger reserves in India -governed by Project Tiger – administrated by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA).
ü The tiger reserves are constituted on a core/buffer strategy.
ü The core areas have the legal status of a national park or a sanctuary, whereas the buffer or peripheral areas are a mix of forest and non-forest land, managed as a multiple use area.
ü The Project Tiger aims to foster an exclusive tiger agenda in the core areas of tiger reserves, with an inclusive people oriented agenda in the buffer
|HARIT DIWALI-SWASTH DIWALI CAMPAIGN AND GREEN GOOD DEEDS CAMPAIGN
launched by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and
Climate Change (MoEFCC).
Green Good Deeds movement
ü people-oriented campaign launched by Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and ClimateChange (MoEFCC)
|ü campaign aimed to reduce the environmental impact cause by Diwali celebrations.
ü The campaign was launched with ‘Green Good Deed’movement.
ü initiated in 2017-18 to create awareness among children to celebrate Diwali in an environment friendly manner.
ü Under the campaign, MoEFCC also creates awareness among various stakeholders and ensure public
participation against air pollution.
ü The campaign was successful in reducing post Diwali pollution in 2017 as compared to 2016
ü semiaquatic mammals.
ü shy and have elusive habits, adapting to a variety of habitats ranging from marine to freshwater environments.
ü invariably associated with water, with a few exceptions.
ü mainly active around dawn and dusk – crepuscular.
|ü found the world over, except in Australia, New Zealand, Madagascar, and other oceanic islands.
ü home to 3 of the 13 species of otters found worldwide.
ü These are – Eurasian Otter (Near threatened); Smooth-coated Otter (Vulnerable by IUCN) and Small-clawed otter (Vulnerable).
ü The occurrence of all three species has been reported from northeast India and the Western Ghats.
ü In India, the nomadic hunting tribes such as Gilhara, Badiya and Jogis are known to regularly kill otters for their skin and flesh
|BHARAT STAGE VI
Why in news?
The Supreme Court of India has ruled that no Bharat Stage IV vehicle shall be sold across the country with
effect from April 1, 2020
|About BS VI
ü The ‘BS’ : ‘Bharat Stage’.
ü signifies the emission regulation standards set by Indian regulatory bodies.
ü The higher the number gets, the stricter the Bharat Stage emission norms -trickier (and costlier) for automakers to meet them.
ü largely similar to the European emission norms followed globally
How is BS VI Different from BS IV?
ü 50 parts per million (ppm) sulphur for BS-IV
Vs only 10 ppm sulphur for BS-VI grade fuel)
ü NOx (nitrogen oxides) from diesel cars – brought down by 70%
ü In the petrol cars, they can be reduced by 25%
ü Particulate matter like PM 2.5 and PM 10 are the most harmful components and the BS VI will bring the cancer causing particulate matter in diesel cars by a phenomenal 80%.
|STAPCOR- 2018 AND IYOR 2018
The International Conference on Status and Protection of Coral Reefs (STAPCOR – 2018) is being held at
Lakshadweep in consonance with 3rd IYOR 2018.
3rd IYOR 2018
ü 2018 was designated the 3rd International Year of Reef (IYOR) by the International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI).
ü theme ‘identify and implement effective management strategies for conservation, increased resiliency and sustainable use of coral reefs’
ü first IYOR was designated in 1997 in response to the increasing threats on coral reefs and associated ecosystems.
ü The year 2007 was designated as the second IYOR
üan initiative to monitor the health of Coral reefs all over the World.
üfounded in the wake of heavy coral bleaching that occurred in 1998 due to combined effects of climate change, global warming and El Nino.
üconducts an international conference every 10 years to review the status and progress of coral reefs all over the world.
ü held at Bangaram coral Island.
ütheme for 2018 is ‘Reef for Life’.
ü It was organized by Department of Environment and Forest, Union Territory of Lakshadweep Administration with the technical support of Zoological Survey of India (ZSI).
üconducted in association with MoEFCC, IUCN, and Environmental Information System (ENVIS).
About International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI)
üan informal partnership between Nations and organizations which strives to preserve coral reefs and related ecosystems around the world.
ü not binding to its members.
üfounded in 1994 by eight governments: Australia, France, Japan, Jamaica, thePhilippines, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America.
more than 60 members including MoEFCCC, India.
|MAMMALS OF INDIA AND CITIZEN SCIENCE
Scientists and researchers from the National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS) in Bangalore have come
up with a new citizen-science repository on Indian mammals, called Mammals of India (MaOI).
About Citizen Science
üa new approach, in which people support scientists to observe more land, water and species during their research.
ünon-professionals taking part in crowdsourcing, data analysis, and data collection.
|ü an online, peer- reviewed, freely-accessible portal exclusively for mammals.
ü These photographic records will help us in having distribution map of mammals in the country.
ü The website, www.mammalsofindia.org, aims to develop individual species pages for all Indian mammals
with information on identification, variation, distribution, breeding and non-breeding ecology and species conservation.
ü provides an opportunity to any person to upload geotagged photographic observations about mammals with information on habitat age of the observed individual.
ü MaOI is a part of the Biodiversity Atlas (India project), which is an initiative of Krushnamegh Kunte, associate professor at NCBS.
ü Under the project, citizen-science websites were launched for different species.
ü the second largest brackish water lagoon in India.
ü encompasses the Pulicat Lake Bird Sanctuary.
ü The barrier island of Sriharikota separates the lake from the Bay of Bengal
ü The largest brackish water lagoon in India is Chilika lake
|ü The Satish Dhawan Space Centre is situated on this island.
ü Major part of the lake comes under Nellore district of Andhra pradesh.
ü Climate of the lagoon coast line is dominated by Tropical monsoons.
ü Arani River, Kalangi River and Swarnamukhi River are the primary inflows to the lake.
ü The migratory bird species of the lake include greater flamingos, pelicans, kingfishers, herons, painted storks, spoonbills and ducks.
ü threatened by Pollution from
o sewage, pesticides, agricultural chemicals and industrial effluents,
o Oil spills from the mechanized boats,
o Marine chemicals and salt-manufacturing industry
o Shrimp farming
|AIR QUALITY INDEX AND SAFAR
AQIAbout the measurement
ü Each of these categories is decided based on ambient concentration values of air pollutants and their likely health impacts (known as health breakpoints).
ü AQ sub-index and health breakpoints are evolved for eight pollutants
1. PM10 particulate matter 10 micrometers or less in diameter
2. PM2.5 particulate matter 2.5
3. NO2 Nitrogen dioxide
4. SO2 Sulfur dioxide
5. CO Carbon Monoxide
6. O3 Ozone
7. NH3 Ammonia
8. Pb Lead
ü For all these short-term (up to 24-hours) National Ambient Air Quality Standards are prescribed.
üa tool for effective communication of air quality status to people in terms, which are easy to understand.
ütransforms complex air quality data of various pollutants into a single number (index value), nomenclature and colour.
ü ‘One Number- One Colour-One Description’ for the common man to judge the air quality within his vicinity.
ü launched by Ministry of Environment and Forests in 2014
ü The index was prepared by an expert group set up by MoEFCC
üresearch based initiative of integrating Air Quality with Health Advisories and Food Security.
üstands for System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting (SAFAR).
üunder Ministry of Earth Sciences.
üprovides frontier research based scientific accredited robust Air Quality Forecasting system for Indian Metropolitan Cites
üThe colour LED display gives out real-time air quality index on 24×7 basis with colour coding along with 72-hour advance forecast.
ü developed indigenously by Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Pune and operationalized by India Meteorological Department (IMD).
ümeasure sun’s UV-Index and skin advisories will be issued on display.
üprovide measurement of online automatic ultrafine particles PM1 and Mercury, both of which have direct relevance to human health.
ü Project SAFAR is implemented in four cities of India – Delhi, Pune, Mumbai and Ahmedabad as an operational service.
ü In addition to regular air quality parameters like PM2.5, PM10, Sulfur Dioxide, Ozone, Nitrogen Oxides, Carbon Monoxide, the system will also monitor the existence of Benzene, Toluene and Xylene.
ü a small raptor of the falcon family.
ü feed mainly on insects, such as termites; during migration over the sea, they are thought to feed on migrating dragonflies.
ü listed as least concern in the IUCN conservation status.
|ü breeds in south-eastern Siberia and Northern China before migrating in large flocks across India and over the Arabian Sea to winter in Southern Africa.
ü Doyang Lake near Pangti village in Nagaland’s Wokha district is the better known stopover for the Amur falcons.
ü The Umru-Tyrso area, is a relatively recent pit stop for the Amur falcons.
ü The idea of ‘holy compost’ is fast gaining ground after one temple in Bengaluru made compost out of its waste, branded it and sold it at a premium
ü Now, nearly 40 temples have installed leaf composters to process flower waste
|WILD JAMUN TREEü Syzygium occidentale is a small, wild jamun tree that grows mostly along the banks of the River Periyar in Kerala.
ü Researchers have found that common white-footed ants are the best pollinators of this rare evergreen tree in the southern Western Ghats
ü Ants are usually depicted as poor pollinators which attack other
pollinators and thus prevent them from pollinating the plant
|POBITORA WILDLIFE SANCTUARY
|ü Located in the western part of Morigaon district in central Assam, wildlife sanctuary has the highest density of the one-horned rhinoceros in the world
|JAL BACHAO, VIDEO BANAO, PURASKAR PAO CONTEST
ü It aims to spread awareness about water conservation
|ü launched by the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation
in collaboration with the MyGov portal of the Government of India.
|GECKOü The spot-necked day gecko and the Anaimudi day gecko, are the latest additions to India’s reptile fauna
||ü Both are very distinctly-patterned lizards found only in the higher reaches of the Agasthyamalai and Anamalai hill ranges in the Western Ghats
Under the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation)
Act, 1957 (MMDR Act), sand is a minor mineral and sand mining
is regulated by the respective state governments.
About Sand Mining
|• Sand mining is a practice that is used to extract sand, mainly
through open pit mining.
• Main sources of sand are agricultural fields, riverbeds and
floodplains, coastal and marine sand, lakes and reservoirs.
• Sand mining is also done on beach, inland dunes and dredged
from ocean beds and river beds.
• It’s done to extract minerals such as Rutile, Ilmenite and
Zircon which contain useful elements Titanium and
• The declaration has been signed by Democratic Republic of Congo, the Republic of Congo and Indonesia in
the backdrop of the 3rd Conference of Partners of the Global Peatlands Initiatives (GPI), taking place in
Brazzaville, Republic of Congo.
• GPI is an initiative by leading experts and institutions to save peatlands as world’s largest terrestrial organic
carbon stock and to prevent it being emitted
• mostly found in permafrost regions towards the poles and at high altitudes, in coastal areas,
beneath tropical rainforest and in boreal forests
|What are Peats?
•a heterogeneous mixture of plant material (vascular plants, mosses and humus) that had
accumulated in a water-saturated area and are only partially decomposed due to absence of oxygen.
• The natural areas covered by peat are called peatlands. Various types of peat are – swamp forests, fens,
bogs or mires.
•form where climate, bedrock and relief create an area with permanent water saturation i.e. either in
shallow water over layers of lake sediments (called terrestrialisation) or directly on mineral soil (called
|UN WORLD WATER DEVELOPMENT REPORT
• Recently UN World Water Development Report 2018 was released titled Nature-based solutions (NBS) for
|What are Nature-based Solutions?
• These are solutions that are inspired and supported by nature and use, or mimic, natural processes to
address societal challenges effectively and simultaneously providing human well-being and biodiversity benefits.
• NBS are designed to address major societal challenges, such as food security, climate change, water security,
human health, disaster risk, social and economic development.
|STATE OF GLOBAL CLIMATE REPORT, 2017
Why in News?
• World Meteorological Organization (WMO) recently
released its State of the Global Climate in 2017.
World Meteorological Organization
• It is a specialized agency of the United
• It is the UN system’s authoritative voice
on the state and behaviour of the
Earth’s atmosphere, its interaction with
the land and oceans, the weather and
climate it produces and the resulting
distribution of water resources
|Major Points of the Report
• 2017 was 2nd warmest year on record after 2016, and the
warmest non-EL Nino year.
• The 2013-17 was the warmest five-year average on record.
• Global sea surface temperatures were ranked as the third
warmest, as they were somewhat below the levels of 2015 & 2016.
• Total global disaster losses from climate-related events in 2017 stood at US$ 320 billion making 2017 the
most expensive year on record.
• Cryosphere continued to shrink, with Artic and Antartic sea ice well below average. Cryosphere is the frozen water part of the Earth which includes the continental ice sheets found in Greenland and Antarctica, as well as ice caps, glaciers, and areas of snow and permafrost
• Ocean acidification continued with seawater pH progressively falling from values above 8.10 in the early 1980s to between 8.04 and 8.09 in the last five years
|CLEAN SEAS CAMPAIGN
Why in news?
• Recently, New Zealand joined the United Nations-led Clean Seas campaign.
About the Clean Seas Campaign
• It was launched in 2017, with the aim of engaging governments, public, civil society and the private sector in the fight against marine plastic
• It contributes to the goals of the Global Partnership on Marine Litter, and Global
Programme of Action of UNEP.
• The campaign is in consonance with SDG 12- sustainable consumption and production,
SDG13- Climate Change, and SDG 14-Life below the water.
• India is not a member country to Clean Seas campaign
|The UNEP Global Programme of Action (UNEP/GPA):
• It aims at preventing the degradation of the marine environment from land-based activities by facilitating the realization of the duty of States to preserve and protect the marine environment.
• It was created through the Washington Declaration on Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-based Activities, 1995.
• It is unique in that it is the only global initiative directly addressing the connectivity between terrestrial, freshwater, coastal and marine ecosystems.
• The GPA secretariat has establised three global multi-stakeholder partnerships: the Global Partnership on Nutrient Management (GPNM), the Global Partnership on Marine Litter (GPML) and the Global Wastewater Initiative (GWI).
|ONE PLANET ONE CITY CHALLENGE OF WWF
• World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF) works in collaboration with ICLEI – Local
Governments for Sustainability (a global
network of more than 1,500 cities, towns andregions committed to building sustainable future) to mobilize cities to participate in theOne Planet City Challenge.
• The three cities Panaji, Pune and Rajkot that are among cities in India’s Smart City Mission,- compete for the title of National and Global Winner
|World Wildlife Fund for Nature
• an international non-governmental organization founded in 1961, working
in the field of the wilderness preservation, and the reduction of human impact on
• The Living Planet Report is published every two years by WWF.
• Earth Hour is organized by the WWF. The event is held worldwide annually
encouraging individuals, communities, households and businesses to turn off
their non-essential lights for one hour, from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m March, as a symbol for their commitment to the planet.
|PERSISTENT ORGANIC POLLUTANTS
|Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants
• legally binding global treaty that aims to protect human health and the environment from the effects of persistent organic pollutants (POPs).
• The Convention sought initially 12 chemicals, for restriction or elimination of the production and release. –covers 23 chemicals.
• The Global Environmental Facility (GEF) is the designated interim financial mechanism for the Stockholm Convention.
• India has ratified the Convention and its 12 initially listed chemicals
|• organic chemical substances—toxic to both humans and wildlife
• accumulate in the fatty tissues (thus they have to be fat soluble) of living organisms including humans.
• POPs are recognized by the International Agency for Research on Cancer as
Group 1 carcinogens or cancer-causing substances.
• Specific effects of POPs can include cancer, allergies and hypersensitivity,
damage to the central and peripheral nervous systems, reproductive
disorders, and disruption of the immune system
|BIO-MEDICAL WASTE MANAGEMENT RULES, 2018
What is Bio-medical Waste?
• consists of any waste which is generated during diagnosis, treatment or immunisation of human beings or animals or in research activities.
• includes syringes, needles, cotton swabs, vials that may contain bodily liquids and spread infections.
• only 15% of the bio-medical waste that is
generated is hazardous
|Features of Bio-medical Waste Management (Amendment) Rules 2018
• Bio-medical waste generators i.e. hospitals, clinics, vaccination camps etc. will now be required to phase out the use of chlorinated plastic bags and gloves by March 2019.
• Common biomedical waste treatment facility (CBMWTF) shall establish GPS and Bar coding facility in accordance with guidelines issued by the CPCB.
• Pre-treatment of Bio-medical waste –on-site in accordance with guidelines on safe management of wastes from health care activities by WHO and WHO Blue Book 2014 and then send it to
CBMWTF for final disposal. This will ensure that the toxic discharge such as infectious liquid waste is not discharged into the sewerage network.
|WATER SCARCE CITIES
Why in News?
Recently, a report titled “Water Scarce Cities: Thriving in a Finite
World” was released by World Bank Group that attempts to compile
innovative approaches from the Water Scarce Cities (WSC) Initiative
|Water Scarce Cities Initiative- World Bank’s initiative that offers a holistic
perspective to urban water security in scarcity conditions. It is working towards
shifting mindsets across the world, demystifying urban water management,
and engaging with water scarce cities to develop concrete solutions.
|MAHARASHTRA PROJECT FOR CLIMATE RESILIENT AGRICULTURE
Why in news?
• Recently, Government of India, Government of Maharashtra and the World Bank signed a US$ 420 million
loan for Maharashtra Project for Climate Resilient Agriculture.
National Innovations on Climate Resilient Agriculture (NICRA)
• It’s a network project of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) launched in 2011.
• To enhance the resilience of Indian agriculture covering crops, livestock and fisheries to climatic variability and climate
change through development and application of improved production and risk management technologies.
• To demonstrate site specific technology packages on farmers’ fields for adapting to current climate risks.
• To enhance the capacity building of scientists and other stakeholders in climate resilient agricultural research and its
• The project consists of four components viz. Strategic Research, Technology Demonstration, Capacity Building and Sponsored/Competitive Grants
|Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA)
• Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO), which defines CSA as “agriculture that sustainably increases productivity, enhances resilience (adaptation), reduces/removes GHGs (mitigation)
where possible, and enhances achievement of national food security and development goals”.
Three Pillars Of CSA
• Productivity: CSA aims to increase agricultural productivity and incomes from crops, livestock and fish, food
and nutritional security through sustainable intensification.
• Adaptation: CSA aims to reduce the exposure of farmers to short-term risks and strengthening their
resilience by building their capacity to adapt and prosper in the face of shocks and longer-term stresses.
o Particular attention is given to protecting the ecosystem services as these are essential for
maintaining productivity and our ability to adapt to climate changes.
• Mitigation: CSA helps to reduce and/or remove greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by avoiding deforestation
from agriculture managing soils and trees in ways that maximizes their potential to acts as carbon sinks and
absorb CO2 from the atmosphere.
|EIGHTH REGIONAL 3R FORUM
Why in news?
Recently, 8th Regional 3R Forum in Asia and
Pacific was held. was organised by Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Government of India;Ministry of the Environment of the Environment of the Government of Japan and United Nations Centre for Regional Development (UNCRD).
• The Fourth Regional 3R Forum adopted the Ha Noi 3R Declaration ‐
Sustainable 3R Goals for Asia and the Pacific for 2013‐2023
• Theme – ‘Achieving Clean Water, Clean Land and Clean Air through 3R and Resource Efficiency – A 21st Century Vision for Asia – Pacific Communities,’
The United Nations Centre for Regional Development (UNCRD):
established in 1971 based on the agreement between the UnitedNations (UN) and the Government of Japan aims to achieve
sustainable living environment for all – safe, secure, equitable and
inclusive development in harmony with nature
|• The United Nations Centre for Regional Development (UNCRD) has been
organizing International Regional Forum on 3Rs since 2009 with the support of
Government of Japan to promote the concept of Reduce, Reuse, Recycle in
industry, service and agriculture sector.
• a legally non-binding and voluntary document which aims to provide a basic framework for Asia-Pacific countries to develop measures and programs to promote 3Rs including a set of 3R indicators for monitoring
• The Indore 3R Declaration of Asian Mayors on Achieving Clean Land, Clean Water and Clean Air in Cities
was adopted during the forum.
• Through this forum India aims to further strengthen this focus through its ‘Mission Zero Waste’ approach
thereby encouraging cities, industries and other stakeholders to see waste as a resource
|GLOBAL ENERGY TRANSFORMATION: A ROADMAP TO 2050
Recently, International Renewable Energy Agency’s (IRENA’s) launched its long-term renewable energy outlook
‘Global Energy Transformation: A Roadmap to 2050’.
• Paris climate accord 2015 seeks to limit average global temperature rise to below 2°C by 2100, compared to pre-industrial levels.
• Currently, emission trends are not on track to meet that goal as world would exhaust its energy related “carbon budget” (CO2) in under 20 years
to keep the global temperate rise to well below 2°C.
|Highlights of the report
• Achievable Paris Commitment: Keeping the global temperature rise below 2 degrees Celsius (°C) is technically feasible. However, the global energy
International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA)
• It is an intergovernmental organisation that supports countries in their transition to a sustainable energy future.
• It serves as the principal platform for international cooperation, and a repository of policy, technology, resource and financial knowledge on renewable energy.
• It is Permanent Observer to United Nation.
• India is a founder Member of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).
• It has two main governing structures.
o IRENA Assembly takes decisions at Macro level
and gives policy guidance to IRENA.
o IRENA Council which is the main governing body
of the agency responsible for implementing
various decisions of the assembly
|GLOBAL COMMISSION ON THE GEOPOLITICS OF ENERGY
TRANSFORMATION• analyse how higher shares of renewable energy and increased energy efficiency will impact relations between states and thus reshape global energy diplomacy.
|• It will work to achieve a better understanding of the geopolitical implications of a large-scale shift to renewable energy.
• suggest how countries can thrive in the new energy economy in line with the Paris Climate Agreement objectives and the SDGs
|INTERNATIONAL ENERGY FORUM (IEF)
Recently, the 16th International Energy Forum Ministerial (IEF 16) was hosted by India and co-hosted by China
and S. Korea.
The theme of IEF 16 was “Future of Global Energy Security: Transition, Technology, Trade and Investment
|• an inter-governmental forum set up in 1991; based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
• serves as neutral facilitator of informal, open, informed and continuing global energy dialogue among its member countries.
• includes 72 member countries from all six continents and accounts for around 90% of global supply and demand for oil and gas.
• comprises = consuming and producing countries of the IEA and OPEC +Transit States and major players outside of their memberships, including Argentina, China, India, Mexico, Russia and South Africa.
• By virtue of being among the top 11 largest consumers of oil and gas (India is presently 4th), India has been the Permanent Member of its Executive Board.
• India had earlier hosted the 5th IEF Ministerial in 1996 at Goa.
• The Forum’s biennial Ministerial Meetings are the world’s largest gathering of Energy Ministers
Solar Radiation Management Governance Initiative (SRMGI)
• It is an international, NGO-driven project, financed by Dustin
Moskovitz (co-founder of facebook) for expanding the discussion
of SRM climate engineering research governance to developing
• The Royal Society, The academy of sciences for the developing
world and Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) are its partners
|Solar Geo-Engineering/Solar Radiation Management (SRM)
• a process through which the reflectivity (albedo) of the Earth’s atmosphere or surface is increased, in an attempt to offset some of the effects of GHG-induced climate change.
• technique mimics big volcanic eruptions that can cool the Earth by masking the sun with a veil of ash or similar other things.
• The methods include:
o Space-Based Options/Space Sunshades e.g. using mirrors in space, placing vast satellites at Lagrange
Point 1, space parasol, etc.
o Stratosphere-Based Options such as injection of sulfate aerosols into the stratosphere.
o Cloud-Based Options/Cloud Seeding e.g. Marine Cloud Brightening (by spraying a fine seawater spray in
the air), seeding of high cirrus clouds with heterogeneous ice nuclei.
o Surface-Based Options e.g. whitening roofs, growing more reflective crops
|ASIA PACIFIC REGIONAL WORKSHOP OF UNCCD
Why in news?
Recently, Asia Pacific Regional Workshop of the
United Nations Convention to Combat
Desertification (UNCCD) was hosted by Ministry
of Environment (MoEFCC).
Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN)
• UNCCD defines LDN as a state whereby the amount and quality of land resources which is necessary to support ecosystem functions and enhance food security, remains stable or increases within specified temporal and spatial scales and ecosystems.
• It is a unique approach that counterbalances the expected loss
of productive land with the recovery of degraded areas
|United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD)
• Adopted in 1994 and entered into force in 1996,
the only internationally legally binding framework set up to address the problem of desertification
• The Convention addresses specifically the arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas, known as the drylands.
• 10-Year Strategy of the UNCCD (2008-2018):
adopted in 2007 to forge a global partnership to reverse and prevent desertification/land degradation and to mitigate the effects of drought in affected areas in order to support poverty reduction and environmental sustainability.
• UNGA declared 2010 to 2020 as the United Nations Decade
for Deserts and the Fight Against Desertification.
|TASK FORCE ON BIOMASS MANAGEMENT
Why in news?
Recently, NITI Aayog released a report of Task Force, constituted under ‘Cleaner Air Better Life’ initiative on
CII-NITI Aayog ‘Cleaner Air Better Life’ initiative
• initiative for ‘improving the air quality of Delhi-NCR’
• India has a potential of about 18 GW of energy from Biomass.
• Biomass energy constitutes wood fuels (including charcoal, wood waste wood), crop residues (such as bagasse, rice husk and crop stalks) and animal dung (including biogas).
• About 32% of the total primary energy use in the country is still derived from biomass and more than 70% of the country’s population depends upon it for its energy needs.
• Economy based on Biomass: Biomass power industry attracts investments of over Rs.600 crores every year, generating more than 5000 million units of electricity and yearly employment of more than 10 million man-days in the rural areas
|WORLD’S SMALLEST LAND FERN
Recently, Indian researchers have discovered a fingernailsized fern named Malvi’s adder’s-tongue fern
Fern – a flowerless plant which has feathery leaf(fronds) and reproduces by spores released from theundersides of its leaf-like parts
|About the discovery
• the world’s smallest land fern discovered measuring only 1–1.2 cm.
• discovered in the Ahwa forests of the Western Ghats in Gujarat’s Dang district.
• belongs to a group known as the adder’s-tongue ferns, named after their resemblance to a snake’s tongue.
• unique thick outer layer around its spores and dome shaped stomata which similar species lack.
• seasonal and grow with the first monsoon rains
Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services
• INCOIS was established as an autonomous body in
1999 under the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) and
is a unit of the Earth System Science Organization
• Its functions include:
o It is Regional Tsunami Service Provider (RTSP) to
provide tsunami warnings to countries on the
Indian Ocean Rim.
o It issues Potential Fishing Zone Advisories, provides
training courses in Operational Oceanography
|• collection of waves produced by storm winds raging hundreds of miles out to sea, rather than the product of local winds along the beaches.
It is formed through a combination of wind strength, wind duration and fetch
• low-pressure system named ‘Cut off Lows’ blocked the normal course of westerly winds present in the
southern Indian ocean during the period causing propagation of high swell waves towards Indian coasts.
• Low-pressure areas or stronger weather systems here send out high waves, with no signs in the local winds
along the south-west coast of India, in a phenomenon locally known as ‘Kallakkadal’ (the naughty seas).
o ‘Kallakkadal’ phenomenon has been formally approved by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and
Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 2012.
|COMMUNITY FOREST RESOURCE
In 2006, The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act or
the Forest Rights Act (FRA) was passed which provides for recognition of forest lands as community forest resources (CFR)
• CFR right- restores gram sabha’s [village council] control over governance of forests from the forest department
• CFR management committees (CFRMCs) are created by Gram Sabha, which are expected to prepare a conservation and management plan for community
forest resources in order to sustainably and equitably manage CFR areas
|as per an estimate by Community Forest Resource-Learning and
Advocacy, 45 % of India’s total forest area, should be recognised as CFR
Forest Right Act 2006: It provides for a rights-based, democratic and decentralized governance of forests. Rights recognized under FRA.
• Individual forest rights (IFR) to legally hold forestlands that the forest dwelling communities have been residing on and cultivating prior to 13 December 2005.
• Community rights (CRs) of ownership, use and disposal of ‘minor forest produce’, also known as non-timber forest produce (NTFP). CRs include rights of grazing, collection of firewood, fish and other such products
from water bodies, as well as rights to biodiversity and intellectual property, including those related to traditional knowledge.
• Community forest resource (CFR) rights under Section 3(1)(i) to protect, regenerate, conserve or manage forest resources for sustainable use, providing for community governance of forests.
|SCHEME FOR BIOMASS
Ministry of New and Renewable Energy
to support Biomass based Cogeneration Projects in Sugar mills and Other Industries for power
generation in the country
• provide Central Financial assistance(CFA) for projects utilizing biomass like bagasse, agro-based industrial residue, crop residues, wood produced through energy plantations, weeds, wood waste produced
in industrial operations, etc.
|• Municipal Solid Waste is not covered under the programme.
• intend to add capacity to the existing plants will also be considered for grant of CFA
• Cogeneration – ‘generating together’ – refers to the process wherein we obtain both heat and electricity from the same fuel at the same time.
• A variety of fuels can be used for cogeneration including bagasse, natural gas, coal, and biomass.
•advantages : lowering the cost of energy generation, low capital investment, higher profitability of plant due to substantial reduction in cost of production, less consumption of costly and scarce fuels like diesel oil etc.
• The potential for cogeneration projects :estimated at 3500 MW of additional power generation from the country’s existing functional sugar mills.
• common in hot and dry climates.
• also known as Haboob, which is Arabic for violent wind.
• A dust storm requires a large availability of dust,and enough sustained wind to lift the particles.
|• Dust storms also commonly occur with thunderstorms before it is about to rain.
• The rain water does not manage to reach the ground as it is evaporated by the heat.-causes the air to cool down, meaning there is an area of cold air sitting above the warm air on the ground.
• The cold air comes down in a down-burst which splashes against the surface which kicks the dust upwards.
|SUVA EXPERT DIALOGUE ON LOSS AND DAMAGE
was held at
Bonn to furthering collective understanding of approaches to
address loss and damage, associated finance needs, and
sources of support.
|Loss and damage in UNFCC
• 1991: Proposed by Vanuatu on behalf of Alliance of Small
Island States (AOSIS) for the international community to
provide “assurance” that climate change would not
endanger their survival;
Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and Loss and Damage
• a group of 57 small island countries that tend to share similar
sustainable development challenges, including small but growing
populations, limited resources, remoteness, susceptibility to natural
• first recognized as a distinct group of developing countries at theUnited Nations Conference on Environment and Development in June 1992
|TOXICITY IN INDIAN RIVERS
recent report titled Status of trace and toxic metals in Indian
rivers 2018 by Central Water Commission
Central Water Commission (CWC)
• It is premier Technical organization under
Ministry of Water Resources, River
Development and Ganga Rejuvenation.
• It undertakes measures for control,
conservation and utilization of water
resources throughout the country and has
been monitoring water quality of river water
since year 1963
. Major Sources of River Pollution
• Natural – Rocks, Volcanic eruption,
Wind-blown dust particle, Sea spray,
• Agricultural – Inorganic fertilizer,
Pesticide, Sewage sludge& fly ash, Waste
• Industrial – Industrial waste, Thermal
power, Coal & crude ore mining industry,
Chemical industry, Various refineries
• Domestic – E-waste, Used batteries,
Inorganic & organic waste, Used filters,
• Miscellaneous– Incineration, Open
dumps, Traffic and other emission,
Landfills, Medical waste
|• The report has highlighted that 42 rivers in India have at least two toxic heavy metals in quantities beyond the permissible limit.
• Ganga, the national river, was found to be polluted with five heavy metals—chromium, copper, nickel, lead and iron.
• reasons: rivers for their domestic use
• According to the report, mining, milling, plating and surface finishing industries are the main sources of heavy metal
Type of toxic metals and sources of metal Pollution
• The term ‘‘heavy metal’’ : any metal and metalloid element that has a relatively high density ranging from 3.5 to 7 g/cm3 and is toxic or poisonous at low concentrations.
• Primary metals considered to be toxic are lead, arsenic,copper, cadmium, mercury and nickel. also referred to as trace elements.
Health impacts of toxic metals
• because of its toxicity, non-biodegradability and bioaccumulation and may result in reduction of species diversity.
• Their absorption in the body may cause changes in the blood composition and damage to the lungs, kidneys, liver, and other vital organs.
•causes acute or chronic toxicity/ poisoning resulting in damaged or reduced mental and central nervous functions.
• leads to physical, muscular, and neurological degenerative processes that are similar to Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, cancer and various other allergies.
|GHG EMISSION FROM SHIPPING INDUSTRY
Members of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) have reached an agreement on reducing their
greenhouse gas emissions from shipping by at least 50% of 2008 levels by 2050.
• United Nations specialized agency with responsibility for the safety and
security of shipping and the prevention of
marine pollution by ships.
• the global standard-setting authority
for the safety, security and environmental
performance of international shipping
through a fair and effective regulatory
• 174 Member states and
3 Associate members.
• India has been one of the earliest
members of the IMO, having it as a member-state in the year 1959
|• International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) found that if treated as a country, international shipping would be the sixth largest emitter of carbon dioxide in the world – roughly the same as Germany. It accounts for around 2.2% of global CO2 emissions and they are projected to grow
between 50 and 250% by 2050 if no action is taken.
• IMO was tasked with limiting and reducing emissions from
shipping under the Kyoto Protocol in 1997.
• Despite its major role in polluting the planet, shipping was not accounted for in the Paris agreement on climate change.
• The world’s shipping industry has now, for the first time, defined its commitment to tackle climate change, bringing it closer in-line with the Paris agreement.
• The agreement took place in the historic London session of Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) of IMO.
• The ultimate goal for shipping industry is to reduce greenhouse gas emission to zero by the middle of the century, with most newly built ships running without fossil fuels by the 2030s
|. INDIA BIODIVERSITY AWARDS, 2018
• It is a statutory body established under the provisions of the Biological
Diversity Act, 2002.
• It performs facilitative and advisory functions for the Union government on
issues of conservation, sustainable use of biological resources and fair and
equitable sharing of benefits arising out of the use of biological resources
|About Bugun Liocichla
• It’s the only new bird species to have been discovered in India since 1947.
• They are found only in the Singchung village of Arunachal Pradesh.
• It has been named after the Bugun tribe.
• IUCN status: Critically Endangered (CR).
• WPA status:
• Threat: Activities like timber extraction, forest clearance and infrastructure
development have threatened its habitat
• Singchung Bugun Community Reserve (SBVCR): It’s a 17 km^2 hotspot for
biodiversity launched by Bugun community of Singchung Village by joining
hands with the Forest Department
|• Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, allows the state government to declare any
private or community land that is not part of a national park, sanctuary or
conservation reserve as a community reserve, to protect fauna, flora and
traditional conservation values and practices
|Recently, India Biodiversity Award 2018 was conferred by
the National Biodiversity Authority (NBA).
• In 2012, the Government of India, in partnership with UNDP India, initiated the India Biodiversity Awards
• Aim: To recognize and honour outstanding models of biodiversity conservation, sustainable use and governance at the grassroots level
About Amur Falcon
• the longest travelling raptors in the world which migrates to India from Mongolia and then reach South Africa via Myanmar and central & western India.
• Males -mostly grey in colour and the females – dark-streaked cream or orange underparts.
• used to be hunted for meat by Nagas.
About kharai camels
• Kharai Camel or Swimming Camels are found only in Gujarat’s Bhuj area.
• Kharai Camel can live in both coastal and dry ecosystems.
• It grazes on saline / mangrove trees and is tolerant to high saline water.
• It can swim up to three kilometers into the sea in search of mangroves, its primary food.
• They are bred by two distinct communities — Fakirani Jats, the handlers, and Rabaris, who are owners.
|5.9. INDIA BIODIVERSITY AWARDS, 2018
In 2012, the Government of India, in partnership with UNDP India, initiated the India Biodiversity Awards
|• Aim: To recognize and honour outstanding models of biodiversity conservation, sustainable use and governance at the grassroots level.
• Awards is presented in different categories:
o Conservation of Wild and Domesticated Species
o Sustainable Use of Biological Resources
o Replicable Mechanisms for Access and Benefit Sharing
o Best Biodiversity Management Committees
|SOUTH ASIA WILDLIFE ENFORCEMENT NETWORK (SAWEN)
Recently the first meeting of SAWEN was held in India to curb wildlife crime in the South Asian region
• officially launched in January, 2011 in Paro Bhutan.
• In 2016 the Union Cabinet gave permission to adopt the statute of SAWEN.
|• an inter-governmental wildlife law enforcement support body of South Asian countries namely-
Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
• Secretariat based in Kathmandu, Nepal.
• focuses on policy harmonization, institutional capacity strengthening through knowledge and intelligence sharing; and collaboration with regional and international partners to enhance wildlife law enforcement in
the member countries.
Recently, Forest and Environment
Department of Odisha recorded the presence of black panthers in a forest in Sundargarh district.
Odisha is the only state in the country to have melanistic tigers, white tigers and black panthers
o Vulnerable: IUCN o Schedule I: Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972,
o Appendix I: CITES
|• the same species as a normal coloured panther with a high amount of
pigment (melanin caused by agouti gene) causing the animal to appear black.
• Other habitats of Black Panther;
o Kerala (Periyar Tiger Reserve),
o Karnataka (Bhadra Tiger Reserve,
Dandeli-Anshi Tiger Reserve and
Kabini Wildlife Sanctuary),
o Chhattisgarh (Achanakmar Tiger
Reserve, Udanti-Sitanadi tiger
o Maharashtra (Satara)
o Goa (Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary),
o Tamil Nadu (Mudumalai Tiger Reserve),
o Arunachal Pradesh
the Ministry of Environment, Forest and
Climate Change and the Wildlife Trust of India (WTI)
|Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) is an NGO to conserve wildlife and its habitat and to work for the welfare of individual wild animals, in partnership with communities and governments.
IFAW is an NGO working on conservation measures towards animal welfare
|Western Hoolock gibbon
• The western hoolock gibbon (Hoolock hoolock)
and the eastern hoolock gibbon (Hoolock
leuconedys) are the only apes found in India.
• It is listed as ‘endangered’ by the IUCN red list.
• In India, it is listed on Schedule 1 of the Indian
(Wildlife) Protection Act 1972
About Indian elephants
• In 2010, Elephants were declared as national heritage animals.
• Under Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 Elephant is a Schedule I animals and Asian elephants are listed as “endangered” in the IUCN Red List of
World Elephant Day was founded to bring attention to the plight of Asian and African elephants
|from Tura in Garo Hills,Meghalaya.
• ’Gaj Yatra’ aims at securing 100 elephant corridors across India.
• a mega-campaign by Wildlife Trust of India (WTI)
and the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) to raise awareness about the shrinking space for India’s wild elephants
• launched on World Elephant Day, August 12, 2017.
• Iorganized in the Garo Hills in recognition of the people’s initiative of community forests for humanelephant harmony and conservation of animals such as hoolock gibbon.
About elephant corridors
• As forest lands continue to be fragmented, relatively
narrow, linear patches of vegetation provide linkages
between larger forest patches.
• These linkages allow elephants to move between secure habitats freely, without being disturbed by humans
reducing man-animal conflict.
• In many cases, elephant corridors are also critical for other wildlife including India’s endangered National
Animal, the Royal Bengal tiger.
|COMPOSITE WATER MANAGEMENT INDEX
Recently, NITI Aayog released Composite Water Management Index (CWMI) to assess and improve the performance in efficient management of water resources.
Water is a State subject
Water Stressed Condition: When annual per-capita water availability is less than 1700 cubic meters.
Water Scarcity Condition: When annual per- capita water availability is less than 1000 cubic meters
|• Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 2014 warned that approximately 80% of the world’s population suffers a severe threat to its water security
World Bank indicates that by 2030 India’s per capita water availability may shrink to half, which will push the country into ‘water scarce’ category from the existing ‘water stress’ category.
India is home 16% of World’s population however, it holds only about 4% of global freshwater.
• With nearly 70% of water being contaminated, India is placed at 120th amongst 122 countries in the water quality index.
Recently, India committed to eliminate all single-use plastic in the country by 2022.
• India was the global host of 2018 World Environment Day (June 5, 2018) with “Beat Plastic Pollution” as the theme, reflecting world commitment to combat single-use plastic pollution.
|• According to United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) if current pollution rates continue, there will be more plastic in the sea than fish by 2050, as globally, only 14% of plastics is recycled
Single-use plastics: Also referred as disposable plastics, are commonly used for plastic packaging and include items intended to be used only once before they are thrown away or recycled
Plastic Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2016. • It defines the minimum thickness of plastic carry bags i.e. 50 microns. This would increase the cost and the tendency to provide free carry bags would come down
In India nitrogen emissions grew at 69% from 2001 to 2011 and has replaced methane as the second largest Greenhouse Gas (GHG) from Indian agriculture
|• Rationalised fertiliser subsidy: According to the report of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP), subsidy on urea should be reduced, while increasing it on Phosphorus & Potassium to arrest the hugely adverse NPK ratio
|• Nitrogen Use Efficiency (NUE) (which indicates the ratio between the amount of fertilizer nitrogen removed from the field by the crop and the amount of fertilizer nitrogen applied) should be increased in order to maintain equilibrium between soil and fertilizer
||• Agricultural soils contributed to over 70% of nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions, followed by waste water (12%) and residential and commercial activities (6%).
• As fertilizer, nitrogen is one of the main inputs for agriculture, but inefficiencies along the food chain mean about 80% of nitrogen is wasted.
• Annual nitrogen emissions from coal, diesel and other fuel combustion sources are growing at 6.5% a year currently while emission from poultry industry is growing at the rate of 6%.
Effects of nitrogen pollution
• On Economy- India loses nitrogen worth US $10 billion per year as fertiliser value (through subsidy).
• On health– Its health and climate costs are pegged at US$ 75 billion per year. It is a major cause of Baby Blue syndrome.
• On Agricultural Productivity- Excessive nitrogen in the form of fertilizer brings down the carbon content of the soil, result in diminishing returns in terms of crop yield.
• On Environment: Excessive eutrophication which turns water body into Dead Zone, substance like nitric acid is a component of acid rain. Further, Nitrogen particles make up the largest fraction of PM2.5, class of pollutants.
Why in News?
Scientist have recently predicted that the dead zone in Gulf of Mexico will become larger.
|• (Hypoxic zones) are areas of the ocean (occasionally in lakes and even rivers) where oxygen has fallen to such low levels that most marine life cannot survive.
reversible if their causes are reduced or eliminated
Impacts of Dead Zones
• Impact on Global Warming- As Oxygen levels fall, the pace of climate change can accelerate, with low oxygen levels triggering the release of chemicals like nitrous oxide. This greenhouse gas is 300 times more powerful than carbon dioxide at trapping heat in the atmosphere.
• Impact on Corals-Low oxygen levels of 2 milligrams of oxygen per litre of water or less, can kill coral reefs.
• Rising sea temperatures- o For each degree of ocean warming, oxygen concentration goes down by 2 percent.
o Over the short term, the higher temperatures slow the rate of ocean circulation, exacerbating regional oxygen depletion.
o causes layers of ocean water to stratify so the more oxygen-rich surface waters are less able to mix with oxygen-poor waters from the deeper ocean.
o The higher temperatures are putting more stress on marine species, causing their metabolisms to speed up and their need for oxygen to increase.
• Nutrient pollution from sources such as agriculture and sewage, is responsible for a dramatic rise in “dead zones” in the world’s oceans.
UN Refugee Convention (1951)
• It grants certain rights to people fleeing persecution because of race, religion, nationality, affiliation to a particular social group, or political opinion.
• The rights they are entitled to follow the principles of non-discrimination, non-penalisation, and nonrefoulement.
ILO right of Migrant • Freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining,
• Elimination of forced or compulsory labour,
• Abolition of child labour and
• Elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation.
|• Definition: According to International Organization for Migration, Environmental migrants are persons or groups of persons who, predominantly for reasons of sudden or progressive change in the environment that adversely affects their lives or living conditions, are obliged to leave their habitual homes, or choose to do so, either temporarily or permanently, and who move either within their country or abroad.
• According to an UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) report, India has been ranked as the world’s most disaster-prone country for displacement of residents.
Nansen Initiative (2012) • It’s a state-led consultative process to build consensus on a protection agenda addressing the needs of people displaced across borders in the context of disasters and the effects of climate change.
|FISCAL COSTS OF NATURAL DISASTERS
Why in news?
Recently, IMF released a report on “How To Manage The Fiscal Costs Of Natural Disasters”.
• Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction calls for reducing direct disaster economic loss in relation to global gross domestic product (GDP) by 2030.
|• According to International Disaster Database annual global economic losses on account of disasters are estimated at around $306 billion.
o Similarly, the cost of natural disasters in India since 2000 is estimated at Rs 4 lakh crore with over 75,000 deaths.
• According to World Meteorological Organisation, for Indian Subcontinent, 2017 was the most expensive year on record for severe weather and climate events.
|OFF-SHORE WIND POWER
• The Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE) recently invited Expressions of Interest (EoI) for the country’s first 1 GW offshore wind project in Gulf of Khambat
|.Advantages of offshore wind power over the onshore wind power
• Greater area available for setting up large projects.
• Higher wind speed
• Consistent wind speed
• Close to load centres
• Environmental impact
Why in news?
Recently a panel, headed by Road Transport Secretary Y S Malik, has presented a 15 point plan to aid car manufacturers to switch from Internal Combustion Engines (IECs) to Electric Vehicles (EVs).
|More on news
• According to panel, the fuel efficiency norms have to be lowered by 20-25 percent over FY 2017-18 data to have approximate induction of 3 to 5% EVs, as against total manufactured vehicles including cars, three-wheeler, and two-wheeler.
• Earlier, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has mandated fuel efficiency norms that require cars to be 30% more fuel efficient by 2022.
|ASIA’S HOTSPOTS: WORLD BANK REPORT
Recently the World Bank has released its report titled “South Asia’s Hotspots: The Impact of Temperature and Precipitation changes on living standards”.
• It estimates how changes in temperature and monsoon patterns will affect GDP and living standards in South Asian region.
• The report identifies “hotspots” as the states /districts where these changes will have a notable effect on living standards.
• It observed six countries in South Asia Nepal, Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka for the study
|• The report looks at two scenarios: climate-sensitive and carbon-intensive. Both show rising temperatures throughout the region in coming decades, with the carbon-intensive scenario showing greater increases.
• • It will be useful for designing social welfare programmes by accounting for local socio-economic characteristics and climate-related risks and reorient strategies and policies targeted to hotspot inhabitants, the hidden victims of climate change.
• • It represents a future in which some collective action is taken to limit greenhouse gas emissions and global annual average temperatures increase to 2.4°C by 2100 relative to pre-industrial levels.
• It represents a future in which no actions are taken to reduce emissions and global annual average temperatures will increase 4.3°C by 2100 relative to pre-industrial levels
|Central Ground Water Commission
It is an attached office of the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation ((MoWR, RD&GR).
Functions: Control, conservation and utilization of water resources throughout the country, for purpose of Flood Control, Irrigation, Navigation, Drinking Water Supply and Water Power Development
|National Hydrology Project
Wold bank assisted programme launched in 2016.
Objective: to improve the extent, quality, and accessibility of water resources information, decision support system for floods.
• Setting up of a system for timely and reliable water resources data acquisition, storage, collation and management.
It provides for establishment of National Water Informatics Centre (NWIC) as an independent organization under the control of MoWR, RD&GR.
It assists in promoting ‘efficient and equitable’ use of water, especially groundwater, to the village level and provide information on quality of water as well.
Why in news?
Green bonds of huge amounts from India are stuck because of rising interest rates and global uncertainties
The Indian Green Bond Market
• BSE launched the Green Index called Greenex, carbon-efficient live index.
|• Green bonds are debt instruments like normal bonds, but the proceeds are used for renewable energy projects, or for services that are ecologically sustainable.
voluntary and may be issued by a financial institution, the government or even a company to raise funds for a defined period.
• Asia as a whole issued $65 billion in green bonds over 2015-17 and China is the dominant issuer of green bonds internationally.
|PRIVATE PARTICIPATION IN WILDLIFE CONSERVATION
• Under the rules, anyone who has a minimum of 100 acres of land bordering a national park can convert it to a “Wildlife Private Conservancy”.
• Of this land, 5% can be used to construct buildings for ecotourism; the rest has to be kept for flora and fauna
|Amazon Region Protected Areas Program (ARPA): a model of private participation in Wildlife protection
• WWF brought together private corporations, philanthropic individuals, and the Brazilian government to create a $1 billion fund to preserve over 100 protected areas in the Amazon Basin.
• The private sector contributes capital to the fund, but the money is only released if the government upholds its end of the bargain, matching it with public funds and management.
• WWF provides expertise on which areas to protect and how best to manage the newly created reserves
|CLIMATE CHANGE AND INDIAN COASTLINE
• Researchers used newly released data on projections of a large number of climate variables in the future, which included Wind- generated waves around Indian coastline as a key variable.
• According to the study different locations would face different kinds of impacts.
Wind vectors influence wave heights and directions and also the currents that in turn affect the rates of coastal sediment transport and erosion. For instance, in Udupi coast of Karnataka, there is likely to be a 25% increase in average wind speeds, resulting in about 35% increase in mean wave height in the region. Greater transport of sediments would likely result in erosion in the next 30 years rising to 1.5 times as compared to the previous three decades.
|Vulnerability of Indian Coasts
India has a nearly 7500 Km coastline
• Vulnerability to frequent disasters: Coastal communities remain at a constant risk of disasters and climate change impacts such as Storm surges, Sea- level rise and flooding, heat waves, cyclones and other extreme weather events that are projected to increase with the global warming.
o Rising sea level is also accompanied by stronger waves and currents that are likely to reshape the coastlines and potentially submerge many low-lying areas. This has also resulted in shoreline erosion which is higher on the eastern coast due to turbulent nature of Bay of Bengal.
• Vulnerability to extreme temperature rise: According to Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), extreme temperatures are expected to increase in India by 1 – 4 degree Celsius with maximum increase projected in coastal regions by 2030s
|URANIUM CONTAMINATION OF GROUND WATER IN INDIA
• The majority of high-uranium levels were located in Rajasthan and parts of Punjab, Haryana and Gujarat
• The results showed that most of the wells tested in Rajasthan and Gujarat had more uranium than the WHO’s recommended limit of 30 μg/L. The levels in a few tens of wells in Rajasthan were close to 300μg/L.
| • Similar high levels contamination was also found in other districts of northwestern India and southern and southeastern India especially in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana
• The primary source of uranium:: geogenic, i.e., main source of uranium is granite, which is common in the Himalayan range. Over the years, uranium may have slowly leached into the water.
• However, anthropogenic factors such as over-exploitation of groundwater for agricultural irrigation and nitrate pollution due to overuse of nitrogenous fertilizers may have further enhanced uranium mobilization
|• Environmental Conventions under GEF financial mechanis
o Convention on Bio diversity (CBD)
o Convention to combat desertification (UNCCD)
o Framework convention on climate change (UNFCCC)
o Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants
o Minamata Convention
o Montreal Protocol (provides support)
| a financial mechanism established under the 1992 Rio Earth Summit to help tackle our planet’s most pressing environmental problems.
• It is managed by World Bank.
• involves an international partnership of 183 countries, international institutions, civil society organizations and the private sector that addresses global environmental issues.
• The Council is the GEF’s main governing body, comprises 32 Members appointed by and from among GEF member countries (14 from developed countries, 16 from developing countries and 2 from economies in transition).
• The GEF Assembly is composed of all 183 member countries which meets every four years to review general policies, GEF’s operation and the membership of the Facility.
Scientists have identified a new phase in Earth’s geological history called the Meghalayan age
|• Eons are divided into smaller time intervals known as eras. For e.g. the Phanerozoic is divided into three eras: Cenozoic, Mesozoic and Paleozoic. o The names of eras were chosen to reflect major changes of the development of life on the Earth: Paleozoic (old life), Mesozoic (intermediate life), and Cenozoic (recent life)
|• Eras are subdivided into periods. For e.g. the Paleozoic is subdivided into the Permian, Pennsylvanian, Mississippian, Devonian, Silurian, Ordovician and Cambrian periods
|• Periods are further subdivided into epochs which are further divided into ages. o Each period corresponds to significant events such as the break-up of continents, shifts in climate, and the emergence of particular types of animals and plant life
||Geological Time Scale
is the “calendar” for events in Earth history.
subdivides all time into named units of abstract time called—in descending order of duration—eons, eras, periods, epochs, and ages.
• Eons are the largest intervals of geologic time and are hundreds of millions of years in duration. For e.g. Phanerozoic Eon is the most recent eon and began more than 500 million years ago.
• The Meghalayan Age, which is the subdivision of the Holocene Epoch, began about 4,200 years ago.
• It has been officially ratified as the most recent unit of the Geologic Time Scale by the International Union of Geological Sciences, an international NGO
• The Meghalayan Stage has been defined at a specific level in a stalagmite in the Mawmluh caves — one of the India’s longest and deepest
— in Cherrapunji, Meghalaya
o The onset of the age was marked by a severe 200-year drought that resulted in the collapse of civilisations and human migrations in Egypt, Greece, Syria, Palestine, Mesopotamia, the Indus Valley, and the Yangtze River Valley
|LEGAL ENTITY STATUS FOR ALL ANIMALS
Why in news?
The Uttarakhand High Court has declared the “entire animal kingdom including avian and aquatic” as legal entities
|• Legal or juristic persons are created by law and recognised as a legal entity, having distinct identity, legal personality and besides duties and rights. They include private business firm or entity, non-governmental or government organisations, trusts and societies, besides others.
|RECOVERY PROGRAMME FOR WILDLIFE SPECIES
Why in news?
• The National Board for Wildlife (NBWL) recently added four species- the Northern River Terrapin, Clouded Leopard, Arabian Sea Humpback Whale, Red Panda– to a Recovery Programme for Critically Endangered Species
|About National Board for Wildlife (NBWL)
a statutory Board constituted under the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972.
chaired by the Prime Minister. Its vice chairman is Minister of Environment.
involved in framing policies and promoting wildlife conservation and controlling poaching and illegal trade of wild life.
makes recommendations on the setting up of and management of national parks, sanctuaries and other protected areas and restriction of activities in those areas.
concurrence is needed for creation of tourist lodges, alteration of the boundaries of Protected Areas, de-notification of Tiger Reserves, etc
one of the components of centrally sponsored scheme – Integrated Development of Wildlife Habitats (IDWH) which provides assistance to the State/UT governments for activities aimed at wildlife conservation.
• The other two components:
o Support to Protected Areas (National Parks, Wildlife Sanctuaries, Conservation Reserves and Community Reserves except tiger reserves)
o Protection of Wildlife Outside Protected Areas
• IDWH also covers various activities which include:
o Management Planning and capacity building
o Anti-poaching & infrastructure development
o Restoration of habitats
o Eco-development and community oriented activities
• The four species recently added under recovery program are in addition to 17 other species already identified under the recovery programme – Snow Leopard, Bustard (including Floricans), Dolphin, Hangul, Nilgiri Tahr, Marine Turtles, Dugongs, Edible Nest Swiftlet, Asian Wild Buffalo, Nicobar Megapode, Manipur Brow-antlered Deer, Vultures, Malabar Civet, Indian Rhinoceros, Asiatic Lion, Swamp Deer and Jerdon’s Courser.
|GANGETIC DOLPHIN• inhabits the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna and Karnaphuli-Sangu river systems of Nepal, India, and Bangladesh
•among the four freshwater dolphins found in the world – the other three are found in the Yangtze River (China), the ‘bhulan’ of the Indus (Pakistan) and the ‘boto’ of the Amazon River (Latin America)
|• National Aquatic animal of India.
• categorised as endangered on the Red List of Threatened Species by the IUCN.
• also protected under the Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act (1972).
• A long thin snout, rounded belly and large flippers:characteristics
• the animal is popularly referred to as the ‘Susu’
National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) in its efforts of biodiversity conservation in Ganga River basin has been working further on the Ganges River Dolphin Conservation Action Plan and has taken up steps to coordinate with various institutions to:
o build capacity for Ganga River Dolphin Conservation and Management;
o minimize fisheries interface and incidental capture of Ganga River Dolphins;
o restore river dolphin habitats by minimizing and mitigating the impacts of developmental projects;
o involve communities and stakeholders for sustainable efforts in Ganga River Dolphin conservation;
o educate and create awareness and set off targeted research
• Listed in Schedule I of Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 and as Endangered on IUCN Red List
• It is state animal of Tamil Nadu
|• inhabits the open montane grassland habitats at elevations from 1200 to 2600 m (generally above 2000 m) of the South Western Ghats.
• range extends over 400 km from north to south, and Eravikulam National Park is home to the largest population.
• Adult males develop a light grey area or “saddle” on their backs and are hence called “saddlebacks”.
• Six of the 16 Harrier species in the world migrate to India every year, these are (i) Eurasian Marsh Harrier (ii) Eastern Marsh Harrier (iii) Hen Harrier (iv) Pallid Harrier (v) Pied Harrier (vi) Montagu’s Harrier
| • the only diurnal ‘Raptor group or Birds of Prey’ nesting and roosting on the ground.
• Montagu’s, Marsh and Pallid Harriers are widely distributed in India while Pied and Eastern Marsh Harriers are confined to the eastern parts of India. Hen Harriers are commonly seen in Northern India and up to Upper Assam in North Eastern India.
• It is an endemic tree of South India.
• They are found in Tropical Dry Deciduous forest of the Palakonda and Seshachalam hill ranges of Andhra Pradesh and also found in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.
• It occurs in hot, dry climate with a rainfall of 88-105 cm.
|• It prefers lateritic and gravelly soil and cannot tolerate water logging.
• It is used for various purposes such as immunity medicine, furniture, radiation absorbent, musical instrument, food dyes and spices, Ayurveda and Sidha medicine, decorative and ornamental purposes etc
• Its export is banned in India in accordance with the CITES and Wildlife Protection Act 1972.
|KHANGCHENDZONGA BIOSPHERE RESERVE
UNESCO: MAB Programme
• Launched in 1971, it is an Intergovernmental Scientific Programme that aims to establish a scientific basis for the improvement of relationships between people and their environments.
• It combines the natural and social sciences, economics and education to improve human livelihoods and the equitable sharing of benefits, and to safeguard natural and managed ecosystems.
World Network of Biosphere Reserve (WNBR) and India
It covers internationally designated protected areas, each known as biosphere reserves, that are meant to demonstrate a balanced relationship between people and nature.
• India has 18 biospheres reserves, of which 11 have been included in the WNBR.
• The Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve was the first reserve from the country to be included in the WNBR
|• one of the highest ecosystems in the world and located at trijunction of India (Sikkim), bordering Nepal to the west and Tibet (China) to the north-west.
• The site is one among the world’s 34 biodiversity hotspots.
• The Khangchendzonga National Park (KNP), which comprises the core area of the KBR, was inscribed as India’s first ‘Mixed World Heritage Site’ in 2016.
Recently, Indian Ocean Research Vehicle (IORV) Sagar Nidhi as part of India- US expedition seeking to find answers to vagaries of Bay of Bengal fed South-West Monsoon was set out in Indian Ocean
About the India – US mission
• Sagar Nidhi will sail through the Bay of Bengal collecting data on Ocean conditions at different depths and
locations and study the underlying principles of interaction of the uppermost layer of ocean with the atmosphere. It will also use radiosondes to gather meteorological data
CUSAT Stratosphere Troposphere-205 Radar:
• Situated at Cochin, it is fully indigenously built radar to scan stratosphere over the Indian Ocean for movement of air and monsoon winds.
• Weather radars detect perturbations in wind and water content of atmosphere. CUSAT-ST radar scans the sky using radio waves to create a three-dimensional picture of the atmosphere. The scan produces a spectrum of densities of air, from which it is possible to compute the actual winds. Accuracy of ST radar observations can be as high as 99% and will add to further the precision of weather, especially the monsoon.
|DEEP OCEAN MISSION
aims : to explore the depths of the Ocean for the possibilities of deep-sea mining. Its focus will be on technologies for deep-sea mining, under water vehicles, under water robotics and ocean climate change advisory services, among others.
Key deliverables to achieve these goals:
Offshore tidal energy desalination plant that will work with tidal energy.
• Developing a submersible vehicle to explore depths of at least 6000 Meters with three people on board
|UN International Sea Bed Authority
• an autonomous international organization situated at Kingston, Jamaica. established under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) in 1994 to to regulate the exploration and exploitation of marine non-living resources of oceans in international waters
• also called manganese nodules, are rock concretions formed of concentric layers of iron and manganese hydroxides around a core-India is the first country to have received the status of a pioneer investor in 1987 and was allocated an exclusive area in Central Indian Ocean Basin by United Nations (UN) for exploration and utilization of nodules
Why in News?
Recently, government launched an integrated environmental management system named; PARIVESH (Pro-Active and Responsive facilitation by Interactive, Virtuous and Environmental Single-window Hub).
|• web based, role-based workflow application which has been developed for online submission and monitoring of the proposals submitted by the proponents for seeking Environment, Forest, Wildlife and CRZ Clearances from Central, State and district level authorities.
• automates the entire tracking of proposals which includes online submission of a new proposal, editing/updating the details of proposals and displays status of the proposals at each stage of the workflow.
• includes monitoring of compliance reports including geo-tagged images of the site by regulatory body or inspecting officers even through the Mobile App for enhanced compliance monitoring
• It also provides access to previous Environment Impact Assessment Reports, which is a valuable reservoir of information
|GENETICALLY MODIFIED (GM) FOOD Recently, a Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) study found the wide presence of GM ingredients in packaged food items sold in IndiaGM foods involve taking genes (DNA) from different organisms and inserting them in food crops for the purpose of enhancing its productivity or increasing its immune power or nutritional and aesthetic values. There is a concern that this ‘foreign’ DNA can lead to risks such as toxicity, allergic reactions, and nutritional and unintended impacts
|Codex Alimentarius guidelines for assessing risks associated with GM foods:
• Typically, the following parameters are considered for risk assessment: o Toxicity—acute, sub-chronic and chronic
o Allergenicity, i.e. the potential to provoke allergic reaction due to cross reaction with other allergens or from new unknown GM proteins
o Composition analysis of major and minor nutrients
o Nutritional effects associated with genetic modification that could arise if GM DNA is inserted into the crop genome at a location where it modifies the existing DNA such that the nutritional content of the crop alters.
o Stability of inserted gene to avoid its unintended escape into cells of the body or to bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract. This is particularly relevant if antibiotic-resistant genes, used as markers while creating GMOs, were to be transferred.
o Unintended effects that could result from the gene insertion leading to formation of new or changed patterns of metabolites
The Government of India has decided to ban the use of 18 pesticides following the recommendations of the Anupam Verma Committee
|The complete ban of 12 pesticides would come into effect immediately while the rest 6 would be banned from December 31, 2020.
• The decision is based on Anupam Verma committee which was constituted in 2013 to review the use of 66 pesticides (which are either banned or restricted in other countries.) recommended a ban on 13 ‘extremely hazardous’ pesticides , phasing out of six ‘moderately hazardous’ ones by 2020, and review of 27 pesticides in 2018
|CHEETAH REINTRODUCTION PROJECT
• National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), is nodal agency for the Cheetahs reintroduction plan.
• In 2009 Project Cheetah was launched and Kuno Wildlife Sanctuary (MP) and Shahgarh area in Rajasthan were also identified as other two sites for cheetah reintroduction plan.
• Nauradehi was found to be the most suitable area for the cheetahs as its forests are not very dense to restrict the fast movement of Cheetahs
• It was declared extinct in India in 1952 and last spotted in Chhattisgarh 1947.
• The only mammal to become extinct in India in last 1,000 years.
• IUCN status: Vulnerable
|National Tiger Conservation Authority
• It is a statutory body and has overarching supervisory/coordination role as provided in the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.
• It approves the Tiger Conservation Plan prepared by the State Governments
|NEW ELEPHANT RESERVE
|the Singhphan Elephant Reserve
• located in Mon district of Nagaland and spreads over an area of 5825 acres.
• huge tracts of forest, strategically located in contiguity with the Abhaypur Reserve Forest of Assam.
• Presently, elephant distribution habitat in Nagaland is highly fragmented, this move will give better protection and conservation of elephants in the state.
• After the declaration it became the 30th Elephant Reserve in the country.
|THE NATIONAL WILDLIFE GENETIC RESOURCE BANK
Union Science and Technology Minister dedicated the National Wildlife Genetic Resource Bank (NWGRB) in Hyderabad
|Wildlife Genetic Resource Banking (GRB) is a systematic collection and preservation of tissues, sperm, eggs and embryos, genetic material (DNA/RNA) of living beings.
Laboratory for Conservation of Endangered Species
• It is a dedicated laboratory of the CSIR-Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), Hyderabad.
• It is the only institute in the country working towards conservation of endangered wildlife using modern biotechnologies to save endangered wildlife species of India
|3D-PRINTED ARTIFICIAL REEF
|an Artificial Reef?
human made structure, similar to natural coral reef, built with the specific aim of promoting the marine life of an area.
• Most common forms of artificial reefs are submerged shipwrecks, bridges, lighthouses, etc, which often start functioning as marine habitat after a period of time
||• It was developed using computer modelling and a 3D printer, which resemble reef structures typically found in the Maldives.
• The reef structure is cast in ceramic, an inert material similar to the calcium carbonate found in coral reefs.
• Live coral was then transplanted within the artificial reef, where it will grow and colonize the structure
What is 3D-Printing Technology?
• It is an additive process wherein an object is created by laying down successive layers of material until the object is created. Each of these layers can be seen as a thinly sliced horizontal cross-section of the eventual object
|STATE ENERGY EFFICIENCY PREPAREDNESS INDEX 2018
Why in news?
The Alliance for an Energy Efficient Economy (AEEE) under the leadership of the Bureau of Energy Efficiency(BEE) and NITI Ayog has recently released the first Nationwide ‘State Energy Efficiency Preparedness Index’
|About State Energy Efficiency Index
• Its 4 main objectives are-
o Help drive EE policies and program implementation at state and local level
o Highlight best practices and encourage healthy competition among states
o Track progress in managing states’ and India’s energy footprint
o Set a baseline for EE efforts to date and provide a foundation to set state-specific EE targets
|BIO-JET FUEL FLIGHT
Why in news?
Recently, India’s first ever bio-jet fuel flight taken off by using the fuel developed by the CSIR-Indian Institute of Petroleum (IIP).
About the initiative
• Aircraft was powered with a blend of 75% air turbine fuel (ATF) and 25% bio-jet fuel made from jatropha crop.
• The bio-jet fuel developed by CSIR-IIP was recognised by American Standard for Testing and Material and received a patent by 2011.
• International standards permit a blend rate of up-to 50% bio fuel with ATF
About Bio-Jet Fuel
• type of Biofuel which are produced from biomass resources and used in place of, or blended with ATF.
• Bio jet fuel can be produced from animal fat, used cooking oil, waste dairy fat, sewage sludge, etc.
• The oil needs to have a freezing point below -47 degrees so it doesn’t freeze at altitudes at which planes fly.
• It should not catch fire on ground when being transferred into a plane.
• It must have the same density as ATF, have a certain calorific value and should not choke the filters.
• It has lower sulphur content which causes less wear and tear.
a potent climate-warming component of particulate matter formed by the incomplete combustion of fossil fuels, wood and other fuels.
short-lived climate pollutant with a lifetime of only days to weeks after release in the atmosphere. During this short period of time, black carbon can have significant direct and indirect impacts on the climate, glacial regions, agriculture and human health
|GLACIAL LAKES OUTBURST FLOODS
Disaster managers and scientists in Sikkim are siphoning out excess water from lake to prevent it from Glacial Lakes Outburst Floods
|• Glacial Lakes Outburst Floods (GLOFs), are a subject of concern in the Sikkim Himalayan region as several lakes have been formed due to melting of scores of glaciers in the region.
• In order to prevent any disasters due to outbursts from such lake, a project was started in the South Lhonak Lake where in high density polyethylene (HDPE) pipes have been installed to siphon off water from the glacial lake.
|About Ocean Cleanup Project
a non-profit organisation which is developing advanced technologies to rid the world’s oceans of plastics.
• It is directed at cleaning The Great Pacific Garbage Patch (GPGP) which is a zone between Hawaii and California. About 1.8 Trillion pieces of plastic float the surface of the GPGP
|Microplastics • Microplastics or Microbeads are plastic pieces or fibre which is very small, generally measuring less than 1mm.
• They have a variety of use, most notably being personal care products like toothpaste, body creams, clothing and industrial use.
• They have an ability to spread easily and provide silky texture and colours to the product. Thus, adding visual appeal of the cosmetic products
|MINIMUM RIVER FLOW FOR GANGA
Minimum River Flow –Minimum River Flow or Minimum Environmental Flow or E-flow is a regime of flow in a river that mimics the natural pattern. It refers to the water considered sufficient for protecting the structure and function of an ecosystem and its dependent species
|• It is either defined in terms of percentage of the average flow (monthly average or average of any predefined number of days)
• or in terms of cubic meters of water flow per second.
|DRAFT RIVER BASIN MANAGEMENT BILL, 2018
Why in News?
Recently, Draft River Basin Management Bill, 2018 was released by government
• Second Administrative Reform Commision (2008) had recommended that River Basin Organisations (RBOs) should be set up for each inter-State river, as proposed by National Commission for Integrated Water resources Development, 1999 by enacting a legislation to replace the River Boards Act, 1956
|• River Basin: A geographical area determined by the watershed limit of the system of waters, flowing into
the ocean/sea either directly or through another sovereign nation or into a natural lake having no outlet.
o It is considered as the basic hydrological unit for planning and development of water resources.
o There are 13 Major river basins in India and cover 80 per cent of the population and 85 per cent of total river discharge.
o The major river basin is the Ganga-Brahmaputra-Meghna, which is the largest with catchment area of about 11.0 lakh km2 (more than 43% of the catchment area of all the major rivers in the country).
|INDIA’S 1ST SOIL MOISTURE MAP
Why in news?
India Meteorological Department (IMD), for the first time, has provided a country-wide soil moisture forecast.
• This forecast is a joint exercise by IIT Gandhinagar and the India Meteorological Department (IMD) which provides soil moisture forecast at seven and 30-day lead times
|.• The product, termed ‘Experimental Forecasts Land Surface Products’ has been developed using the ‘Variable Infiltration Capacity’ model that takes into consideration soil, vegetation, land use and land cover among other parameters.
• The countrywide forecast prepared at the end of the monsoon season suggests deficit soil moisture conditions are likely in Gujarat, Bihar, Jharkhand, Tamil Nadu and southern Andhra Pradesh.
Details of Soil Moisture Map
• It also indicates that soil moisture conditions in western Uttar Pradesh, Bundelkhand, and Chhattisgarh are likely to be normal or surplus at the start of the Rabi sowing season
|GLOBAL SOIL BIODIVERSITY ATLAS
• Recently, the Global Soil biodiversity Atlas placed India among countries whose soil biodiversity faces the highest level of risk
| a joint venture of the Global Soil Biodiversity Initiative and the European Commission Joint Research Centre
o Its findings were published as part of the Living Planet Report, 2018 (published by WWF every two years).
|CONVENTION ON BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY
Why in News?
Recently, Conference of the Parties (COP 14) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) was held, adopting Sharm El-Sheikh Declaration.
Highlight of COP-14
• Adoption of Sharm El-Sheikh Declaration on Investing in Biodiversity for People and Planet.
o Governments commit to mainstream biodiversity through, integrating biodiversity values in legislative and policy frameworks, and development and finance plans
Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)
• • Aim: To promote the conservation of biodiversity, the sustainable use of its components, and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the use of genetic resources.
• It’s a near universal convention with a participation of 196 member countries
Protocols adopted under the Convention.
• • Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety: It seeks to protect biological diversity from the potential risks posed by living modified organisms resulting from modern biotechnology.
• • Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing: It aims at sharing the benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources in a fair and equitable way, including by appropriate access to genetic resources and by appropriate transfer of relevant technologies