Chapter-24 : Environment

Short Notes or Revision Notes 

GIST of India Year Book 2024

Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC)

Focus Areas:

  • Conservation of forests, biodiversity, and pollution prevention.
  • International collaboration with UNEP and ICIMOD.

Biodiversity & Conservation:

  • Botanical Survey of India (BSI): Researches plant diversity.
  • Zoological Survey of India (ZSI): Researches animal diversity.
  • Forest Survey of India (FSI): Assesses forest resources.
  • Implementation of Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) through:
    • Biological Diversity Act.
    • National Biodiversity Action Plan.
  • Biosphere Reserves & Biodiversity Heritage Sites: Designated for conservation.
  • International Day for Biodiversity: May 22nd.

Forest Management:

  • Forest Policy Division: Oversees national forest policies and international cooperation.
    • Forest cover: 24.62% of India.
  • Forest Conservation Division: Manages proposals for non-forestry land use.
  • Forest Protection Division: Addresses illegal logging, encroachment, and forest fires.
    • Forest (Conservation) Rules, 2022:
      • Project Screening Committee for participation.
      • Delegates power for faster processing.

Wildlife Management:

  • Wildlife Division: Oversees wildlife policies and laws.
    • Project Elephant: Protects elephants and habitat.
    • Asiatic Lion Conservation Project.
  • Autonomous bodies:
    • Wildlife Institute of India: Research.
    • Central Zoo Authority: Zoo management standards.
    • National Tiger Conservation Authority: Tiger conservation.
    • Wildlife Crime Control Bureau: Combats wildlife crime.
    • National Zoological Park: Complements national conservation efforts.
  • Project Tiger (1973): Increased India’s tiger population to 2,967 (highest globally).
    • International Tiger Day: July 29th.
  • Cheetah reintroduction project for ecosystem restoration.

Animal Welfare:

  • Animal Welfare Board of India: Advises on animal welfare (domesticated & captive wild).

Pollution Control:

  • Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) (since 1994): Integrates environmental concerns into development projects.

Air Pollution:

  • Regulated under Air Act and Environment Act.
  • Measures include monitoring, standards, and National Clean Air Programme.

Noise Pollution:

  • Monitoring and reduction measures in urban areas.
  • Advisories, regulations, and awareness campaigns.

Plastic Waste Management:

  • Phase-out of single-use plastics.
  • Extended Producer Responsibility for plastic packaging waste.

Waste Management:

  • Common Effluent Treatment Plants (CETPs) reduce treatment costs for small-scale industries.
  • Hazardous Substances Management Division oversees hazardous waste and chemical emergencies.
  • Hazardous Waste Management Rules regulate waste generation, treatment, and disposal (aligned with Basel Convention).

E-Waste Management

  • Producers set up collection systems and manage environmentally sound disposal of electronic waste.

Solid Waste Management

  • Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016: Mandate waste segregation in urban areas, industrial sites, and government establishments.
  • Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016: Regulate plastic usage, increase plastic thickness, and promote recycling.

Fly Ash Utilisation

  • Regulations promote fly ash utilisation in construction, transforming it from waste to a resource.

International Conventions

  • Basel Convention: Hazardous waste.
  • Rotterdam Convention: Hazardous chemicals.
  • Stockholm Convention: Persistent organic pollutants.
  • Minamata Convention: Mercury.

National River Conservation Plan (1985)

  • Aims to improve water quality in major rivers through pollution abatement projects (central-state cost sharing).

Wetlands Conservation

  • National Wetland Conservation Programme: Conserves wetlands (India a Ramsar Convention signatory).
  • Wetlands Rules, 2010: Regulate wetland conservation.
  • World Wetlands Day observed annually.

National Afforestation and Eco-Development Board (1992)

  • Promotes afforestation, ecological restoration, and ecodevelopment activities in degraded forest areas, focusing on rural communities’ needs.

National Mission for Green India

  • Protects and enhances forest cover, counters climate change, promotes ecosystem services and alternative fuel energy (part of National Action Plan on Climate Change).

Eco-Sensitive Areas in Western Ghats

  • Designated to conserve the biodiversity hotspot and support sustainable development, balancing conservation with regional needs.

Wildlife Conservation

  • Wildlife Institute of India (WII): Premier institution for wildlife research and training (South Asia).

National Green Tribunal (NGT) (2010)

  • Expedites environmental cases, enforces legal rights, provides relief, and compensates for damages (specialized expertise, multiple locations).

Climate Change Initiatives

  • National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC).
  • National Adaptation Fund for Climate Change (NAFCC).
  • Climate Change Action Programme: Focuses on mitigation, adaptation, and knowledge dissemination.

Paris Agreement and Green Climate Fund

  • India ratified Paris Agreement in 2016.
  • Engages with Green Climate Fund for projects addressing climate change impacts (mitigation & adaptation).

Himalayan Environment

  • Govind Ballabh Pant National Institute of Himalayan Environment (GBPNIHE): Research on environmental studies, technological solutions, and local knowledge enhancement in the Indian Himalayas.

Natural History and Ozone Protection

  • National Museum of Natural History (NMNH): Promotes environmental awareness through exhibits and educational activities.
  • India’s Ozone Cell supports ozone layer protection through international agreements and domestic policies.

International Agreements (Ozone Layer)

  • Vienna Convention and Montreal Protocol: Aim to protect the ozone layer (Montreal Protocol successful in phasing out ozone-depleting substances).

UN Convention to Combat Desertification

  • India addresses land degradation and desertification through national policies (coordinated by MoEF&CC’s Desertification Cell).

Global Environment Initiatives

  • UNEP, GEF involvement and Mission LiFE launch showcase India’s commitment to:
    • Sustainable lifestyles.
    • Innovative environmental solutions.

UNFCCC COP Conferences

  • India actively participates, advocating for:
    • Equitable climate action.
    • Financial support.
    • Technology transfer.
  • COP 27: Transformative education emphasized.
  • COP 28: Agreements to reduce fossil fuel consumption.

India’s Contribution to Climate Action

  • International Solar Alliance (ISA).
  • Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure.
  • Lead IT (Lead Innovation for Transforming Infrastructure).
  • Infrastructure for Resilient Island States (IRIS).

India’s Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC)

  • Eight key goals:
    • Sustainable lifestyles.
    • Cleaner economic development.
    • Reduced emission intensity of GDP.
    • Increased share of non-fossil fuel based electricity.
    • Enhanced carbon sink.
    • Adaptation and mobilizing finance.
    • Technology transfer and capacity building.

Green Credits Programme (Oct 2023)

  • Creates a market-based incentive for various environment-positive actions, not just carbon emission reductions.

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