Places in news – Part 3 | Prelims Capsules 2021

For places in news part 1 and 2Click Here


Tristan da Cunha

Why in news?

Tristan da Cunha, which is home to the world’s most remote human settlement, was recently declared the largest fully protected marine reserve in the Atlantic Ocean at 687,000 square kilometres.

Tristan da Cunha

  • The new protected area will be a part of U.K.’s Blue Belt Programme. The new sanctuary is the result of a collaboration between the Tristan da Cunha and U.K. governments, and a number of other conservation groups.
  • Reserve will become the largest no-take zone in the Atlantic and the fourth largest on the planet
  • The new marine reserve excludes the designated fishing zones just offshore several islands. Inside the marine reserve, no fishing will be permitted.

Tristan da Cunha

Relevant facts

  • Tristan da Cunha, a British territory with its own constitution, is 2,300 miles east of South America and 1,600 miles west of South Africa. To reach it requires a seven-day boat trip from South Africa
  • It was first discovered by Portuguese explorer Tristão da Cunha in 1506
  • Tristan archipelago consists of 4 islands, namely,
    • Tristan da Cunha island
    • Nightingale (including Middle and Stoltenhoff Islands)
    • Inaccessible Island
    • Gough Island
  • Gough and Inaccessible Islands is a UNESCO World Heritage site
  • Only one tree species exists on the island, phylica arborea, or the island tree.

Sulawesi Island

Why in news?

Researchers have reported that Pleistocene-era rock paintings dating back to 45,000-20,000 years ago in cave sites in southern Sulawesi, on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, are weathering at an alarming rate.

  • A team of researchers examined various caves and rock-shelters in the Maros-Pangkep region in Sulawesi

Sulawesi Island

Significance of the paintings

  • The artwork in the area includes what is believed to be the world’s oldest hand stencil (almost 40,000 years ago), created by pressing the hand on a cave wall, and spraying wet red-mulberry pigments over it.
  • A nearby cave features the world’s oldest depiction of an animal, a warty pig painted on the wall 45,500 years ago.
  • The cave art of Sulawesi is much older than the prehistoric cave art of Europe.

Haloclasty

  • The artwork made with pigments was decaying due to a process known as haloclasty, which is triggered by the growth of salt crystals due to repeated changes in temperature and humidity, caused by alternating wet and dry weather in the region.
  • Indonesia has also experienced several natural disasters in recent years, which have quickened the process of deterioration.

Measures suggested by experts

With increased rapid environmental degradation, the researchers have recommended regular physical and chemical monitoring of the sites, similar to the preservation efforts at the French and Spanish prehistoric cave art sites such as Lascaux and Altamira.

Indonesia

Important water bodies

  • Seas:
    • Andaman Sea
    • South China Sea
    • Java Sea
    • Bali Sea
    • Flores Sea
    • Timor Sea
    • Banda Sea
    • Ceram Sea
    • Molucca Sea
    • Celebes Sea
    • Arafura Sea
  • Straits
    • Strait of Malacca
    • Sunda Strait
    • Lombok Strait
    • Sumba strait
    • Makassar Strait
  • Bays
    • Gulf of Bone
    • Tomini Bay
    • Towori Bay

Relevant facts

  • Volcanic eruptions
    • Mt Sinabung, Mt Merapi and Mt Semeru are some important volcanic eruptions that have been in news
    • Krakatoa: The volcanic island known as Krakatoa is located in the Sunda Strait, between the islands of Java and Sumatra. In August 1883, the eruption of the main island of Krakatoa (or Krakatau) killed more than 36,000 people, making it one of the most devastating volcanic eruptions in human history.
  • Major islands of Indonesia
    • Sumatra
    • Kalimantan (Borneo)
    • Java
    • Bali
    • Lombok
    • Sulawesi
    • West Papua
  • Equator passes through Indonesia
  • Jakarta is the largest Indonesian city
    • In 2019, Indonesia announced that the country’s capital will be relocated to East Kalimantan province on Borneo island. This plan has been put on hold in light of the COVID pandemic.

Israel

Why in news?

Israel

  • Israel and Hamas exchanged heavy fire on 11th May 2021. The conflict has resulted in the death of 35 Palestinians in Gaza and five in Israel till now. The escalation was sparked by unrest at Jerusalem’s flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.
  • The country has been embroiled in conflict over the threat of eviction of dozens of Palestinians from East Jerusalem’s neighborhood.
    • Over 70 Palestinians in total are set to be evicted from Sheikh Jarrah in the coming weeks to be replaced by right-wing Jewish Israelis.
  • It is the heaviest fighting between the two bitter enemies since 2014 and isn’t showing any signs of slowing.
  • An emergency meeting of the UNSC has been conducted for drawing out an immediate plan of de-escalation and restoration of peace in the region.

Note: You can read in detail about the Israel – Palestine conflict in this article

Israel and neighboring countries

Bordering countries to Israel

  • Jordan
  • Syria
  • Lebanon
  • Egypt

Water bodies

  • Mediterranean Sea
  • Sea of Galilee
  • Dead Sea

Relevant facts

  • Golan Heights:
    • Israel seized the Golan Heights from Syria in the closing stages of the 1967 Six-Day War. Most of the Syrian Arab inhabitants fled the area during the conflict. An armistice line was established and the region came under Israeli military control
    • In 2019, US President signed a proclamation officially recognizing Israel’s annexation of the Golan Heights. This move reverses the position U.S. administrations have held for more than 50 years.
    • Read more at this link
  • West Bank
    • The name was given to the territory after it was captured by Jordan in the 1948 Arab–Israeli War because it sits on the west side of the Jordan river.
    • The West Bank has been occupied by Israel since the 1967 Middle East war, but decades of difficult on-off talks between Israel and the Palestinians – both of whom assert rights there – have left its final status unresolved.
    • Read more at this link
  • Gaza strip
    • It was part of the British-ruled Palestine Mandate before the 1948 war surrounding Israel’s creation, when it came under Egypt’s control.
    • Large numbers of Palestinians who fled or were driven from what is now Israel ended up in Gaza, and the refugees and their descendants now number 1.4 million, accounting for more than half of Gaza’s population.
    • Read more at this link

Farzad – B

Why in news?

The Ministry of External Affairs said there is a possibility of India becoming a part of the projects unfolding in the Farzad B gas field in Iran at a later stage.

  • Iran gave the Farzad B gas field to Petropars (a domestic gas producer), a setback for India’s energy ties with Iran as ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL) had discovered the gas field in 2000 and has been part of the ongoing cooperation on that front.
  • In January 2020, India was informed that in the immediate future, Iran would develop the field on its own and would like to involve India appropriately at a later stage.

Farzad – B

OVL had discovered the Farzad B gas field 20 Km off the Farsi island, which is located between the Iranian and Saudi territories.

  • Both Farsi island and Farzad-b gas field are within Iranian borders

Iran Bordering countries

  • Pakistan
  • Afghanistan
  • Turkmenistan
  • Azerbaijan
  • Armenia
  • Turkey
  • Iraq

Chahbahar Port

  • Located on the Gulf of Oman this port is just 72 km away from the Gwadar port in Pakistan developed by China.
  • The port serves as the only oceanic port of Iran
  • Read more about Chahbahar at this link

Equidistance principle

  • The equidistance principle, or principle of equidistance, is a legal concept in maritime boundary. It claims that a nation’s maritime boundaries should conform to a median line that is equidistant from the shores of neighboring nations.
  • The dotted white line in the above map is the maritime boundary between the nations.

 

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