List of Contents
This post is a part of our current affairs series for the UPSC IAS Prelims 2022. In this post, we have covered the all Important Environmental initiatives in news. This post covers the current affairs of September 2021, October 2021, and April 2022 months.
To Read Other Current Affairs Compilations for Prelims 2022– Click here
Butterfly Habitats Project in Delhi
Bombay Natural History Society(BNHS) has started working on a project to build butterfly corridors to revive the diminishing species in New Delhi.
Butterfly Habitats Project in Delhi
Started by: The Bombay Natural History Society(BNHS) in 2018.
Aim: The project is focused on creating butterfly habitats and planting host plants for the free movement of butterflies.
Reason for choosing Butterfly habitats: As the major green patches in Delhi are disconnected due to a number of urban clusters, the BNHS is working on providing communicable routes to the butterflies through several micro-habitats.
For instance, Asola and Jahanpanah forests are the major green patches but between them lies the urban clusters. To overcome the problem, BNHS is creating butterfly habitats in these clusters through public initiatives.
Significance of Butterflies in the ecosystem
Important Part of Ecosystem/food chain: Butterflies are an important component of a food chain, as predators and prey. Adult butterflies and caterpillars are an important source of food for other animals such as bats and birds. Along with nectar, butterflies eat a variety of plants.
Cross-Pollination: Apart from flies and bees, butterflies play an important role in pollination.
Important Indicators: Nearly 90% of the world’s butterfly species are found in the tropics, and their extreme sensitivity to climate change makes them good indicators of environmental health.
Prakriti & other Green Initiatives for Effective Plastic Waste Management
Union Environment Minister has launched Awareness Mascot ‘Prakriti’& other Green Initiatives for Effective Plastic Waste Management.
Plastic Waste Generation in India
India generates about 3.5 million tonnes of plastic waste annually and the per capita plastic waste generation has almost doubled over the last five years. Plastic pollution adversely affects our ecosystems and is also linked to air pollution.
Prakriti is a mascot to spread greater awareness among the masses about the small changes that can be sustainably adopted in our lifestyle for a better environment.
The mascot will also inform people about various green initiatives taken by the Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change and the Central Pollution Control Board(CPCB) to ensure effective plastic waste management(PWM) in the country.
Steps announced to tackle Plastic Waste
Prime Minister had announced India’s pledge to phase out single use plastics by 2022.
The Plastic Waste Management Rules,2016 were amended, paving the way for the ban on the import of plastic waste, ban on the use of single-use plastic from July 1, and increasing the minimum thickness of carrying bags from existing 75 microns to 120 microns by December 2022.
Other Green Initiatives launched for effective plastic waste management
National Dashboard on Elimination of Single-Use Plastic and Plastic Waste Management: It aims to bring all stakeholders including Central Ministries/ Departments, State/UT Governments in one place and track the progress made for the elimination of single-use plastic (SUP) and effective management of plastic waste.
Extended Producer Responsibility(EPR) Portal for Plastic Packaging: It aims to improve accountability, traceability, transparency and facilitate ease of reporting compliance to EPR Obligations by Producers, Importers and Brand-owners.
Mobile App for Single-Use Plastics Grievance Redressal: It aims to empower citizens to check the sale/usage/manufacturing of SUP in their area and tackle the plastic menace.
Monitoring Module for Single-Use Plastic(SUP) for local bodies, SPCBs/PCCs and CPCB.
Industrial Production of Graphene from Waste Plastic.
The Minister of Environment, Forest & Climate Change has informed Rajya Sabha about the concept of Familial Forestry.
About the Familial Forestry
Familial Forestry means caring for the tree as a family member so that the tree becomes a part of the family’s consciousness.
Familial Forestry of Rajasthan is a unique movement that relates a tree with a family, making it a green “family member”. Under this, around 2.5 million saplings have been planted in the past 15 years with the active participation of students and desert dwellers
Land for life Award 2021 was conferred to the Familial Forestry of Rajasthan by UNCCD in 2021.
About the Land for Life Award
Conferred by: United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) every two years.
Aim: To provide global recognition to individuals and organizations whose work and initiatives have made a significant contribution to sustainable development through sustainable land management (SLM).
Tree City of the World
Mumbai and Hyderabad have been recognised as ‘2021 Tree City of the World’ by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization(UN-FAO) and Arbor Day Foundation.
Note: Hyderabad and Mumbai are recognised alongside 136 other cities from 21 countries. While Mumbai has made the list for the first time, Hyderabad has been featured on the list for the second consecutive year.
About the Tree City of the World
Started by: United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization(FAO) and the American non-profit organization Arbor Day Foundation.
Purpose: It is an international effort to recognise cities and towns committed to ensuring that their urban forests and trees are properly maintained, sustainably managed, and duly celebrated.
Criteria: To receive recognition, a town or city must meet five core standards:
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.
- Set the Rules: The city should have a law or an official policy that governs the management of forests and trees.
- Know What it has: 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.
- Allocate the Resources: The city must have a dedicated annual budget for the implementation of the tree management plan.
- 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.
Behler Turtle Conservation Award
Indian biologist Shailendra Singh has been awarded the Behler Turtle Conservation Award for bringing three critically endangered turtle conservation species back from the brink of extinction.
About the award
The award was given by several global bodies involved in turtle conservation such as Turtle Survival Alliance, IUCN/SSC Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group, Turtle Conservancy, and the Turtle Conservation Fund.
Contributions of Shailendra Singh
He was awarded for bringing three critically endangered turtle conservation species back from the brink of extinction. These species are red-crowned roofed turtle (Batagur kachuga), northern river terrapin (Batagur baska), and black softshell turtle (Nilssonia nigricans).
About Turtle Survival Alliance(TSA)
It was formed in 2001 as an International Union for Conservation of Nature(IUCN) partnership for sustainable captive management of freshwater turtles and tortoises.
About Turtle Conservation Fund(TCF)
It was established in 2002 as a partnership initiative of Conservation International, IUCN Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group (TFTSG), and Turtle Survival Alliance (TSA). Later, it was joined by other organisations.
The fund is focused on ensuring the long-term survival of tortoises and freshwater turtles.
About IUCN/SSC Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group (TFTSG)
It is one of the more than 100 Specialist Groups and Task Forces that constitute the working network of the IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC). It provides expertise and science-based recommendations with conservation relevance covering all species of freshwater and terrestrial turtles and tortoises.
Note: The SSC is a science-based network of some 7000+ appointed volunteer specialists and experts from almost every country of the world, all working together towards achieving the vision of “a world that values and conserves present levels of biodiversity.”
The Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change has launched ‘PRANA’ (prana.cpcb.gov.in) Portal.
About PRANA Portal
Developed by: Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) in partnership with Knowledge Lens (a B2B product company)
Full Form: PRANA stands for Portal for Regulation of Air-pollution in Non-Attainment cities.
Purpose: It is a portal for monitoring the implementation of the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP).It will support tracking of physical as well as the financial status of city air action plan implementation and disseminate information on air quality management efforts under NCAP to the public.
About National Clean Air Programme (NCAP)
The National Clean Air Programme(NCAP) was launched in 2019. It is being implemented by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change and CPCB.
Purpose: It is a comprehensive initiative in partnership with various Ministries and States to improve air quality at the city, regional and national levels.
It is a focused and time-bound scheme to implement various sectoral policies, strengthen monitoring and enhance public participation in more than 100 cities for effective air quality management.
Target: It has a target of 20%–30% reduction of Particulate Matter (PM10 and PM2.5) concentration by 2024.
The “Kunming Declaration” was adopted by over 100 countries in the ongoing virtual 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (UNCBD).
The theme of the COP-15 is “Ecological Civilization: Building a Shared Future for All Life on Earth”.
COP15 is being held to review the achievement and delivery of the CBD’s Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020.
Key points in Kunming Declaration
It calls upon the parties to “mainstream” biodiversity protection in decision-making and recognises the importance of conservation in protecting human health.
They should ensure that the post-pandemic recovery plans contribute to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, promoting sustainable and inclusive development.
The declaration expects signatory nations to synchronize Biodiversity plans with the three UN decades programs which are on ‘Sustainable Development’, ‘Ecosystem Restoration’ and ‘Ocean Science for Sustainable Development’.
Note: Conference of Parties (CoP) is the governing body of the Convention, and advances implementation of the Convention through the decisions it takes at its periodic meetings.