Current Affairs search results for tag: Environment
By admin: July 10, 2024

1. India to Sign BBNJ Agreement for High Seas Biodiversity Protection

Tags: Environment

The Union Cabinet, chaired by PM Narendra Modi, approved India's signing of the Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction (BBNJ) Agreement.

An Overview of the News

  • Aimed at conserving and sustainably using marine biodiversity in 'High Seas', beyond national jurisdiction.

  • Ministry of Earth Sciences to spearhead India's efforts in implementing the agreement.

Minister's Commitment to Environmental Conservation

  • Dr Jitendra Singh, Minister of State for Earth Sciences, reaffirmed India's commitment to global environmental conservation and sustainable development.

  • Emphasized signing and subsequent ratification of the BBNJ Agreement, aligning with scientific progress and international collaboration.

Key Features of the BBNJ Agreement

  • International Treaty: Under UNCLOS, focuses on protecting marine biodiversity through global cooperation.

  • Provisions: Prohibits sovereign rights over high seas resources, promotes equitable benefit-sharing, and advocates ecosystem-based management.

  • Benefits for India: Includes strategic presence in high seas, enhanced marine conservation efforts, and opportunities for scientific research and technology transfer.

UNCLOS:

  • Foundation: Adopted in 1982, in force since 1994, regulates maritime boundaries, rights to marine resources, and environmental protection.

  • BBNJ Agreement: Becomes the third implementation agreement under UNCLOS, alongside those for mineral resources and fish stocks management.

  • Global Participation: Over 160 countries have ratified UNCLOS, ensuring equitable and orderly use of the world's oceans.

By admin: July 2, 2024

2. India Unveils World’s First Comprehensive Fauna Checklist

Tags: Environment

India becomes the first country to prepare a comprehensive checklist of its entire fauna, covering 104,561 species.

An Overview of the News

  • Launched by Union Minister Bhupender Yadav on the 109th Foundation Day of the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) in Kolkata.

Government’s Commitment to Biodiversity

  • PM’s Vision for Nature: PM Modi’s vision emphasized through programs like ‘Ek Ped Maa Ke Naam’ and Mission LIFE, promoting sustainable consumption and conservation.

  • International Initiatives: The International Big Cat Alliance and the successful relocation of cheetahs to India highlight the government's efforts in biodiversity conservation.

Fauna of India Checklist Portal

  • Comprehensive Document: The portal is the first of its kind, including 121 checklists of all known taxa covering 36 phyla. It also includes endemic, threatened, and scheduled species.

  • Resource for Stakeholders: An invaluable reference for taxonomists, researchers, academicians, conservation managers, and policymakers.

Animal Taxonomy Summit–2024

  • Second Summit by ZSI: The summit focuses on three themes: Taxonomy, Systematics and Evolution; Ecology and Animal Behaviour; and Biodiversity and Conservation.

  • Participation and Discussions: 350 delegates from four countries, including the Natural History Museum, London, will participate, with 21 plenary/lead lectures and 142 oral/poster presentations.

  • Outcome: Recommendations will be conveyed to the Government of India for biodiversity conservation.

Publications and Initiatives

  • New Discoveries: ‘Animal Discoveries–2023’ and ‘Plant Discoveries-2023’ featuring new species and records.

  • Other Publications: ‘Fauna of India–109 barcodes’, ‘Catalogue of Hoverflies’, ‘Catalogue of Muscidae’, ‘Flora of India Series’, and the ‘Barcode Atlas of Indian Fishes’.

  • Celebrating Conservation: ‘ROAR - Celebrating 50 years of Project Tiger’ book released.

  • International Society of Zoology (ISZ): Launched by Jitendra Kumar to enhance global biodiversity understanding and protection.

Collaboration and Cultural Events

  • MoUs Signed: ZSI exchanged 10 MoUs with various universities, colleges, and national institutes for better coordination and benefits to the masses.

  • Cultural Performance: The event concluded with a cultural performance, attended by officials, scientists, researchers, and vice chancellors from various institutions.

By admin: June 29, 2024

3. India's Largest Leopard Safari Opens at Bannerghatta Biological Park, Bengaluru

Tags: Environment State News

India's largest and third leopard safari has been launched at Bannerghatta Biological Park (BBP), located 25 kilometers south of Bengaluru.

An Overview of the News

  • The safari, inaugurated recently, currently houses eight leopards with plans to increase the number in the future.

  • Spanning 20 hectares, the safari is secured with railway barricades and enclosed with 4.5-meter-tall chain-link mesh and mild steel sheets to ensure the leopards remain within boundaries.

About Bannerghatta Biological Park

  • Established in 2004, BBP was carved out of Bannerghatta National Park and is under the administration of the Zoo Authority of Karnataka.

  • Encompasses 731.88 hectares, featuring a zoo, butterfly park, and rescue center.

  • Focuses on scientific development, conservation, and breeding of endangered species.

  • Offers safaris for tigers, lions, bears, and herbivores, alongside facilities for bird, reptile, and mammal enclosures.

List of National Parks in Karnataka:

  • Nagarhole National Park

    • Located in Karnataka's Kodagu district.

    • Known for its lush woods, streams, hills, and waterfalls.

    • Home to tigers, Gaur, elephants, Indian leopards, sloth bears, striped hyenas, and deer.

  • Bandipur National Park

    • Established in 1974 as a Tiger Reserve.

    • Significant habitat for wild elephants.

  • Anshi National Park

    • Created in 1987 from Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary.

    • Part of Project Tiger since 2007.

    • Located adjacent to Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary.

  • Kudremukh National Park

    • Known for dense forests and scenic waterfalls like Kadambi and Hanumangundi.

    • Diverse fauna includes lion-tailed macaque, tiger, leopard, wild dog, Malabar giant squirrel, common langur, and sloth bear.

  • Mudumalai National Park

    • Shares boundaries with Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

    • Noted for its elephant and tiger populations.

  • Kabini Wildlife Sanctuary

    • Situated around 245 kilometers from Bangalore.

About Karnataka

  • Capital:- Bengaluru (Executive Branch)

  • Chief minister:- Siddaramaiah

  • Governor:- Thawar Chand Gehlot

  • Bird:- Indian roller

By admin: June 24, 2024

4. New Plant Species 'Petrocosmea arunachalense' Discovered in Arunachal Pradesh

Tags: Environment Science and Technology

Researchers from the Arunachal Pradesh Regional Centre (APRC) of the Botanical Survey of India (BSI) have identified a new plant species named 'Petrocosmea arunachalense'.

An Overview of the News

  • The species was discovered in the Mandala region of West Kameng district, Arunachal Pradesh.

  • 'Petrocosmea arunachalense' is an herbaceous plant belonging to the Gesneriaceae family.

  • This find marks only the second known species of the Petrocosmea genus in India.

  • The discovery has been documented in the Nordic Journal of Botany.

  • The research underscores Arunachal Pradesh's rich biodiversity and emphasizes the importance of conservation efforts.

  • Dr. Krishna Chowlu, along with researchers Akshath Shenoy and Ajit Ray from APRC, Itanagar, led the discovery.

About Arunachal Pradesh

  • It is a state located in the northeastern region of India. It shares its borders with the countries of Bhutan, China and Myanmar.

  • Establishment:- 20 February 1987

  • Capital:- Itanagar (Executive Branch)

  • Chief Minister:- Pema Khandu

  • Official flower:- Rhynchostylis retusa

  • Official Animal:- Gayal

By admin: May 25, 2024

5. New Plant Species 'Emblica chakrabartyi' Found in Kerala Forests

Tags: Environment

A new plant species, 'Emblica chakrabartyi,' has been unearthed by a team of scientists in Kerala, specifically from Adichilthotti within the Edamalayar forest range.

An Overview of the News

  • This newly discovered species is dedicated to Tapas Chakrabarty, a former scientist at the Botanical Survey of India (BSI), in recognition of his contributions to the study of Phyllanthaceae

Characteristics of Emblica chakrabartyi:

  • Taxonomy: Belongs to the gooseberry (Phyllanthaceae) family and thrives as shrubs in tropical rainforests.

  • Global Presence: 55 species of the genus Emblica worldwide, with this species being the 11th from India.

Distinctive Features:

  • Size: Grows to approximately 2 meters in height.

  • Leaves: Large, shiny, elongated oval leaves reaching up to 13 cm in length.

  • Flowers: Yellowish green with six petals. Flowering and fruiting occur from December to June. Male flowers are found in inflorescence, while female flowers are solitary, located on the leaf axils.

  • Fruits: Brown to black when ripe, with seeds measuring about 8-9 mm in diameter.

Expedition Details:

  • Research Project: Conducted as part of a University Grants Commission (UGC) sponsored research project.

  • Population: A population of approximately 55 plants was discovered during the expedition.

About Kerala

  • Capital - Thiruvananthapuram

  • Chief minister - Pinarayi Vijayan

  • Districts - 14

  • Rajya Sabha    - 9 seats

  • Lok Sabha - 20 seats

  • Symbols of Kerala:-

    • Bird - Great hornbill

    • Flower - Golden shower tree

    • Fruit - Jackfruit

    • Mammal - Indian elephant

    • Tree - Coconut Tree

By admin: May 24, 2024

6. Ligdus Garvale: New Spider Species Identified in Karnataka

Tags: Environment

A team of naturalists discovered a new species of jumping spider, Ligdus Garvale, in Garvale village, Kodagu district, Karnataka. The discovery has been published in thejournal Zootaxa.

An Overview of the News

  • This is the second recorded instance of the Ligdus genus in 129 years, with the first being Ligdus Chelifer reported from Myanmar by Thorell in 1895.

  • Ligdus Garvale is a high canopy jumper, often going unnoticed, and constructs a double-layered web for retreat that resembles Pseudoscorpions.

  • Over 600 spider species have been identified in Karnataka, with an increase in jumping spider sightings.

About Jumping Spiders

  • Jumping Spiders are the largest family of spiders, with over 6,380 species in the family Salticidae.

  • Features include:

    • Brightly coloured

    • Diurnal (active during the day)

    • Four pairs of eyes

    • Size ranges from 2 to 22 mm.

About Karnataka

  • Capital:- Bengaluru (Executive Branch)

  • Chief minister:- Siddaramaiah

  • Governor:- Thawar Chand Gehlot

  • Bird:- Indian roller

By admin: May 15, 2024

7. United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF19) Convenes in New York

Tags: Environment

The 19th session of the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF19) took place at the UN headquarters in New York, USA, from May 6 to May 10, 2024.

An Overview of the News

  • Organized by the UNFF Secretariat, the session was chaired by Zéphyrin Maniratanga from Burundi.

  • The forum conducted a midterm review of the International Arrangement on Forests.

  • Key outcomes included a declaration from the High-Level Segment and an omnibus resolution.

  • The omnibus resolution encompassed the midterm review results and the new Quadrennial Programme of Work for the Forum spanning 2025-2028.

  • Jitendra Kumar, Director General of Forests and Special Secretary of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC), led the Indian delegation.

United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF)

  • Establishment: Founded in 2000.

  • Affiliation: It operates as a functional commission of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).

  • Membership: Enjoys universal membership, encompassing nations globally.

  • Headquarters: Based in New York, United States.

Achievements of UNFF:

  • UN Forest Instrument: Noteworthy milestone achieved in 2007, marking the establishment of the first UN Forest Instrument.

  • Global Forest Financing Facilitation Network (GFFFN): Introduced in 2015, serving as a significant initiative under the UNFF.

  • UN Strategic Plan for Forests 2030: In 2017, the UNFF adopted the first UN Strategic Plan for Forests 2030, outlining six Global Forest Goals.

By admin: May 10, 2024

8. New Green Lynx Spider Species Peucetia chhaparajnirvin Found in Rajasthan

Tags: Environment

Atul Bodkhe, an arachnologist based in Daryapur, has unveiled a new species of green lynx spider known as Peucetia chhaparajnirvin.

An Overview of the News

  • The species was discovered in the Tal Chhapar Wildlife Sanctuary located in Churu District, Rajasthan.

  • Named after its place of discovery, "chhaparajnirvin" pays homage to the Tal Chhapar region where it was found by Nirmala Kumari and Vinod Kumari.

  • This new spider species was found inhabiting the green leaves of the Babul Tree, scientifically known as Vachellia nilotica.

  • It exhibits nocturnal behavior and sustains itself by preying on small insects.

  • Specimens of the spider have been preserved in the entomology lab at the University of Rajasthan, Jaipur.

  • The identification and description of the species were conducted at the Spider Research Lab (SR-Lab) situated in J.D. Patil Sangludkar Mahavidyalaya, Daryapur, Amravati district, Maharashtra.

About Rajasthan

  • Established on - 30 March 1949

  • Capital - Jaipur (Executive Branch)

  • Chief Minister - Bhajan Lal Sharma

  • State Flower - Rohida

By admin: Aug. 28, 2023

9. Kolkata becomes the third Indian city to adopt an Air Quality Early Warning System (AQEWS)

Tags: Environment State News

Kolkata became the third Indian city to adopt the Air Quality Early Warning System (AQEWS) to combat rising air pollution.

An Overview of the News

  • The system, developed by the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM) in Pune, aims to address rising air pollution levels in urban areas.

  • AQEWS in Kolkata uses an advanced sensor network to provide real-time monitoring of the Air Quality Index (AQI).

  • AQI is a standardized measure of the level of air pollution, with a value ranging from 0 to 500.

  • The system focuses on PM2.5 (particles with a diameter of 2.5 micrometers or smaller) levels, which is a major contributor to health problems due to its ability to enter the lungs.

Air pollution status in Kolkata:

  • Kolkata is facing severe air pollution, which is mainly driven by pollutants like PM2.5.

  • Recent AQEWS measurements show that the AQI is 74, which is expected to rise above 170 by 30 August.

  • These forecasts highlight the urgency of tackling air pollution and emphasize the role of early warning systems.

Data Integration and Accuracy:

  • AQEWS integrates data from the National Air Quality Network and satellite sources to generate accurate air pollution forecasts.

  • The accuracy of the system was proved during the experimental phase that started in September 2022.

  • The inclusion of data from 420 air quality monitoring stations across India ensures a comprehensive approach to the assessment of air quality.

Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change - Bhupendra Yadav

By admin: Aug. 26, 2023

10. BHEL develops India's first catalyst set to curb NOx emissions in power plants

Tags: Environment

Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL), a government engineering firm successfully produced the first indigenous Selective Catalytic Reactor (SCR) to control NOx emissions from thermal power plants.

An Overview of the News

  • SCR Catalysts were earlier imported in line with the 'Make in India' initiative.

  • The initial batch of indigenous SCR Catalyst was manufactured for 5x800 MW Yadadri Thermal Power Station in Telangana.

  • The inaugural event took place at BHEL's Bengaluru Solar Business Division unit, which was led by Renuka Gera, Director, of Industrial Systems and Products.

  • BHEL set up a manufacturing facility at its Solar Business Division unit to produce SCR catalysts for reducing NOx emissions in thermal power plants.

  • Burning coal converts its nitrogen content into nitrogen oxides (NOx), a major air pollutant that includes substances such as NO, NO2, and N2O.

  • Recognizing the serious environmental impact of NOx, the Telangana State Power Generation Corporation Limited (TSGENCO) ordered SCR units for the Yadadri Thermal Power Station.

  • Other orders for SCR units came from Maharashtra State Power Generation Company Limited (MAHAGENCO), West Bengal Power Development Corporation Limited (WBPDCL), and NALCO for various thermal power stations.

  • BHEL is dedicated to environmental protection, offering a range of eco-friendly technologies for thermal power plants, including high-efficiency boilers, electrostatic precipitators, flue gas desulphurization units, and selective catalytic reactors.

  • BHEL achieved indigenization of technology in collaboration with NANO, a leading company of the Republic of Korea for the development of SCR technology.

Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL):

  • It is a major Central Public Sector Enterprise in India.

  • It has the distinction of being the largest manufacturer of power generation equipment under government ownership.

  • BHEL works as a part of the Government of India and comes under the purview of the Ministry of Heavy Industry.

  • Establishment - 1956

  • Headquarters - New Delhi