International Organisations and initiatives


International Organisations and initiatives phenomenon and Associated initiatives

International Organisations and initiatives is an issue concerning all countries. Due to the increasing awareness, govts. all around are taking steps to tackle Organisations and initiatives. In this section, we will provide you with updates related to Organisations and initiatives.

International Organisations and initiatives updates/news
  • Summary of State of Environment Report 2021 – Explained, Pointwise
    Introduction

    The Centre for Science and Environment(CSE) has released its annual State of Environment Report, 2021. This year’s assessment has been made against the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic. The report highlights the dismal state of the environment in India wherein the country is jeopardising its natural wealth for meeting its economic objectives. 

    It also throws light on the impact of Covid-19 over India, which may create a pandemic generation in future who would possess poor health and education levels.

    The report is a reminder for humans to stop indiscriminate usage of the environment. As the Environment has increased, the progression towards sixth mass extinction. The focus should now be on developing eco-friendly products and living harmoniously with nature in order to attain sustainable development. 

    About State of Environment Report
    • It is an annual publication by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) along with Down To Earth.
    • It covers aspects such as forests, wildlife, agriculture, rural development, water and sanitation, and climate change. 
    • This publication is regarded as the most credible and complete annual survey of India’s environment.
    About Centre for Science and Environment (CSE)
    • CSE is a public interest research and advocacy organisation based in New Delhi. 
    • It researches into, lobbies for and communicates the urgency of development that is both sustainable and equitable. 
    • It creates awareness about problems and proposes sustainable solutions. For instance, it exposed the high level of pesticides present in American brands of soft drinks such as Coke and Pepsi.
    • In 2018 the CSE was awarded Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development
    Key Findings of the State of Environment Report 2021
    • Biodiversity and forests:
      • Environmental crime cases are increasing and the disposal of the cases is slow. In 2019, 34,671 crimes were registered and 49,877 cases are pending trial. To clear the backlog in a year, courts need to dispose of 137 cases a day.
      • Forestland diversion is continuing consistently. In 2019, over 11,000 hectares were diverted in 22 states. Eight coal projects were granted clearance in ‘No-Go’ areas.
      • More than 160 species have gone extinct over the last decade (2009-2019).
    • Sustainable Development Goals:
      • India ranks 117 among 192 nations in terms of sustainable development. Its rank was 115 in the 2020 report. 
      • Five best performing states in achieving SDGs: Kerala, Himachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, and Telangana
      • Five worst-performing states in achieving SDGs: Bihar, Jharkhand, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, and Uttar Pradesh.
    • Pollution Levels:
      • India’s air, water, and land have become more polluted between 2009 and 2018.
      • Tarapur in Maharashtra has emerged as the most polluted cluster.
      • In 2019, 1.67 million Indians died due to air pollution. Its economic cost was over $36,000 million, which is equivalent to 1.36 percent of India’s GDP.
      • Both the surface and groundwater in the country are under threat, with 86% of the water bodies critically polluted.
    • Rural India:
      • Community health centres in rural India need 76 percent more doctors, 56 percent more radiographers and 35 percent more lab technicians.
    • Climate Change:
      • India recorded 12 of its 15 warmest years in the period between 2006 and 2020. Further, India also had its warmest decade on record. 
      • Extreme weather events continued their rampage across the country. India was the fourth-worst hit in the world in terms of internal displacements due to disasters.
      • Between 2008 and 2020, some 3.73 million people per year were displaced because of floods, earthquakes, cyclones and droughts. 
    • Pandemic related:
      • The world is going to face a pandemic like the current one more frequently, as we know just 0.1 per cent of potential zoonoses. These are diseases that can be transmitted to humans from animals. Ex – Bird Flu, Anthrax, Ebola etc.
      • The country is all set to host a ‘pandemic generation’. 375 million children (from newborn to 14-year-olds) will have a long-lasting impact ranging from being underweight, stunting, and increased child mortality.
      • Out of the 500 million children forced out of school globally, India accounts for more than 50%.
      • Covid-19 has also turned the world’s poor into poorer. 115 million additional people might get pushed into extreme poverty.
    Analysing the Key Findings of State of Environment Report 2021

    First, the data shows that humans possess a minuscule level of information to tackle future pandemics. The world remains ignorant of 99.9 percent of potential zoonotic viruses.

    Second, the nations would be left with poor human capital in the future if immediate steps towards sustainable development are not taken. 

    The report said that malnutrition and hunger levels could rise with more pandemic events in the future. This would reduce the potential of human capital.

    Third, humans have been increasingly exploiting the environment, as observed by rising air and water pollution levels.

    A reduction in intervention would allow natural healing of the environment, as seen by the appearance of the “clean air and blue sky” during the country-wide lockdown.

    Fourth, India is performing poorly in the attainment of SDG goals in comparison to its peers. It is behind all South Asian nations except Pakistan.

    Challenges such as hunger, low food security, achieving gender equality, fostering innovation are the reasons why India’s rank slipped in 2021.

    Fifth, the loss of species and biodiversity shows a progression towards the Sixth Mass Extinction (Holocene extinction).

    As per the report, before an extinction phase sets in, there are two signs: Loss in population and shrinking distribution areas. These two signs are evident among all species currently.

    Suggestions from the State of Environment Report 2021
    1. The government must undo its 2020 policy decisions that effectively diluted India’s environmental regulation regimes. 
      • For instance, the draft Environment Impact Assessment notification 2020 was an extremely lenient version of its predecessor.
    2. The focus should be on tackling the pandemic without jeopardising the environment.
      • For instance, the rise in plastic waste due to the higher usage of masks and PPE kits can be tackled with innovative solutions. 
      • Dr Binesh Desai’s model of Eco Bricks should be adopted in constructing buildings and hospitals. (Around 52% of the Eco brick is made from plastic.)
    3. There should be timely completion of targets aimed at countering climate change and achieving Sustainable Development goals. This demands timely devolution of funds and resources to the respective departments. For example, 
      • With just 55 percent of the target met, India is nowhere close to installing 175 GW of renewable capacity by 2022
      • The country also has a target of setting up at least 50 solar parks by 2021-22. However, not even one park has been operationalised till now.
    4. The expenditure on health and environmental research should be enhanced. This will help in finding out eco-friendly methods of production and develop greater resilience against future pandemics. 
    Conclusion

    The State of Environment Report is a reminder of the progressive worsening of the environment due to human actions. It calls for resetting our relationship with nature in such a way that it leads to sustainable development. India should now switch from a reactive to a proactive approach in order to mitigate and develop greater resilience against the upcoming environmental changes.

     

  • Children and Digital Dumpsites Report Highlights impacts of E-waste

    What is the News?

    The World Health Organization(WHO) has released a report titled “Children and Digital Dumpsites”.

    About Children and Digital Dumpsites Report:
    • The report summarizes the latest scientific knowledge on the links between informal e-waste recycling activities and the health impact among children.
    • The report also underlined the risk faced by children working in the informal processing of discarded electronic devices or e-waste.

    Key Findings of the Children and Digital Dumpsites Report:

    • Every year, as many as 18 million children — as young as five years — and about 12.9 million women work at e-waste dumpsites.
    • The e-waste from high-income countries is dumped in the middle- or low-income countries for processing every year. This e-waste is dismantled and recycled by children.
    • This e-waste contains over 1,000 precious metals and other substances like gold, copper, mercury, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.
    • Low-income countries do not have proper safeguarding regulations, which makes the process even more dangerous.
    • Moreover, children are especially preferred at these dumpsites because of their small and dexterous hands. Several women, including pregnant women, also work at these sites.
    Impact of E-Waste:
    • Children: The children working at these e-waste dumpsites are prone to improper lung function, deoxyribonucleic acid damage, and increased risk of chronic diseases like cancer and cardiovascular disease. Children are also less likely to metabolize or eradicate pollutants absorbed.
    • Women: Processing e-waste exposes women as well as their children to toxins, which can lead to premature births and stillbirth.
    • E-Waste Areas: The hazardous impact of working at e-waste dumpsites is also experienced by families and communities that reside in the vicinity of these e-waste dumpsites.

    Read Also :-E-Waste Management in India- An Overview

    Recommendations:
    • The report has called for the monitoring, safe disposal of e-waste, and raising awareness about its outcomes on the health of children and women working at these dumpsites.

    About E-Waste:

    • E-Waste(Electronic-Waste) is a term used to describe old, end-of-life, or discarded electronic appliances. It includes computers, mobiles, consumer electronics among others.
    E-Waste Generation:
    • According to the Global E-waste Statistics Partnership, the volume of e-waste generated is surging rapidly across the globe.
    • About 53.6 million tonnes of e-waste were generated in 2019. But only 17.4% of this e-waste was processed in formal recycling facilities.
    • The rest of it was dumped in low- or middle-income countries for illegal processing by informal workers.
    • Moreover, this is likely to increase in the coming years because of the rise in the number of smartphones and computers.

    Source: Down To Earth

  • UN High- Level Dialogue on Desertification, Land degradation and Drought

    What is the News? The Prime Minister of India has delivered a keynote address at the United Nations (UN) High-Level Dialogue on Desertification, Land Degradation, and Drought.

    About UN High-Level Dialogue on Desertification, Land Degradation and Drought:
    • The dialogue has been organized by the President of the United Nations(UN) General Assembly.
    • Aim: It aims to focus the international community’s attention on land issues. So that it can generate political will for implementing land solutions within COVID-19 adaptation and recovery strategies.
      • The dialogue encourages all Member States to adopt and implement Land Degradation Neutrality targets and National Drought Plans.
    • Indian Prime Minister(PM) presided over the 14th Session of the Conference of Parties to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). Thus, he spoke at the opening segment of the dialogue, which is part of UNCCD.
    What are the key takeaways from Indian PM address?
    • Firstly, India is working towards restoring 2.6 crore hectares of degraded land by 2030. India is also assisting fellow developing countries to develop land-restoration strategies.
    • Secondly, India is working towards restoring 26 million hectares of degraded land by 2030.
      • This would contribute to India’s commitment to achieving an additional carbon sink of 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent.
    • Thirdly, over the last 10 years, India has added around 3 million hectares of forest cover. This has enhanced the combined forest cover to almost one-fourth of the country’s total area.
    • Lastly, India has also taken up some novel approaches in many parts of India.
      • Example: Banni region in the Rann of Kutch in Gujarat suffers from highly degraded land and receives very little rain.
      • In the Banni region, land restoration was done by developing grasslands. It helped the region in achieving land degradation neutrality.
      • The region also supports pastoral activities and livelihood by promoting animal husbandry.

    Read Also :-What is Land Degradation?

    About UNCCD (United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification)
    • UNCCD is the sole legally binding international agreement linking environment and development to sustainable land management. It was established in 1994. It has 197 parties.
    • Purpose: It seeks to work towards maintaining and restoring land and soil productivity and mitigating the effects of drought.
    14th Session of COP-14 of UNCCD:
    • India had for the first time hosted the 14th session of the Conference of Parties(COP-14) of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification(UNCCD) at Greater Noida in 2019.
    • The theme of the Conference was ‘Restore land, Sustain future’.
    • During the conference, the Delhi Declaration was issued. The declaration called for better access over land and emphasised gender-sensitive transformative projects.

    Source: PIB

    Read Also :-Lessons from the past for way forward in Myanmar

  • TERI organises “World Sustainable Development Summit 2021”
    What is the News?

    The Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change has addressed the World Sustainable Development Summit 2021.

    About World Sustainable Development Summit:
    • The World Sustainable Development Summit is an annual event organized by The Energy and Resources Institute(TERI) since 2001.
    • The summit was earlier known as Delhi Sustainable Development Summit.
    • Purpose: The summit brings together Nobel laureates, political leaders among others on a common platform to deliberate on issues related to sustainable development and climate change.
    • The theme for 2021: Redefining our common future: Safe & Secure Environment for All

    Key Takeaways from the World Sustainable Development Summit 2021:

    • The availability of water is continuously declining. Agriculture sector alone consumes 85% of available water.
    • Thus, water conservation methods should be used in Agriculture to manage available water resources efficiently.
    About The Energy and Resources Institute(TERI)
    • TERI is a non-profit research institute. It was established in 1974 as Tata Energy Research Institute and renamed to The Energy Resources Institute in 2003.
    • Purpose: It conducts research work in the fields of energy, environment, and sustainable development for India and the Global South.
    • Location: New Delhi.
    Other Initiatives by TERI:
    • Lighting a Billion Lives(LaBL): It is an initiative of TERI to provide clean lighting access to the bottom of the pyramid communities.
    • Green Olympiad: It is conducted by TERI in association with MoEFCC. It is an international environment examination that is annually organized for middle and high-school students.
    • Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment (GRIHA): It was conceived by TERI and developed with the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy. It is a national rating system for green buildings in India.

    Source: AIR

  • “World Environment Day” 2021 observed globally
    What is the News?

    World Environment Day was observed on the 5th, June 2021.

    About World Environment Day:
    • World Environment Day (WED) was established by the UN General Assembly (UNGA) in 1972 on the first day of the Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment.
      • United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) was created as a result of this conference.
      • In 1974, the first WED was held with the theme “Only One Earth”.
    • Aim: To spread awareness and to encourage people to take steps to protect the environment.
    • Host Country: It is being hosted by Pakistan
      • The idea for rotating the center of these activities through selecting different host countries began in 1987.
    • The theme for 2021: The theme is “Ecosystem Restoration” and will focus on resetting our relation with nature.
    • This WED will also mark the formal launch of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration 2021 – 2030.
      • Ecosystem restoration is the act of helping degraded and destroyed ecosystems to recover and also protecting and conserving the ecosystems that are still intact.
      • Examples of degraded ecosystems are polluted rivers, deforested landscape, overexploited forests and non-fertile agricultural land.
      • 2011 – 2020 was the United Nations Decade on Biodiversity

    Read Also:-Down To Earth : Summary

    Initiatives by India on World Environment Day:
    • Indian Government has declared the theme for World Environment Day, 2021 as “Promotion of biofuels for a better environment”.
    • ‘Report of the expert committee on the road map for ethanol blending in India 2020-2025’ was released
    • An E-100 pilot project has been launched in Pune for the production and distribution of ethanol across the country.
    • Stats: In 2020, the Government of India had set a target of reaching 10% ethanol blending in petrol (10% of ethanol mixed with 90% of diesel) by 2022 & 20% ethanol blending by 2030.
      • However, the target date for achieving 20% ethanol-blending with petrol has been brought forward by five years to 2025 from the earlier target of 2030. This is to cut pollution and reduce import dependence.

    Source: World Environment Day

    Sustainable Development

  • IEA releases “World Energy Investment Report 2021”

    What is the News?
    The International Energy Agency(IEA) has released the World Energy Investment Report 2021.

    About the World Energy Investment Report 2021:
    • The report presents the latest data and analysis of how energy investment flows are recovering from the shock of the Covid-19 pandemic. This includes full-year outlook estimates for 2021. 
    Key Findings of the World Energy Investment Report 2021:
    • Global energy investments are set to recover by nearly 10% in 2021 to $1.9 trillion reversing the decline in 2020.
      • However, the energy transition is moving more funds toward electricity and renewables and away from fossil fuels.
    • Power Sector: Global Power Sector which saw flat investments in 2020 is set to receive the highest ever funding i.e. up by about 5% to more than $820 billion. Among them, Renewables are forecast to account for 70% of the total.
    • Fossil Fuels: The technologies like Carbon Capture and Storage(CCS) are yet to attain commercial success. So, the investments in oil are expected to grow by about 10%.
    • Coal Sector: The approvals for coal-fired plants are some 80% below where they were five years ago. But coal is not out of the picture as there is a slight increase in coal-fired plants in 2020 driven by China and some other Asian economies.
    • The Energy efficiency sector will also see a substantial rise (10%) in investment. But the low fossil fuel price may act as a deterrent.
      • Energy Efficiency refers to a method of reducing energy consumption by using less energy to attain the same amount of useful output.
    • Increase in Emissions: The present scenarios will not deter the increase in carbon dioxide emission after the contraction in 2020. The Global emission is set to grow by 1.5 billion tonnes in 2021.
    • Net Zero Plan: The commitments to the Net Zero plan is gaining momentum, but its transition to actual action is not visible.
      • Net-zero emission is the method of balancing the greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere by the greenhouse gas absorption from the atmosphere.
    Suggestions provided by the World Energy Investment Report 2021:
    • Clean energy investment would need to double in the coming years to maintain temperatures well below a 2 °C rise. It needs to be more than triple in order to keep the door open for a 1.5 °C stabilisation.
    • A democratic decision-making process and de-corporatisation of the energy sector is the need of the future for the survival of civilization on this planet.

    Source: Down To Earth

  • “Clean Energy Ministerial” and “Industrial Deep Decarbonization Initiative”
    What is the news?

    India along with the United Kingdom has launched a new workstream to promote industrial energy efficiency under the Industrial Deep Decarbonization Initiative (IDDI).

    • The workstream was launched at the 12th Chief Energy Ministerial(CEM).
    About Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM):
    • The Clean Energy Ministerial(CEM) was launched at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference Of Parties in Copenhagen in 2009.
    • Objective: It is a high-level global forum to promote policies and programs for the development of clean energy technology. It also aims to share experience & best practices encouraging the transition to a global clean energy economy.
    • Focus Areas: The CEM is focused on three global climate and energy policy goals:
      • Improve energy efficiency worldwide
      • Enhance clean energy supply
      • Expand clean energy access.
    • Member Countries: 29 Countries. India is a member.
    About Industrial Deep De-carbonization Initiative (IDDI):
    • IDDI is an initiative of the Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM).
    • Purpose: It is a global coalition of public and private organizations that are working to stimulate demand for low carbon industrial materials. IDDI works to
      • Standardize carbon assessments
      • Establish ambitious public and private sector procurement targets
      • Incentivize investment into low-carbon product development
      • Design industry guidelines
    • Coordinated by: The initiative is coordinated by UNIDO and is co-led by the UK and India. The initiative also has the support of Germany and Canada.
    About United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)

    It is the specialized agency of the United Nations that promotes industrial development for poverty reduction, inclusive globalization and environmental sustainability.

    Source: PIB

  • “State of Finance for Nature Report” demands investment in “Nature-based solutions”
    What is the News?

    The State of Finance for Nature Report has been released. The report recommended more investments in “Nature-based solutions”.

    About State of Finance for Nature Report:
    • Released by: United Nations Environment Programme, World Economic Forum and the Economics of Land Degradation.
    • Purpose: The report tracks the global trends in public and private investment in nature-based solutions. By this, it aims to improve data quality and identify opportunities for governments, businesses and financiers.

    Note: Nature-based solutions(NbS) refer to sustainable management and the use of nature to tackle socio-environmental challenges. These challenges range from disaster risk reduction, climate change and biodiversity loss to food and water security as well as human health.

    Key Findings of the Report:
    • The current investments in Nature-based solutions amount to USD 133 billion. This is about 0.10% of global GDP. Public funds make up 86% and private finance makes up the remaining 14% of these investments.
    • Public Investment: The largest proportion of public investment is carried out by the United States, with approximately $36 billion a year in NbS spending. It is followed by China, Japan, Germany and Australia.
      • Countries such as Brazil, India and Saudi Arabia are likely spending large amounts of money too. But they do not report internationally comparable data, according to the report.
    • Private Investment: The private investment in Nature-based solutions is mostly contributed by
      • Commercial financial institutions,
      • Investors including insurance companies, asset management firms
      • Philanthropies including foundations and endowments.
    Recommendations:
    • Firstly, the report calls for investments in nature-based solutions to triple by 2030 and to increase four-fold by 2050 from the current level.
      • By 2050, the total investment of nature needs will amount to $8.1 trillion, while annual investment should reach $536 billion annually by 2050.
    • Secondly, the report has called for a comprehensive system and framework for labelling, tracking, reporting and verifying the state of finance for NbS. This would improve data comparability and quality as an input to future decision-making.
    • Lastly, the report has recommended reforming taxes, repurposing agricultural policies and trade-related tariffs. It also recommended harnessing the potential of carbon markets to finance Nature-based solutions.

    Source: Down To Earth

     

  • “Protected Planet Report” 2020 Released by UNEP

    What is the News? UNEP released the Protected Planet Report 2020.

    About Protected Planet Report 2020:
    • Released by: United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
    • Purpose: The report takes stock of measures taken to fulfill the aims of Aichi Target 11. Aichi Target 11 called for protecting 17% of Earth’s land and 10% of its marine environments by 2020.
    • Further, the report also lays the groundwork for a new framework aimed at protecting nature. It will be decided upon at the UN Biodiversity Conference, scheduled for October 2021 in Kunming, China.
    • Moreover, the report is the first to include data on other effective area-based conservation measures(OECM) taken outside protected areas. OECM conservation designation is given to the areas for achieving effective in-situ biodiversity conservation outside protected areas.
    Key Findings:
    • Increase in Protected Areas and OECM: As many as 82% of countries and territories register an increase in the share of protected areas and OECM since 2010.
      • Protected Areas are clearly defined geographical space. These are recognised, dedicated, and managed through legal or other effective means to achieve the long-term conservation of nature with associated ecosystem services and cultural values.
    • Since 2010, protected areas covering almost a million square kilometers have been added to the global network. This area is greater than the land area of the Russian Federation.
    • Over the 10-year period, the greatest growth in protected areas and OECMs has been in marine and coastal areas. Around 68% of the current network’s area is less than 10 years old.
    • Around 62.6% of key biodiversity areas (KBA) either fully or partially overlap with protected areas and OECMs.
      • Key Biodiversity Areas(KBAs) are sites that contribute significantly to the global persistence of biodiversity in terrestrial, freshwater, and marine ecosystems.
    What are Aichi Biodiversity Targets?
    • Aichi Biodiversity Targets are a set of 20 targets classified under 5 Strategic Goals. They were included in the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity for the 2011-2020 period.
    • Adoption of the targets happened at the 10th meeting of the Conference of the Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity(CBD).
    • Purpose: The development of targets happened to prevent the loss of biological diversity in each participating country.

    Source: Down To Earth

  • International Day for Biological Diversity
    What is the News?

    International Day for Biological Diversity (IDB) is observed every year on 22nd May.

    About International Day for Biological Diversity(IDB):
    • The United Nations has proclaimed May 22 as the International Day for Biological Diversity(IDB) to increase understanding and awareness of biodiversity issues.
      • Earlier, December 29 was designated as the International Day for Biological Diversity. But in 2000, the UN General Assembly chose May 22 to mark the day.
    • The Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity(CBD) announces the theme each year.
    • Theme for 2021:
      • The theme is “We’re part of the solution”. It is a continuation of the 2020 theme- Our solutions are in nature.
      • The theme serves as a reminder that biodiversity remains the answer to several sustainable development challenges.
    About Convention on Biological Diversity(CBD):
    • The Convention was signed at the 1992 Rio Earth Summit. It is a legally binding treaty dedicated to promoting sustainable development.
    • Parties: There are 196 parties to the convention. Nearly all countries have ratified it (notably, the US has signed but not ratified).
    • Objectives:
      • conservation of biological diversity,
      • sustainable use of the components of biological diversity
      • fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources.
    • Secretariat: The CBD Secretariat is based in Montreal, Canada, and it operates under the United Nations Environment Programme.
    • COP: The Parties (Countries) under the Convention of Biodiversity (CBD) meet at regular intervals and these meetings are called Conference of Parties (COP).
    Convention Protocols and other Initiatives:
    • Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety: It was adopted in 2000 and entered into force in 2003. It aims to ensure the safe handling, transport, and use of living modified organisms(LMOs) resulting from modern biotechnology that may have adverse effects on biological diversity.
    • Nagoya Protocol: It was adopted in 2010 in Nagoya, Japan at COP10. It entered into force in 2014. It aims at sharing the benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources in a fair and equitable way.
    • Aichi Biodiversity Targets: These were included in the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity for the 2011-2020 period adopted by the 10th meeting of the Conference of the Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity. There are 20 Aichi Targets classified under 5 Strategic Goals.

    Source: Down To Earth

     

  • WWF Report on Snow Leopards

    What is the News? The World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF) has released a report. Its title is “Over 100 Years of Snow Leopards Research — A spatially explicit review of the state of knowledge in the snow leopard range”.

    About the Report:
    • The report provides a comprehensive overview of research carried out across the snow leopard range.
    • It also identifies gaps that need to be addressed to ensure effective snow leopard conservation.
    Key Findings of the Report:
    • The studies on snow leopard started in the 1970s, and it continued to increase exponentially since then.
    • However, just four hotspots of snow leopard have been researched so far (sites with continued multi-year research). It constitutes less than 23% of the snow leopard range.
    • Hence, more than 70% of the habitat of the species spanning over 12 Asian countries remains un-researched.
      • Reason: This species of leopard lives in rugged terrain — some of the harshest landscapes on the planet. Therefore, research poses significant logistical challenges.
    • Nepal, India, and China had conducted the most snow leopard research, followed by Mongolia and Pakistan.
    Threats :
    • Globally, there could be as few as 4,000 snow leopards left in Asia’s high mountains. This remaining population also faces continued and emerging threats such as:
      • Increased habitat loss and degradation
      • poaching
      • conflict with communities among others.
    About Snow Leopards:
    • IUCN Status: Vulnerable
    • CITES: Appendix I
    • Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972: Schedule I
    • State Animal: It is the State animal of Himachal Pradesh.
    • It lives at high altitudes in the steep mountains of Central and Southern Asia, where the climate is extremely cold.
    • Indicator Species: The Snow Leopard (also known as Ghost of the mountains) acts as an indicator of the health of the mountain ecosystem in which they live. It is because of their position as the top predator in the food web.
    • Range Countries: Further, it is found in 12 range countries namely Afghanistan, Bhutan, China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.
    • India: In India, it inhabits the higher Himalayan and trans-Himalayan landscape in the states/union territories of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim, and Arunachal Pradesh.

    Click Here to Read more

    Source: Down To Earth

     

  • “Nature in a Globalised World” – An IUCN report on Conflict and Conservation

    What is the News?

    International Union for Conservation of Nature(IUCN) has released a report titled “Nature in a Globalised World: Conflict and Conservation”.

     About the Nature in a Globalised World Report:
    • The report focuses on complex relationships between nature and the armed conflict.
    • Objective: The objective is to bring nature conservation into the mainstream of economic and political decision-making.
    Key Findings of the Nature in a Globalised World Report:
    • Armed Conflicts have numerous negative effects on nature. These include:
      • Direct killing of wildlife for food or trade
      • Degradation of ecosystems as both a tactic and a consequence of war
      • Disruption of conservation, e.g. through attacks on protected area staff and other conservationists.
    • Greater conflict risk: The report gave examples about the impact on a range of species from conflicts:
      • During the 1994 war in Rwanda, 90% of the large mammals in the Akagera National Park were killed for food or trade.
      • The Vietnam War almost certainly accelerated the extinction of the Javan rhinoceros.
    • Further, the report has found that armed conflicts are particularly prevalent in some of the more biodiverse regions of the world.
    • Moreover, civil unrest and military exercises pose a risk to more than 200 Endangered species. This includes even the iconic species such as the Critically Endangered Eastern gorilla.
    • However, conflicts were less frequent within the boundaries of the natural reserves and other protected areas.
     Recommendations of the Nature in a Globalised World:

    The report has recommended a series of suggestions such as:

    • Strengthening the natural resource governance through measures like inclusive decision-making
    • Improving accountability and transparency
    • Recognising the rights of indigenous peoples and of women
    • Establishment of explicit protections for protected area staff, environmental defenders and other conservationists and
    • Sanctions against those who commit environmental war crimes.

    Source: Livemint


    “Blue Nature Alliance” launched to restore oceans in five years

     

  • RBI Joins “Network for Greening the Financial System”
    What is the News?

    Reserve Bank of India(RBI) has joined the Network for Greening the Financial System (NGFS) as a Member.

    About Network for Greening the Financial System(NGFS):

    • Firstly, NGFS was launched at the Paris One Planet Summit in December 2017.
    • Secondly, it is a group of Central banks and financial supervisors. The NGFS aims to accelerate the scaling up of green finance and develop recommendations for central banks’ role in climate change.
    • Thirdly, it is located at the Bank of France headquartered in Paris.
    • Fourthly, as of April 2021, the NGFS consists of 90 members and 13 observers.
    • Significance for RBI: As Green Finance has assumed significance in the context of climate change. So the RBI expects to benefit from the membership of NGFS by learning and contributing to global efforts on Green Finance.

    Source: Hindu Businessline

  • Saudi Arabia joins “Net Zero Producers Forum” on climate change
    What is the News?

    Saudi Arabia has announced that it will be joining Canada, the US, Qatar and Norway in the formation of the Net Zero Producers Forum.

    About Net Zero Producers Forum:
    • The Net Zero Producers Forum has been formed for the oil and gas producing countries. The Forum aims to discuss the ways to achieve net zero carbon emission targets to limit global warming.
    • The countries will also discuss ways to support the implementation of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.
    • Strategies: The Forum will consider strategies and technologies which include

    Note: Qatar, the US, Saudi Arabia, Canada and Norway are collectively responsible for 40% of global oil and gas production.

    Targets of Countries under Paris Climate Agreement:
    • US: It has pledged to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 50-52 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030.
    • Canada: It has pledged to cut emissions by 40-45 per cent from 2005 levels by 2030.
    • Saudi Arabia has pledged to reduce its carbon emissions by generating 50% of its energy requirements from renewable sources by 2030.
    • EU: It has shown a commitment to reduce emissions by 55 per cent from 1990 levels by 2030.
     What is Net-Zero?
    • Firstly, net-zero is also referred to as carbon-neutrality.
    • Secondly, it does not mean that a country would bring down its emissions to zero.
    • Thirdly, net-zero, rather is a state in which a country’s emissions are compensated by absorption and removal of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.
    • Fourthly, absorption of the emissions can be increased by creating more carbon sinks such as forests
    • Fifthly, the removal of gases from the atmosphere requires futuristic technologies such as carbon capture and storage.

    Source: AIR

  • “Global Forest Goals Report 2021” and “United Nations Strategic Plan for Forests”

    What is the News?

    The Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations has released the Global Forest Goals Report 2021.

    Findings of the Global Forest Goals Report 2021:
    • Firstly, the report finds that the world is making progress in key areas such as increasing global forest area through afforestation and restoration.
    • Secondly, the Covid-19 pandemic has aggravated the challenges faced by countries in managing their forests.
    • Thirdly, forests have been a lifeline for millions of people during the pandemic. Some of the most vulnerable segments of society depend on forests for their most essential subsistence needs. This has increased pressures on forest systems.
    About Global Forest Goals Report 2021:
    • It is the first evaluation of the global status of implementing the United Nations Strategic Plan for Forests 2030.
    • Purpose: The report provides an overview of progress towards achieving the United Nations Strategic Plan for Forests 2030. The plan has six Global Forest Goals and 26 associated targets for forests.
    • Data: The report draws upon data from 52 voluntary national reports and 19 voluntary national contributions. Together they represent 75% of forests in the world.

     United Nations Strategic Plan for Forests 2017-2030 (UNSPF):

    • The first-ever UN Strategic Plan for Forests was adopted at a special session of the UN Forum on Forests held in 2017.
    • The plan contains a set of six Global Forest Goals and 26 associated targets to be reached by 2030. All these are voluntary in nature and universally applicable.
    • It also includes a target to increase forest area by 3% worldwide by 2030. This is an increase of 120 million hectares, an area over twice the size of France.
    The Six Global Forest Goals are:
    • Goal 1: Reverse the loss of forest cover worldwide. This is by adopting sustainable forest management, including protection, restoration, afforestation and reforestation.
    • Goal 2: Enhance forest-based economic, social and environmental benefits. This includes improving the livelihoods of forest-dependent people.
    • Goal 3: Increase significantly the area of protected forests worldwide and other areas of sustainably managed forests.
    • Goal 4: Mobilize significantly increased, new and additional financial resources from all sources. This is for the implementation of sustainable forest management and strengthening scientific and technical cooperation and partnerships.
    • Goal 5: Promote governance frameworks to implement sustainable forest management.
    • Goal 6: Enhance cooperation, coordination, coherence and synergies on forest-related issues at all levels.
    Note:
    • Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services(IPBES)  has released the Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services. The report highlighted that one million species were at risk of extinction and 100 million hectares of tropical forest were lost from 1980-2000.

    Source: Down To Earth

  • “Blue Nature Alliance” launched to restore oceans in five years

    What is the News?

    Blue Nature Alliance has been launched with a goal to restore 7 million square miles of ocean in five years.

    About Blue Nature Alliance:
    • Blue Nature Alliance is a global partnership. It was founded and led by Conservation International, Pew Charitable Trusts, Global Environment Facility(GEF), Minderoo Foundation and Rob & Melani Walton Foundation.
    • Aim: To safeguard global ocean biodiversity, build resilience to climate change, promote human well-being and enhance ecosystem connectivity.
    • Targets: The alliance has a target to:
      • Conserve 18 million square kilometres of ocean in five years.
      • Protect 5% of the world’s ocean in five years.
      • Help the world achieve 30% ocean conservation by 2030.
    • Target Oceans: The Alliance has started by targeting seven ocean locations. This includes Antarctica, Fiji, Canada, Seychelles, Palau, the Western Indian Ocean and Tristan da Cunha, an island in the South Atlantic Ocean.
    • The alliance will begin work by working with local communities and national leaders. It aims to establish new marine protected areas (MPAs) and improve the management of existing ones.
    About Conservation International(CI):
    • Conservation International(CI) is an American nonprofit environmental organization. It was founded in 1987.
    • Objective: Its mission is to spotlight and secure the critical benefits that nature provides to humanity. Such as food, freshwater, livelihoods and a stable climate,etc.
    • Headquarters: Virginia, USA.

    Source: CNN

  • The significance of “World Earth Day”
    What is the News?

    World Earth Day is being celebrated on April 22, 2021.

    World Earth day 2021 theme: ‘Restore Our Earth’. The theme focuses on natural processes, emerging green technologies and innovative thinking to restore the world’s ecosystems.
     About World Earth Day
    • World Earth Day is celebrated every year on 22nd April. It was celebrated for the first time in the year 1970.
    • In 2009 the United Nations designated April 22 as ‘International Mother Earth Day
    • Aim: The celebration of earth day is to achieve the following objectives.
      • To build the world’s largest environmental movement to drive transformative change for people and the planet.
      • To diversify, educate and activate the environmental movement worldwide.
    • Origin: Earth Day was first observed in the year 1970. Gaylord Nelson, a US senator from Wisconsin, USA came up with the idea of commemorating such a day.
    • Led by: The activities on Earth Day are led by earthday.org formerly known as Earth Day Network.
      • It is a US-based international environmental NGO and has a presence in 195 countries.
    • Significance: The Paris Agreement brought almost 200 countries together in setting a common target to reduce global greenhouse emissions. It was signed on Earth Day 2016.

    Source: Indian Express

     

  • Government congratulated “International Ranger Award” winner from India
    What is the News?

    Mahinder Giri, a range officer from Rajaji Tiger Reserve won the prestigious International Ranger Award . He is the only ranger from Asia to win this award. Recently, Minister for Environment, Forests and Climate Change congratulated the range officer for his achievement.

    About the International Ranger Award:
    • The International Ranger Award was created in 2020.
    • Organized by: The IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas(WCPA) in collaboration with the International Ranger Federation, Global Wildlife Conservation, and Conservation Allies.
    • Aim: The award aims to highlight and felicitate the extraordinary work of rangers in protected and conserved areas worldwide.
    About World Commission on Protected Areas(WCPA):
    • The World Commission on Protected Areas(WCPA) is one of the commissions of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature(IUCN).
    • Administered by: IUCN’s Global Programme on Protected Areas. It has over 2,500 members, spanning 140 countries.
    • Functions: WCPA works by helping governments and others to plan
      • Protected areas and integrate them into all sectors
      • Providing strategic advice to policymakers
      • Strengthening capacity and investment in protected areas and
      • Convening the diverse constituency of protected area stakeholders to address challenging issues.
    • Headquarters: Gland, Switzerland.
    About International Ranger Federation(IRF):
    • Founded in: 1992 in Peak National Park in the UK.
    • It aims to actively promote and support the formation of Ranger Associations around the world. Also, it ensures the Rangers are adequately supported and represented.

    About Conservation Allies:

    • Conservation Allies partners with NGOs working on biodiversity conservation around the globe.
    About Global Wildlife Conservation
    • Global Wildlife Conservation is a Wildlife Conservation charity. It is located in Texas, United States.
    • The organization conserves the diversity of life on Earth by protecting and restoring wildlife and habitat. It conducts its operations in more than 50 countries.

    Source: AIR

  • What is “Earth Hour”?
    What is the News?

    On March 27, 2021, the world observed the Earth Hour Day.

    About Earth Hour
    • Earth Hour is a global movement for environmental conservation. The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) started it in 2007.
    • It is an annual event, that takes place on the last Saturday of March. Millions of people in over 180 countries and territories participate in it by turning off their lights.
    • Aim: It aims to call attention to global warming, loss of biodiversity, and climate change.
    • During the Earth Hour, people turn off their lights for an hour as a sign of global solidarity.
    • Significance: This hour showcases the need to take action on the pressing issue of global climate change. Further, it promotes awareness about environmental issues on a public platform.
    • Theme for 2021: “Climate Change to Save Earth”
    About World Wildlife Fund for Nature(WWF):
    • World Wildlife Fund for Nature(WWF) is an international non-governmental organization founded in 1961.
    • It is the world’s largest conservation organization.
    • Aim: It aims to stop the degradation of the planet’s natural environment. Furthermore, it also aims to build a future where humans live in harmony with nature.
    • Headquarters: Gland, Switzerland.

    Source: NDTV

     

  • UN observes “International Day of Forests”
    What is the News?

    The United Nations observes March 21 as the International Day of Forests.

    About International Day of Forests:
    • The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed March 21 as the International Day of Forests (IDF) in 2012.
    • Aim: The day celebrates and raises awareness about the importance of all types of forests.
    • Celebrated by: The United Nations Forum on Forests and the Food and Agriculture Organization(FAO) celebrates the day. The celebrations happen in collaboration with governments, Collaborative Partnership on Forests(CPF), and other relevant organisations in the field.
    • On this day, the UN encourages the countries to undertake local, national, and international activities for forests and trees. For example tree-planting campaigns.
    • The theme for 2021: “Forest restoration: a path to recovery and well-being”.
    Forest cover in India
    • Since Independence, one-fifth of India’s land has consistently been under forests. This is significant as the population increased more than three times at the same time.
    • According to the biennial State of Forest Report,2019, India’s forest cover increased by 3,976 Sq. km or 0.56% since 2017.
    • In 2017, the tree and forest cover together made up 24.39%. At present, it is raised to 25.56% of India’s area.
    • The top three states showing an increase in forest cover are Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and Kerala.
    • However, the sharpest decline in forest cover was seen in the northeastern states of Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, and Mizoram.

    Click Here to Read more about State of Forest Report 2019

    About United Nations Forum on Forests:
    • Established by: Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (ECOSOC).
    • Objective: To promote the management, conservation, and sustainable development of all types of forests. Further, It aims to strengthen long-term political commitment to this end.
    • Membership: The Forum has universal membership, and is composed of all Member States of the United Nations and specialized agencies.
    • Headquarters: New York, United States.

    About Collaborative Partnership on Forests(CPF):

    • It is an informal, voluntary arrangement among 15 international organizations and secretariats. These organizations run substantial programs on forests.
    • Purpose: The mission of the CPF is to help enhance the contribution of all types of forests and trees outside forests. It aims to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and other internationally agreed development goals.

    Source: Indian Express

  • PM received “Global Energy and Environment Leadership Award”

    What is the News?

    The Prime Minister received the Global Energy and Environment Leadership Award.

    Global Energy and Environment Leadership Award:

    • Global Energy and Environment Leadership Award was instituted in 2016.
    • Awarded by: the Cambridge Energy Research Associates Week (CERAWeek).
    • Purpose: The Global Energy and Environment Leadership award recognize the commitment of leadership to the future of global energy and the environment. Awarded for: Providing solutions and policies for energy access, affordability, and environmental stewardship.

    CERAWeek:

    • It was founded in 1983 by Daniel Yergin. It is an annual energy conference organized by the information and insights company IHS Markit in Houston, US.
    • The conference provides a platform for discussion on a range of energy-related topics.

    Source: The Hindu

    Knowledge Economy in India

  • State of Environment Report, 2021

    What is the News?

    The Centre for Science and Environment(CSE) has released the State of Environment Report, 2021.

    About the State of Environment Report, 2021:

    • It is an annual publication by the Centre for Science and Environment(CSE) along with Down To Earth.
    • It covers aspects such as forests, wildlife, agriculture, rural development, water and sanitation, and climate change. This publication is regarded as the most credible and complete annual survey of India’s environment.

    Key Findings:

    Impact of Covid-19 Pandemic:

    • Pandemic Generation: The country is all set to host a ‘pandemic generation’. 375 million children (from newborn to 14-year-olds) have a long-lasting impact ranging from being underweight, stunting, and increased child mortality.
    • Hidden Victims of Pandemic: The pandemic has its hidden victims. Out of the 500 million children forced out of school globally, India accounts for more than 50%.
    • Increase in Poverty: Covid-19 has also turned the world’s poor into poorer. 115 million additional people might get pushed into extreme poverty and most of them live in South Asia.

    Industrial Pollution:

    • India’s air, water, and land have become more polluted between 2009 and 2018.
    • Tarapur in Maharashtra has emerged as the most polluted cluster.

    On Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs)

    • India ranks 117 among 192 nations in terms of sustainable development. It is behind all South Asian nations except Pakistan.
    • Five best performing states in achieving SDGs: Kerala, Himachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, and Telangana
    • Five worst-performing states in achieving SDGs: Bihar, Jharkhand, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, and Uttar Pradesh.

    On air pollution

    • In 2019, 1.67 million Indians died due to air pollution. Its economic cost was over the US $36,000 million, which is equivalent to 1.36 percent of India’s GDP.

    On Water:

    • Since 2014-15, an average of 34% of MGNREGA funds has been spent on water-related works. It led to the creation of almost 11 million assets in half a million villages.

    On biodiversity and forests

    • Environmental crime cases are increasing and the disposal of the cases is slow. In 2019, 34,671 crimes were registered and 49,877 cases are pending trial. To clear the backlog in a year, courts need to dispose of 137 cases a day.
    • Forestland diversion is continuing consistently. In 2019, over 11,000 hectares were diverted in 22 states. Eight coal projects were granted clearance in ‘No-Go’ areas. These projects diverted around 19,614 ha of forestland and evicted over 10,000 families.

    Source: The Hindu

     

    Oxfam Report Findings – Rising inequality in India

  • WCCB receives “Asia Environmental Enforcement Award-2020”

    What is the News?

    Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) has received the Asia Environmental Enforcement Award-2020.

    About Asia Environmental Enforcement Award:

    • It is given by the United Nations Environment Programme(UNEP) in partnership with UNDP, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), CITES, INTERPOL, and World Customs Organisation(WCO).
    • Purpose: The award publicly recognises excellence in controlling transboundary environmental crime. Government officials and institutions or teams can be awarded for the enforcement.
    • The award covers any transboundary environmental crime such as illegal trade in wildlife and illegal trade in chemical or waste including plastic.

    Why was WCCB awarded?

    • WCCB was awarded under the category ‘Innovation’. It was awarded for “Operation WILDNET-II” or  ‘Innovation’ for planning and conducting a multispecies enforcement operation.
      • Operation WILDNET: The purpose of the Operation was to control the ever-growing illegal wildlife trade on the Internet, through social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp.
    • Significance: This is the second time WCCB is receiving this award. Earlier, it received this award in 2018.

    Click Here to Read about WCCB

     Source: AIR

     Read also:-

    https://blog.forumias.com/polity/fundamental-rights/provisions-enshrined-in-important-articles-of-the-fundamental-rights/article-32/

  • Hyderabad recognised as a ‘Tree City of the World’

    What is the news?

    The Arbor Day Foundation and the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation have recognised Hyderabad as ‘2020 Tree City of the World’.

    About Tree Cities of the World Programme:

    Tree Cities of the World programme is an international program. It recognises cities and towns for properly and sustainably maintaining their urban forests and trees.

    Criteria: To receive recognition, a town or city must meet five core standards:

    1. Establish Responsibility: The city must have a written statement by city leaders. It must clearly delegate responsibility for the care of trees within its municipal boundary to either a staff member, a city department, or a group of citizens—called a Tree Board.
    2. Set the Rules: The city should have a law or an official policy that governs the management of forests and trees.
    3. Know What You Have: The city should have an updated inventory or assessment of the local tree resource. It will be helpful in effective long-term planning for planting, care, and removal of city trees.
    4. Allocate the Resources: The city must have a dedicated annual budget for the implementation of the tree management plan.
    5. Celebrate Achievements: The city holds an annual celebration of trees. It will raise awareness among residents, citizens and staff members who carry out the city tree programme.

    Why was Hyderabad selected as a Tree City?

    • Hyderabad is selected as a Tree City because of its initiatives like Haritha Haram programme and Urban Forest Parks plan.
      • Haritha Haram is a flagship program of the state government for large-scale plantations across the state to increase the green cover.
    • Significance: Hyderabad is the only city from India to get recognition as a Tree City. With this recognition, Hyderabad joins 120 other cities from 23 countries including the US, the UK, Canada, and Australia.

    Source: The Hindu

     

  • PM to inaugurate “World Sustainable Development Summit 2021”

    What is the News?
    The Prime Minister will inaugurate the World Sustainable Development Summit 2021.

    About World Sustainable Development Summit(WSDS):

    • It is an annual event organized by The Energy and Resources Institute(TERI) since 2001. The summit was earlier known as Delhi Sustainable Development Summit.
    • Purpose: The Summit brings together a wide number of participants in the fight against climate change. Participants include governments, business leaders, academicians, climate scientists, youth, and civil society.
    • Key Partners: The Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change(MoEFCC), Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, and the Ministry of Earth Sciences are key partners of the Summit.
    • Theme for 2021: “Redefining our common future: Safe and secure environment for all”.

    The Energy and Resources Institute(TERI)

    • It is a non-profit research institute. It was established in 1974 as Tata Energy Research Institute and renamed to The Energy Resources Institute in 2003.
    • Purpose: It conducts research work in the fields of energy, environment, and sustainable development for India and the Global South.
    • Location: New Delhi.

    Other Initiatives by TERI:

    • Lighting a Billion Lives(LaBL): It is an initiative of TERI to provide clean lighting access to the bottom of the pyramid communities.
    • Green Olympiad: It is conducted by TERI in association with MoEFCC. It is an international environment examination that is annually organized for middle and high-school students.
    • Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment (GRIHA): It was conceived by TERI and developed with the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy. It is a national rating system for green buildings in India.

    Source: PIB

    Read also:- https://blog.forumias.com/niti-aayogs-megacity-plan-for-little-andaman/

  • “Global Climate Litigation Report 2020” released by UNEP

    What is the News?

    The United Nations Environment Programme(UNEP) has released the Global Climate Litigation Report 2020.

    About Global Climate Litigation Report 2020

    1. Published by: The report was published by the UNEP in cooperation with the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia University.
    2. Objective: The provides an overview of the current state of climate change litigation cases.

    Key Findings of the report:

    1. Increase in Climate litigation cases: The climate-related cases have nearly doubled over the last three years. It has made the courtrooms increasingly relevant to address climate change across the world.
    2. These cases of pushing governments and corporations to implement climate commitments in their countries.
    3. Common climate litigation charges:
      1. Violations of “climate rights” that impact fundamental human rights including the right to life, health, food, and water.
      2. Government failure to enforce climate change mitigation and adaptation commitments.
      3. False and misleading Corporate messaging about climate change impacts.
    4. Climate litigation Petitioners: The background of plaintiffs is becoming increasingly diverse. Plaintiffs are from non-governmental organizations, political parties as well as senior citizens, migrants, and indigenous peoples.

    Source: UN

  • “Indo-French Year of the Environment” launched towards a Greener Planet

    What is the News?
    The Indo-French Year of the Environment launched for the period 2021-22.

    About Indo-French Year of the Environment

    • Objective: To strengthen Indo-French cooperation towards climate change and environment protection.
    • This platform would be used for discussions on critical areas of collaboration relating to the environment and allied areas.
    • Themes: The cooperation would be based on five main themes: environmental protection, climate change, biodiversity conservation, sustainable urban development, and the development of renewable energies and energy efficiency.
    • Implementation: From the Indian side, it will be coordinated by the MoEFCC along with the Ministry of External Affairs, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, and other concerned Ministries/Departments/Organisations.
    • Joint Committee: A joint screening committee will also be set up to finalize the calendar of the events for the Indo-French Year of the Environment.

    Source: PIB

  • Wildlife Crime Control Bureau(WCCB)

    Why in News?

    Wildlife Crime Control Bureau(WCCB) and Barasat Forest Range have rescued a live pangolin in Kolkata.

    Facts:

     Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB)

    • It is a statutory multi-disciplinary body.  It functions under the Ministry of Environment and Forests. Its responsibilities include combating organized wildlife crime in the country.
    • Headquarters: New Delhi
    • Functions: Under Section 38 (Z) of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972, it is mandated to:
      • Collect intelligence related to organized wildlife crime activities. And to circulate it to the States and other enforcement agencies for immediate actions, to catch the criminals.
      • Establish a centralized wildlife crime data bank.
      • Coordinates with foreign authorities and international organization to facilitate universal action on wildlife crimes.
      • Build capacity of the wildlife crime enforcement agencies for scientific and professional investigation into wildlife crimes.
      • Assist State Governments to ensure success in prosecutions related to wildlife crimes.
      • Advise the Government of India on issues relating to wildlife crimes having national and international ramifications, relevant policy, and laws.
    • It also assists and advises the Customs authorities in inspection of the consignments of flora & fauna as per the provisions of Wild Life Protection Act, CITES, and EXIM Policy governing such an item.

    Source: The Hindu

  • UNEP releases Adaptation Gap Report 2020 

    Why in News?  

    United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has released the Adaptation Gap Report 2020. 

    Key Facts: 

    • Adaptation: It is one of the pillars of Paris accord. It involves increasing capacity and reduction of vulnerability of countries and communities to climate-related disasters. This capacity will be built by national efforts and funding mechanisms 
    • Aim of the reportThe report aims to indicate national and international efforts to advance adaptation. 

    Findings of the Adaptation Gap report, 2020: 

    • Finance: Annual adaptation costs in developing countries is much higher at $70 billion, compared to current finance of around $30 billion annually for adaptation. This cost is estimated to at least quadruple by 2050. 
      • Cost of Adaptation includes costs like planning, preparing for, facilitating and implementing adaptation measures. 
      • The flow of funds to developing countries is increasing faster than the cost of adaptation. 
    • Rise in Temperature: The world is heading for at least a 3°C temperature rise this century. Even if countries are successful in limiting global warming to well below 2°C, or even 1.5°C, the poor countries will suffer. 
    • Impact of Pandemic: The COVID-19 pandemic is expected to hit the ability of countries to plan for, finance and implement adaptation actions. It will disproportionately affect the most vulnerable countries and population groups. 

    Recommendations: 

    • Along with faster implementation, Countries need to step up the Public and private finance for adaptation 
    • Nature-based solutions – locally appropriate actions that address societal challenges, such as climate change, and provide human well-being and biodiversity benefits by protecting, sustainably managing and restoring natural or modified ecosystems – must also become a priority. 
    • Cutting greenhouse gas emissions will reduce the impacts and costs associated with climate change. 
    • Pursue a Green Pandemic Recovery and increase the Nationally Determined Contributions(NDCs) under the Paris Agreement. 

    Article Source

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  • One Planet Summit has commenced virtually

    News: One Planet Summit has commenced virtually through video conference.

    Facts:

      • One Planet Summit: It has been organised by France in cooperation with the United Nations and the World Bank.
      • Objective: The summit focuses on four major topics 1) protecting terrestrial and marine ecosystems; promoting agro ecology 2) more sustainable way to grow food c) increasing funding to protect biodiversity and 4) identifying links between deforestation and the health of humans and animals.
      • Theme: “Let’s act together for nature!”.

    Key Takeaways from the summit:

      • At least 50 countries committed to protecting 30% of the planet, including land and sea, over the next decade to halt species extinction and address climate change issues. However, the officials of the US, Russia, India and Brazil were absent at the summit.
        • According to a 2019 U.N. report on biodiversity, human activities are putting nature in more trouble now than at any other time in human history with extinction looming for over 1 million species of plants and animals.
      • The High Ambition Coalition for Nature and People which was launched in 2019 by Costa Rica, France and Britain to set a target of protecting at least 30% of the planet by 2030 has been joined by 50 countries.
      • The summit also launched a program called PREZODE which is an international initiative to prevent the emergence of zoonotic diseases and pandemics, which is already mobilizing over 400 researchers and experts across the world.
      • The summit also focused on investment for Africa’s Great Green Wall project, which involves gigantic efforts to stop the Sahara Desert from spreading further south.

    Article Source

     

     

     

  • UNEP announces 2020 Champions of the Earth Award winners

    Source: Click here

    News: UN Environment Programme(UNEP) has announced the winners of the 2020 Champions of the Earth award.

    Facts:

    • Champions of the Earth award: It was launched in 2005 by the United Nations Environment Programme(UNEP).It is the UN’s highest environmental honour.
    • Purpose: It recognizes outstanding individuals and organizations from the public and private sectors and from civil society whose actions have had a transformative positive impact on the environment.
    • Categories: The award recognizes laureates in the following categories: (1) Lifetime Achievement, (2) Policy Leadership, (3) Action and Inspiration, (4) Entrepreneurial Vision and (5) Science and Innovation.
  • Sustainable Mountain Development Summit

    Source: Click here

    News: The 9th edition of Sustainable Mountain Development summit commenced in virtual mode on the occasion of International Mountain Day.

    Facts:

    • Sustainable Mountain Development Summit(SMDS): The summit was organized by Indian Mountain Initiative(IMI)
    • Aim: To deliberate on issues such as migration, water security, climate resilience and innovative solutions for the farm sector and disaster risk reduction in the Indian Himalayas.
    • Theme: Emerging Pathways for Building a Resilient Post COVID-19 Mountain Economy, Adaptation, Innovation and Acceleration.

    Additional Facts:

    • Integrated Mountain Initiative (former Indian Mountain Initiative): It is a civil society led network formed in 2011 with the objective of providing stakeholders from the states of the Indian Himalayan Region a platform to come together to discuss issues related to the development of the Himalayan region.