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(May 2017 – February 2018)

Table of Contents
1. CLIMATE CHANGE __________________ 3 2.7. Global Clean Seas Campaign _________ 27
1.1. Global Scenario ____________________ 3 2.8. Moss as Bioindicator _______________ 27
1.1.1. UN Emission Gap Report 2017 _________ 3
1.1.2. Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI) 4
3. BIODIVERSITY ____________________ 29
1.1.3. Earth Overshoot Day _________________ 4 3.1. India State of Forest Report 2017 _____ 29
1.1.4. Green Growth ______________________ 4
1.1.5 CO2 in Atmosphere Hits Record High: UN _ 5 3.2. Increase in India’s Biodiversity _______ 30
1.1.6. Environmental Performance Index ______ 5 3.3. Invasive Alien Species ______________ 31
1.2. Mitigation Measures ________________ 5 3.4. Fauna ___________________________ 31
1.2.1. Carbon Market _____________________ 5 3.4.1. Irrawaddy Dolphin __________________ 31
1.2.2. Carbon Sink ________________________ 6 3.4.2. Indian Star Tortoises ________________ 32
1.2.3. Green Climate Fund _________________ 7 3.4.3. Northern River Terrapin (Batagur Baska) 32
1.2.4. Geo Engineering ____________________ 7 3.4.4. Indian Wild Dogs (Dholes) ____________ 33
1.2.5. Combating Desertification ____________ 8 3.4.5. Bustard Breeding Center _____________ 33
1.2.6. Land Degradation Neutrality Fund ______ 8 3.4.6. Black Necked Crane _________________ 34
1.2.7. Global Seed Vault ___________________ 8 3.4.7. Amur Falcon _______________________ 34
1.2.8. Artificial Reefs To Save Sinking Islands ___ 9 3.4.8. Sangai Deer _______________________ 34
1.2.9. Microbes to Clean Contamination ______ 9 3.4.9. Mouse Deer _______________________ 34
1.3. Internationl Cooperation ___________ 10 3.4.10. Nilgiri Tahr _______________________ 35
1.3.1. Bonn Climate Meet _________________ 10 3.4.11. Chiru Antelope ____________________ 35
1.3.2. Ecosystems Service Improvement Project 12 3.4.12. New Moth Species _________________ 35
1.3.3. UN Ocean Conference_______________ 13 3.4.13. Biodiversity Around the Deep-Sea Vents 36
1.3.4. World Sustainable Development Summit 3.5. Flora ____________________________ 36
2018 __________________________________ 13 3.5.1. Sunderbans Steadily Losing Its Famed
1.3.5. Sustainable Biofuels ________________ 14 Mangroves _____________________________ 36
2. POLLUTION ______________________ 16 3.5.2. Bamboo is No Longer a Tree __________ 37
3.5.3. Cobra Lily _________________________ 38
2.1. Air Pollution______________________ 16 3.5.4. Red Sanders _______________________ 38
2.1.1. Delhi Air Pollution __________________ 16 3.5.5. Nilambur Teak _____________________ 39
2.1.2. Ban on Polluting Fuels _______________ 17
2.1.3. Ban on the Use of Chemicals in Firecrackers17 3.6. Conservation Measures_____________ 39
2.1.4. Sulphur Dioxide Emissions in India _____ 18 3.6.1. Global Wildlife Program______________ 39
2.1.5. Excessive Nitrogen in Atmosphere _____ 19 3.6.2. National Wildlife Action Plan (NWAP) for
2.1.6. Aerosols Causes Shrinking of India’s 2017-2031 _____________________________ 39
Monsoon ______________________________ 20 3.6.3. Secure Himalaya ____________________ 39
2.1.7. Urban Heat Island __________________ 20 3.6.4. India Awarded by CITES ______________ 41
2.1.8. Dust Mitigation Plan ________________ 20 3.6.5. Tiger Conservation __________________ 41
2.1.9. Ash Track _________________________ 21 3.6.6. Elephant Census ____________________ 42
2.1.10. Ozone Protection _________________ 22 3.6.7. Special Protection Force for One-Horned
2.1.11. Black Carbon in Stratosphere ________ 23 Rhinos _________________________________ 43
3.6.8. Blackbuck Conservation Reserve _______ 44
2.2. Light Pollution ____________________ 23 3.6.9. Crocodile Conservation in Bhitarkanika _ 44
3.6.10. Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild
2.3. Solid Waste ______________________ 23
Animals ________________________________ 45
2.3.1. Guideline for Odour Pollution ________ 23
3.6.11. Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas _ 45
2.3.2. Star Rating Protocol for Garbage Free Cities24
3.6.12. Asian Waterfowl Census 2018 ________ 46
2.4. Plastic Pollution ___________________ 25 3.6.13. Biodiversity Heritage Sites ___________ 46
3.6.14. Ganga Conservation ________________ 47
2.5. Pesticide Poisoning ________________ 26 3.6.15. Doubling of Protected Areas _________ 49
2.6. Minamata Convention _____________ 26 3.6.16. New Wetland Conservation Rules _____ 49

3.6.17. New Guidelines on Compensatory 4.12. Combustible Ice __________________ 59
Afforestation ___________________________ 51
3.6.18. Threat to Sacred Groves ____________ 52 5. DISASTER MANAGEMENT ___________ 61
3.6.19. Green Skill Development Programme _ 52 5.1. Cyclones _________________________ 61
3.6.20. Scheme for Protection of Majuli Island 52
3.6.21. Deep Sea Trawling _________________ 53 5.2. Indian Tsunami Early Warning System _ 62
3.6.22. Project ‘Blue Flag’ for Beach Clean-Up _ 53
5.3. Floods ___________________________ 62
3.6.23. Floating Treatment Wetland ________ 54
5.4. Change in Definition of Drought ______ 63
5.5. Dam Safety_______________________ 63
4.1. Green Building Rating System _______ 55
5.6. Disaster Resilient Infrastructure ______ 64
4.2. LEED for Cities ____________________ 55
5.7. India Quake and Sagar Vani _________ 65
4.3. Electric Vehicle ___________________ 56
4.4. Guideline for Ground Water Usages by 6. GEOGRAPHY _____________________ 66
Industry_____________________________ 56 6.1. Exploration of Polymetallic Nodules __ 66
4.5. Environment Impact Assessment _____ 57 6.2. Sedimentary Basins of India _________ 66
4.6. Sustainable Tourism _______________ 57 6.3. Coastal Erosion ___________________ 67
4.7. Mangalajodi Ecotourism Trust _______ 57 6.4. Pacific Shadow Zone _______________ 67
4.8. Permaculture _____________________ 58 6.5. El Nino Aided in Massive Carbon Dioxide
4.9. Zero Budget Natural Farming ________ 58 Release _____________________________ 68

4.10. Development of Solar Cities ________ 59 7. MISCELLANEOUS TIT BITS ___________ 69

4.11. Gobardhan Yojana________________ 59

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Vision IAS. 2
o Effect of short-lived climate pollutants
(SLCP): It has been estimated that SLCP
1.1.1. UN EMISSION GAP REPORT mitigation has the potential to avoid up
to 0.6°C of warming by mid-century.
• Exploring “negative emission technologies”
Why in news? for removing carbon dioxide from the
Recently, eighth edition of UN Environment’s atmosphere as an additional way to mitigate
Emissions Gap report was unveiled. climate change, over and above conventional
abatement strategies.
Highlights • It has pointed that three of the G20 parties —
• It focuses on the difference between the China, the EU, and India — are on track to
emissions level the countries have pledged to meet their Cancun climate pledges (In
achieve under international agreements Cancun summit of UNFCCC, Mexico, in 2011,
(INDCs) and the level consistent with limiting nations had agreed to GHG emission cuts
warming to well below 2 degrees C. ahead of 2020).
• Insignificant Commitment: INDC pledges SLCP include a variety of gases that have short-term
submitted by countries to reduce current warming effects often in excess of CO2, but don’t stay
emissions are only about one-third of what is in the atmosphere as long. These include methane,
needed to prevent catastrophic temperature HFCs, black carbon (soot), tropospheric ozone etc.
increases by “at least” 3°C from pre-industrial
The Climate and Clean Air Coalition is a voluntary
levels by the year 2100. partnership of governments, intergovernmental
• Greenhouse emissions: Though the total organizations, businesses etc. committed to reduce
global greenhouse gas emissions continue to short-lived climate pollutants with over 120 state and
increase, the rate of growth has decreased non-state partners. It was initiated in 2012 by
over the past few years. governments of Bangladesh, Canada, Ghana, Mexico,
Sweden and the United States, along with the United
Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
Paris Agreement
• At the Paris climate conference (COP21) in
December 2015, 195 countries adopted the first-
ever universal, legally binding global climate deal.
• The agreement sets out a global action plan to put
the world on track to avoid dangerous climate
change by limiting global warming to well below
2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing
efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C
above pre-industrial levels.
• It requires each Party to prepare, communicate
and maintain successive nationally determined
contributions (NDCs) that it intends to achieve.
India's NDC - India plans to
• Reduce its emissions intensity by 33 - 35%
between 2005 and 2030.
• Achieve 40% of its cumulative electric power from
non-fossil fuel-based energy resources by 2030.
• Increase carbon sinks by creating an additional
capacity equivalent to 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of
CO2 through significant afforestation efforts by

1.1.2. CLIMATE CHANGE • Promoting the reduction of pollution and
wasteful consumption.
• Enhancing active participation of all sections of
Why in news? society in nature conservation and environmental
Recently, India has been ranked 14th in Climate Reports and initiatives
Change Performance Index (CCPI). • Living planet report based on Living planet index
Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI) and ecological footprint
• Earth Hour with other voluntary organizations-It
• It is issued by Germanwatch, the New Climate was first organized in 2007 at Sydney, in which
Institute, and the Climate Action Network. individuals, businesses and organizations turn off
• The report ranks 56 countries and the their lights for 60 minutes to show the
European Union, which together are government that climate change was an issue
responsible for 90% of global greenhouse gas they cared about.
• Debt-for-Nature Swap- Agreement that reduces a
developing country’s debt in exchange for a
• Countries are ranked across four categories commitment to protect nature was first
— Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Renewable undertaken by WWF. Currently it is also being
Energy, Energy Use, and Climate Policy. undertaken by UNDP and other organizations.
Highlights of index Global Footprint Network
• It is an international nonprofit organization
• India improved it's ranking from 20th in 2017 founded in 2003 to enable a sustainable future
to 14th in 2018, on account for reducing where all people have the opportunity to
greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and thrive within the means of one planet.
adopting more clean sources of energy.
• Top three positions on the Index still remain
unoccupied as no country is currently on a Why in News?
Paris Climate Agreement-compatible
pathway. • In June 2017, OECD released a report titled
“Green Growth Indicators 2017” highlighting
1.1.3. EARTH OVERSHOOT DAY the slow progress in achieving the Green
Why in News?
What is Green Growth?
In 2017, Earth Overshoot Day fell on August 2,
the earliest date since ecological overshoot began • It is fostering economic growth and
in the early 1970s. development while ensuring the natural
assets continue to provide the resource and
What is it?
environment services on which our well-
• It is the date when humanity annual demand being relies.
on nature exceeds what Earth can regenerate • It is measured by Green Growth Indicators
over the entire year. covering everything from land use to
• It is calculated by WWF and Global Footprint CO2 productivity and innovation like
Network. Environmental and resource productivity,
• It signifies that we have emitted more carbon The natural asset base, Environmental
than the oceans and forests can absorb in a dimension of quality of life, Economic
year. opportunities and policy responses
• In 2007 it fell on 15th August.
Highlights of report
World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) • China and the US extract the most non-
• Switzerland based International NGO, estd. in energy raw materials followed by India and
1961 and engages in conservation of wildlife and
Brazil (mostly biomass), and South Africa and
natural habitat.
Canada (mostly metals).
• Conserving the world's biological diversity. • About 90% of green technologies originate in
• Ensuring that the use of renewable natural OECD countries, but the contributions of
resources is sustainable. China and India are rising fast.

Global Green Growth Institution (GGGI) 1.1.6. ENVIRONMENTAL
• Headquartered in Seoul (South Korea) it is a PERFORMANCE INDEX
treaty based inter-governmental Why in news?
• India is not founding member but associated India ranked 177 out of 180 in recently released
with research work. Environmental Performance Index.
• Established in 2012, at the Rio+20 United About Environmental Performance Index
Nations Conference on Sustainable
Development. • It is biennial index produced jointly by Yale
• Initiative on Green Growth and University and Columbia University in
Development in India is a collaborative collaboration with the World Economic
project of Global Green Growth Institute Forum.
• The EPI ranks countries on 24 performance
(GGGI) and The Energy and Resources
Institute (TERI). indicators across 10 issue categories which
are: Air quality, Water and sanitation, Heavy
1.1.5 CO 2 IN ATMOSPHERE HITS metals, Biodiversity and Habitat, Forests,
RECORD HIGH: UN Fisheries, Climate and energy, Air pollution,
Water resource and Agriculture.
Why in news? • Switzerland is ranked first followed by France
According to the World Meteorological and Denmark
Organization's (WMO) Greenhouse Gas Bulletin,
the concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the 1.2. MITIGATION MEASURES
atmosphere has hit a new high.
About WMO
Why in news?
• It is a specialized agency of the United Nation.
• It studies the behavior of the Earth's atmosphere, Recently China formally launched its National
its interaction with the oceans, the climate it Carbon Market.
produces and the resulting distribution of water
Emission Trading
• Greenhouse Gas Bulletin is WMO annual flagship • It is a market-based approach to control air
report, which tracks concentrations of gasses in pollution by creating tradable pollution
the atmosphere in the post-industrial era (since credits to add profit motive as an incentive
for good performers unlike the traditional
Global Atmosphere Watch (GAW) programme of
methods of penalty.
• It provides reliable scientific data and information • ‘Emission Trading’ as a concept was
on the chemical composition of the atmosphere, introduced under the Kyoto Protocol as
its natural and anthropogenic change, and helps central element in form of Clean
to improve the understanding of interactions Development Mechanism. Under the
between the atmosphere, the oceans and the mechanism the countries which have extra
biosphere. credits to spare can sell them to the countries
• GAW focal areas are aerosols, greenhouse gases, which have over-shot their targets
selected reactive gases, ozone, UV radiation and • "Joint implementation" is a programme
precipitation chemistry (or atmospheric
under the Kyoto Protocol that allows
industrialized countries to meet part of their
Related information required cuts in greenhouse-gas emissions by
• According to report, concentrations of CO2 paying for projects that reduce emissions in
other industrialized countries.
are now 145% of pre-industrial (before 1750)
levels. • At present, the European Union’s emission
• Atmospheric methane reached a new high of trading scheme is world’s largest.
about 257% of the pre-industrial level. About PAT (perform, achieve & trade) scheme
• NO2 atmospheric concentration in 2016 was
• In India, PAT was introduced in 2012 under
122% of pre-industrial levels.
the National Mission for Enhanced Energy
Efficiency (NMEEE) to be implemented by and given a reduction target of 1.06 million
Bureau of Energy Efficiency (Ministry of tonnes of oil equivalent.
National Mission for Enhanced Energy Efficiency
(NMEEE) Why in news?
It is one of the eight national missions under the Ministry of Environment and Forest is working on
National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC). a landscape-based catchment treatment plan to
NMEEE consist of four initiatives to enhance energy achieve its commitment under INDC.
efficiency in energy intensive industries which are as
follows: Background
• PAT (perform, achieve & trade) scheme: • According to India State of Forest Report
Improving efficiency in energy intensive sector. (ISFR) 2015 total forest and tree cover is
• Energy Efficiency Financing Platform (EEFP): 24.16 % of the total geographical area, which
provides a platform to interact with financial should be 33% as envisioned under National
institutions and project developers for Forest Policy 1988.
implementation of energy efficiency projects
• The carbon stock in India is roughly 7 billion
• Framework for Energy Efficient Economic
tonnes, equivalent to 25.66 billion tonnes of
Development (FEEED): focuses on developing
appropriate fiscal instruments to promote energy carbon dioxide.
efficiency financing. • Worldwide, 65% of carbon stock is stored in
• Market transformation for Energy Efficiency soil and 35% in trees
(MTEE): Accelerating shift toward energy efficient Catchment treatment plan & its significance
• Catchment area (area from which all
• The 2010 amendment to Energy precipitation flows to a single stream or set of
Conservation Act (ECA) provides a legal streams) can act as a natural carbon sinks
mandate to PAT which sets mandatory and that can sequester substantial amounts of
specific targets for energy efficiency in eight atmospheric CO2 in the form of organic
sectors. carbon in the soil.
• PAT provides the option to trade any • Improving catchment of water can be done
additional certified energy savings with other through
designated consumers to comply with the o Biological Intervention through
Specific Energy Consumption reduction afforestation drive and increasing soil
targets. porosity through vermiculture etc. as
• It is a market-based mechanism in which porous soil is able to hold more water
sectors are assigned efficiency targets. than compacted soil.
Industries which over-achieve target get • Employing mechanical means such as check
incentives in the form of energy saving dams, underground reservoirs or cement
certificates (ESCert). slabs that can channelise the rainwater
• These certificates are tradable at two energy further into the soil. Planned management of
exchanges viz. Indian Energy Exchange and catchment areas will prevent soil erosion,
Power Exchange India, where it can be bought help recharge groundwater and deter forest
by other industries which are unable to achieve fires by retaining moisture in the soil.
their targets. • It will minimise human-animal conflict since
• PAT cycle I (2012-13 to 2014-15), was such a plan will increase availability of water
applicable on eight energy intensive sectors and fodder inside forests and recharge
viz Thermal Power plants, Iron & Steel, groundwater.
Cement, Fertilizer, Aluminum, Textile, Pulp & • A carbon sink is a natural or artificial reservoir
Paper and Chlor-alkali. that accumulates and stores some carbon-
• PAT cycle II (2016-17 to 2018-19): includes 8 containing chemical compound for an indefinite
sectors of PAT I and 3 new sectors viz, period
• Carbon Sequestration is the process by which CO2
railways, discoms and petroleum refineries.
is captured from the atmosphere for long-term
• PAT cycle III: Notified from 1st April, 2017 storage to slow down the accumulation of
Under it, 116 new units have been included greenhouse gases. E.g.: Afforestation, Carbon
Capture and Storage (CCS) techniques.

As part of its climate change commitments in the
• GCF’s activities are aligned with the priorities
aftermath of signing the historic Paris agreement India of developing countries through the principle
is now exploring the possibility of carbon capture of country ownership, and national and sub-
utilization storage (CCUS). national organisations can receive funding
• Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS): It is the directly.
process of capturing waste carbon dioxide (CO2) • Developing countries appoint a National
from large point sources, such as fossil fuel power Designated Authority (NDA) that acts as the
plants, transporting it to a storage site, and interface between their government and GCF
depositing it where it will not enter the and must approve all GCF project activities
atmosphere, normally an underground geological
within the country. India's NDA is NABARD.
• Carbon Capture Utilization Storage (CCUS): is a • The Fund pays particular attention to the
process that captures carbon dioxide emissions needs of societies that are highly vulnerable
from sources like coal-fired power plants and to the effects of climate change, in particular
either reuses or stores it so it will not enter the Least Developed Countries (LDCs), Small
atmosphere. Island Developing States (SIDS), and African
• In CCS, emissions are forced into underground States.
rocks at great cost and no economic benefit while
CCUS aims at using CO2 emissions by exploiting 1.2.4. GEO ENGINEERING
the resource itself and creating new markets
around it. CO2 has commercial and industrial uses, Why in news?
particularly for Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) in A collaborative study by India, China and the U.S.
depleting oil fields. has found that a combination of two geo
engineering methods — stratospheric sulphate
aerosol increase and cirrus cloud thinning — can
Why in news? be used to reduce global warming and
precipitation rates to pre-industrial levels.
The disagreement between the US and the other
19 countries at the recent G20 summit at What is geo engineering?
Hamburg has put a question mark over the
Geoengineering (also known as Climate
sustainability of the Green Climate Fund (GCF)
engineering or climate intervention) schemes
G20 Hamburg Climate and Energy Action Plan are projects designed to tackle the effects of
for Growth climate change directly, usually by removing CO2
from the air or limiting the amount of sunlight
• The G20 (with the exception of the US) reaching the planet's surface.
decided on clear measures for implementing Methods
the Paris Agreement and commencing the
global energy transition in line with the goals Generally, two categories of engineering
of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable solutions:
Development. • Greenhouse gas removal through Carbon
Green climate fund capture and storage (CCS), enhanced
weathering (It involves a chemical approach
• It is a global fund created to support the to remove carbon dioxide involving land or
efforts of developing countries to respond to ocean-based techniques) etc.
the challenge of climate change. • Reduction of global warming by cutting
• It was set up by the 194 countries who are down the heat absorbed by our planet from
parties to the United Nations Framework the sun through
Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in o Stratospheric aerosol injection which
2010, as part of the Convention’s financial involves spraying into the stratosphere
mechanism. It aims to deliver equal amounts fine, light-coloured particles designed to
of funding to mitigation and adaptation. reflect back part of the solar radiation
• These funds come mainly from developed (global dimming). Sulphur Dioxide gas is
countries and also from some developing used for the process.
countries, regions, and one city (Paris). o Cirrus cloud manipulation: Here the
cirrus clouds are removed or thinned so
that their long-wave trapping capacity is More about the news
reduced and thus cools the surface.
• LDN fund is a first-of-its-kind investment
o Marine cloud brightening: The low warm
vehicle leveraging public money to raise
clouds which are highly reflective to
private capital for sustainable land
sunlight are modified to increase their
management and landscape restoration
activities worldwide.
o Space sunshade: Obstructing sunrays
• It will be independent from the UN and will
with space-based mirrors
be managed by a private sector investment
o Using pale-coloured roofing material or
management firm.
growing high albedo crops.
• It will invest in bankable projects on land
1.2.5. COMBATING rehabilitation and sustainable land
DESERTIFICATION management worldwide, including
sustainable agriculture, sustainable livestock
Why in news? management, agro-forestry, sustainable
• Kubuqi Desert in Ordos, Inner Mongolia, forestry, renewable energy, infrastructure
became the first desert in the world to development, and eco-tourism.
achieve large-scale desertification control. United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification
• Jordan launched Sahara Forest Project (SFP) (UNCCD)
to turn the desert land into a flourishing • Adopted in 1994 and entered into force in 1996, it
farmland. is the only internationally legally binding
framework set up to address the problem of
Desertification Status in India desertification
• Desertification refers to the land degradation in • The Convention addresses specifically the arid,
arid, semi-arid and sub-humid areas resulting semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas, known as the
from various factors, including climatic
• It recently released the first edition of Global
variations and human activities.
Land Outlook report.
• The most significant process of • UNCCD 2018-2030 Strategic Framework has been
desertification/ land degradation in the launched to improve the condition of affected
country is water erosion (10.98% in 2011-13) ecosystems, combat desertification/land
followed by vegetation degradation (8.91% in degradation and to improve the living conditions
2011- 13) and wind erosion (5.55 % in 2011- of affected populations
• According to the State of India’s Environment 2010 to 2020 has been declared as United Nations
2017 by the Centre for Science and Decade for Deserts and the Fight Against
Environment report, nearly 30 per cent of
India’s land is degraded or facing 1.2.7. GLOBAL SEED VAULT
• In eight states—Rajasthan, Delhi, Goa, Why in news?
Maharashtra, Jharkhand, Nagaland, Tripura The Svalbard Global Seed Vault in Norway
and Himachal Pradesh—around 40 to 70 per completed 10 years of its official opening.
cent of land has undergone desertification.
About the Svalbard Seed Vault
1.2.6. LAND DEGRADATION • It is a state-of-the-art seed protection facility,
NEUTRALITY FUND famously called the ‘Doomsday’ or the
Why in news? ‘Apocalypse’ Seed Bank or ‘Noah’s Ark for
Land Degradation Neutrality Fund (LDN Fund)
• It is situated in the remote Arctic Svalbard
was launched at the 13th Conference of the
Parties (COP13) to the United Nations Convention
• It was established in 2008 and serves as the
to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) in Ordos,
primary backup for the world’s other seed
banks currently holding nearly one million
seed samples from the world’s gene banks.

• The seed packages can be accessed only by National Adaptation Fund for Climate Change [NAFCC]
the depositing authorities with no transfer of • Aim: To assist State and Union Territories that are
ownership. particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of
climate change in meeting the cost of adaptation.
India’s seed vault • NABARD has been appointed as National
• It is situated at Chang La, Ladakh Implementing Entity (NIE) responsible for
• Built jointly by the Defence Institute of High implementation of adaptation projects under the
Altitude Research (DIHAR) and the National NAFCC.
Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources (NBPGR) Man and the Biosphere Programme (MAB)
in 2010 under the aegis of Defence Research
and Development Organisation (DRDO), this • Launched in 1971, UNESCO’s Man and the
permafrost seed bank is the second largest in Biosphere Programme (MAB) is an
the world. Intergovernmental Scientific Programme that
• Presently, the only other facility in India for aims to establish a scientific basis for the
long-term storage of seeds is the one set up improvement of relationships between people
by Indian Council of Agricultural Research and their environments.
(ICAR) New Delhi. • MAB combines the natural and social sciences,
economics and education to improve human
1.2.8. ARTIFICIAL REEFS TO SAVE livelihoods and the equitable sharing of
SINKING ISLANDS benefits, and to safeguard natural and
managed ecosystems, thus promoting
Why in News?
innovative approaches to economic
• Tamil Nadu govt in collaboration with IIT development that are socially and culturally
Madras have been restoring Vaan Island in appropriate, and environmentally sustainable.
Gulf of Mannar by deploying artificial reefs
List of MAB sites in India
near vulnerable islands.
• Nilgiri (Tamil Nadu- Karnataka- Kerala).
Gulf of Mannar Biosphere Reserve
• It is the first marine biosphere reserve in Asia.
• Gulf of Mannar
• It lies between the southeastern tip of India and • Sunderban (West Bengal)
the west coast of Sri Lanka, in the Coromandel • Nanda Devi (Uttarakhand)
Coast region. • Nokrek (Meghalaya)
• Fauna: endangered Dugong (Sea Cow), three • Pachmarhi (Madhya Pradesh)
species of endangered sea turtles, sea • Similipal (Odisha)
horses, several species of dolphins and whales • Achanakmar- Amarkantak (Madhya Pradesh -
More on news • Great Nicobar (Andaman & Nicobar)
• Agathyamala (Kerala)
• It is the first attempt in India to protect and
restore a sinking island. 1.2.9. MICROBES TO CLEAN
• The project has been funded by NAFCC of the CONTAMINATION
Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate
Change Why in News?
• Due to indiscriminate mining of coral, • A recent study revealed that microbes are
destructive fishing practices and frequent fires increasingly being used to clean
caused by fisherman in past decades, area of contaminated sites all over world.
Vaan Island had been reduced.
Applications of Microbes
Prominent Corals in India
• Lakshadweep • Cleaning up contaminated soils, industrial
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands wastewater, groundwater, mines, and
• Gulf of Mannar pesticide accumulated sites and fly ash
• Gulf of Kutch disposal sites.
• Netrani Island in Karnataka • Use not limited to bacteria but extended to
• Malwan in Maharashtra fungi such as Asper-gillusniger, A terreus,
Cladosporium oxysporum.
• Fungi as a microbe may affect the chemical
state of metal pollutants, as well as being
very important in the degradation of
xenobiotic compounds.
Bioremediation techniques:
• It is essentially a cocktail of five different bacterial
strains that are immobilized and mixed with a
carrier material (powdered corncob) developed
by TERI.
• It feeds on hydrocarbon compounds present in
crude oil and oily sludge and converts them into
harmless CO2 and water.
• It is a tad different from Oilzapper is an additional
bacterial strain that makes the former more
effective against sludge and crude oil with high-
sulphur content developed by Indian Oil's
research and development wing.
• Both Oilzapper and Oilivorous-S can be used in
situ, thereby eliminating the need to transfer
large quantities of contaminated waste from the
site, a process that poses more threats to the
Funaria hygrometrica
• Scientists in Japan identified a moss (Funaria
hygrometrica) for phytoremediation-based
removal method as it is known to grow well in COOPERATION
sites contaminated with metals like copper, zinc,
and lead, when in protonema (earliest) stage of 1.3.1. BONN CLIMATE MEET
• It absorbed lead well at pH values between 3 and Why in news
9, which is important because the acidity of • The 23rd meeting of the Conference of the
metal-polluted water can vary. Parties (COP-23) of the United Nations
Other techniques
Framework Convention on Climate Change
Meisenheimer complex
(UNFCCC) concluded in Bonn, Germany.
• It is a chemical compound synthesised through
mixing two chemicals at room temperature. About UNFCCC
• It has been found to be highly effective in
removing fluoride and metal ions such as lead, • In 1992, countries joined the United Nations
mercury, cadmium, copper, and iron from Framework Convention on Climate Change,
drinking water as it has negative and positive as a framework for international cooperation
charged parts. to combat climate change by limiting average
• A polystyrene sponge when coated with the global temperature increases.
compound was able to absorb a wide variety of • It is one of three conventions adopted at the
oils and organic solvents from water. “Rio Earth Summit” in 1992. Its sister Rio
Conventions are the UN Convention on
Biological Diversity and the Convention to
Combat Desertification.
• Adoption of Fiji Momentum for
Implementation: It set the stage for
negotiation in 2018. It is divided into three
parts which deals with:
o Completion of the Work Programme
under Paris Agreement

o Talanoa Dialogue: Talanoa dialogue is a Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD):
facilitative dialogue in 2018, to take stock • It is an international legally-binding treaty with
of the collective efforts of Parties in three main goals: conservation of biodiversity;
relation to progress towards the long- sustainable use of biodiversity; fair and
term goal referred to Paris Agreement equitable sharing of the benefits arising from
the use of genetic resources.
and to inform the preparation of
• The Convention on Biological Diversity covers
nationally determine contributions
biodiversity at all levels: ecosystems, species
(NDCs). and genetic resources.
o Pre-2020 implementation and ambition: • BIOFIN (launched by UNDP and European
Parties agreed that there will be two Commission and having India as its member) was
stock-takes to discuss pre-2020 initiated in response to the urgent global need to
commitments -- in 2018 and 2019 -- divert more finance from all possible sources
before the Paris Agreement becomes towards global and national biodiversity goals, as
operative in 2020. highlighted during the 2010 CBD COP 10 in
• Gender Action Plan: The first ever Gender Nagoya.
Action Plan to the UNFCCC was adopted at Important protocols of the convention:
COP23 (role of gender in climate actions had
• The Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic
earlier been included in the Lima work Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of
programme). Benefits Arising from their Use.
• Local communities and indigenous people’s o The Access and Benefit-sharing Clearing-
platform: It is a new platform to include House is a key tool for facilitating the
indigenous people’s voices in the implementation of the Nagoya Protocol by
implementation of the Paris Agreement. A enhancing legal certainty, clarity, and
full operationalization is slated for April-May transparency on procedures, through the
2018. internationally recognized certificate of
compliance (IRCC), which serves as
• Loss and damage: No financial commitments
evidence that genetic material had been
were agreed upon between the negotiating accessed according to procedure and after
parties on the issue of loss and damage. prior informed consent.
• Post-2020 Actions are meant for all countries as • The Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety to the
per their nationally determined contributions Convention on Biological Diversity
(NDCs) under 2015 Paris Agreement.
• Pre-2020 Actions refer to existing obligations of Pursuant to the CBD, India enacted the Biological
small group rich and developed nations to take Diversity Act in 2002. The Act is implemented through
mitigation actions under Kyoto Protocol. a three-tiered institutional structure at the national,
• Lima Work Programme on Gender (COP-2014): It state and local levels.
aims to advance implementation of gender- • The National Biodiversity Authority (NBA) at
responsive climate policies and mandates across central level to perform facilitative, regulatory
all areas of the negotiations. and advisory functions for the government of
• Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and India on issues of conservation, sustainable use
Damage (COP-19): It aims to address loss and of biological resources and fair and equitable
damage associated with impacts of climate sharing of benefits arising out of the use of
change, including extreme events and slow onset biological resources.
events, in developing countries that are • The State Biodiversity Boards (SBBs)
particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of • The institutions of self-governments are
climate change. required to set up Biodiversity Management
Other Initiative Started during the COP-23 Committees (BMCs) in their respective areas for
• Powering Past Coal alliance: It is initiated by the conservation, sustainable use, documentation of
UK and Canada. 15 countries have joined an biodiversity and chronicling of knowledge related
alliance to phase out coal-based power by 2030. to biodiversity.
• Below 50 initiative: It was launched by World
Government of India in collaboration with the
Business Council for Sustainable Development
Norwegian Government has established a “Centre for
(WBCSD). The goal is to create the demand and
Biodiversity Policy and Law (CEBPOL)” in the National
market for those sustainable fuels that produce at
Biodiversity Authority (NBA), Chennai, to develop
least 50% less CO2 emissions than conventional
professional expertise in biodiversity policies and laws
fossil fuels.
and develop capacity building.

Biodiversity Conservation & Rural Livelihood Green India Mission
Improvement Project (BCRLIP) aims at conserving • National Mission for a Green India or the Green
Biodiversity in selected landscapes, including wildlife India Mission (GIM), is one of the eight Missions
protected areas/critical conservation areas while outlined under India’s action plan for addressing
improving rural livelihoods through participatory the challenge of climate change -the National
approaches. It is funded by International Development Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC).
Association (IDA) and a grant from the Global • It aims at protecting; restoring and enhancing
Environment Facility (GEF). India’s diminishing forest cover and responding to
The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on climate change by a combination of adaptation
Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) is an and mitigation measures.
independent intergovernmental body, established in • The mission has the broad objective of both
2012. It provides policymakers with objective scientific increasing the forest and tree cover by 5 million
assessments about the state of knowledge regarding ha, as well as increasing the quality of the existing
the planet’s biodiversity, ecosystems etc. forest and tree cover in another 5 million ha of
forest/ non-forest lands in 10 years.
1.3.2. ECOSYSTEMS SERVICE Global Environment Facility (GEF)
It was established during the 1992 Rio Earth
Why in news? Summit to address the world’s most challenging
environmental issues.
India recently signed Global Environment Facility
(GEF) Grant agreement with the World Bank for • Its funds are available to developing
“Ecosystems Service Improvement Project”. countries and countries with economies in
transition to meet the objectives of the
• Wealth Accounting and the Valuation of
Ecosystem Services (WAVES) is a World Bank led
international environmental conventions and
global partnership which aims to promote agreements.
sustainable development by ensuring that natural • Since 1994, the World Bank has served as the
resources are mainstreamed into development Trustee of the GEF Trust Fund and provided
planning and national economic accounts. administrative services.
• The BioCarbon Fund Initiative for Sustainable • It serves as a financial mechanism for 5 major
Forest Landscapes (ISFL) is a multilateral fund, international environmental conventions:
supported by donor governments and managed by United Nations Framework Convention on
the World Bank. It promotes reducing greenhouse
Climate Change, United Nations Convention
gas emissions from the land sector, from
on Biological Diversity, Stockholm Convention
deforestation and forest degradation in developing
countries (REDD+), and from sustainable on Persistent Organic Pollutants, United
agriculture, as well as smarter land-use planning, Nations Convention to Combat
policies and practices. Desertification, Minamata Convention on
Ecosystem Services Improvement Project
• India is the founder member of GEF. The first
• Aim: To protect, restore and enhance India’s GEF Assembly comprising all member
forest cover and help in maintaining countries, taking place once in four years,
ecological balance. was hosted by India in 1998.
• Objective: Strengthening the institutional • The Department of Economic Affairs (DEA),
capacity of the Departments of Forestry and Ministry of Finance is India’s GEF Political
Community Organisations, to enhance forest Focal Point (PFP) responsible for policy and
ecosystem services and improve the governance related matters. Ministry of
livelihoods of forest dependent communities Environment, Forest and Climate Change
in Central Indian Highlands. (MoEF&CC) is India’s GEF Operational Focal
• The Project will be implemented in the states Point (OFP) responsible for all in-country
of Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh for 5 coordination of GEF activities.
years by MOEFCC through the Indian Council Other initiatives of GEF
of Forestry Research & Education under the
National Mission for Green India. • Global Environment Facility in partnership
with Energy Efficiency Services Limited
(EESL), under Ministry of Power, launched

the project ‘Creating and Sustaining Markets Outcomes
for Energy Efficiency’ which further brings
together many technical and financing • It adopted a consensus of a 14-point Call for
partners including UNEP, Asian Development Action where the participating Heads of State
Bank and Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau affirmed their strong commitment to
which aims to mitigate 60 million tons of conserve and sustainably use our oceans.
carbon dioxide equivalent. • International Solid Waste Association (a
• Energy Efficiency Revolving Fund (EERF) will Vienna based NGO) also announced a task
boost four of EESL’s existing technologies. force on marine litter in concert with the
These involve street lighting, domestic conference.
lighting, five-star rated ceiling fans and
agricultural pumps. It is proposed to be
established with the initial corpus of $13
million from ADB (as part of the GEF Trust
• GEF also supports the Global District Energy
in Cities Initiative, which in turn is supporting
national and municipal governments in their
efforts to develop, retrofit or scale up district
energy systems, with backing from
international and financial partners and the
private sector. In India it has been launched
in Bhopal, Pune, Coimbatore, Thane, and
• It is 100% government owned, a joint venture of
state-owned NTPC Limited, Power Finance
Corporation, Rural Electrification Corporation and
POWERGRID. Its flagship initiative is Unnat Jyoti
by Affordable LEDs for All (UJALA).
• It is also the implementing agency for national
mission for enhanced energy efficiency along with 1.3.4. WORLD SUSTAINABLE
Bureau of energy efficiency. DEVELOPMENT SUMMIT 2018
Recently, the first edition of the International
Symposium to Promote Innovation &Research in Why in news?
Energy Efficiency (INSPIRE 2017) was held in Jaipur, it Recently, World Sustainable Development
was organized by Energy Efficiency Services Limited
Summit 2018 was inaugurated by Prime Minister
(EESL) in partnership with The World Bank, and
Alliance for an Energy Efficient Economy (AEEE).
in New Delhi.
About World Sustainable Development Summit
Why in News? • It is a flagship forum of The Energy and
• Recently, first United Nations Ocean Resources Institute, a non-profit, scientific
Conference was held in New York, co- and policy research organization located in
sponsored by Fiji and Sweden under the Delhi which works in the fields of energy,
theme, "Our oceans, our future: partnering environment and sustainable development
for the implementation of Sustainable issues since 1974.
Development Goal 14". • It has been conceptualised as a single
Global Ocean Commission platform to accelerate actions towards
It is an international initiative that was launched in
sustainable development and climate change.
2013. It raises awareness and promotes action to
address the degradation of the ocean and help restore
• It seeks to bring together global leader and
it to full health and productivity. Its focus is on the thinkers on a common platform on various
high seas, the vast ocean areas that lie beyond the issues of sustainable development such as
Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs) of individual states. transition to clean energy, effective waste

management mechanisms, combating air first generation biofuel.
pollution etc. • It is also aimed at being cost competitive in
• It has been built on the success of the Delhi relation to existing fossil fuels and increasing Net
Sustainable Development Summit (DSDS) energy gains.
Third Generation Biofuels
which was the leading forum for discussing
• It is based on improvements on the production of
sustainable development issues.
biomass by taking advantage of specially
• The theme for 2018 event is 'Partnerships engineered energy crops such as algae as its
for a Resilient Planet'. energy source.
Energy Transitions Commission India (ETC INDIA) • The algae are cultured to act as a low-cost, high-
energy and entirely renewable feedstock.
• It was launched by The Energy and Resources • Algae will have the potential to produce more
Institute (TERI) on the sidelines of the World energy per acre than conventional crops.
Sustainable Development Summit (WSDS) Fourth Generation Biofuels
2018. • Fourth Generation Bio-fuels are aimed at
producing sustainable energy and also capturing
• It is a unique, high-level, multi-stakeholder
and storing carbon dioxide.
platform with experts from diverse fields to
• This process differs from second and third
suggest pathways for energy and electricity generation production as at all stages of
sector transitions in India production the carbon dioxide is captured which
• This is inspired by the work of the Global can be then geo-sequestered.
Commission on the Economy and Climate and • This carbon capture makes fourth generation
its flagship project ‘the New Climate biofuel production carbon negative rather than
Economy’. simply carbon neutral, as it is ‘locks’ away more
• It is the first country-specific Commission and carbon than it produces.
thus can act as a model for other emerging Recently the country’s first second-generation (2G)
Ethanol plant has been setup in Uttarakhand.
economies as they seek to move to
renewable energy sources. Key facts
• It will also help in a change towards low-
• The conference aims at providing platform
carbon energy systems that enable robust
for exchanging experiences and challenges
economic development and limit the rise in
related to development and scaling of
global temperature to well below 2 degrees
advanced biofuels.
• Importance of sustainable biofuels led to
Recently, India refused adoption of Bali declaration
adopted at the ‘World Parliamentary Forum on establishment of Sustainable Biofuel
Sustainable Development’ due to objections that they Innovation Challenge (SBIC) as one of the
were not in line with the agreed global principles of seven challenges under Mission Innovation
‘sustainable development’. (MI). Other six challenges are:
o Smart Grids Innovation Challenge
1.3.5. SUSTAINABLE BIOFUELS o Off-Grid Access to Electricity Innovation
Why in news? Challenge
o Carbon Capture Innovation Challenge
• A two-day international conference on o Converting Sunlight Innovation Challenge
Sustainable Biofuels was hosted by India on o Clean Energy Materials Innovation
behalf of Mission Innovation and Biofuture Challenge
Platform. • India will be leading the Smart Grids
Generations of Biofuels innovation challenge and co-lead the
First Generation Biofuel sustainable biofuels innovation challenge.
• They are produced directly from food crops.
• This challenge aims to accelerate research,
• Crops such as wheat & sugar are the most widely
development and deployment of low cost,
used feedstock
Second Generation Biofuel high GHG impacting advanced biofuels.
• They are produced from marginal croplands Mission Innovation (MI)
unsuitable for food production or non-food crops
such as wood, organic waste, food crop waste and • It is a global initiative of 22 countries and the
specific biomass crops. For example- Jatropha. European Union to dramatically accelerate
• Thus, it overcomes over food vs fuel debate in global clean energy innovation.

• It seeks to double investments in clean • Minimum Support Price (MSP) for non-edible
energy innovation over five years. oil seeds would be announced with periodic
• Department of Biotechnology (DBT) is nodal revision to provide fair price to the growers.
agency of this mission in India • Minimum Purchase Price (MPP) for purchase
of bio-ethanol and bio-diesel
Biofuture Platform
would be announced with periodic revision.
• It is a 20-country effort to promote an • Major thrust will be given to research,
advanced low carbon bio economy that is development and demonstration with focus
sustainable, innovative and scalable. on plantations, processing and production of
• It has been proposed by Brazil which is bio-fuels, including Second Generation Bio-
serving as the interim secretariat of this fuels.
platform. • Financial incentives, including subsidies and
grants, may be considered for second
National Policy on Bio-fuels features: generation bio-fuels. If it becomes necessary,
• Bio-diesel production will be taken up from a National Bio-fuel Fund could be considered.
non-edible oil seeds in waste /degraded / • A National Biofuel Coordination Committee,
marginal lands. Currently, bio-fuels are being headed by the Prime Minister, will be set up
generated mostly from molasses which is a to provide policy guidance and coordination.
by-product of sugar production. • A Biofuel Steering Committee, chaired by
• An indicative target of 20% blending of bio- Cabinet Secretary, will be set up to oversee
fuels, both for bio-diesel and bio-ethanol, by implementation of the Policy.
2017 had been proposed. Currently, • The Ministry of New & Renewable Energy has
according to the government norms, 10 per been designated as the coordinating Ministry
cent of ethanol extracted from sugarcane can for biofuel development and utilization
be mixed with petrol.

(b) Photochemical smog occurs in warm, dry and
2.1. AIR POLLUTION sunny climate. The main components of the
photochemical smog result from the action of sunlight
2.1.1. DELHI AIR POLLUTION on unsaturated hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides
Why in news? produced by automobiles and factories.
Photochemical smog has high concentration of
Recently, NCR experienced "severe” levels of oxidising agents and is, therefore, called as oxidising
pollution on Air Quality Index. smog.
Formation of photochemical smog: When unburnt
More on news hydrocarbons and nitric oxide (NO) are built up to
• PM2.5 concentrations in New Delhi reached sufficiently high levels, a chain reaction occurs from
more than 1,200 micrograms per cubic their interaction with sunlight in which NO is
converted into nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and Ozone
meter, 48 times the guideline value
which leads to production of chemicals such as
established by the World Health Organization formaldehyde, acrolein and peroxyacetyl nitrate
Reasons behind Delhi’s air pollution (PAN).
• It causes serious health problems. Both ozone and
• During winter season in Delhi, there are two PAN act as powerful eye irritants. Ozone and nitric
winds — one carrying pollutants from stubble oxide irritate the nose and throat and their high
burning in Punjab and the other bringing in concentration causes headache, chest pain,
moisture from Uttar Pradesh — that collide dryness of the throat, cough and difficulty in
and get locked, which leads to the formation breathing.
of smog. • It leads to cracking of rubber and extensive
• In Delhi, the ground-level ozone and PM 2.5 damage to plant life. It also causes corrosion of
metals, stones, building materials, rubber and
play the most significant role in formation of
painted surface
• According to a study by the System of Air Steps Taken
Quality and Weather Forecasting and • Ministry of Environment’s orders issued in
Research (under the Ministry of Earth 2015 under the Air (Prevention and Control
Sciences) and India Meteorological of Pollution) Act, 1981 to comprehensively
Department (IMD) “multi-day dust storm” in green Delhi’s road margins and open spaces
Iraq, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia was the main
• Advancing Bharat Stage-VI norms to April
cause of Delhi’s smog between November 6
2018 from April 2020.
and 14.
• Closure of brick kilns and an increase in
• Large scale construction activities in Delhi-
parking fees to encourage the use of public
NCR are major source of dust particle in air.
• Other major reason includes: Vehicular • Nation Green Tribunal ordered construction
emission, Industrial pollution, garbage dumps to stop in the capital for a few days earlier
etc. this month.
Recently a report on pollution has been released by
• Ban on petcoke & furnace oil in and around
The Lancet Commission on Pollution and Health.
NCR, Odd and even policy, Ban on sale of fire
Pollution was responsible for 9 million deaths in 2015
crackers etc.
• Delhi government had submitted a detailed
• Of the 2.51 million deaths in India, 1.81 were action plan to the National Green Tribunal on
related to air pollution, 0.64 million to water
combating air pollution. The measures listed
pollution, 0.17 million to occupational exposure
would be implemented simultaneously with
and 95,000 linked to lead pollution.
• Half of the top 20 polluted cities in the world are the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP).
in India. • The Central government has also released a
Smog: There are two types of smog: Draft action plan for the same.
(a) Classical smog occurs in cool humid climate. It is a • The NGT has also issued its own action plan.
mixture of smoke, fog and sulphur dioxide. Chemically • The Environment Ministry has also launched
it is a reducing mixture and so it is also called as a Regional Project to Tackle Stubble Burning.
reducing smog.

• The Supreme Court had ordered an Reason for increased use of Pet-coke and
Environment Compensation Charge (ECC) of furnace oil
1% for the registration of diesel cars above • Per-unit delivered energy for petcoke is much
2000 cc in Delhi. The SC has named it as a cheaper compared to coal making it
charge and not a tax or cess, this is because attractive for buyers.
any tax or surcharge or cess should have the • Favourable tax regime: Though both these
authentication of the legislature. But the ECC fuels are taxed at 18% under GST but the
doesn’t fulfill such a qualification. industries, which use these fuels for
o Tax revenue will go to the Central manufacturing, get entire tax on the fuels
Pollution Control Board and the Board credited back. On the other hand, on natural
has to open a separate account for the gas, which is not included in GST, the VAT is
purpose. as high as 26 per cent in certain states.
• CPCB announced that it may use LIDAR • Clean energy cess of Rs. 400 per tonne levied
devices to vertically monitor the air quality of on coal, further promotes shift to pet-coke.
Delhi-NCR. • Zero Ash Content.
• The Ministry of Environment, Forests and About pet coke
Climate Change has proposed an amendment • Petroleum coke or pet coke, is a solid carbon rich
to the Environment Protection Act, 1986 to (90% carbon and 3% to 6% sulfur) material
impose fines of up to Rs 1 crore on polluters. derived from oil refining.
• It is categorized as a “bottom of the barrel” fuel.
About LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) • It is a dirtier alternative to coal and emits 11%
• LIDAR is a monitoring system for mapping and more greenhouse gases than coal and has higher
modelling in micro-topography, forestry, sulphur than other fossil fuels.
agriculture, meteorology and environmental • India is the world’s biggest consumer of
pollution. petroleum coke
• It is an optical analog of radar that uses light in • It is an approved fuel in many states such as
the form of a pulsed laser to carry out remote Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Gujarat and
sensing. Karnataka.
• This technology generates precise, three- About Furnace oil
dimensional information about the object under • It is a dark viscous residual fuel obtained by
study. blending mainly heavier components from crude
• A LIDAR instrument principally consists of a laser, distillation unit, short residue and clarified oil
a scanner, and a specialized GPS receiver. from catalytic cracker unit.
• LIDAR projects laser beams towards the sky to • It is one of the cheapest fuels available and used
study the composition of pollutants present in the to generate power in industries to run boilers,
upper layers. turbines etc.
The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act,
Why in News • According to it, governments may prohibit the use
of fuel, which is likely to cause air pollution, in air
Recently, Supreme Court banned the use of pollution control areas.
furnace oil and pet-coke in Haryana, Rajasthan • Act also give authority to state board to declare
and Uttar Pradesh. Later, however, it eased its any fuel as ‘approved fuel’.
ban on use of petcoke for cement manufacturing,
lime industries and on furnace oil for power 2.1.3. BAN ON THE USE OF
More on news Why in News?
Recently, Supreme Court imposed a ban on the
• Pet coke and other polluting fuels such as use of antimony, lithium, mercury, arsenic and
furnace oil are widely used by cement lead in the manufacture of firecrackers to
factories, dyeing units, paper mills, brick kilns prevent air pollution
and ceramics businesses.
• India is becoming a dumping ground of pet- Highlight
coke from the US, which has banned its • SC entrusted the Petroleum and Explosive
internal use because of pollution. Safety Organisation (PESO) with the
responsibility of ensuring compliance

• At present, there are no standards on air contains about 3% of Sulphur – to generate
pollution caused by the bursting of electricity. The country produces more than
firecrackers. 70% of its electricity from coal.
• SC asked the CPCB to clarify on the use of About Sulphur Dioxide (SO2)
strontium, another chemical branded toxic
by the pollution body, in firecrackers. • It is a colorless reactive gaseous air pollutant
• Antimony Sulphides are also used in the with a pungent odor.
production of heads of safety matches, • It impacts visibility and causes haze.
though in its elemental form it is not • Natural Sources: Sulphur dioxide is naturally
dangerous to humans, inhalation of antimony
produced by volcanoes.
trioxide is considered harmful and
carcinogenic. • Man-made Sources: Burning fuels – coal, oil
• Certain compounds of Arsenic are highly and gases containing sulphur – and by
explosive and a health hazard. smelting metals like copper, zinc, lead &
• Lithium is a highly volatile element, which is nickel and motor vehicle emission. Other
highly flammable and explosive when gases emitted by thermal power plants are
exposed to air (Health effects of Lead and Nitrogen oxides, mercury carbon dioxide,
Mercury have been covered under e-waste.)
water vapours and fly ash.
Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation
(PESO) Impact
• It is the apex department to control and
• Acid Rain: When sulfur dioxide combines
administer manufacture, storage, transport
and handling of explosives, petroleum, with water and air, it forms sulfuric acid,
compressed gases and other hazardous which is the main component of acid rain. It
substances in India. can cause deforestation, acidify waterways
• It functions under the Department of to the detriment of aquatic life, corrode
Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), building materials& paints etc.
Ministry of Commerce and Industry. HQ at • On health: It affects human respiratory
system and makes breathing difficult.
• It administers the responsibilities delegated
under the Explosives Act 1884 and Children, elderly, and those who suffer from
Petroleum Act 1934. asthma are particularly sensitive to effects of
• Procurement of raw materials for fireworks SO2.
does not come under the purview of the • Other health effects include irritation in eyes,
Explosives Act. The PESO has been testing coughing, mucus secretion and chronic
samples of crackers only for adherence to the
sound limit of 125 decibels at a distance of
four metres. Government Action on SO2
• It is one of the pollutants being measured
under Air Quality Index.
Why in news? • Increasing cess on coal production to Rs 400
According to a recent study, India’s sulphur per tonnes.
dioxide (SO2) emission is among highest in world. • Implementation of Bharat Stage Norms:
Highlights While BS IV-compliant fuel currently in use
• Increasing proportion of SO2: Over the last has 50 parts per million (ppm) sulphur, BS VI
10 years, India's SO2 emissions have spiked stipulates a low 10 ppm. The switch to BS-VI
by 50% and it could become the world's norms will also reduce concentration of
largest emitter of the toxic air pollutant.
carbon monoxide, unburnt hydrocarbons,
• Major reason: India has been releasing the
nitrous oxide and particulate matter from
harmful pollutant by burning coal – which
• Emission norms for Thermal power plant Steps taken to control Nitrogen pollution
(2015): It direct them to reduce emission of
PM 10, SO2 and oxide of nitrogen and • Mandatory neem-coated urea production:
mercury. along with water consumption Neem-coated urea releases nitrogen at a
norms for thermal power stations. slower pace giving plants time to absorb it,
• Countrywide emission-monitoring stations, hence leading to an optimal usage
switching to other sources of energy and
• Soil Health Card: It provides information to
installation of pollution abatement
equipment in thermal power plants, such as farmers on nutrient status of their soil along
flue-gas particulate collectors, flue-gas with recommendations on appropriate
desulphurization (FGD) system and nitrogen dosage of nutrients for improving soil health
oxide control devices. and its fertility. It has led to decrease in
consumption of Nitrogen in agriculture.
ATMOSPHERE • The Nutrient Based Subsidy (NBS) Policy is
being implemented by the Department of
Why in news? Fertilizers and under this policy, a fixed
• Indian Nitrogen Assessment report was amount of subsidy is provided on subsidized
released by an NGO Society for Conservation of Phosphatic & Potassic (P&K) fertilizers on
Nature (SCN). annual basis for each nutrient i.e., Nitrogen
(N), Phosphorous (P), Potash (K) and Sulphur
Importance of Nitrogen (S) depending on its Nutrient Content. Urea is
the only fertilizer whose price is controlled by
• Nitrogen is a naturally occurring element that is the government.
essential for growth and reproduction in both
plants and animals. It comprises about 78% of the International Initiatives
Earth's atmosphere.
Fact about Nitrogen pollution in India • Gothenburg Protocol: It aims to Abate
• Agriculture is the main source of nitrogen Acidification, Eutrophication and Ground-
pollution in India followed by Sewage and organic level Ozone and is a part of is part of the
solid wastes. Convention on Long-Range Transboundary
• Ammonia concentration in the atmosphere over Air Pollution.
India is the highest in the world due to cattle o Objective: To control and reduce
population and excessive fertilizer use. emissions of sulphur dioxide (SO2),
• Only 33% of the nitrogen applied to rice and nitrogen oxides (NOx), ammonia (NH4),
wheat through fertilizers is taken up by the plants volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and
in the form of nitrates. Particulate Matter (PM) that are caused
Impact of nitrogen pollution by human activities.
• Reducing Food productivity • Kyoto Protocol: It aims to reduce the
• Polluting Groundwater emissions of the Green House Gases such as
• Nitrous oxide (N2O) is 300 times more potent as a Methane (CH4), Nitrous oxide (N2O),
greenhouse gas as opposed to CO2. Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), Perfluorocarbons
• Health impact: Blue Baby Syndrome, reduced (PFCs), Sulphur hexafluoride (SF6) and carbon
functioning of the thyroid gland, Vitamin A dioxide (CO2).
shortages etc. • International Nitrogen Initiative (INI) - It is
• Causes acid rain an international program, set up in 2003
• Eutrophication: Due to large amounts of under sponsorship of the Scientific
fertilizers run-off, there is formation of a dead Committee on Problems of the Environment
zone (areas in the ocean of such low oxygen
(SCOPE) and from the International
concentration that animal life suffocates and
Geosphere-Biosphere Program (IGBP) to
• Ozone depletion: Nitrous oxide (N2O/ laughing optimize nitrogen’s beneficial role in
gas) is considered as a dominant ozone-depleting sustainable food production.
substance emitted by humans.
• Smog Formation

2.1.6. AEROSOLS CAUSES Effects of UHI on urban areas
SHRINKING OF INDIA’S MONSOON • Increase in demand for Energy: Increased
Why in News? temperatures during summer in cities amplify
energy demand for air conditioning
• Climatologist from Indian Institute of Tropical contributing to higher electricity bills.
Meteorology contended that aerosols • Increase in greenhouse gas emissions and air
(particulate matter) is the major cause of pollution: Increased energy demand
weakening of the monsoon. increases the production of energy from
More on news fossils fuels and thermal power plants leading
to air pollution in surrounding areas.
• Aerosols are suspension of particles in the • Discomfort and danger to human health:
atmosphere via both human-made and Health is impacted due to general exhaustion,
natural sources. E.g. Volcanic and desert dust, heat strokes, heat cramps, headaches and
sulphate from coal. respiratory problems.
• Upgraded study model suggests that that • Secondary impacts on weather and climate:
aerosols may be a far more important factor This includes changes of local wind patterns,
than GHGs on impact on monsoon. formation of fog and clouds, precipitation
• They impact cloud formations because water rates and humidity. The unusual heat can
condenses on them. lead to intense vertical movement of air
• They offset warming from greenhouse gases leading to thunderstorms and precipitation
because they send some of the sun's radiant • Impact on Plants, Forest and animals: High
energy back to space exerting a cooling temperatures may create disturbances on
influence on Earth's climate. biological life of plants
• A good monsoon, which is produced by the
difference in temperature between land and How to counter UHI effect from the region?
sea, is thus weakened by aerosol • Use of light-colored concrete and white
accumulation. roofs: to increase the albedo.
• Use of green roofs: The roof of a building is
2.1.7. URBAN HEAT ISLAND partially or completely covered with
vegetation which absorbs rainwater; provides
Why in news? insulation helping to lower urban air
• Recently a report by the American temperatures.
Geophysical Union says "fog holes" are • Construction of green buildings: These
observed in urban areas globally -- especially should be constructed in a manner that is
over Delhi due to urban heat island. resource-efficient, environmentally
The major factors responsible for UHI:
• Planting trees in cities: Trees provide shade,
• Direct pollution: From various sources of absorb carbon dioxide, release oxygen and
heat in city from fires, industry, home, fresh air, and provide a cooling effect.
agriculture burning in surround areas. • Improvement in technologies and
• Absorption of heat: Heat conserving infrastructure: By promoting fuel efficiency
properties of the bricks, fabric and concrete to reduce the emission. Adhering to higher
materials of the city standards of emission norms like Bharat
• Urban geometry: The height and spacing of Stage VI.
buildings affects the amount of radiation
received and emitted by urban infrastructure. 2.1.8. DUST MITIGATION PLAN
• Blanketing effect by atmospheric pollution Why in news
on outgoing radiation
Recently, centre has notified dust mitigation
• Reduced vegetation in urban region which
norms to arrest dust pollution.
reduces the natural cooling effect from shade
and evapotranspiration. Need of these rules
• IIT Kanpur study on Delhi’s air pollution in
2015 had identified road dust as one of the
biggest source of suspended particulate Pollutants covered under NAAQS
matter in the city. Sulphur dioxide, Nitrogen dioxide, lead, Ozone, PM10,
PM2.5, carbon monoxide, Ammonia, Arsenic, Benzene,
More about news Benzopyrene, Nickel
• Rules are notified under the Environment Comprehensive Environmental Pollution Index (CEPI)
• Measured by Central Pollution Control Board for
(Protection) Act, 1986, which empowers
Monitoring Polluted Industrial Areas (PIAs)
Environment Ministry to issue notices against
• Four Indices for CEPI
local authorities and state agencies for non- 1. Scale of Industrial Activity Observed Value of
implementation of those actions Pollution in air
• These standards were developed by the 2. Scale of exceedance of Environment quality.
Central Pollution Control Board as part of the 3. Health related statistics.
National Ambient Air Quality Standards 4. Compliance status of Industry
(NAAQS) • It is a rational number between 0 and 100
• The rules are applicable on cities which • CEPI score of 70 or above is considered as
exceed the annual prescribed limit of 40 critically polluted cluster tag.
µg/m3 for PM2.5 and 60 µg/m3 for PM10
2.1.9. ASH TRACK
• It also empowers CPCB to fine companies
and agencies for not complying with norms. Why in news?
Highlight of rules • The government of India has launched a web-
based monitoring system and fly ash mobile
• Mandatory dust mitigation plan for all
application named ASH TRACK.
building or infrastructure projects seeking
environment clearance. About the Platforms
• No soil excavation without adequate dust • These platforms will enable better
mitigation measures in place. management of the ash produced by thermal
• No loose soil, sand, construction waste could power plants by providing an interface
be left uncovered. between fly ash producers (Thermal Power
• Mandatory water sprinkling system Plants) and potential ash users such as – road
• No uncovered vehicles carrying construction contractors, cement plants etc.
material and waste would be permitted. • The ASH TRACK App would be managing 200
• Roads leading to, or at construction sites million tonnes of fly ash by tracking coal-
must be paved and blacktopped (i.e. metallic based power plants situated within 100 km
roads) and 300 km from given location and
• Wind-breaker of appropriate height i.e. 1/3rd availability of fly ash, along with prospective
of the building height and maximum up to 10 users within the same radius.
meters shall be provided; • The App gives plant-wise, utility-wise and
State-wise ash utilization status in the
The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) is a
statutory organization, constituted under the Water
(Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974. • The thermal plants are required to regularly
Further, CPCB was entrusted with the powers and update fly ash generation, utilisation and
functions under the Air (Prevention and Control of stock on the web portal and the app.
Pollution) Act, 1981.
Facts on Fly Ash
National Air Quality Index
• It transforms complex air quality data of various • It is a fine powder, which is the by-product of
pollutants into a single number (index value), burning coal in thermal power plants.
nomenclature and colour. • It is a proven resource material for many
• There are six AQI categories, namely Good, applications of construction industries and
Satisfactory, Moderately polluted, Poor, Very
currently is being utilized in manufacturing of
Poor, and Severe. AQ sub-index and health
portland cement, bricks/blocks/tiles
breakpoints are evolved for eight pollutants
(PM10, PM2.5, NO2, SO2, CO, O3, NH3, and Pb) manufacturing, road embankment
for which short-term (upto 24-hours) National construction and low-lying area
Ambient Air Quality Standards are prescribed. development, etc.
• SAMEER app has been developed to display AQI at • It can be advantageously used for
a city and receive complaints. reclamation of land and also in agriculture as
an agent for acidic soils, as soil conditioner — used to help industries to switch over to
improving upon some important physico- alternatives and train manpower.
chemical properties of the soil such as • Montreal Protocol is an international treaty
hydraulic conductivity, bulk density, under the Vienna Convention for the
porosity, water holding capacity, etc. Protection of the Ozone Layer. The treaty is
• Around 176 million tonnes of fly ash is the only treaty with universal ratification by
generated in India every year and at present all UN members.
only 63 percent of it is being utilized. • HCFCs are currently used in various sectors
• India is still not able to match the potential of including refrigeration, air-conditioning and
its fly ash use. As per a recent study by CSE foam manufacturing.
only 50- 60% of the fly ash generated is being • After phasing out HCFC, the country will have
utilized. Following steps have been taken to to move to a next stage where it will work on
utilize its potential: to phase out HFC as per Kigali agreement
o 2009 notification of MoEF provided 2016 under which India will have to cut use
guidelines on ash utilization advocating of HFC by 85% by 2047 over the 2024-2026
its usage within 100 km radius of thermal level (baseline).
power plants. Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) are a large group
o New and innovative uses are also taking of compounds, whose structure is very close to that of
place- especially initiated by power Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). Under normal conditions,
companies like NTPC in collaboration HCFCs are gases or liquids which evaporate easily.
with Institutes like IIT-Delhi and IIT- They are generally fairly stable and unreactive. HCFCs
Kanpur e.g. Manufacture of pre-stressed are also part of a group of chemicals known as the
railway concrete sleepers volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
o Maharashtra became the first state in the As VOCs, they may be involved in reactions to produce
country to adopt the Fly Ash Utilization ozone, which can cause damage to plants and
Policy. materials on a local scale. At a global level however,
o Recently Maharashtra government has releases of HCFCs can destroy the ozone layer. HCFCs
also contribute to Global Warming. Although the
also decided to come up with an export
amounts emitted are relatively small, they have a
policy for fly ash in the light of demand
powerful warming effect (a very high "Global Warming
from places like Singapore and Dubai. Potential").
2.1.10. OZONE PROTECTION Hydrofluorocarbons or 'HFCs' have been increasingly
used as an alternative to CFCs in refrigeration systems.
Why in news? Unfortunately, they can also be powerful greenhouse
gases with long atmospheric lifetimes.
• India is phasing out production and
consumption of Hydrofluorocarbons (HCFC) Kigali Agreement
as per Montreal Protocol Schedule.
• Under the Protocol, India has already • It aims to reduce the emissions of hydro
successfully phased out the earlier fluorocarbons (HFCs) with the potential for
generation of refrigerants, reduction up to 0.5 degrees Celsius of global
Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and Halon. warming by year 2100.
• The year 2017 marks the 30th Anniversary of • The Kigali Amendment amends the 1987
the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Montreal Protocol to now include gases
Deplete the Ozone Layer. responsible for global warming and will be
binding on countries from 2019.
More about the news • It has provisions for penalties for non-
• India’s current HCFC Phase out Management compliance as it is considered absolutely vital
Plan stage II would result in phasing out of 60 for reaching the Paris Agreement target of
per cent of the HCFCs by January 1, 2023 keeping global temperature rise to below 2-
against the target of 35 per cent phase out in degree Celsius compared to pre-industrial
2020 and 65 pc phase-out in 2025. times.
• A multilateral fund, set up under the • Under it, developed countries will also
Protocol, has also approved USD 44.1 million provide enhanced funding support estimated
for India's HPMP-II and the money will be at billions of dollars globally.

• All signatory countries have been divided into 2.2. LIGHT POLLUTION
three groups with different timelines to go
about reductions of HFCs; First group: It Why in News?
includes richest countries like US which will
As per a report, light pollution is increasing as the
freeze production and consumption of HFCs
newly lit areas are growing at a rate of 2.2%
by 2018 and reduce them to 15% of 2012
levels by 2036. Second group: It includes
countries like China, Brazil and all of Africa About Light Pollution
etc. They will freeze HFC use by 2024 and cut
• Light pollution is an unwanted consequence
it to 20% of 2021 levels by 2045. Third group:
of excessive or misdirected artificial lighting
It includes countries India, Pakistan, Pakistan,
and includes such effects as sky glow, light
Iran, Saudi Arabia etc. They will be freezing
trespass and glare.
HFC use by 2028 and reducing it to about
• Global push towards energy and cost-
15% of 2025 levels by 2047.
efficient light sources, such as LEDs, has
Greenhouse gas Global Atmospheric
Warming Lifetime
directly contributed to an increase in light
Potential, 100- (years) pollution.
year time Sky glow is a brightening of the sky caused by both
horizon natural and human-made factors. The key factor of sky
Carbon Dioxide 1 100* glow that contributes to light pollution is outdoor
Methane 25 12 lighting.
Nitrous Oxide 298 114
Chlorofluorocarbon- 10,900 100 Light pollution poses a significant health risk to
12 (CFC-12) humanity and biodiversity in following ways:
Hydrofluorocarbon- 14,800 270 • Blue light from LED lighting affects sleep-
23 (HFC-23) inducing hormone melatonin thus disrupting
Sulfur Hexafluoride 22,800 3,200 body’s inner clocks.
Nitrogen Trifluoride 17,200 740 • Artificial lighting near waterways draws
insects up from the water surface and toward
2.1.11. BLACK CARBON IN the lighting source, disrupting food chains
STRATOSPHERE and weakening the local ecosystem.
Why in news? • They reduce the pollinating activity of
nocturnal insects and thus are threat to crop
• According to a group of scientists, airplanes pollination.
may be ejecting significant amounts of black • It can cause migrating birds to be thrown off
carbon (BC) and this may be depleting the course which navigate partly with the help
ozone layer. of light from the moon and the stars.
What is Black Carbon (BC)? • It causes decline in sea turtle populations, as
hatchlings are lured away from the water and
• It is produced both naturally and by human
toward the light, where they are snapped up
activities as a result of the incomplete
by predators.
combustion of fossil fuels, biofuels, and
• It makes stargazing difficult and can also
cause trees to bloom out of season.
• BC particles strongly absorb sunlight and give
soot its black color. 2.3. SOLID WASTE
• It is emitted directly into the atmosphere in
the form of fine particles (PM2.5). 2.3.1. GUIDELINE FOR ODOUR
• It is known to be one-fourth as potent as POLLUTION
carbon dioxide in whetting global warming.
Why in news?
Adverse effects of black carbon
Recently, recognizing the urgent need for
• Ozone depleting Agent abatement of odour from municipal solid waste
• Potential to upset monsoon (MSW) disposal facilities in urban India, the
• Enhance melting of glaciers Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has
• Health hazard proposed guidelines to tackle it.

Background About the news
• Centre’s Solid Waste Management Rules, • It aims to enthuse the cities with a spirit of
2016, identified odour as a public nuisance. healthy competition to improve their overall
• India has regulatory frameworks to control cleanliness.
air pollutants but, “no regulation has been • It is different from the Swachh Survekshan
made for abatement and control of odour ranking survey as it will allow multiple cities
which is now becoming cause of major to be awarded the same star rating.
problem with increasing urbanization and • A city should be ODF (Open Defecation Free)
industrialization. before it could be given rating of 3 star or
Highlight of the Guidelines above. While cities may self-declare
themselves as 1-star, 2-star or 4-star, MoHUA
• Green Belt Around Landfill Sites will carry out an additional verification
• Tapping LFG (Landfill Gases) Efficiently: The through an independent third party to certify
composition of landfill gas is approximately cities as 3-star, 5-star or 7-star.
50 percent methane and 50 percent carbon • The major focus in the ratings will be on
dioxide with trace amounts (<1 percent) of waste storage and litter bin.
nitrogen, oxygen, hydrogen sulphide, • An online database was also launched in
hydrogen, and non-methane organic order to capture the progress of states and
compounds (NMOCs). cities on their SBM components, thereby
• Integrated with The Urban Development enhancing the robustness and transparency
Planning of Mission monitoring.
Related news Swacch Bharat Mission (Urban) is an initiative
• Alappuzha, Kerala famous for its canals, is under the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs
among the five cities recognised by the with the following objectives:
United Nations Environment Programme • Eliminate open defecation,
(UNEP) as global success stories in solving the • Conversion of insanitary toilets to pour flush
problem of solid waste. toilets,
Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016 • Eradication of manual scavenging,
• Rules have mandated the source segregation of • 100% collection and scientific
waste in order to channelise the waste to wealth processing/disposal reuse/recycle of
by recovery, reuse and recycle. Municipal Solid Waste,
• Waste generator will have the responsibility of • To bring about a behavioral change in people
segregating the waste into wet, dry and regarding healthy sanitation practices,
Hazardous. They will have to pay user fine to the
• Generate awareness among the citizens
waste collector and spot fine for littering around;
about sanitation and its linkages with public
the amount will be decided by the local body.
• Waste processing facilities will have to be set up
by all local bodies having 1 million or more • Strengthening of urban local bodies to
population within two years. design, execute and operate systems,
• Rules have mentioned about the integration of • To create enabling environment for private
rag pickers, waste pickers and kabadiwalas from sector participation in Capital Expenditure
the informal sector to the formal sector by the and Operation & Maintenance (O&M) costs.
state government.
• Developers of Special Economic Zone, industrial The Mission has following components:
estate, industrial park to earmark at least 5 per • Construction of Household Toilets,
cent of the total area of the plot for recovery and • Community and Public Toilets,
recycling facility. • Solid Waste Management,
• Information, Education & Communication
(IEC) and Public Awareness,
• Capacity Building and Administrative & Office
Why in news? Expenses (A&OE).
Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs recently
Swachh Survekshan
launched the Star Rating Protocol for garbage • It aims to rank all the 4,041 cities and towns of
free cities under Swacch Bharat Mission (Urban). the country based on infrastructure development

for improved sanitation services and their used in cosmetics personal care products such as
sustainability, outcomes, citizen connect and toothpaste, and even paint from land run-offs can
visible impact on ground. dump microplastics in the ocean.
• It is conducted by Quality Council of India. • Microplastics are ingested directly by the
Quality council of India zooplankton -- the lowest link in the food chain.
• It was set up jointly by the Government of India The zooplankton is eaten by fish; and the
and the Indian Industry represented by the three microplastic finally reaches the seal, which
premier industry associations i.e. Associated consumes the fish.
Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India • The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is almost entirely
(ASSOCHAM), Confederation of Indian Industry made up of microplastic.
(CII) and Federation of Indian Chambers of Recently the larvae of wax moth have been shown to
Commerce and Industry (FICCI). degrade polyethylene into ethylene glycol at a fast
• Chairman of QCI is appointed by the Prime rate.
Minister on recommendation of the industry to Plastic Waste (Management and Handling) Rules,
the government. 2016
• Recently, third party survey on station cleanliness • Increase the minimum thickness: of plastic carry
was carried out by it as part of ‘Swachh Rail’ bags from 40 microns to 50 microns. This would
campaign in which Visakhapatnam railway station increase the cost and the tendency to provide free
was ranked the cleanest. carry bags would come down.
• Responsibility of local bodies: Rural areas are
2.4. PLASTIC POLLUTION brought under the rules since plastic has reached
rural areas as well. The gram sabhas have been
Why in News? given responsibility of implementation.
• Extended Producer Responsibility: Under this,
• India will host this year’s World Environment
the producers and brand owners have been made
Day, an initiative of UN, on June 5 with ‘Beat responsible for collecting waste generated from
Plastic Pollution’ as its theme. their products.
Background • Producers are to keep a record of their vendors to
whom they have supplied raw materials for
• Government notified Plastic Waste manufacturing. This is to curb manufacturing of
Management Rules, 2016, to regulate these products in unorganised sector.
manufacture, sale, distribution and use of • Responsibility of waste generator: All
plastic carry bags including those of institutional generators of plastic waste shall
compostable plastic, and plastic sheets for segregate and store the waste generated by them
packaging or wrapping applications. in accordance with the Solid Waste Management
Rules, and handover segregated wastes to
• United Nations Environment Assembly, in
authorized waste disposal facilities.
2017, passed a resolution to eliminate plastic • Responsibility of street vendors and retailers: not
pollution in our seas. However, it is not a to provide such carry bags or fine would be
legally binding treaty. imposed. Only the registered shopkeepers on
Impact of plastic payment of a registration fee to local bodies
would be allowed to give out plastic carry bags on
• Causes cancers, birth defects, impaired charge.
immunity etc. • Promote the use of plastic waste in road
• Non-biodegradable nature as it can construction, waste to energy, waste to oil etc.
survive in environment for nearly 500 Scheme for setting up of need-based Plastic Parks
years. • Under the scheme, Government of India provides
grant funding up to 50% of the project cost,
• Marine animals are found to be feeding
subject to a ceiling of Rs.40 crore per project
on microplastics and absorbing their • Objectives: To increase competitiveness and
hazardous chemicals. They are also investments, achieve environmentally sustainable
displacing the algae needed to sustain growth and adopt the cluster development
larger sea life who feed on them. approach to consolidate the capacities in plastic
• Nodal office: Department of Chemicals and
• Plastic pieces that are less than 5mm in length are
Petrochemicals under Ministry of Chemicals and
called microplastics. They can be formed by
fragmentation of large plastic waste material.
Microfibers from washing of textiles, microbeads

Agriculture - 2000 and National policy on Farmers
Why in News? • “Grow Safe food” Campaign has been
Recently, NHRC issued notices to the Centre as initiated to create awareness about the safe
well as the Maharashtra government, for death and judicious use of pesticides among the
of farmers and after inhaling poisonous pesticide various stakeholders.
in Yavatmal district. • India is signatory to United Nations
Environment Programme (UNEP) led
Stockholm Convention for persistent organic
• Currently India is the largest producer of pollutants and Rotterdam convention which
pesticides in Asia and ranks 12th in world for promotes open exchange of information and
application of pesticides. calls on exporters of hazardous chemicals to
• Andhra Pradesh is the leading consumer of use proper labelling, include directions on
pesticide followed by Maharashtra and safe handling, and inform purchasers of any
Punjab. known restrictions or bans.
Government Initiatives for pesticide 2.6. MINAMATA CONVENTION
• Insecticide Act 1968, was enacted to regulate Why in news?
imports, manufacture, storage, transport,
sale, distribution and use of insecticides with • Recently, the Union Cabinet approved the
a view to prevent risk to human beings and proposal for ratification of Minamata
animals. Convention on Mercury enabling India to
• Approval for the use of pesticides and new become a Party of the Convention.
formulations on crops is given by the More on news
Registration Committee of the Central
Insecticide Board. The health and family • The approval entails ratification of the
welfare ministry monitors and regulates Minamata Convention on Mercury along
pesticide levels in food, and sets limits for with flexibility for continued use of mercury-
residues in food commodities. based products and processes involving
• The Government of India has decided to ban mercury compound up to 2025.
the use of 18 pesticides following the • The first Conference of the Parties (CoP)
recommendations of the Anupam Varma under the Minamata Convention took place
Committee. in Geneva, Switzerland in 2017 which India
• Department of Agriculture, Co-Operation & attended as observer.
Farmers Welfare (DAC&FW) has launched a o It adopted decisions on guidance to the
scheme “Strengthening and Modernization Global Environment Facility through
of Pest Management Approach in India” to which the convention is financed.
promote Integrated Pest Management Details about the convention
• The Minamata Convention on Mercury is
Integrated Pest Management (IPM) first global legally binding treaty to protect
• It is an eco-friendly approach which aims at
human health and the environment from the
keeping pest population at below economic
threshold levels.
adverse effects of mercury.
• It does that by employing all available alternate • It was agreed in Geneva, Switzerland in
pest control methods and techniques such as January 2013 and came into force in August,
cultural, mechanical and biological with emphasis 2017.
on use of bio-pesticides and pesticides of plant- • The Minamata Convention requires party
origin like Neem formulations. nations to:
• The use of chemical pesticides is advised as a o Reduce and where feasible eliminate the
measure of last resort when pest population in use and release of mercury from
the crop crosses economic threshold levels (ETL). artisanal and small-scale gold mining
• National Policy statement on IPM was made in
1985 and later supported by National policy on

o Control mercury air emissions from coal- o The Convention on Biological Diversity
fired power plants, coal-fired industrial o The Convention on International Trade in
boilers, certain non-ferrous metals Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and
production operations, waste Flora
incineration and cement production. o The Minamata Convention on Mercury
o Phase-out or take measures to reduce o The Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm
mercury use in certain products such as Conventions
batteries, switches, lights, cosmetics, o The Vienna Convention for the Protection
pesticides and measuring devices, and of Ozone Layer and the Montreal
create initiatives to reduce the use of Protocol
mercury in dental amalgam. o The Convention on Migratory Species
o Phase out or reduce the use of mercury o The Carpathian Convention
in manufacturing processes such as chlor- o The Bamako Convention on the
alkali production, vinyl chloride monomer Ban of the Import into Africa and the
production, and acetaldehyde Control of Transboundary Movement and
production. Management of Hazardous Wastes
• It also puts a ban on new mercury mines. within Africa
• The Convention also addresses interim o The Tehran Convention: Framework
storage of mercury and its disposal once it Convention for the Protection of the
becomes waste, sites contaminated by Marine Environment of the Caspian Sea
mercury as well as health issues. Champions of the Earth award
• Launched in 2005, it is UN’s highest
2.7. GLOBAL CLEAN SEAS environmental honour.
CAMPAIGN • It recognizes dozens of exemplary individuals and
organizations and celebrates outstanding figures
Why in news? from the public and private sectors and from civil
society whose actions have had a
• Recently Indonesia declared a “Garbage
transformative positive impact on the
emergency” as part of Global Clean Seas
About Clean Seas Campaign 2.8. MOSS AS BIOINDICATOR
• It is a global UN Environment initiative Why in news?
launched in 2017 to increase global
• According to Japanese scientists, delicate
awareness of the need to reduce marine
mosses found on rocks and trees in cities
plastic litter.
around the world can be used to measure
• The campaign is inspired from Mumbai’s
the impact of atmospheric change and
Versova beach clean-up programme of Afroz
monitor urban pollution.
Shah who also received Champions of the
Earth award for the same. Bioindicator
About United Nations Environment Programme • A bioindicator is a living organism that gives
(UN Environment) us an idea of the health of an ecosystem.
Some organisms are very sensitive to
• It is the leading global environmental pollution in their environment, so if
authority Headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya. pollutants are present, the organism may
• It sets the global environmental agenda, change its morphology, physiology or
promotes the coherent implementation of behaviour, or it could even die, allowing
the environmental dimension of sustainable scientists to calculate atmospheric
development within the United Nations alterations.
• It works as the secretariat for following
environmental agreements and research

• To monitor air Pollution: Lichens (a
symbiosis among Cyano bacteria, algae,
and/or fungi) and Bryophytes (a collective
term for mosses, hornworts and liverworts).
• To monitor water pollution: Algae blooms
are often used to indicate large increases of
nitrates and phosphates (Eutrophication) in
lakes and rivers.
• Other bio-indicators are bacteria, sparrow,
butterflies etc.

Why in news?
• Recently, Ministry of Environment, Forest
and Climate Change (MoEFCC) released the
biennial India State of Forest Report (ISFR)
2017, prepared by Forest Survey of India
Forest Survey of India
• It is a national organization, under MoEFCC,
responsible for assessment and monitoring of the
forest resources of the country regularly.
• It is also engaged in providing the services of
training, research & extension.

Key findings
• Forest cover:
o India is ranked 10th in the world, with
24.4% of land area under forest (21.53%)
and tree cover. The target is to achieve
33% of area under forest cover.
o There is an increase of 1% (8,021 sq km)
in the total forest and tree cover of the
country, compared to the previous
assessment in 2015.
o The maximum increase in forest cover
has been observed in Very Dense Forest
(VDF) followed by increase in forest cover
in open forest (OF).
o The agro-forestry and private forestry has
also shown expansion. There is also an
increase in timber production in ‘Trees
outside Forests’ (TOF) category.
• Forest cover in states:
o 15 states/UTs have above 33% of
geographical area under forest cover.
o 7 States/UTs have more than 75% forest
cover: Mizoram, Lakshadweep, Andaman
& Nicobar Islands, Arunachal Pradesh,
Nagaland, Meghalaya and Manipur.
o The three leading States with maximum
Forest cover (in terms of area): Madhya
Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh and

• States with highest Forest cover in terms (13%), the Eastern Ghats (12%) and the west
of percentage geographical area: coast (8%)
Lakshadweep (90.33%), Mizoram • New biodiversity species were from the four
(86.27%) and Andaman & Nicobar Islands biological hotspots of the country
(81.73%) o Himalaya: Includes the entire Indian
• Global trend: Himalayan region.
o India has shown an increasing trend in o Indo-Burma: Includes entire North-
the forest and tree cover, in comparison eastern India, except Assam and
to the global trend of decreasing forest Andaman group of Islands
cover during the last decade. o Sundalands: Includes Nicobar group of
o As per the latest FAO report, India is Islands
placed 8th in the list of top ten nations o Western Ghats and Sri Lanka: Includes
reporting the greatest annual net gain in entire Western Ghats.
forest area. Biodiversity Hotspot
• Carbon stock: There is an increase in the • Term coined by Norman Myers
carbon stock of India bringing it to total 7083 • Conservational International (American NGO)
million tonnes. designates biodiversity hotspot.
• Criteria
• Forest fires: In most of the years, maximum
o Least 1,500 species of vascular plants (> 0.5%
number of forest fires occurs in open
of the world’s total) as endemics.
forest(OF) followed by Moderately Dense o It has to have lost at least 70% of its original
Forests (MDF). However, in 2012 and 2016 habitat.
(severe fire years), the proportion of forest • Total 36 biodiversity hotspots on Earth (4 in India)
fires in MDF and VDF were higher compared • Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF)
to OF. provides fund for management of hotspot.
• Mangrove: Total mangrove forests have • CEPF is joint initiative of l'AgenceFrançaise de
increased by 181sq kms. 7 out of the 12 Development, Conservation International,
mangrove states have shown an increase in European Union, Global Environment Facility,
mangrove cover and none of them show any Government of Japan, MacArthur Foundation and
World Bank.
negative change.
• Bamboo Cover: There has been an increase Botanical survey of India Zoological survey of India
of 1.73 million ha in bamboo areas. • Established: 1890, • Established: 1916,
• Water bodies inside forests - The report HQ: Calcutta HQ: Calcutta
observes that water bodies inside forest • Evolved from Royal • Evolved from Asiatic
cover have increased by 2,647 sqkms during Botanic Garden: Sir Society of Bengal
George King and Zoological
the last decade. Almost all the states have
• Under Ministry of Section of the Indian
shown a positive change in water bodies. Environment Forest Museum:Sir William
and Climate Change Jones.
3.2. INCREASE IN INDIA’S (MoEFCC). • Under Ministry of
BIODIVERSITY • Undertaking Environment Forest
intensive Plants and Climate Change.
Why in News? surveys • Exploration, Survey,
• Animal Discoveries 2016, New Species and • Collecting, identifying Inventorying and
and distributing Monitoring of faunal
Records, brought out by the Zoological Survey
materials for diversity in various
of India, and Plant Discoveries 2016, by the scientific research. States, Ecosystems
Botanical Survey of India reported that 313 • Custodian of and Protected areas
species of animal and 186 of plants have authentic collections of India.
been discovered from various areas of the from Local, District, • Periodic review of
country last year. state and national the Status of
Flora. Threatened and
More on News Endemic species.
• Most discoveries were made in the Western • Preparation of Red
Ghats (17%), followed by the Eastern Data Book, Fauna of
Himalayas (15%), the Western Himalayas India and Fauna of

o High dispersal capability
o Ability to survive on various food types in
Why in news? wide range of environmental conditions
o Ability to adapt physiologically to new
Recently, National Conference on the Status of
conditions (phenotypic plasticity)
Invasive Species in India was organised by
• Spread of IAS has become a threat due to -
Zoological Survey of India and the Botanical
o Increased movement of people and
Survey of India in which ZSI announced a list of
goods around the world (globalisation)
alien invasive animal species.
o Escape from farms and horticulture
Findings of Zoological Survey of India: o Through ship ballast water
o Spread through man-made corridors such
• ZSI has made a list of 157 species of Invasive
as canals.
Alien Species (IAS) out of which 58 are found
on land and freshwater habitat and 99 are Steps taken to control Invasive Alien Species (IAS)
found in marine ecosystem. • Article 8(h) of CBD and Aichi Target 9 aim to
• Common Alien Animal Species found in India control or eradicate alien species which threaten
are – ecosystems, habitats and species.
o African Apple Snail – found in Andaman • Global Invasive Species Program is supporting to
implement Article 8(h) of CBD with IUCN as
and Nicobar Island, now spread across
partner organization and also working to address
the whole country the global threat to IAS.
o Papaya Mealy Bug – massively affected • IUCN’s Invasive Species Specialist Group has also
papaya crop in Assam, West Bengal and been working to promote and facilitate the
Tamil Nadu exchange of IAS information and knowledge
o Cotton Mealy Bug – threat to cotton across the globe and ensure linkages between
crops in Deccan policy making and flow of knowledge.
o Amazon sailfin catfish – responsible for • IUCN has also developed a number of global
destroying fish population in wetlands databases which provide critical information on
o Orange Cup-Coral – originated in Indo- IAS such as Global Invasive Species Database and
the Global Register of Introduced and Invasive
East Pacific, now also found in Andaman
and Nicobar Island, Gulf of Kutch, Kerala
and Lakshadweep.
3.4. FAUNA
o Primrose Willow -It is an aquatic plant
native to Central and South America. It 3.4.1. IRRAWADDY DOLPHIN
flourishes in sandy and mineral rich soil
of wetlands. First seen in Karbi Anglong Why in news?
district of Assam and is now spreading in The status of the Irrawaddy dolphin has been
Tamil Nadu, Kerala, the Andaman & raised from “vulnerable” to “endangered” in the
Nicobar Islands and West Bengal. latest Red List of threatened species produced by
What are Invasive Alien Species? the International Union for Conservation of
Nature (IUCN).
• “An alien species is a species that is
established outside of its natural past or The International Union for Conservation of Nature
present distribution, whose introduction (IUCN) is a membership Union uniquely composed of
and/or spread threaten biological diversity” both government and civil society organisations.
Convention of Biodiversity (CBD). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species is the
• According to IUCN, around 5% to 20% of alien world's most comprehensive inventory of the global
conservation status of plant, animal and fungi
species become invasive and is second most
species. It uses a set of criteria to evaluate the
serious threat to the biodiversity after global extinction risk of thousands of species and subspecies.
The IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC) is a
• IAS are found in all taxonomic groups such as science-based network of more than 7,500 volunteer
animals, plants, fungi etc. and can affect all experts from almost every country of the world.
types of ecosystems.
• The most common characteristics of IAS are –
o Rapid reproduction and growth

About the dolphins chairman is Minister of Environment.
It has power to review all wildlife-related matters
• Irrawaddy Dolphins are found in the Ganges, and approve projects in and around national parks
Brahmaputra, Irrawaddy and Mekong rivers. and sanctuaries.
• This species is also known to be found in the • No alternation of boundaries in national parks and
tropical waters of the Indo-Pacific, from wildlife sanctuaries can be done without approval
northern Australia and New Guinea through of the NBWL.
South-East Asia to the Bay of Bengal, which • It advises the Central Government on framing
forms the western limit of its range. policies and measures for conservation of wildlife
• Total population of these animals in the in the country.
world is estimated to be less than 7,500 with 3.4.2. INDIAN STAR TORTOISES
highest being little over 6,000 reported from
Bangladesh. Why in news?
• The population of Irrawaddy dolphins in Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary (CWS) has successfully
Chilika is considered to be the highest single rehabilitated Indian star tortoises, making it the
lagoon population with recorded head count only rehabilitation centre for star tortoises in the
of 121 in 2017. country.
• It has been included in Schedule I of Wildlife
protection act, schedule I of CMS, Schedule II About Indian star tortoise
of CITES. (Details of CMS and CITES are • This species naturally inhabits scrub forests,
covered later.) grasslands, and some coastal scrublands of
Wildlife (Protection) Act,1972 arid and semi-arid regions.
• The Act provides for the protection of wild • It is found in northwestern India (Gujarat,
animals, birds and plants; and for matters Rajasthan) and adjoining southeastern
connected therewith or ancillary or incidental Pakistan; eastern and southern areas from
thereto. It extends to the whole of India, except Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and eastern
the State of Jammu and Kashmir which has its Karnataka to Odisha and throughout Sri
own wildlife act. It has six schedules which give Lanka
varying degrees of protection.
• Threats to this species survival include illegal
• Schedule I and part II of Schedule II provide
absolute protection - offences under these are collection and habitat loss.
prescribed the highest penalties. • Included in Appendix II of the CITES
• Species listed in Schedule III and Schedule IV are • IUCN status: vulnerable
also protected, but the penalties are much lower. • Placed under Schedule IV of the Wildlife
• Schedule V includes the animals which may be (Protection) Act 1972.
hunted. The Wildlife Act empowers every State’s
Chief Wildlife Warden to authorise hunters to cull About Chinnar wildlife sanctuary
vermin animals in a region where they are a • Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary is a unique
proven nuisance. These are Common crow, Fruit protected area located in the rain shadow
bats, Mice & Rats only. States can send a list of
region in the eastern slope of Western Ghats
wild animals to the Centre requesting it to declare
them vermin for selective slaughter. in Idukki in Kerala.
• Schedule VI contains the plants, which are • It supports a population of grizzled giant
prohibited from cultivation and planting. squirrel, gaur etc.
• Wild boars, nilgai and rhesus monkeys are 3.4.3. NORTHERN RIVER TERRAPIN
protected under Schedule II and III but can be (BATAGUR BASKA)
hunted under specific conditions.
Why in news?
• Wild boars are scavengers in the food chain and
furrowing by them ensures germination of seeds • The Sunderban Tiger Reserve with support
in the forest area. from experts at Turtle Survival Alliance
National board for wildlife (TSA), have coordinated a recovery program
• National Board for Wild Life is a “Statutory for Batagur baska (the world’s second most
Organization” constituted under the Wildlife
endangered turtle), through captive
Protection Act, 1972.
conservation breeding.
• It is chaired by India’s Prime Minister and its vice

• The genus Batagur includes six large fresh Why in news?
water turtles, out of which three are found in
India. Batagur kachuga (Red-crowned roofed The Rajasthan government will set up a captive
turtle) and Batagur dhongoka (Three-striped breeding centre for the Great Indian bustard.
roofed turtle) are found in the tributaries of Background
the Ganga, such as Chambal.
• The Northern river terrapin is the most • This will be the first such facility in the
endangered of the three species. It occupies country aimed at saving the bird, which is the
a river estuarine habitat. State bird of Rajasthan.
• This is presumed extinct in several Southeast • Rajasthan accounts for 95% of the total world
Asian countries and is classified as critically population of Great Indian bustard.
endangered by the International Union for About Great Indian bustard
Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
Turtle Survival Alliance (TSA) • A large bird with a horizontal body and long
bare legs giving it an ostrich like appearance
The Turtle Survival Alliance (TSA) was organized in
2001 in response to the Asian Turtle Crisis. • This bird is among the heaviest of the flying
It functioned within the IUCN (World Conservation
Union) structure. • Found in central India, western India and
eastern Pakistan.
It organized a diverse partnership involving zoos and
aquariums, universities, private breeders and serious • Habitat: Arid and semi-arid grasslands, open
hobbyists, veterinarians, conservation NGOs, range country with thorn scrub, tall grass
country turtle facilities and turtle rescue organizations. interspersed with cultivation. It avoids
About turtles irrigated areas.
• Listed in Schedule I of the Wildlife
• Turtles play a critical ecological role in the
environments in which they occur. For example, (Protection) Act, 1972 and CMS or Bonn
freshwater turtles help control aquatic vegetation, Convention.
serve as scavengers and help maintain rivers and • It is also listed in Appendix I of CITES, as
lakes in a healthy condition. In addition, turtles Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List.
occupy a significant role in the cultures of many • It has also been identified as one of the
people around the world. species for the recovery programme under
the Integrated Development of Wildlife
3.4.4. INDIAN WILD DOGS (DHOLES) Habitats of the Ministry of Environment and
Why in news? Forests.
• The biggest threat to this species is hunting.
The Indira Gandhi Zoological Park (IGZP), situated This is followed by occasional poaching
in Vishakapatnam plans to reintroduce a pack of outside Protected Areas, collisions with high
16 dholes into the forests. tension electric wires, fast moving vehicles
About dholes and free-ranging dogs in villages.
Integrated Development of Wildlife Habitats
• Dholes occur in several regions of India It is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme where GoI provides
such as the Western Ghats, central Indian financial and technical assistance to the State/UT
forests, Eastern Ghats, northeastern Governments for activities aimed at wildlife
states and Terai region in north India. conservation. The scheme has following three
• In the Himalayan region, they are found components:
in Sikkim and Ladakh • Support to Protected Areas (National Parks,
• Protected under Schedule 2 of the Wildlife Sanctuaries, Conservation Reserves and
Community Reserves)
Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972
• Protection of Wildlife Outside Protected
• Listed as ‘endangered’ by the Area
International Union for Conservation of • Recovery programmes for saving critically
Nature (IUCN). endangered species and habitats.
• It covers 17 species such as Snow Leopard,
Bustard (including Floricans), Dolphin, Hangul,

Nilgiri Tahr, Marine Turtles, Dugongs, Edible Nest • It is the first sanctuary in Maharashtra to be
Swiftlet, Asian Wild Buffalo, Nicobar Megapode, declared as 'satellite core', which means a
Manipur Brow-antlered Deer, Vultures, Malabar sub-protected area supporting another
Civet, Indian Rhinoceros, Asiatic Lion, Swamp protected area.
Deer and Jerdon’s Courser.
Why in news?
Why in news?
The cranes are facing huge threats especially in The annual Sangai Festival was celebrated in the
Arunachal Pradesh. northeastern state of Manipur.
About the crane
About Sangai Deer
• Migratory bird most commonly found in
China. • The Sangai is an endemic, rare and critically
• It is legally protected in Bhutan and India and endangered subspecies of brow antlered
is considered sacred to certain Buddhist deer found only in Manipur.
traditions. • It is also the state animal of Manipur
• IUCN status – Vulnerable
• Its habitat is restricted to the marshy
• Listed in India’s Wildlife Act as a Schedule 1
species wetland of Keibal Lamjao National Park over
• It is locally known as DhungDhung Karma. the floating biomass in Loktak lake which is
• It is the only high-altitude crane amongst the locally called ‘phumdi’.
15-species found in the world. • While walking on the floating biomass,
• These birds build their nests in vast open Sangai often balances itself which looks as if
environments, making them vulnerable to a it is dancing on the green grassland and
host of predators.
therefore popularly called as ‘dancing deer’
3.4.7. AMUR FALCON of Manipur.
• It is classified as ‘endangered’ by the IUCN
Why in news?
and is part of MoEFCC’s ‘Recovery
Amur Falcon were spotted at UmredKarhandla Programme for critically endangered species
Wildlife Sanctuary near Nagpur.
and habitats’.
About Amur Falcon
• Amur Falcons are the migratory bird that
stay every year at Doyang lake (Nagaland) Why in news?
during their flight from Mongolia to South
Recently, Telangana Forest Department released
8 mouse deer from captivity into Amrabad Tiger
• Pangti village in Nagaland is considered as Reserve (Telangana).
the world’s Amur Falcon capital
• Centre will soon develop the Doyang Lake More about Mouse Deer
area as an eco-tourism spot for bird-watchers • It is a species of deer usually found in the
across the world. deciduous and evergreen forests of the
• Until recently, Amur falcons were hunted by country also called ‘spotted Chervotain’ and
Naga tribesmen for meat. mostly inhabits Tamil Nadu and Kerala. It is
UmredKarhandla Wildlife Sanctuary also found in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.
• They are nocturnal and are also known as
• It is situated in Maharashtra and is 60 km smallest ungulates (deer) and are
from Nagpur. endangered because of habitat destruction
• Umred-Karhandla Wildlife Sanctuary is and poaching.
declared as the satellite core of Bor Tiger • The Species is also listed in Schedule I of the
Reserve by national tiger conservation Indian Wildlife Protection Act (1972) and
authority. occurs in numerous protected areas

throughout its range. However, IUCN has • To produce animals for commercial purposes
kept the species under Least Concerned (pets, food, fibre, medicine, and other human
category. uses).
• To create a sizable, stable, and healthy
3.4.10. NILGIRI TAHR population in order to avoid extinction
• To reintroduce species back into their natural
Why in News? habitats, when conditions allow
• The first ever State-wide population It has saved some species from extinction, including
black-footed ferrets and California condors.
estimation of Nilgiri Tahrs, has put the total
Risks associated:
population of the endangered species at
• Disease spread, social disruption and the
1,420, introduction of alien genes
Nilgiri Tahr • threatened or endangered species are bred for
• State animal of Tamil Nadu. commercial purposes
• Endemic: Western Ghats from the Nilgiris to • lack of international standards for zoos and
Kanyakumari. captive breeding operations
• IUCN status: Endangered status (because number Details
fewer than 2,500 mature individuals).
• Protected (Schedule I) by the Indian Wildlife • The Chiru is assessed as ‘Near Threatened’ by
(Protection) Act of 1972. the International Union for Conservation of
• Confined to a narrow belt of higher elevation of Nature 2017.
Shola Forest. • China and Mongolia are breeding Chiru goats
More on the News (Tibetan antelope) for its wool, which is very
expensive. The cost of an embroidered
• In 2013, Standing Committee of the National shahtoosh shawl can run into crores of
Board for Wildlife planned to reintroduce rupees.
Nilgiri Tahr into Mudanthurai tiger reserve. • Chiru have long been hunted for their
• Majority of number is 664 at the Eravikulam underfur, which is renowned for its quality.
National Park in Munnar. • It takes three to five hides to make a single
• Found in Eravikulam National Park, Adimali shawl, and the wool cannot be sheared or
forest (Idukki), Silant Valley National Park, combed; to collect the fur, the animals have
Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve. to be killed. The shawls’ sale and possession
are banned in India and in many countries.
Why in news?
The Ministry of Environment and Forests has Why in News?
refused to allow captive breeding of the Chiru • Recently, new Moth species has been
goats (Tibetan antelope). discovered in Talle Wildlife Sanctuary in
• A Parliament panel has recommended that Arunachal Pradesh.
the ministry should conserve and breed the More on News
Chiru goat, which can then be given to shawl
makers for collecting hair. • It is the first record of this moth species
(Elcysma)in Arunachal Pradesh.
• This would increase the number of these
goats but would also add to the sustainable • The scientifically name of moth is
ElcysmaZiroensis, and commonly called
livelihood opportunities of the people of
Jammu and Kashmir. Apatani Glory, named after a local tribe
Captive Breeding
called Apatani.
Captive breeding is the process of breeding animals • This moth species has one brood of offspring
outside of their natural environment in restricted per year.
conditions in farms, zoos or other closed facilities. The
Talle Wildlife Sanctuary
choice of individual animals that are to be part of a
captive breeding population, and the mating partners • It lies roughly in between the Subansiri, Sipu
within that population, are controlled by humans. and Pange Rivers.

• It is one of the home for clouded leopard benthic organisms found in these vents are
(Vulnerable IUCN status). host to the chemosynthetic bacteria found in
• Sub-tropical broad leafed, temperate broad their bodies, thus living in symbiotic
leafed and temperate conifer types of relationship.
vegetation are found here. • These bacteria oxidise the sulphides or
Apatani tribe elemental sulphur to derive energy.
• They are one of the major ethnic groups of
eastern Himalayas. 3.5. FLORA
• The tribe is known for their colorful culture with
various festivals, intricate handloom designs, 3.5.1. SUNDERBANS STEADILY
skills in cane and bamboo crafts, and vibrant LOSING ITS FAMED MANGROVES
traditional village councils called bulyañ.
• The community has evolved a unique skill of rice- Why in News?
fish cultivation where along with paddy, fish is
also reared on the fields.
• Study conducted by School of Oceanographic
• Apatani Tribal Cultural Landscape is in tentative Studies, Jadavpur University, reveals that
list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites for from 1986 to 2012, 124.418 sq. km.
‘extremely high productivity’ and ‘unique’ ways mangrove forest cover has been lost.
of preserving ecology. • Recently, Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) has
Other protected areas in Arunachal Pradesh published a compendium of animal species in
• Wildlife Sanctuary: Itanagar, Lao, Mehao, Dibang the Indian Sundarbans, estimating that there
Eagle's Nest Sanctuary, Kamlang, Kane. are 2,626 of them in the fragile island
• National Park:Namdapha, Mouling ecosystem.
• Biospheric Reserve:Dihang-Dibang Biosphere
Reserve. More on News

3.4.13. BIODIVERSITY AROUND THE • The loss in the mangrove forest in the Indian
Sunderbans is about 5.5 % of total area since
Background • There rising mean seas level is driving factor
for coastal erosion, coastal flooding, and an
• Deep sea vents are found on the sea floor
increase in the number of tidal creeks.
through which the geo-thermally heated
water, minerals and gas comes out. The • Jambudwip, one of the smallest uninhabited
hydro-thermal vents are formed near the islands at the mouth of the sea, also has
oceanic ridges where the two tectonic plates reduced forest cover from 6.095 sq. km. in
intersect e.g. Sister Peak and Turtle Pit in 1986 to 5.003 sq. km. in 2012, or about 10%.
Mid Oceanic Ridge, Atlantic Ocean. Reasons for decrease
• The water is heated through contact of
• Commercialisation of Golpata tree in order to
molten crust, thus increasing the
produce oil and alcohol for human
temperature of the area up to 400 degrees
centigrade. These vents also form a feature
• Logging of Sundri trees for timber and pulp.
known as black smokers.
• Artificial Plantation being done for aesthetic
• Hydrothermal also have huge potential for
mineral exploration as the vents are rich in
• Shrimp culture has grievously threatened the
Poly Metallic Nodules.
Benthic Organism in Hydro-thermal Vents • Oil Spillage is one of the major man-made
• Usually the life on the earth is driven by the causes of mangrove degradation.
light energy from the Sun. However, the Feature of Sunderbans
benthic organisms in the hydrothermal vents • It is classified as a moist tropical forest dominated
depend on the chemosynthetic bacteria for by “ Sundri tree”
food. • It is a UNESCO world heritage site.
• The water in the hydrothermal vents is rich in • It is the largest single block of halophytic
dissolved minerals and forms the energy mangrove forest in the world.
base for the chemosynthetic bacteria. The • It has common features of the both estuarine and
mangrove ecosystem and acts as agent of carbon

Sequestration Benefits of amendment
• Its area lies both in India and Bangladesh (Largest
in Bangladesh). • It will promote cultivation of bamboo in non-
• It acts as shelter belt to protect the people from forest areas to achieve twin objectives of
storms, cyclones, tidal surges, sea water seepage increasing the income of farmers, especially
and intrusion. in North-East and Central India and also
• It is the only mangrove reserve in the world increasing the green cover of the country.
inhabited by tigers • It will create a viable option for cultivation in
• This reserve includes 12.6 million hectares of cultivable waste
o The Royal Bengal Tiger Reserve. land by removing the legal and regulatory
o Sundarban National Park.
hardships being faced by farmers and
o Sajnekhali wildlife sanctuary.
o Lothian Island wildlife sanctuary. private individuals.
o Holiday Island wildlife sanctuary. • The amendment will unleash the potential of
Mangrove for Future bamboo in terms of rural and national
• A regional initiative, being coordinated by United economy apart from ecological benefits
Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and such as soil-moisture conservation, landslide
International Union for the Conservation of prevention and rehabilitation, conserving
Nature (IUCN). wildlife habitat, enhancing source of bio-
• It aims at promoting coastal ecosystem mass, besides serving as a substitute for
conservation in six tsunami-hit countries including timber.
• It will encourage farmers and other
• Mangrove for the Future (MFF) programme in
India provides focus on promoting conservation
individuals to take up plantation/ block
and management of coastal and marine plantation of suitable bamboo species on
biodiversity, while mangrove ecosystems are at degraded land, in addition to plantation on
centre-stage, on three important aspects: agricultural land and other private lands
1. Coastal restoration; under agroforestry mission.
2. Coastal livelihoods; and • It will enhance supply of raw material to the
3. Integrated coastal zone management traditional craftsmen of rural India, bamboo
based/ paper & pulp industries, cottage
industries, etc.
• Besides promoting major bamboo
Why in News? applications such as wood substitutes and
• Recently, President has cleared an ordinance composites like panels, flooring, furniture
amending the Indian Forest Act (IFA) 1972, to and bamboo blind, it will also help industries
exempt bamboo grown in non-forest areas such as those dealing with food products
from the definition of trees. (bamboo shoots), constructions and housing,
bamboo charcoal etc.
More on News
• It will help to fulfill domestic demand and
• The amendment aims to exempt bamboo reduce the imports. Though India has 19%
grown in non-forest areas from definition of share of world’s area under bamboo
tree, thereby dispensing with the cultivation (India is the world’s second largest
requirement of felling/transit permit for its bamboo producer), its market share in the
economic use. sector is only 6%. In 2015, India imported
• Bamboo, though, taxonomically a grass, was about 18.01 million cubic meters of timber
defined as a tree under the Indian Forest Act, and allied products worth Rs 43000 crores.
1927 which meant that the felling and transit • The amendment will greatly aid the National
of bamboo grown on forest as well non- Agro-Forestry & Bamboo Mission (NABM).
forest land for economic use required permit. National Agro-Forestry & Bamboo Mission (NABM)
This was a major impediment for bamboo • It envisages promoting holistic growth of bamboo
cultivation by farmers on non-forest land. sector by adopting area-based, regionally
• However, bamboo grown in the forest areas differentiated strategy and to increase the area
shall continue to be governed by the under bamboo cultivation and marketing.
provisions of Indian Forest Act, 1927. • Steps have been taken to increase the availability
of quality planting material by supporting the

setting up of new nurseries and strengthening of Madagascar, the Seychelles, Sri Lanka and
existing ones. Australia, only one — Nepenthes khasiana — is
• To address forward integration, the Mission is known to occur in India, in the Khasi and Jaintia
taking steps to strengthen marketing of bamboo hills of Meghalaya.
products, especially those of handicraft items. • The leaves of the plant get modified into a pouch-
• It is being implemented by the Department of like structure with a lid on top. The pouch
Agriculture & Cooperation (DAC), Ministry of produces enzymes that can kill insects and even
Agriculture as a sub scheme under the Mission small rodents.
for Integrated Development of Horticulture • Recently, scientists at the Jawaharlal Nehru
(MIDH). Tropical Botanic Gardens and Research Institute
The International Network for Bamboo and Rattan have come up with evidence that some
(INBAR) carnivorous plants use carbon dioxide (CO2) to
• INBAR connects a global network of partners attract insects and ants to their prey traps.
from the government, private, and not-for-profit
sectors in over 50 countries to define and 3.5.4. RED SANDERS
implement a global agenda for sustainable
development through bamboo and rattan.
Why in news?
• India is a Founding Member. Recently it was reported that the smuggling of
red sanders from the forest of Andhra Pradesh
3.5.3. COBRA LILY has started again through new routes instead of
Why in news? traditional route.
The cobra lily, a rare species of lilies was recently Red Sanders
rediscovered in the western Nilgiris after 84 • Red Sanders is an endemic tree of South
years. India.
About cobra lily • They are found in Tropical Dry Deciduous
Forest of the Palakonda and Seshachalam hill
• The cobra lily is a predatory plant native to
ranges of Andhra Pradesh and also found in
Northern California and Southern Oregon.
Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.
• In India they can be found only in a small area
• Red Sanders usually grows in the rocky,
measuring less than 10 square kilometres in
degraded and fallow lands with Red Soil and
the Shola forests in Nilgiris.
hot and dry climate.
• The Toda tribals of the Nilgiris, who know the
• IUCN has put it under the category of
plant well, have an embroidery motif known
endangered species in the Red List due to the
as the ‘podwarshk’, which resembles it.
dwindling population because of illegal felling
• Cobra lilies are at a great risk of extinction and smuggling.
from the commercial trade in exotic plants.
• It is used for various purposes such as
• Predatory plants have evolved into immunity medicine, furniture, radiation
carnivorous plants that capture and digest absorbent, musical instrument, food dyes and
insects as a means of obtaining nitrates as spices, Ayurveda and Sidha medicine,
these plants are usually associated with decorative and ornamental purposes etc.
leached, nutrient-poor soils, or wet and acidic
• It is a rare kind of sandalwood, high in
areas that are ill-drained. demand internationally due to its red colored
Shola Forests: These are the temperate forests found wood. The major markets for the wood are –
in Nilgiris, Annamalai and Palani Hills. China, Japan, Middle East, Sri Lanka, Bhutan
• They represent the continuation of the evergreen and Nepal.
forest in response to elevation gradient, the • Its export is banned in India in accordance
sequence being Wet Evergreen >> Subtropical Hill with the CITES and Wildlife Protection Act
Forest >> Montane Wet Temperate Forest.
1972. However, its smuggling is rife and is
• The endangered Nilgiri Tahr is endemic to Shola
rampant in the southern states of Karnataka,
• Trees found here are Mahogany, Gular fig, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.
Rhododendron etc.
Related information
• Of the 140 species of Nepenthes (tropical pitcher
plant) distributed across the world, mainly in

3.5.5. NILAMBUR TEAK of Nature (IUCN), TRAFFIC, WildAid.
Priorities of Global Wildlife Program
Why in news? • Promoting community-based resource
management, achieve biodiversity goals and
Recently, teak grown in Nilambur region was tourism development
accorded Geographical Indication (GI) tag by the • Increasing knowledge sharing and enhance
Geographical Indication (GI) Registry collaboration,
About the news • Implement monitoring and evaluation framework
• Promote donor cooperation and ensure proper
• It is also known as Malabar teak and the monitoring of international fund
Mecca of Teak.
• It is the first forest produce to get GI tag. 3.6.2. NATIONAL WILDLIFE ACTION
• It is known for its durability, earthy colour PLAN (NWAP) FOR 2017-2031
and larger size. • Important Components of NWAP 2017-2031
• It exhibits high resistance to fungal decay o strengthening and promoting the
and shows antioxidant properties making it integrated management of wildlife and
ideal for usage in construction purposes like their habitats
Buckingham Palace, the Kabba building in o adaptation to climate change and
Mecca, the Titanic etc. promoting integrated sustainable
• It is also known for hydrophobicity and its oily management of aquatic biodiversity in
nature. India
• Teak also has the highest capacity for carbon o promoting eco-tourism, nature
sequestration among trees in India. education and participatory
3.6. CONSERVATION MEASURES o strengthening wildlife research and
monitoring of development of human
3.6.1. GLOBAL WILDLIFE PROGRAM resources in wildlife conservation
Why in news? o enabling policies and resources for
conservation of wildlife in India.
Recently, India hosted Global Wildlife Program
• The plan has adopted the Landscape
during which India’s National Wildlife Action Plan
approach rather than the earlier strategies
(NWAP) for the period 2017-2031 and Secure
more concentrated on national parks and
Himalaya were released.
wildlife sanctuaries.
Global Wildlife Program • The Landscape approach is based on the
• “Global Partnership on Wildlife Conservation and importance of conservation of uncultivated
Crime Prevention for sustainable development” flora and undomesticated fauna that had
program also known as Global Wildlife Program ecological value irrespective of their place of
(GWP) was launched in response to increasing
crime against animals in natural habitat.
• It works towards wildlife conservation and
• Plan also highlights role of private sector in
sustainable development by fighting against illicit the wildlife protection by ensuring adequate
trafficking in wildlife through a holistic fund flow from the Corporate Social
comprehensive approach. Responsibility (CSR) fund.
• India is a partner country of Global Wildlife • It also emphasizes upon preservation of
Program along with other Asian and African genetic diversity and sustainable utilization
countries. of species and ecosystem.
Implementing Agencies: World Bank Group, United
Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United 3.6.3. SECURE HIMALAYA
Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) & Asian
Development Bank (ADB). The Ministry of Environment, forest and climate
Other Collaborating Partners: International change in collaboration with UNDP has launched
Consortium to Combat Wildlife Crime (ICCWC), a six-year project to ensure conservation of
Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), The Convention locally and globally significant biodiversity, land
on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild and forest resources in the high Himalayan
Fauna and Flora (CITES) Secretariat, World Wildlife ecosystem spread over four states in India.
Fund (WWF), International Union for the Conservation

The project aims to: Other major Government steps to protect
Himalayan Ecosystem
• Sustain critical ecosystem services (such as
fresh water, erosion reduction, mineral
• The National Mission for Sustaining the
resources, land for food crops, medicinal
Himalayan Ecosystem (NMSHE).
plants, etc.)
• Himalayan Research Fellowships Scheme
• Conserve vulnerable snow leopards and
under the ministry of environment, forest
other endangered species by securing
and climate change (MoEFCC)
community livelihoods, enhancing
o Aim: The scheme aims to create a young
enforcement, strengthening community
pool of trained environmental
managers, ecologists and socio-
• Improve knowledge, advocacy and economists. This pool will help generate
information systems for promoting information on physical, biological,
landscape-based conservation approaches. managerial and human aspects of
• Specific landscapes (Alpine pastures, sub- Himalayan environment and
alpine forest and critical watersheds) development.
under SECURE Himalayas are: o Implementation: The fellowship scheme
o Changthang (Jammu and Kashmir) will be executed through various
o Lahaul – Pangi and Kinnaur (Himachal universities and institutions working in
Pradesh) the Indian Himalayan Region (IHR) and
o Gangotri – Govind and Darma – Byans preference will be given to the
Valley in Pithoragarh (Uttarakhand) Institutions from north-eastern states.
o Kanchenzonga – Upper Teesta Valley o Funding: The financial support will be
(Sikkim). provided under the National Mission on
Snow Leopard Himalayan Studies (NMHS) and the
• Recently, International Union of Concerned fellowships will be awarded for a
Scientists (IUCN) down listed the Snow Leopard maximum period of three years.
from its list of endangered species to vulnerable o Focus areas: The research may be
list. undertaken in any of the identified broad
Project Snow Leopard (2009) thematic areas (BTAs) of the NMHS such
• It was launched to safeguard and conserve India’s
as water resource management including
unique natural heritage of high-altitude wildlife
populations and their habitats by promoting
rejuvenation of springs and catchments,
conservation through participatory policies and hydropower development, assessment
actions. and prediction of water-induced hazards,
• Project is operational in five Himalayan States viz. livelihood options including ecotourism
Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, opportunities, biodiversity management
Sikkim, and Arunachal Pradesh including recovery of threatened species
• Threat: Snow leopard — at the apex of ecological and skill development.
pyramid — suffered the most, partly on account of
their relatively smaller population and also because The Government of India in 2015 launched the
of man-animal conflict. This situation got “National Mission on Himalayan Studies (NMHS)” a
aggravated by the hostile landscape forming its Central Sector (CS) Grant-in-Aid Scheme with a vision
habitat. "to support the sustenance and enhancement of the
Status of Snow Leopard: ecological, natural, cultural and socioeconomic capital
assets and values of the Indian Himalyan Region (IHR).
• Schedule I under Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972
The Mission has been revamped recently and
• Appendix I of the Convention on International
focussing on Demand Driven Action Research on the
Trade of Endangered Species (CITES), which
Thematic Areas- (i) Water Management (ii) Livelihood
makes trading of animal body parts (i.e., fur,
Options and Employment Generation (iii) Biodiversity
bones and meat) illegal in signatory countries
Conservation and Management and (iv) Skill
• Appendix I Convention on Migratory Species
Development and Capacity Building.
The Global Snow Leopard & Ecosystem Protection The National Mission for Sustaining the Himalayan
Program, GSLEP: Under this program, snow leopard Ecosystem (NMSHE) is one of the eight missions
range countries have committed to securing 20 under the National Action Plan on Climate Change
landscapes across the cat’s range by 2020. (NAPCC).

• It is a multi-pronged, cross-cutting mission across • It was constituted in 2007 by amending the
various sectors. Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.
• It contributes to the sustainable development of • It also assists and advises the Customs authorities
the country by enhancing the understanding of in inspection of the consignments of flora & fauna
climate change, its likely impacts and adaptation as per the provisions of Wildlife Protection Act,
actions required for the Himalayas- a region on CITES and EXIM Policy governing such an item.
which a significant proportion of India’s • It coordinated “OPERATION THUNDER BIRD”
population depends for sustenance. (INTERPOL’s multi-national and multi-species
• It seeks to facilitate formulation of appropriate enforcement operation) in India.
policy measures and time-bound action • It has launched Operation wildnet counter the
programmes to sustain ecological resilience and menace of the illegal trade through internet.
ensure the continued provisions of key
ecosystem services in the Himalayas. More about the News
• It intends to evolve suitable management and • The award was given to Wildlife Crime
policy measures for sustaining and safeguarding Control Bureau (WCCB) for its efforts in
the Himalayan ecosystem along with developing
conducting and coordinating a species-specific
capacities at the national level to continuously
wildlife enforcement operation Kurma.
assess its health status.
Operation Save Kurma
• It was conducted to combat the proliferating
Why in news? illegal trade in live turtles and its parts from
the country to destinations abroad.
• India has been awarded a certificate of
commendation by the Convention on About Indian Turtles
International Trade in Endangered Species of
• Turtles are listed in Schedule 1 of the The
Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES) for its effort to
Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, Amendment
combat illegal wildlife trade.
• Types of Indian turtles - Olive Ridley Turtles,
• It is an international agreement between
governments which aims to ensure that Green Sea Turtle, Hawksbill Turtle, Leathery
international trade in specimens of wild animals Turtle, Eastern Mud Turtle
and plants does not threaten their survival. • Loggerhead Turtle and Olive Ridley Turtle are
• It was drafted as a result of a resolution adopted listed as Endangered by IUCN (International
in 1963 at a meeting of members of IUCN. Union of Conservation of Nature) while
• The convention is legally binding on the parties Leatherback Turtle is listed as critically
such that domestic legislation ensures the endangered.
implementation of CITES at the national level. • Government has recently decided to establish
• World wildlife day is celebrated on 3rd March, the Turtle Sanctuary at Allahabad under Namami
date of adoption of CITES.
Gange programme.
• Appendix I lists species that are threatened with
extinction and CITES prohibits international trade 3.6.5. TIGER CONSERVATION
in specimens of these species except for scientific
research. Why in news?
• Appendix II lists species that are not necessarily
now threatened with extinction but that may • India, Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh have
become so unless trade is closely controlled. No agreed to conduct a joint census of Tiger
import permit is necessary for these species under population.
CITES. • Orang tiger reserve has seen an increase in
• Appendix III is a list of species included at the tiger density from 17 in 2013 to 28 tigers in
request of a Party that already regulates trade in 2017 during phase IV of the all-India tiger
the species and that needs the cooperation of estimation programme.
other countries to prevent unsustainable or illegal
• NTCA has approved relocation of 6 tigers to
Buxa Tiger Reserve (BTR) in north Bengal
Wildlife Crime Control Bureau
• It is a statutory multi-disciplinary body
from neighbouring Assam as part of a plan for
established by the Government of India under the augmentation of tiger population.
Ministry of Environment and Forests, to combat
organized wildlife crime in the country.
Tiger Population (High to low Population): Karnataka, surveillance (e-Eye system) using thermal
Uttrakhand, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Assam, cameras.
Kerala. • IUCN has specified tigers as endangered in
• The NTCA report on status of tigers, co- the Red List of Threatened Species. There
predators and prey in India, said the density in
are three subspecies of Tigers which are
Kaziranga National Park was 12.72 per 100 sq.
extinct including Balinese tigers, Caspian
km., followed by Jim Corbett National Park (11) in
Uttarakhand and Bandipur National Park (10.28) tigers and Javan tigers.
in Karnataka. • A first of its kind, Telangana State will have
eco-friendly bridges over a canal cutting
About the Joint Tiger Census across the tiger corridor linking the Tadoba-
• Indian subcontinent is a home to about 80- Andhari Tiger Reserve in Maharashtra.
90% of the tiger population of the world • The Integrated Tiger Habitat Conservation
with India being home to around 60% of Programme (ITHCP) is a strategic funding
global tiger population (2500 tiger according mechanism which aims to save tigers in the
to 2016 tiger census). wild, their habitats and to support human
• Between the borders of India and Nepal populations in key locations throughout Asia.
there are contiguous national parks such as – o It is supported by the German
o Parsa National park and Chitwan National Government and the German
Park in Nepal are connected with Balmiki Development Bank (KfW) and was
National Park launched in late 2014.
o Katarniaghat National Park in India is o The programme contributes to the
adjoined to Bardiya National Park international goal set up during the 2010
o Dudwa National Park (India) is connected St- Petersburg Tiger Summit to double
to Shuklaphant National Park in Nepal wild tiger populations by 2022 (up to
• The authorities of participating nations will 6’000 tigers)
follow same protocol while conducting the o IUCN as the programme implementing
census which will ensure avoiding chances of agency.
repeated counting of same tiger.
The Terai Arc Landscape (TAL) is a 810 km stretch
Initiatives for Tiger conservation between the river Yamuna in the west and the
river Bhagmati in the east, comprising the Shivalik
• Project Tiger is an ongoing Centrally
hills, the adjoining bhabhar areas and the Terai
Sponsored Scheme of the Ministry of flood plains.
Environment, Forests and climate change • It is spread across Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh
(MoEFCC), providing central assistance to the and Bihar, and the low-lying hills of Nepal.
tiger States for tiger conservation in The landscape has most well-known Tiger
designated tiger reserves, the implementing Reserves and Protected Areas such as Corbett
agency for this project is the National Tiger Tiger Reserve, Rajaji National Park, Dudhwa
conservation authority. Tiger Reserve, Valmiki Tiger Reserve and
• The NTCA is a statutory body of the MoEFCC, Nepal’s Bardia Wildlife Sanctuary, Chitwan
National Park, and Sukhla Phanta Wildlife
with an overarching supervisory /
coordination role, performing functions as
• These forests are home to three flagship
provided in the Wildlife (Protection) Act, species, the Bengal tiger (Panthera tigris), the
1972. It has the responsibility of conducting greater one horned rhino and the Asian
the Tiger census every four years. elephant.
• It has recently started using an app, called
the Monitoring System for Tiger-Intensive 3.6.6. ELEPHANT CENSUS
Protection and Ecological Status or M-
Why in news?
STrIPES developed by The Wildlife Institute
of India (is an Autonomous Institution of the Recently, Ministry of Environment, Forest and
Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Climate Change released an elephant census
Change, Government of India). It also uses report, titled ‘Synchronized Elephant Population
information technology for improved Estimation India 2017’.

Elephant corridors: These are narrow strips of land Steps Taken for Elephant conservation
that allow elephants to move from one habitat patch Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972:
to another. There are approx. 100 identified elephant
• Under it, Elephant is a Schedule I animal.
corridors in India.
Elephant in National Heritage animal of India. IUCN Status: Asian elephants are listed as
Gaj Yatra is a nationwide campaign to protect “endangered” in the IUCN Red List of threatened
elephants, launched on the occasion of World species.
Elephant Day led by the Wildlife Trust of India (WTI). Project Elephant:
Highlight • It was launched in the year 1992 as a Centrally
Sponsored Scheme
• Decline in population: There has been a • Objectives:
decline in overall elephant population from ✓ To protect elephants, their habitat &
2012 to 2017 by 3000. This might be due to corridors
faulty counting method used in 2012. ✓ To address issues of man-animal conflict
• Karnataka has the highest number of ✓ Welfare of captive elephants
elephants (6,049), followed by Assam (5,719) • Elephant reserves are established across states to
achieve above objectives.
and Kerala (3,054)
• Increase in the geographical range: 3.6.7. SPECIAL PROTECTION FORCE
Elephants have been reported for the first FOR ONE-HORNED RHINOS
time in Manipur, Mizoram, Bihar, Madhya
Pradesh, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Why in news?
Andaman & Nicobar Islands. The Assam government is going to raise a new
• There have been increasing instances of the Special Protection Force (SPF) for better
human-elephant conflict due to loss and protection of one-horned rhinos.
degradation of wildlife habitats or climate
change impacts like temperature and Greater One –horned Rhinos (Indian Rhino)
precipitation modification • They are mainly spread across parts of India
• First time, all-India synchronised elephant and Nepal, with India being home to 2,200
census was carried out to avoid errors in rhinos, or over 85 per cent of the population.
estimation arising from the significant • Rhinos in India today are found in parts of
movement of elephants across different Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Assam.
states. • According to World Wildlife fund data of
International Initiative 2012, Assam has 91 percent of total Rhino
population of India which is mainly
Monitoring of Illegal Killing of Elephants (MIKE) concentrated in Kaziranga National Park, and
Programme a few in Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary and
• It was established in 2003, through a Manas national park.
Conference of the Parties (COP) resolution to • The Indian rhinoceros is also known to help in
the Convention on International Trade in seed dispersion, moving large tree seeds
Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and from forested areas to grasslands through
Flora (CITES). excreta.
• It is an international collaboration that tracks • The Indian rhino was moved from its status of
trends in information related to the illegal endangered (since 1986) to vulnerable in
killing of elephants across Africa and Asia, to 2008 by the International Union for
monitor effectiveness of field conservation Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
efforts. Indian Rhino Vision 2020
• Purpose: To provide information needed for
elephant range States to make appropriate • Launched in 2005, Indian Rhino Vision 2020 is
management and enforcement decisions, and an ambitious effort to attain a wild population
to build institutional capacity within the of at least 3,000 greater one-horned rhinos
range States for the long-term management spread over seven protected areas in the
of their elephant populations. Indian state of Assam by the year 2020.
• Indian Rhino Vision aims to translocate Rhinos
from Kaziranga National Park and Pobitora

Wildlife Sanctuary to five other protected 3.6.9. CROCODILE CONSERVATION
areas namely Manas, Laokhowa, IN BHITARKANIKA
Buracharpori-Kochmora, Dibrusaikhowa and
Orang. Why in news?

3.6.8. BLACKBUCK CONSERVATION There has been a steady increase in sightings of

salt water crocodile nests in the swampy creeks
of the Bhitarkanika National Park on the Odisha
Why in news? coast.
• India’s first wildlife conservation reserve About Bhitarkanika
dedicated exclusively to the blackbuck has • Bhitarkanika is a unique habitat of Mangrove
been approved by the state government in Forests crisscrossed with numerous creeks and
the trans-Yamuna region of Allahabad in mud flats located in Kendrapara district of Orissa.
Uttar Pradesh under Wildlife Protection Act, • It is located in the estuary of Brahmani, Baitarani,
Dhamra & Mahanadi river systems.
• The wetland is represented by as many as 3
• It is the “first ever conservation reserve” of protected Areas, namely “The Bhitarkanika
any kind in U.P. National Park”, “The Bhitarkanika Wildlife
Details Sanctuary” and “The Gahirmatha Marine
• Blackbucks, known for their majestic spiral
horns and coat colour contrasts, are found in More about the news
grasslands and open forests. • Bhitarkanika is said to house 70% of India’s
• They once inhabited the open savannahs of estuarine or salt water crocodiles whose
north and central India but are now restricted conservation started in 1975.
to just a few patches and habitats, primarily • Apart from this salt water crocodiles are also
due to human population growth, ecosystem found in the Sundarbans in West Bengal, and
degradation and hunting. in the large mangrove wetlands of the
• They are native to the Indian subcontinent Andaman Islands which form a good nesting
that has been classified as Least Concerned ground for them.
in 2017 (earlier status was near threatened • In India there are three species of Crocodile
by IUCN since 2003). They are now extinct in i.e. Gharial (Critically endangered) which is
Bangladesh and Pakistan. unique to Indian subcontinent, mugger
• There are a few national parks and (Vulnerable) or marsh crocodiles and the salt
sanctuaries inhabited by blackbuck in the water (Least concern) or estuarine crocodiles.
country, like the Velavadar Wildlife
Crocodile Conservation and breeding project:
Sanctuary in Gujarat and the Ranibennur
Blackbuck Sanctuary in Karnataka. However, • It was launched initially in Orissa in 1975 and
there are not many conservation reserves subsequently in other States with technical
exclusively dedicated to it. help from the Food and Agriculture
• Bishnoi community is known as protectors of Organisation (FAO) and the United Nations
Blackbuck. Development Programme (UNDP).
• Its strategy included protection of remaining
Bishnoi Community
• Followers of Bishnoism Started in 1485 AD by population, rebuilding natural population,
Saint Guru Jambheshwar promotion of captive breeding, research and
• They live in western Rajasthan and environment involvement of local people.
conservation is their cultural part. • Contrary to popular myths, crocodiles help in
• Amrita Devi Bishnoi: Early Chipko Movement of increasing the population of fish as they feed
1730 AD. (Died protecting Khejri tree) on predator fish e.g. Catfish that restricts
• Amrita Devi Bishnoi Wildlife Protection Award by growth of other fish.
Environment Ministry
• They do not cut trees. They only collect dead
• Do not believe in rituals, idol-worship, and caste

3.6.10. CONSERVATION OF Vulture in India
• There are nine species of vultures in India out of
which, 3 have been on critically endangered list
ANIMALS of IUCN and also listed under Schedule I of the
Why in News? Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972. These are:
o White-backed Vulture (Gyps bengalensis)
• In the 12th session of the Conference of the o Slender billed Vulture (Gyps tenuirostris)
Parties (CoP) to the CMS, several species of o Indian Vulture/long-billed vulture (Gyps
vultures, including four that have India on indicus)
their migratory routes, were awarded the Note: Red-headed vulture is on critically endangered
highest protection. list of IUCN but not listed under Schedule I of the Wild
Life (Protection) Act, 1972
Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species
of Wild Animals (CMS) or Bonn convention • They are known as Natural Sanitary Workers,
essential for environmental and ecological
• It is the only global convention specializing in the
conservation of migratory species, their habitats
and migration routes Other Conservation steps
• It comes under the aegis of the United Nations • Prohibition on usage of anti-inflammatory
Environment Programme. Diclonefac, as it was found that the use of
• It provides a global platform for the conservation Diclofenac has caused steep decline in the
and sustainable use of migratory animals and population of vultures in the country.
their habitats. • National Action Plan (2006) on Vulture
• Appendix I of the Convention: It includes Conservation: The Action Plan provides for
Migratory species threatened with extinction strategies, actions for containing the decline of
• Appendix II of the Convention: It includes vulture population through ex-situ, in-situ vulture
Migratory species that need or would significantly conservation.
benefit from international co-operation. • Vulture Safe Zones (In-situ conservation
initiative): It is designated as natural habitat of
Highlight of the conference wild vultures and is made free of the presence of
• Species of vulture which received highest the drug diclofenac in animal carcasses. It aims to
protection under the convention (Appendix I) protect and increase the remaining vulture
populations and act as future release sites for the
are the red-headed vulture, white-rumped
captive-bred vultures.
vulture, Indian vulture and slender-billed
• Ramadevarabetta Vulture Sanctuary: It is India's
vulture. only vulture sanctuary in Karnataka
• Threat to vultures: Vultures are faced with • ‘Vulture Restaurants': These spots are located
threats such as poisoning, hunting, collision strategically with a regular supply of safe food by
with electricity cables and habitat collecting dead animals from local people for
degradation. example in Punjab and Maharashtra.
• Whale shark, which inhabits the Indian
Ocean, also got global protection which are 3.6.11. IMPORTANT BIRD AND
on the verge of extinction due to over-fishing, BIODIVERSITY AREAS
vessel strikes etc Why in News?
• Caspian seal has also been identified for
conservation. It is the only marine mammal • Recently, BirdLife International has
found in the world’s largest inland sea, where recognised three new sites in Goa and nine in
its migration is prompted by ice formation Kerala as “Important Bird and Biodiversity
and foraging. Areas”.
• It was also decided that India will host More on News
13thCMS COP.
• Newly identified IBAs of Kerala: Achencoil
Forest Division; Anamudi Shola National Park;
Camel’s Hump Mountain, Wayanad;
Kurinjimala Wildlife Sanctuary; Malayattoor
Reserve Forest; Mankulam Forest
Division;Mathikettan Shola National Park;

Muthikulam-Siruvani; Pampadum Shola 3.6.12. ASIAN WATERFOWL CENSUS
National Park 2018
• In Goa: Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary, Navelim
Wetlands and Netravali Wildlife Sanctuary. Why in news?
• Kerala IBAs are home to three critically Recently, Asian Waterfowl Census was concluded
endangered species (IUCN status) in Coimbatore.
o White-rumped Vulture
o Indian Vulture About the Asian Waterfowl Census
o Red-headed Vulture • It is an international program that was
• Goa harbours a good population of the lesser started in 1987 in the Indian Subcontinent.
adjutant and the Nilgiri wood pigeon. • It is an integral part of International Water
• The updated list has been published by the Bird Census and is coordinated by Wetland
Bombay Natural History Society International (a global not-for-profit
• Site under Important Bird and Biodiversity organisation working to sustain and restore
Area does not ensure that the site gets legal wetlands and their resources for people and
protection or becomes inaccessible to biodiversity).
people. • In India the AWC is jointly coordinated by the
Bombay Natural History Society and
Bird Life International
Wetland International.
• UK based, environment conservation, Non-Profit
Organisation 3.6.13. BIODIVERSITY HERITAGE
• Identifies: Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas SITES
• Each BirdLife Partner is an independent
environmental not-for-profit, or NGO. Why in news?
• Publishes a quarterly magazine, World Birdwatch.
• Manage Red List of Birds for IUCN.
Recently, Ameenpur Lake became the first water
Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) body in the country to be declared a Biodiversity
• Non-governmental organization in India engaged Heritage Site.
in conservation research Features
• Collaborated with technology company Accenture
to create Internet of Birds. • It is located on the western fringes of
• Internet of Birds: online tool for birdwatchers that Hyderabad in Telangana state.
identifies birds based on their photos • It is a man-made lake and was constructed
Various reasons for Declining Birds Population during the reign of Ibrahim Qutab Shah, who
• Degraded level of air quality and water sources ruled the kingdom of Golconda between
such as wetlands and ponds. 1550 and 1580.
• Noise levels near urban areas of Manesar and
other industrial locations. Biodiversity Heritage Site (BHS)
• Non- ionized microwave radiations from mobile
• They are well defined areas that are unique,
towers. Long-term exposure to low level Radio
frequency radiation (RFR) has damaging effects on ecologically fragile ecosystems - terrestrial,
the nervous system, immune system and coastal and inland waters and, marine having
navigation capacity of birds. rich biodiversity comprising of any one or
• Combustion of unleaded petrol which produces more of the following components:
compounds such as methyl nitrite which is highly o Richness of wild as well as domesticated
toxic for insects that form a major part of young species or intra-specific categories.
sparrow's diet. o High endemism,
• Widespread use of garden pesticides, vanishing o Presence of rare and threatened species,
open grasslands, rising air temperature. keystone species, species of evolutionary
• Bird-unfriendly architecture such as excess use of significance,
glass, paints and declining trend of making birds
o Wild ancestors of domestic/ cultivated
nesting place in houses.
species or their varieties, past pre-
eminence of biological components
represented by fossil beds and
o Having significant cultural, ethical or
aesthetic values and are important for

the maintenance of cultural diversity, Dhotrey BHS Darjeeling It is a Medicinal Plant
with or without a long history of human under the (West Conservation Areas
association with them. Darjeeling Bengal)
• Under the Biological Diversity Act, 2002 (BDA) Forest
the State Government in consultation with
local bodies notifies Biodiversity Heritage Dialong Tamenglong ---
Sites (BHS). Village (Manipur
• Further, the State Government in
consultation with the Central Government
may frame rules for the management and 3.6.14. GANGA CONSERVATION
conservation of BHS. Why in News?
• The State Governments shall frame schemes
for compensating or rehabilitating any person • Recently, Chital Committee formed by the
or section of people economically affected by government on Desiltation of the river
such notification. Ganga, submitted its report.
Other Biodiversity heritage sites Highlights

Name Region Importance • It recommends a region-specific approach

Nallur Bengaluru It is popularly believed to instead of a one-size-fits-all approach.
Tamarind be a relic of the Chola • De-silting of the confluence points,
Grove Dynasty. especially with huge silt carrying tributaries,
Hogrekan Chikmagalur The area has unique Shola such as Ghagra, Sone, etc., may be necessary
vegetation and grass land to make confluence hydraulically efficient.
and has a link with • The Ganga Flood Control Commission should
adjoining Bhadra Wildlife be entrusted with additional mandate to
Sanctuary and Yemmedode carry out necessary studies on sediment
Tiger Reserve and serving management in river Ganga.
as "Wildlife Corridor"
between Kudremukha and Other conservation efforts
Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary.
• Environment protection act 1986 envisages
University of Bengaluru The GKVK campus is
Agricultural considered one of the five tier structures at national, state and
Sciences, greenest areas in district level to take measures for prevention,
GKVK Bengaluru. control and abatement of environmental
Campus, pollution in river Ganga and to ensure
Bengaluru continuous adequate flow of water so as to
Ambaraguda Shimoga It is located between rejuvenate the river Ganga as below;
Sharavathi Wild Life o National Ganga Council under
Sanctuary and Someshwara chairmanship of Prime Minister of India
Wildlife Sanctuary. It has (It replaced National Ganga River basin
Shola vegetation which is authority).
primitive vegetation in the o Empowered Task Force (ETF) on river
Western Ghat and also has
Ganga under chairmanship of Union
Minister of Water Resources, River
Glory of Gadchiroli It is a reserved forest being
Development and Ganga Rejuvenation.
Allapalli (Mahrashtra) preserved as natural forest
having biological, ethnical
o National Mission for Clean
and historical values. Ganga(NMCG) which will have a two-tier
Tonglu BHS Darjeeling It is a Medicinal Plant
structure with a Governing Council and
under the (West Conservation Areas an Executive Committee. The NMCG will
Darjeeling Bengal)) comply to the decisions of the National
Forest Ganga Council.
Division ✓ The NMCG will now have the power
to issue orders and also exercise the
powers under the Environment

Protection Act. It can now fine o Ganga Gram Yojana: 1600 villages
polluters. situated along the banks of river Ganga
✓ NMCG will only take action in case of will be developed under this scheme. In
non-compliance when CPCB (Central these villages open drains falling into
Pollution Control Board) does not do river Ganga will be diverted and
so. alternative arrangements for sewage
✓ CPCB can also take action jointly with treatment will be made. It has the
NMCG. following objectives:
✓ A comprehensive River Basin ✓ Strengthening grass root involvement
Management Plan for Ganga is being of all stakeholders including
prepared by the consortium of seven Panchayati Raj institutions and local
Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) bodies
for restoration of the wholesomeness ✓ Encouraging the adoption/utilization
of the Ganga ecosystem and of traditional knowledge
improvement of its ecological health, ✓ To utilize sector level expertise from
with due regard to the issue of different levels in government, NGOs,
competing water uses in the river citizens etc.
basin. ✓ Enhancing livelihood security through
✓ The wholesomeness of the river can water security in rural areas.
be grasped in terms of four defining ✓ The villages will have toilets in every
concepts: “Aviral Dhara” (Continuous household.
Flow”), “Nirmal Dhara” (“Unpolluted ✓ These villages will be developed
Flow”), Geologic Entity, and under the Sichewal model (where
Ecological Entity. cooperation of the villagers has been
o State Ganga Committees and solicited for the water management
o District Ganga Committees in every and waste disposal).
specified district abutting river Ganga and o Ganga Task Force has been approved by
its tributaries in the states. the Cabinet under the Public
Participation component of the Namami
Ganga Flood Control Commission (1972)
Gange Programme.
• It is a sub-ordinate office of Ministry of Water
✓ 4 Battalions of Composite Eco Task
Resources, River Development and Ganga
Force (CETF) named as Ganga Task
• It acts as the secretariat and executive wing of Force will be raised. Out of which one
Ganga Flood Control Board, headed by Union battalion (ex-servicemen) will be
Minister of Water Resources, River Development from Territorial Army (TA)
and Ganga Rejuvenation with the Chief Ministers ✓ Jawans of the GTF will be deployed
of Ganga river basin States and Member, NITI on the banks of Ganga to ensure that
Aayog. industry and civilians do not pollute
‘Namami Gange Programme’: It is an Integrated the river.
Conservation Mission under NMCG, with budget Swachh Yug Campaign
outlay of Rs. 20,000 Crore to accomplish the twin
objectives of effective abatement of pollution, • As part of its efforts to make villages located
conservation and rejuvenation of National River along Ganga open defecation-free,
Ganga. Main pillars of the Namami Gange Government has launched a campaign
Programme are: - 'Swachh Yug'.
• It is a collaborative effort of three Union
o Sewerage Treatment Infrastructure Ministries (The Ministry of Drinking Water
o River-Front Development and Sanitation; Ministry of Youth Affairs and
o River-Surface Cleaning Sports; Ministry of Water Resources, River
o Bio-Diversity Development and Ganga Rejuvenation) to
o Afforestation bring about behavioural change among
o Public Awareness people staying in villages along the river.
o Industrial Effluent Monitoring • There are 5,169 villages located along Ganga
• Initiatives under Namami Gange in five states- UP, Uttarakhand, Bihar,
Jharkhand and West Bengal, out of which adjacent to National Parks and Sanctuaries
4480 villages are now open defecation free. and those areas which link one Protected
Area with another. The rights of people living
3.6.15. DOUBLING OF PROTECTED inside a Conservation Reserve are not
AREAS affected.
Why in news? • Community Reserves can be declared by the
State Government in any private or
• MoEFCC is considering doubling the number community land, not comprised within a
of protected areas such as national parks and National Park, Sanctuary or a Conservation
wildlife sanctuaries. Reserve, where an individual or a community
Present status has volunteered to conserve wildlife and its
habitat. The rights of people living inside a
• At present protected areas are 729 in number Community Reserve are not affected.
& cover 4.9% or 162,072 sq. km of India’s
geographical area. 3.6.16. NEW WETLAND
• About 0.3% of EEZ (exclusive economic zone) CONSERVATION RULES
is under Marine Protected Areas (MPA) in
Why in News?
• India’s network of protected areas is far • Recently, Central government notified
below the “Aichi Target”. Wetlands (Conservation and Management)
Aichi biodiversity targets
Rules, 2017.
• They are a series of goals that were set in 2010 at Background
a Conference of Parties to the Convention on
Biological Diversity meeting for protection and • According to a Centre for Science and
conservation of biodiversity. Environment report, the loss of wetlands has
• Target 11: By 2020, at least 17% of terrestrial & been linked to more frequent urban flooding
inland water, and 10% of coastal & marine areas, events, as witnessed in Mumbai and Chennai.
are conserved through systems of protected areas • According to key United Nations finding, the
and other effective area-based conservation wetlands -- marshes, swamps, bogs, large or
measures. small lakes, and ponds -- are being lost more
Protected Area Network in India: provided under rapidly than any other kind of ecosystem due
Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 to encroachment and rapid urbanization.
• They support rich biodiversity and provide
• Sanctuary is an area which is of adequate
wide range of ecosystem services such as
ecological, faunal, floral, geomorphological,
water storage, water purification, flood
natural or zoological significance. It is
mitigation, erosion control, aquifer recharge,
declared for the purpose of protecting,
act as carbon sinks and others.
propagating or developing wildlife or its
environment. In Wildlife sanctuaries Provision under the new rules
harvesting timbers, cultivation, collection of • Definition of wetlands: They are defined as
forest products are allowed with permission. “an area of marsh, fen, peatland or water;
• The National Park is like that of a Sanctuary. whether natural or artificial, permanent or
The rights of the people living inside these temporary, with water that is static or
protected areas are tightly regulated and flowing, fresh, brackish or salt, including
activities like grazing, hunting, forestry or areas of marine water the depth of which at
cultivation, encroachment, destruction of low tide does not exceed six metres.
habitats and other activities are strictly • Decentralisation of Power: Under the new
prohibited. But most national parks provide rules, the central government has
outdoor recreation, camping opportunities empowered the states and union territories
and are designed to educate the public on to identify and manage their wetlands.
the importance of conservation activities. • Constitute State Wetlands Authority in each
• Conservation Reserves can be declared by State and union territories that will be
the State Governments in any area owned by headed by the State’s environment minister
the Government, particularly the areas and include a range of government officials.

They will prepare a list of all wetlands of the • The Montreux Record is a register of wetland
State or union territory within three months. sites on the List of Wetlands of International
• Setting Up National Wetlands Committee: it Importance where changes in ecological
will replace Central Wetlands Regulatory character have occurred, are occurring, or are
Authority (CWRA), to monitor likely to occur as a result of technological
implementation of these rules and advise the developments, pollution or other human
Central Government on appropriate policies interference. It is maintained as part of the
and action programmes for conservation and Ramsar List. Currently, two wetlands of India
wise use of wetlands are in Montreux record, Keoladeo National
• Banned activities: Certain activities are Park, Rajasthan and Loktak Lake, Manipur.
banned in notified wetland like setting up of Further, Chilka lake was placed in the record
industries, dumping of solid, electronic, but was later removed from it.
hazardous and construction wastes, poaching
of animals, conversion of wetland area into
non-wetland purposes, encroachment and
even construction of any permanent
structure will also be banned at the notified
• Applicability of rules: These rules shall apply
to the following wetlands or wetlands
complexes, namely:
o Wetlands categorised as 'wetlands of
international importance' under the
Ramsar Convention
o Wetlands as notified by the Central
Government, State Government and
Union Territory Administration.
Ramsar Convention on Wetland
• The Convention on Wetlands, signed in
Ramsar, Iran, in 1971, is an international
intergovernmental treaty for conservation of
wetlands. India is a party to the treaty.
• It provides framework for national action and
international cooperation for the
conservation and wise use of wetlands and National Plan for Conservation of Aquatic Eco-
their resources. systems (NPCA)
• Major obligations of countries which are
• For conservation of lakes and wetlands,
party to the Convention are:
Ministry of Environment and Forests has
o Designate wetlands for inclusion in the
been implementing two separate Centrally
List of Wetlands of International
Sponsored Schemes (CSS), namely the
National Wetlands Conservation Programme
o Promote, as far as possible, the wise use
(NWCP) and the National Lake Conservation
of wetlands in their territory.
Plan (NLCP).
o Promote international cooperation
• Objective of NPCA are conserving aquatic
especially with regard to transboundary
ecosystems (lakes and wetlands) through
wetlands, shared water systems, and
implementation of sustainable Conservation
shared species.
Plans and governed with application of
o Create wetland reserves.
uniform policy and guidelines.
• World Wetland Day is observed every year on
2nd February. This day marks the adoption of
Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. The theme
of 2018 is “Wetlands for a Sustainable Urban
3.6.17. NEW GUIDELINES ON o National Compensatory Afforestation Fund
Management and Planning Authority
(CAMPA) for management and utilisation of
Why in news? NCAF.
o State Compensatory Afforestation Fund
• Recently, Ministry of Environment, Forest Management and Planning Authority for
and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) issued utilisation of State Compensatory
guidelines specifying criteria for suitability Afforestation Fund.
and identification of land bank for o The act also seeks to provide for constitution
compensatory afforestation (CA). of a multi-disciplinary monitoring group to
monitor activities undertaken from these
Compensatory afforestation funds.
• The act also provides for annual audit of the
• It refers to the afforestation and regeneration
accounts by the Comptroller and Auditor General.
activities carried out as a way of
e-Green Watch has been developed for online
compensating for forest land which is monitoring of various afforestation works being
diverted to non-forest purposes. carried out using CAMPA funds.
• The Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 provide
that whenever a forest land is to be diverted New Guidelines
for non-forestry purposes, the equivalent • It mandates that states and UTs shall create
non-forest land has to be identified for land bank for CA for speedy disposal of the
compensatory afforestation and funds for forest clearance proposals under FC Act
raising compensatory afforestation are to be 1980.
imposed. • The states shall also set up committee with
• The act further requires that: principal chief conservator of forests, chief
o the non-forest land for CA are to be wildlife warden and representatives of
identified contiguous to or in the revenue department for expediting creation
proximity of Reserved Forest or Protected of land banks in a systematic manner.
Forest, as far as possible. • The state governments shall formulate CA
o in case, non-forest land for CA is not scheme including activities like soil and
available in the same district, non-forest moisture conservation, regeneration
land for CA is to be identified anywhere cleaning, silvicultural activities and shall
else in the State/Union Territory. ensure maintenance of these plantations for
o If non-forest land is unavailable in the a period of seven to 10 years as per
entire State/ UT, funds for raising CA in requirement.
double the area in extent of the forest • It stipulates that for CA the number of plants
land diverted need to be provided by the to be planted over CA land shall be at least
user agency on the basis of the rates 1,000 plants per hectare of forest land
fixed by the State Forest Department. diverted. However, if 1,000 plants cannot be
Compensatory Afforestation Fund Act 2016 planted on the non-forest land identified for
• It established National Compensatory CA, then the balance will be planted in
Afforestation Fund (NCAF) under the public
degraded forest land.
account of India and State Compensatory
Afforestation Funds under public accounts of Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change
states. (MoEF&CC) has also come up with new guidelines for
• These funds will receive payments for: diversion of forest land.
o compensatory afforestation, • These comprise a number of new costs for
o net present value of forest (NPV), diversion of forest land, including possession
o Other project specific payments. costs, habitat fragmentation costs and various
• The National Fund will receive 10% of these funds, ecological services cost like water recharge,
and the State Funds will receive the remaining nutrients in the soil, carbon sequestration and
90%. others.
• The funds will be non-lapsable and interest • NPV [NET PRESENT VALUE] formula will be used
bearing by the rate decided by central to assess the ecosystem service cost of diversion.
government on a yearly basis. Net Present value [NPV] of forest
• Act provides statutory status for two ad-hoc • It is defined under Forest (Conservation) Act of
institution, namely; 1980.

• It is the amount paid by the project proponent for support a sustainable and resource-efficient society.
diverting land for non-forest use to compensate the (OECD definition)
loss in ecosystem services. These skills are required in areas such as such as
• It is calculated for a period of 50 years. Renewable energy, Waste water treatment, Climate
• For NPV estimation forests are categorised into six resilient cities, Green construction, Solid waste
eco-classes, or forest types, and three canopy cover management etc.
density classes—very dense forest, moderately
dense forest and open forest. More on news

3.6.18. THREAT TO SACRED GROVES • Utilising the vast network and expertise of
ENVIS Hubs/RPs, the Ministry of
Why in News? Environment, Forests & Climate Change
• A recent study conducted by Central (MoEF&CC) has taken up an initiative for skill
University of Kerala found out the correlation development in the environment and forest
between rapid urbanisation, invasive species sector to enable India's youth to get gainful
and decreasing sacred groves. employment and/or self-employment, called
the Green Skill Development Programme
Highlights (GSDP).
• Increasing urbanisation leads to waste • After a pilot project in 2017, now ministry has
generation which attracts various invasive taken following steps to expand it:
species. o Increased budget allocation for ENVIS in
• These invasive species in the vicinity damage budget 2018-19 by 33%. Out of this, the
the crop, prey on beneficial insects, crabs and training courses under GSDP will be
native species. funded.
• Maharashtra accounts for highest number of o Increased target: A total of 5 lakh 60
sacred grove followed by Karnataka. thousand people will be imparted
• There is no specific action programme for training between 2018-19 and 2020-21.
protection of sacred grove. o More green skills now: The government
has identified 35 courses including
What are Sacred Groves? pollution monitoring (air/water/noise
• Patches of natural vegetation dedicated to local /soil), effluent treatment plant operation,
deities or tree spirits.
forest management, water budgeting etc.
• No hunting and logging, protected by local
communities (tribes). Environmental Information System (ENVIS)
• Annual processional festival to re-establish the
• It is a central sector scheme, being implemented
mystic bonds between the goddess and the
by MoEF&CC since 1982-83.
• It is a decentralized network of centres of which
Ecological Significance: Conservation of Biodiversity,
o Some centres dealing with ''State of the
recharge of aquifer, Soil Conservation, valuable
Environment and Related Issues'' are hosted
medicinal plants.
by State Government /UT Administrations,
Some of the important sacred groves are: Kavu, Sara called ENVIS Hubs
Kavu in Kerala, Kovil Kadu in Puducherry, Pavithravana o Some are hosted by environment-related
in Andhra Pradesh, swami shola in Tamil Nadu etc. governmental and non-governmental
organisations/ institutes of professional
3.6.19. GREEN SKILL DEVELOPMENT excellence, with varied thematic mandates
PROGRAMME pertaining to environment, called the ENVIS
Resource Partners (RPs).
Why in news?
The government is expanding the Green Skill
Development Programme (GSDP) to an all-India
level. Why in news?
Green Skills: Green skills are those skills needed to Government has unveiled a scheme for
adapt products, services and processes to climate protection of Majuli Island in Assam from flood
change and the related environmental requirements and erosion from river Brahmaputra.
and regulations. They include the knowledge, abilities,
values and attitudes needed to live in, develop and

Majuli Island • Deep Sea Trawling also increases the plastic
• It is the largest inhabited river Island in the world debris due to wear and tear of the nets,
and India’s first island district. buoys and other equipment.
• It is surrounded by the Brahmaputra River on the
south, KherkatiaSuti, LuitSuti and Subansiri Rivers 3.6.22. PROJECT ‘BLUE FLAG’ FOR
on the North. BEACH CLEAN-UP
• It is the nerve centre of neo-Vaishnavite culture.
• It is home to a mix of communities – the Mishing Why in news?
tribe, the Deoris, the SonowalKacharis and the
The environment ministry has launched a pilot
project ‘Blue Flag’ for beach clean-up and
Details of Scheme development.
• It is being implemented by the Brahmaputra Details
Board under ministry of water resources and
Under the project, each state or union territory
will be funded by Ministry for development
has been asked to nominate a beach which will
of North Eastern region.
be funded through the ongoing Integrated
• Majuli island is a part of the alluvial flood Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) Programme.
plains of the Brahmaputra river.
• The Island is formed of soil consisting mainly • The prime objective is enhancing standards of
of silt deposits. The soil is without cohesion cleanliness, upkeep and basic amenities at
and thus, susceptible to both floods and beaches.
erosion almost every year. • The govt is also striving for the 'Blue Flag'
• Problem of erosion has been more severe certification for such identified beaches. The
after the disastrous earthquake of 1950. 'Blue Flag' is a certification by the Foundation
However, some reclamation steps are being for Environmental Education (FEE) that a
taken up by Brahmaputra Board. beach or sustainable boating tourism
operator meets its stringent standards.
The MoEFCC had launched an Integrated Coastal Zone
Why in news? Management Project by establishing a Society of
Integrated Coastal Management (SICOM). Under the
Sri Lankan Parliament passed amendment to project, SICOM would be implementing the four
Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Act, which will components, namely,
ban trawling in Palk Bay and imposes a fine of • National Coastal Management Programme;
• ICZM-West Bengal;
50,000 Sri Lankan Rupees for violations.
• ICZM-Orissa;
Background • ICZM-Gujarat.

• Deep sea trawling refers to a practice in Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE)
which fishing nets are trawled or dragged • The FEE is a non-governmental, non-profit
along the sea floor specifically to catch the organisation promoting sustainable
seafloor animals such as shrimps, cod, sole development through environmental
and flounder. education. It was established in 1981.
• This practice is mainly used for commercial • It is active through five programmes; Eco-
fishing to maximise the fish catch in Schools, Blue Flag, Young Reporters for
temperate regions. Environment (YRE), Green Key and Learning
about Forests (LEAF).
Challenges and threats due to Deep Sea Trawling • India is represented by Centre for
• Bottom Trawling or Deep-Sea Trawling is Environment Education, Gujarat.
unselective and severely damages the • It has established the Global Forest Fund to
seafloor ecosystem. offset CO2 emissions from travel. The fund
• It is harmful to marine diversity in Tropical invests 90% of its income directly into tree
waters where the species diversity is high as planting and other CO2 compensation efforts
compared to number of each species i.e. that are combined with environmental
their population. education activities.

3.6.23. FLOATING TREATMENT fountain grass, flowering herbs, tulsi and
WETLAND ashwagandha.
• Significance –
Why in news? o Help to purify the lake by breaking down
Recently, Floating Treatment Wetland (FTW) on and consuming the organic matter in
Neknampur Lake in Hyderabad was inaugurated water with the help of micro-organisms
on World Wetlands Day. growing in the plant root system of FTW
through microbial decomposition
What are FTWs? o Reduce the biochemical oxygen demand
• FTWs are buoyant structures or rafts of (BOD) of the lake
wetland vegetation that are deployed in o Reduce the growth of algae by restricting
water bodies such as ponds and lakes with sun rays seeping into the lake
permanent pool of water. o Improve the biodiversity of the lake
• These plants are perennial non-invasive • The Neknampur plant, based on the soil-less
emergent plants which mimic the functions hydroponic technique, has been recognised
of natural wetlands. by the India Book of Records as the largest
• However, in contrast to the traditional FTW in the country.
wetlands the roots of the plants do not take Hydroponics
root in soil however they stay suspended in It is a subset of hydroculture, which means growing of
water column in order to allow plants to plants in a soil less medium or in an aquatic based
adjust to the water fluctuations without any environment.
harm. It uses minerals and nutrients present in solution to
• Various plants grown on FTW are vetivers, feed the plants in water without soil. Thus, plants
canna, cattails, bulrush, citronella, hibiscus, grow only on sunlight and water.

4.1. GREEN BUILDING RATING • In order for a building to be considered
ECBC-compliant, it would need to
SYSTEM demonstrate minimum energy savings of
Why in news? 25%.
• Additional improvements in energy
To promote construction of environment-friendly efficiency performance would achieve higher
buildings, Rajasthan government has adopted the grades like ECBC Plus or Super ECBC status
green building rating system developed by the leading to further energy savings of 35% and
Indian Green Building Council (IGBC), which is 50%, respectively.
part of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). • They are voluntary in nature and have been
Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) accepted by 22 states with their own
modifications to the codes.
• The vision of the council is, "To enable a
• BEE has also developed Energy Performance
sustainable built environment for all and
Index which rates buildings on a scale of 1 to
facilitate India to be one of the global leaders
5 stars.
in the sustainable built environment by
• BEE has also launched ECO-NIWAS (Energy
Conservation– New Indian Way for
• It also organises Green Building Congress, its
Affordable & Sustainable homes) portal for
annual flagship event on green buildings.
increasing awareness about sustainable
• All the stakeholders of construction industry building and energy efficient homes in the
comprising of architects, developers, product
manufacturers, corporate, Government,
academia and nodal agencies participate in 4.2. LEED FOR CITIES
the council activities through local chapters.
Why in news?
Other initiatives for Green building rating in
India The LEED for Cities and LEED for Communities
frameworks recently completed one year in
Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment
December, 2017.
LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental
• Developed by TERI (The Energy and
Resources Institute) and the Ministry of New
and Renewable Energy. • It is an international certification run by U.S.
• Rating criteria (1) Site selection and site Green Building Council (USGBC), which
planning, (2) Conservation and efficient provides a framework to building owners
utilization of resources, (3) Building operation and operators for identifying and
and maintenance, and (4) Innovation. implementing practical green building
Conventional Methods of Green building
• Homes with baked red colour roof tiles and • It concentrates its efforts on improving
clay. performance across five key areas of
• Rural India use of naturally available environmental and human health: energy
materials like clay, wood, jute ropes, etc. efficiency, indoor environmental quality,
materials selection, sustainable site
Energy Conservation Building Code-2017
development and water savings.
• It was developed by Bureau of Energy About LEED for Cities and LEED for Communities
Efficiency (Statutory body under Ministry of
• These are expansion of LEED designed to be
Power) with technical support from United
applicable to cities, communities,
States Agency for International Development
neighbourhoods, districts, townships and
(USAID) under US-India bilateral Partnership
to Advance Clean Energy – Deployment
• These will track performance on energy use,
Technical Assistance (PACE-DTA) Program.
waste management, water, transport and
even quality of life.

• These frameworks require a community or a launch the eco–friendly transportation
city to set goals and implement strategies facilities in urban areas across the nation
and plans to maintain and support these which run without damaging climatic
goals. conditions.
Other Steps taken by government
• The city or community then uses an online
• EVs are levied with 12% GST and no cess, versus
platform to share performance data to 43% tax for luxury vehicles and hybrid vehicles.
measure and track progress toward those • It allowed electric vehicles (EVs) for commercial
goals, thus focusing on outcomes rather than purposes without any permit.
pledges. • It directed state-owned power utilities to set up
• For certification, projects will track and fast-charging station.
report key metrics across five categories- • Country's first multi-modal electric vehicle
Energy, Water, Waste, Transportation and project was recently launched in Nagpur for
Human experience including Education, public transport.
Prosperity, Equitability, and Health & Safety.
Why in news Why in news?
Recently, SIAM (Society of Indian Automobile • Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA)
Manufactures) released a White Paper on Electric proposed the new guidelines for ground
Vehicles. water usages by industry, mining and
Government initiatives for Electric Vehicles (EV) infrastructure dewatering projects.
• India’s Electric Vehicle (EV) Mission 2030: Background
Government plans to have an all-electric fleet of
vehicles by 2030. • 89% of ground water extracted is used in
• National Electric Mobility Mission: irrigation sector followed by domestic use
o It aims to achieve national fuel security by (9%), industrial use (2%).
promoting hybrid and electric vehicles in the • 50% of urban water requirements and 85% of
country. rural domestic water requirements are also
o It targets 6-7 million sales of hybrid and fulfilled by ground water.
electric vehicles year on year from 2020
onwards. Legislative and Policy Framework
• FAME-India (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing
• Water falls under the State List of the
of (hybrid &) Electric vehicles in India) scheme:
To support the hybrid/electric vehicles market Constitution. However, the central
development and its manufacturing eco-system to government can legislate on environmental
achieve self-sustenance by subsidizing electric matters including promotion of groundwater
vehicle purchases on an annual basis. protection and promotion of sustainable use.
o Scheme is proposed to be implemented till • The Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 for
2020. the purpose of regulation and control of
o The scheme has four focus areas viz. ground water development and
technology development, demand creation, management.
pilot projects and charging infrastructure.
• Groundwater Bill 2017 takes a decentralized
• Automotive Mission Plan 2026: It aimed at
bringing the Indian Automotive Industry among
approach and seeks to give regulatory control
the top three of the world in engineering, of groundwater bodies to local bodies.
manufacture and exports of vehicles & • National Water Policy 2012 suggested key
components; growing in value to over 12% of principles relating to demand management,
India GDP and generating an additional 65 million usage efficiencies, and infrastructure and
jobs. pricing aspects of water.
• Green Urban Transport Scheme • The new guidelines call for a uniform
o It focused to reduce the emission of harmful regulatory framework, levy of water
carbon gas from the transportation,
conservation fee etc.
especially from government owned transport
• National Project on Aquifer Management
o Under this scheme, government plans to (NAQUIM) an initiative of the Ministry of

Water Resources, has been launched for Strategic environment assessment (SEA)
mapping and managing the entire aquifer
• It is the process by which environmental
systems in the country with an aim to
considerations are required to be fully
enhance the capacity of states in Ground
integrated into the preparation of Plans and
Water Management and Development.
Programmes and prior to their final adoption.
Central Ground Water Authority • SEA represents a proactive approach to
• Statutory body under Ministry of Water integrating environmental considerations
Resources, River Development and Ganga into the higher levels of decision-making.
• Mandate under the Environment (Protection)
Act, 1986 to regulate and control Why in news?
development and management of ground
Sustainable tourism was the theme of World
water resources in the country.
Biodiversity Day 2017.
4.5. ENVIRONMENT IMPACT About sustainable tourism
ASSESSMENT • Sustainable tourism is defined as “tourism
Why in News? that respects both local people and the
traveler, cultural heritage and the
• Government has issued a draft notification to environment”.
amend the Environment Impact Assessment • It seeks to provide people with an exciting
(EIA) notification, 2006, which increases the and educational holiday that is also of benefit
ambit of state government authorities to to the people of the host country.
grant environmental clearances (ECs)
particularly related to mining projects India and sustainable tourism
involving non-coal minerals and minor • Ministry of Tourism has launched the
minerals, as well as river valley/irrigation Implementation of the Sustainable Tourism
projects. Criteria for India (STCI) in association with
About Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) Ecotourism Society of India (ESOI)
• STCI had been developed for the
• It is a tool used to identify the environmental, accommodation, tour operators and beaches,
social and economic impacts of a project backwaters and lakes sectors of the tourism
prior to decision-making (United Nation industry.
Education Programme). • The STCI follow the guidelines set by the
• It is notified under the Environment Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria (GSTC)
(Protection) Act 1986. that has been evolved under the guidance of
• EIA for Category A project requires clearance the United Nations’ agencies viz. UNEP and
by Environment Ministry and for category B UNWTO.
project State Environment Impact
Assessment Authority (SEIAA) clearance is 4.7. MANGALAJODI
• Process for EIA
Why in News?
Mangalajodi Ecotourism Trust (MET) has recently
won the United Nations World Tourism
Organisation (UNWTO) Awards for "Innovation in
Tourism Enterprise".
About Ecotourism
• It is defined as "responsible travel to natural areas
that conserves the environment, sustains the
well-being of the local people, and involves
interpretation and education".

More about the News acres to 1 billion acres by 2050 could result in
a total reduction of 23.2 gigatons of CO2,
• Mangalajodi is a village located on the
from both sequestration and reduced
northern banks of Chilika Lake in Odisha.
• Due to coordinated efforts by the community
• Promotion of Traditional practice: It
the number of migratory birds in the region
incorporates traditional farming practices
has been restored since 2000.
with modern technological and scientific
• MET is a community owned and managed
knowledge to create efficient systems. It can
wildlife conservation venture promoted by
also reduce the dependency of farmers on
RBS Foundation India and Indian Grameen
multi-national companies for genetically
modified seeds.
About UNWTO • Improve income: Instead of monoculture,
permaculture uses polyculture where a
• Established in 1975, it is the United Nations
diverse range of vegetation and animals are
agency responsible for the promotion of
utilised to support each other to create a self-
responsible, sustainable and universally
sustaining system.
accessible tourism.
• It includes members representing the private 4.9. ZERO BUDGET NATURAL
sector, educational institutions, tourism
associations and local tourism authorities. Its FARMING
headquarters are located in Madrid. Why in news?
• India is a member of UNWTO since 1975.
• UNWTO Awards for Innovation in Tourism In a first of its kind move, Andhra Pradesh
are given to innovative tourism initiatives government is supporting Zero Budget Natural
which are both competitive and sustainable Farming (ZBNF) through self-help groups to
in their character. improve livelihood of farmers and fight climate
change in drought-prone regions.
4.8. PERMACULTURE Zero Budget Natural Farming
Why in news? • It is a natural farming technique developed
Recently the 13th International Permaculture by Subhash Palekar in which farming is done
Convergence (IPC) was held in Hyderabad. without use of chemicals and without using
any credits or spending any money on
About IPC purchased inputs.
• First IPC was hosted in Australia in 1984. • ZBNF reduces the cost of production down to
These events have been serving as a platform to zero due to utilisation of all the natural
discuss strategy, education standard, research, and
resources available in and around the crops.
regional and global permaculture developments.
What is permaculture? Farmers use earthworms, cow dung, urine,
• It is the conscious design and maintenance of plants, human excreta and other biological
agriculturally productive ecosystems which have the fertilizers for crop protection.
diversity, stability, and resilience of natural • Under this inter-cropping is practised where,
ecosystems. combination of various crops is grown
• It is the harmonious integration of landscape and simultaneously to produce greater yield on
people — providing their food, energy, shelter, and given piece of land by making use of
other material and non-material needs in a resources that may be utilised by single crop.
sustainable way.
• Contours and bunds to preserve rain water
• The term was coined by Bill Mollison in 1978.
as it promotes maximum efficacy for
Significance of permaculture different crops.
• ZBNF also includes replenishing water bodies
• Environment friendly: It discourages uses of
such as farm ponds to ensure water
chemical and pesticide and promotes the
availability during dry spells.
uses of eco-friendly means to maintain soil
health and increase productivity.
• Decrease Global warming: Increasing area
under permaculture from current 108 million

• An online trading platform will also be
created to connect farmers to buyers so that
they can get the right price for cow dung and
agricultural waste.
• The challenge is to incentivise farmers to
think of their cattle waste as a source of
income and, in the process, also keep their
communities swachh.
Swacch Bharat Mission-Gramin
• It is under the Ministry of Drinking water and
• The aim of Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin) is to
achieve a clean and Open Defecation Free (ODF)
India by 2nd October, 2019.
4.10. DEVELOPMENT OF SOLAR • The 19th Livestock Census (2012) estimates
India’s cattle population at 300 million (highest in
CITIES the world), putting the production of dung at
about 3 million tonnes per day.
Why in news?
• According to a 2014 ILO study, the productive use
The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy of dung could support 1.5 million jobs nationally.
under its scheme “Development of Solar Cities” For the farmer, there is a significant potential of
has approved/sanctioned 60 Cities up to 12th greater income from the sale of cow dung.
Five-year Plan period. • The ILO study also reports that the value of one kg
of cow dung multiplies over 10 times, depending
About Solar cities on whether the end product is fresh dung (sale
price of Rs 0.13) or as input for a one-megawatt
• The Solar City aims at minimum 10% biogas plant along with compost output (Rs 1.6).
reduction in projected demand of • Biogas is characterized based on its chemical
conventional energy at the end of five years. composition and the physical characteristics
• It uses a combination of enhancing supply which result from it. It is primarily a mixture of
from renewable energy sources in the city methane (CH4) and inert carbonic gas (CO2).
and energy efficiency measures. Different sources of production lead to different
• The aim is to motivate the local Governments specific compositions. The presence of H2S, of CO2
for adopting renewable energy technologies and water make biogas very corrosive and require
the use of adapted materials.
and energy efficiency measures.
• Bio CNG is the purified form of Biogas where all
4.11. GOBARDHAN YOJANA the unwanted gases are removed to produce
>95% pure methane gas. Bio CNG is exactly
Why in news? similar to the commercially available natural gas
(which is non-renewable) in its composition and
• The Gobardhan Yojana, announced in the energy potential.
Budget 2018-19, has been launched by the
Haryana Government. 4.12. COMBUSTIBLE ICE
About Gobardhan (Galvanising Organic Bio-Agro Why in news?
Resources Dhan) Yojana
Recently Japan and China successfully extracted
• It would be implemented under Swacch the combustible ice from the sea floor off their
Bharat Mission-Gramin with twin objectives - coastlines.
To make villages clean and generate wealth
About combustible ice
and energy from cattle and other waste.
• It would focus on managing and converting • Combustible ice is a frozen mixture of water
cattle dung and solid waste in farms to and concentrated natural gas.
compost, biogas and bio-CNG. • Technically known as methane hydrate, it
can be lit on fire in its frozen state and is

believed to comprise one of the world’s most cubic metres, according to the U.S. Energy
abundant fossil fuels. Information Administration.
• Methane hydrate has been found beneath • Methane hydrate reserves could meet global
seafloors and buried inside Arctic permafrost gas demands for 80 to 800 years at current
and beneath Antarctic ice. consumption rates.
• Hydrate formation is influenced by the • Yet efforts to successfully extract the fuel at a
porousness and permeability of enclosing profit have eluded private and state-owned
materials. energy companies for decades.
• Estimates of worldwide reserves range from
280 trillion cubic metres up to 2,800 trillion

Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP)
started the tropical cyclone naming system in
Why in news? 2000.
• Eight north Indian Ocean countries —
• Recently cyclone Mora affected Sri Lanka,
Bangladesh, India, the Maldives, Myanmar,
Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Bangladesh,
Oman, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Thailand, gave
Myanmar etc. The monsoon's arrival will be
eight names each which was combined into a
delayed due to the Cyclone Mora which
list of 64 names.
cooled down sea surface temperatures and
• The next cyclone will be named by India and
reduced convection and cloud cover.
it will be called ‘Sagar’.
• Recently, western coast of India was hit by
the tropical cyclone Ockhi. Increasing cyclone frequency in Arabian Sea:
According to scientist, extremely severe cyclones are
About tropical cyclones becoming more frequent in the Arabian Sea
particularly post-monsoon due to:
• Tropical cyclone is an intense
• Arabian Sea surface becomes warmer than the
circular storm that originates over warm
other ocean basins during post monsoon season.
tropical oceans and is characterized by low • Weakening of winter monsoon circulation due to
atmospheric pressure, high winds, and the interplay of global warming, climate variability
heavy rain. and weather change.
• Tropical cyclones are known by various
names in different parts of the world. In the Initiatives for cyclone management:
North Atlantic Ocean and the eastern North • NDMA has issued guidelines on cyclone
Pacific they are called hurricanes, and in the management which call for
western North Pacific around o Establishing a state-of-the-art cyclone
the Philippines, Japan, and China the storms early warning system (EWS)
are referred to as typhoons. o Commissioning of the National Disaster
• There are some conditions favourable for this Communication Infrastructure (NDCI)
process to take place. The conditions are: o Implementing the National Cyclone Risk
o The temperature of the surface layer of Mitigation Project (NCRMP) in all the 13
ocean water must be 26.5 °C (80 °F) or coastal states and UTs.
warmer. • ESSO-IMD (Earth System Science
o A preexisting atmospheric circulation Organization-India Meteorological
must be located near the surface warm Department) is responsible for monitoring,
layer. detection and forecasting of weather and
o The atmosphere must cool quickly climate extremes including severe weather
enough with height to support the events such as cyclones, heavy rainfall,
formation of deep convective clouds. extreme temperature etc.
o The middle atmosphere must be • National Cyclone Risk Mitigation Project
relatively humid at a height of about (NCRMP): It aims to undertake suitable
5,000 metres (16,000 feet) above the structural and non-structural measures to
surface. mitigate the effects of cyclones in the coastal
o The developing system must be at least states and UT’s of India.
500 km (300 miles) away from o It is implemented by National Disaster
the Equator etc. Management Authority (NDMA) under
• About 8% of the area in the country and 1/3rd Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), in
of the population are vulnerable to cyclone- coordination with participating State
related disasters in country. Governments and the National Institute
• Majority of cyclones originate in the Bay of for Disaster Management (NIDM).
Bengal and mostly hit the east coast of the
Indian subcontinent.
• World Meteorological Organisation (WMO)
and the United Nations Economic and Social
5.2. INDIAN TSUNAMI EARLY • The Union urban development ministry
released a paper ‘Urban Flooding — Standard
WARNING SYSTEM Operating Procedure’ that lays guidelines to
Why in news? be followed by various public agencies and
government departments.
Recently it was reported that Indian Tsunami
Early Warning System (ITEWS) is in the process National commission on floods set up in 1976 for an
integrated approach towards floods estimated that
of setting upon elaborate system of sensors for
over 40-million-hectare area is prone to floods in our
real time monitoring of earthquake. country.
More Details on ITEWS River Flooding: Assam, West Bengal, Bihar and Eastern
Uttar Pradesh.
• Tsunami is a system of ocean gravity waves
formed as a result of large scale disturbance Cyclone Flooding: Coastal areas of Odisha, Andhra
Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat
of sea bed, mostly due to earth quake,
submarine landslide or volcanic eruptions. Flash Floods: Haryana, Uttarakhand, J&K, Bangalore
• Indian Ocean is likely to be affected by
tsunamis generated mainly from the Losses due to floods post 2011 are most grim for
north-eastern states of Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim,
earthquakes from two potential source
Assam and Meghalaya, and Himachal Pradesh in the
regions, the Andaman-Nicobar-Sumatra north. Hilly regions suffer more due to flash floods
Island Arc and the Makran Subduction Zone. which are difficult to predict and also cause landslides
• In response to the event such as December
Reason for floods in Gujarat and Rajasthan is poor
2004 earthquake and tsunami, state-of-art drainage system while cause of Uttarakhand and
Indian Tsunami Early Warning System at Kashmir flood in 2015 & 2014 respectively was
Indian National Centre for Ocean Information encroachment of river basin.
Centre (INCOIS), Hyderabad was established Urban floods are floods which occur in urban areas
under Ministry of Earth Sciences. due to:
Components of ITEWS • Heavy rainfall
• Lack of water reservoirs such as lakes
• It comprises of a real time network of seismic • Silting of drainage system
stations, tsunami buoys, Bottom Pressure • Population pressure, urbanisation and
Recorder, Tide gauge and 24X7 operational deforestation.
warning centre to detect tsunami-genic • Lack of flood control measures etc.
earthquake and monitor tsunami. National Hydrology Project (NHP) has been taken up
• INCOIS has also put in place a fail-safe with the assistance of World Bank to improve the
satellite-based communication system; extent, quality, and accessibility of water resources
Emergency Operation Centres (EOCs), a information, decision support system for floods and
basin level resource assessment/planning and to
computer-based earthquake alert and web
strengthen the capacity of targeted water resources
access system etc. which is capable of
professionals and management institutions in India.
sending messages and triggering built in siren
alert system audible for up to 1 km. Causes of Floods in India
• It is capable of sending tsunami warning in • Natural causes– includes 80% of precipitation
less than 10 minutes after any major in just 4 months, sharp fall in gradient of
earthquake of 5 magnitude and above in rivers in Eastern Himalayas, soft
Indian Ocean as well as in the Global Oceans. unconsolidated rocks causing heavy siltation,
• ITEWS acts as a Regional Tsunami Advisory heavy landslides causing obstruction to river
Service Provider along with Australia and flow, storm surges or cyclones in coastal
Indonesia for the Indian Ocean region. areas etc.
• Anthropogenic– includes global warming;
5.3. FLOODS deforestation; encroachment of river basin; ill
maintained embankments (80% have not
Why in news? been enforced in several decades); poor
• From Assam and Bihar in the east to drainage and infrastructure;
Rajasthan and Gujarat in the west, floods are • This year heavy rain is occurring in certain
creating havoc with the lives of people. parts because of an unusual formation of the

monsoon trough, with two separate has to prove severity in three out of these four
depressions present at the Arabian Sea and impact indicators.
Bay of Bengal at the same time. • The current manual said that more than three
weeks of dry spell is possibly detrimental to
5.4. CHANGE IN DEFINITION OF crop health as against less than three weeks
DROUGHT window before.

Why in News? More about droughts

• In the ‘Manual for Drought Management’ • Drought is a temporary aberration, unlike

released by the government in December aridity or even seasonal aridity, which is a
2016, the ‘moderate’ drought category has permanent feature of climate. It is a
been deleted. recurrent, yet sporadic feature of climate,
known to occur under all climatic regimes
and is usually characterized by variability in
terms of its spatial expanse, intensity and
• Drought stems from a deficiency or erratic
distribution in rainfall but the spread and
intensity of the calamity is contingent on
several factors, including the status of surface
and ground water resources, agro-climatic
features, cropping choices and patterns,
socio-economic vulnerabilities of the local
population etc.
• According to the National Commission on
Details Agriculture the 3 types of droughts are:
• Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) o Meteorological drought: This happens
replaced the word “drought” to describe when the actual rainfall in an area is
poor rainfall with “deficient year” and “large significantly less than the climatological
deficient year”, while incorporating standard mean of that area.
practices from across the world. o Hydrological drought: A marked
• The change means drought-hit areas will now depletion of surface water causing very
be categorised as ‘normal’ and ‘severe’. Only low stream flow and drying of lakes,
in case of ‘severe’ drought, a state would be rivers and reservoirs.
eligible for central assistance from the o Agricultural drought: Inadequate soil
National Disaster Relief Fund (NDRF is moisture resulting in acute crop stress
defined in Section 46 of the Disaster and fall in agricultural productivity.
Management Act, 2005, is constituted to IMD can define a meteorological drought, but
supplement the funds of the State Disaster agricultural and hydrological droughts are
Response Funds.) different and states are better equipped to
• Assessment is done based on area under declare them.
sowing and soil moisture-based indices.
• The new manual, gives certain indices for 5.5. DAM SAFETY
declaration of drought, which are: Why in news?
o Rainfall-related Indices
o Remote Sensing-based Vegetation Indices Strengthening of Bhakra Dam(Punjab) and Pong
o Crop situation-related indices Dam (Himachal Pradesh) has been taken under
o Hydrological Indices the Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement plan
o Ground verification (DRIP).
• Except rainfall and ground verification, all other Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Plan
indices are considered impact indicators. To (DRIP)
come under ‘severe’ drought category, a state
• It is an externally-aided project. 80% of the
total project is provided by the World Bank as
loan/credit and remaining 20% is borne by • The GPDRR is a global forum for strategic
the States/Central Government (for CWC). advice, coordination and review of progress
• This project started in April 2012, for repair in the implementation of the Sendai
and rehabilitation of initially 225 Dams across Framework. It marked the first opportunity
seven states namely Jharkhand, since 2015 to review global progress in the
Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, implementation of SFDRR
Tamil Nadu, and Uttarakhand. • India participated in the five-day Global
• At present there are 198 Dams under this Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (GPDRR)
project which are scheduled for completion summit held in Cancun, Mexico. It was
in June 2018. attended by delegates comprising heads of
• Objective of DRIP – state, ministers, CEOs, experts etc.
o to improve the safety and operational • UN Sasakawa Award – It were issued at the
performance of selected existing dams 2017 Global Platform for Disaster Risk
and associated appurtenances in a Reduction, the biennial awards recognise
sustainable manner, and projects that have made a substantial
o to strengthen the dam safety institutional contribution towards saving lives and
setup of participating States/ reducing global disaster mortality
Implementing Agencies.
What is DRI?
• The Emergency Action Plan (EAP) for the
Dams under DRIP has been proposed which is Infrastructure that can stand any huge damage
a formal plan that identifies potential from any kind of natural disaster is known as
emergency conditions at a dam and Disaster Resilient Infrastructure. It encompasses
prescribes the procedures to be followed to structural and non-structural measures.
minimize loss of life and property damage. • Structural Measures involve adjusting
engineering designs and standards to reflect
5.6. DISASTER RESILIENT disaster risk such as flood control systems,
INFRASTRUCTURE protective embankments, seawall
rehabilitation, and retrofitting of buildings.
Why in News?
• Non-structural measures refer to risk-
• Indian Government recently held a two-day sensitive planning, enabling institutional
International Workshop on Disaster Resilient frameworks, hazard mapping, ecosystem-
Infrastructure (DRI) under the National based management, and disaster risk
Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) in financing.
collaboration with United Nations Office for UNISDR was established in 1999 as a dedicated
Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR). secretariat to facilitate the implementation of the
International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR).
Background • The International Strategy for Disaster Reduction
• Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk (ISDR) is a global framework established within
Reduction (2015-2030) identifies investing in the United Nations for the promotion of action to
Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) for resilience reduce social vulnerability and risks of natural
hazards and related technological and
and to “build back better” in reconstruction
environmental disasters.
as priorities. The Sendai Framework: is a 15-year (2015-30),
• India is one of the first to create a National voluntary, non-binding agreement which recognizes
Disaster Management Plan based on the that the State has the primary role to reduce disaster
Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk risk but that responsibility should be shared with
Reduction. other stakeholders including local government, the
• According to an UN Office for Disaster Risk private sector and other stakeholders.
Reduction (UNISDR) report, India has been • It is the successor instrument to the Hyogo
ranked as the world's most disaster-prone Framework for Action (2005-15)
• UNISDR has been tasked to support the
country for displacement of residents.
implementation, follow-up and review of the
Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction Sendai Framework.
(GPDRR) • India is a signatory of Sendai Framework.

5.7. INDIA QUAKE AND SAGAR • It is a software platform which uses state of
art technology for dissemination of ocean
VANI related information and advisory services
Why in news? such as Potential Fishing Zone (PFZ)
advisories, Ocean State Forecast (OSF), High
Recently, Ministry of Earth Sciences launched Wave Alerts and Tsunami early warnings.
‘India Quake’ app and ‘Sagar Vani’ app to enable
users receive information about natural hazards National Centre for Seismology
on land and water. It is an umbrella organisation which has been set up
to bring all the earthquake related activities of IMD
About India Quake App
together for deriving the desired scientific
• It has been developed by National centre for developments in the field of earthquake science.
Seismology for automatic dissemination of
earthquake parameter such as location, time ESSO – Indian National Centre for Ocean Information
and magnitude after the occurrence of Services (INCOIS)
Earthquake and avoid delay of information in It was set up as an autonomous body under the
the event of earthquake. Ministry of Earth science and is a unit of Earth System
Science Organization (ESSO).
About Sagar Vani App
It is mandated to provide information and advisory
• Sagar Vani app has been developed by ESSO- services to government agencies, industries etc.
Indian National Centre for Ocean through sustained ocean monitoring and constant
Information Services (INCOIS) under Ministry improvement through systemic and focussed research.
of Earth Sciences.

up to regulate the exploration and exploitation of
6.1. EXPLORATION OF marine non-living resources of oceans in international
POLYMETALLIC NODULES waters. Recently, India was re-elected as a member of
Council of ISA.
Why in news?
The Polymetallic Nodules Programme (PNP): PNP is
India’s exclusive rights to explore polymetallic oriented towards exploration and development of
nodules from seabed in Central Indian Ocean technologies for eventual extraction of nodules from
Basin (CIOB) have been extended by five years by the Central Indian Ocean Basin (CIOB) allocated to
International Seabed Authority, till 2022. India. It consists of four components viz. Survey and
Exploration, Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)
Details Study, Technology Development (Mining) and
Technology Development (Extractive Metallurgy).
India is the first country to have received the
status of a pioneer investor in 1987 and was Present status: The extraction of metals from the
polymetallic nodules lying at the deep ocean floor is
allocated an exclusive area in Central Indian
not yet found to be economically viable at this stage.
Ocean Basin by United Nations (UN) for However, a site has been identified in the CIOB for the
exploration and utilization of nodules. First Generation Mine Site on the basis of detailed
• India is implementing a long–term surveys and analysis.
programme on exploration and utilization of
Polymetallic Nodules (Polymetallic Nodules 6.2. SEDIMENTARY BASINS OF
programme) through Ministry of Earth INDIA
• India is presently having an area of 75,000 Why in news?
square km, located about 1600 km away from • Recently, Cabinet Committee on Economic
her southern tip. Polymetallic nodules Affairs gave its approval to acquire 48,243
resource potential in this site is 380 million Line Kilometer (LKM) 2D seismic data for
tonnes. appraisal of Indian sedimentary basins by
• Recently, Geological Survey of India, (an 2019-20, for prospecting of oil and natural
attached office under Ministry of Mines) has gas reserves.
confirmed presence of micro manganese
nodules around Lakshwadeep sea. It has also
confirmed presence of Phosphate sediment • India has 26 sedimentary basins covering an
off Karwar, Mangaluru and Chennai coast; area of 3.14 Million sq. km spread over on
Gas Hydrates in Mannar Basin and Cobalt land, shallow water and deep water out of
bearing ferro manganese crust from which 48% of total sedimentary basin area
Andaman sea. does not have adequate geo-scientific data.
Polymetallic nodules: A brief Sedimentary basins are regions where considerable
What is it? Polymetallic nodules, also called thicknesses of sediments have accumulated (in places
manganese nodules, are rock concretions formed of up to 20 km). Sedimentary basins are widespread both
concentric layers of iron and manganese hydroxides onshore and offshore.
around a core. Importance:
• They are the location for almost all of the world's
• Besides manganese and iron, they contain nickel,
hydrocarbon reserves
copper, cobalt, lead, molybdenum, cadmium,
vanadium, titanium and rare earth metals. • Other mineral: Include coal and uranium, large
deposits of phosphate (an essential fertiliser
Distribution: Three areas have been selected by mineral) and a host of industrial raw materials,
industrial explorers: the centre of the north central including limestone for cement manufacture,
Pacific Ocean, the Peru Basin in the south-east Pacific kaolinitic clays, gypsum and salts.
Ocean and the centre of the north Indian Ocean. They
• Metalliferous deposits (in less amount) include
can occur at any depth, but the highest
ores of lead, zinc, iron and manganese, and there
concentrations have been found between 4,000 and
may also be some bauxite.
• There are 26 sedimentary basins in India of which
International Seabed Authority (ISA) is a UN body set 7 are operational: Assam-Arakan, Cambay,

Cauvery, Krishna-Godavari Offshore, Mumbai • Construction of dams in catchment areas of
Offshore and Rajasthan. Recently, after a gap of rivers and ports and reduced the flow of
over three- decades, state-owned Oil and Natural sediment from river estuaries contributes to
Gas Corp is set to open a new sedimentary basin coastal erosion.
in the country called as Kutch offshore.
• Sand, coral mining and dredging can cause
6.3. COASTAL EROSION coastal erosion.
Measures to deal with coastal erosion:
Why in News
• Interventions such as saline stone-packaging
• According to a study, Parali 1 island (part of and breakwaters, structures which are
Bangaram atoll), one of biodiversity-rich constructed on coasts are traditionally made
uninhabited islands part of Lakshadweep has as part of coastal defence.
disappeared due to coastal erosion and • To prevent erosion of the coast, low walls
another four such islands in Lakshadweep sea called groynes are built out into the sea.
are shrinking fast.
• Geo-Synthetic Tubes, a soft engineering
Coastal Erosion in India technique, which has been used along Odisha
• According to MOEF&CC, 40% of the Indian
• Vegetation: Important for improving slope
8,414-km long coastline is subjected to
stability, consolidating sediments and
coastal erosion (either high, medium or low).
providing some shoreline protection.
• The west coast of our country is a high rocky
o Coastal Green Belts which includes Social
retreating coast, therefore erosional forms
forestry, Eco-development, Participatory
dominate in the west coast. Whereas, the
planning, implementation and
east coast of India is a low sedimentary coast
and is dominated by depositional forms
(Accretion). 6.4. PACIFIC SHADOW ZONE
• The Earth Sciences Ministry, monitors the
shoreline changes along the Indian coast on Why in news?
an annual basis. Some of the recent finding
According to a recent research paper it was found
that at around 2km below the surface of the
o The Andaman and Nicobar Islands face
Indian and Pacific Oceans there is a ‘shadow
the most erosion, with close to 89% of
the shoreline eroded by the Bay of
Bengal. What is a Shadow Zone?
o At the other end of the spectrum is Tamil • It is an area of almost stagnant water which
Nadu, which has gained the newest is sitting between rising currents caused by
shoreline (Accretion: a gradual the rough topography and geothermal heat
deposition by water of mud, sand to source and shallower wind-driven
form dry land), with 62% of its coast current closer to the surface in the North
gaining land. Pacific.
Reason for coastal erosion • Carbon-14 dating has proved that there is
oldest water in the North Pacific Ocean. The
• Wave energy is the main cause of coastal trapped water also traps nutrients and
erosion. carbon which have a direct impact on the
• Climate Change: induced global warming and capacity of the ocean to modify climate over
the melting of ice sheets and continental centennial time scales.
glaciers continually increase the sea level, • The deep-water movement called abyssal
which leads to storm surges, thermal overturning circulation is due to the
expansion of sea water and cyclones. geometry of the seafloor which after a long
• Coast is also subject to a strong littoral drift period of time prevents very deep, dense
in India, causing an estimated 1.5 million tons ocean water from circulating to the surface.
of sand to move from the southwest to the • The Geothermal energy deep within the
northeast in a year. planet was unable to rise and instead of
travelling upwards, currents loop back on
them horizontally leaving the layer above appearance of unusually warm water.
untouched. • El Nino generally causes less than normal rainfall
• Atlantic Ocean and Southern Ocean do not in the case of the southwest monsoon
have similar feature however researchers say • In contrast, it brings about above-normal rainfall
a similar zone is present in Indian Ocean. during the northeast monsoon.
• This is because of the difference in seasonal wind
However, the water is less stagnant due to
patterns between the two monsoons.
proximity to fresh water from Antarctic
• Consistent warming of the Bay of Bengal off the
Ocean. coast of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh also
played an important role
CARBON DIOXIDE RELEASE • La Niña, the direct opposite of El Niño, occurs
when sea surface temperatures in the central
Why in news? Pacific Ocean drop to lower-than-normal levels.
• Recently, scientist concluded that El Nino of • It is associated with the cooling of the eastern
2014-16 caused over 3 billion tonnes of equatorial Pacific Ocean which favourably
carbon to get released into the atmosphere, impacts the four-month long (June to September)
pushing carbon dioxide concentration to south-west monsoon in India, critical to the rain-
record levels. fed farming season which begins in June.
• In July 2017, Study links extreme El Nino Highlights
conditions and warming of Bay of Bengal to
very heavy rainfall during the northeast • Scientists analysed the data collected by
monsoon and Chennai. Nasa's Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-
El-Nino 2) satellite, which measures level of carbon
• The unusual warming of surface waters in the dioxide in the atmosphere.
eastern tropical Pacific Ocean. • The El Nino led to excessive carbon dioxide
• El Niño has an impact on: releases in following ways:
o ocean temperatures, o Hot weather and drought caused
o the speed and strength of ocean currents extensive wildfires in south-east Asia.
o the health of coastal fisheries o Drought in the Amazon rainforest
• El Niño events occur irregularly at two- to seven- stunted plant growth, reducing the
year intervals. amount of carbon they absorb while
• Recognized by fishers off the coast of Peru as the growing.

• The International Tropical Timber o Only around 200 of the white tigers are
Organization (ITTO) was established under left in the world and Bandhavgarh (MP) is
the auspices of the United Nations in 1986 world's first white tiger sanctuary.
amidst increasing worldwide concern for the o It is the result of a mutation and not a
fate of tropical forests. sub-species, for a white Bengal tiger to be
o ITTO develops internationally agreed born, both parents must carry the
policy documents to promote unusual gene for white colouring. This
sustainable forest management and double recessive allele in the genetic
forest conservation and assists tropical code only turns up naturally about once
member countries to adapt such in 10,000 births.
policies to local circumstances and to • Recently, Sikkim government allowed people
implement them. to forge fraternal ties with trees as a means
o India is among the members of ITTO. of preservation by encouraging people to
• Recently, a long-range missile test facility at forge a relationship of brotherhood or
South Andamans’ Rutland Island has secured sisterhood with trees it is a practice locally
the clearance of the National Board of known as Mith/Mit or Mitini.
Wildlife. • Schistura larketensis’ or ‘Khung Loach’ is a
o The proposal involves diversion of forest new species of eyeless fish discovered inside
some of which falls in the Mahatma a cave in East Jaintia Hills district
Gandhi Marine National Park. The island of Meghalaya. The species has lost its eyes
was once home to the indigenous and pigment while adapting to living in
Andamanese group ‘Jangil’ or Rutland perpetual darkness inside the cave.
Jarawa. • A high-altitude cloud observatory has been
• Recently the SAARC Disaster Management established at Munnar in Kerala. This
Centre at the Gujarat Institute of Disaster observatory is the highest elevation cloud
Management (GIDM), Gandhinagar was physics observatory in the Tropical
inaugurated. region over the south Asia. The observatory
• Scientists in India for the first time have will be used to study about: physical
discovered a 152 million-year-old fossil of an processes that lead to the formation, growth
Ichthyosaur - an extinct marine reptile - in and precipitation of atmospheric
Gujarat. clouds, short period development of
• Recently, the country’s first under water convective storms, heavy rainfall and
tunnel under the Hooghly river for lightning in tropics, clouds microphysics,
establishing metro link between Howrah and atmospheric electricity and vertical profiles of
Kolkata was completed. atmosphere.
• The National Board of Wildlife (NBWL) is • Department of Biotechnology’
planning to give clearance to the Mandal “Biotechnology Social Development Award
Dam on North Koel river after it studies has been given to Himalayan Environmental
the dam's potential impact on the Palamu Studies and Conservation Organization
Tiger Reserve's (PTR) ecosystem. (HESCO), Dehradun, Uttarakhand, for their
o The Palamu Tiger Reserve is located in pioneering work on creating livelihood
the western side of Latehar district on options for rural community in the Himalayan
the Chhotanagpur plateau in Jharkhand. region.
o The project area is constituted mainly of • Nalanda model of water conservation
Sal forests, mixed deciduous forests and (Project Jal Sanchay) has been selected for
bamboo groves. the national for award for excellence in the
o The reserve zone is the watershed area Mahatma Gandhi national rural employment
for 3 important rivers Koel, Burha and guarantee programme (MGNREGP). Under it
Auranga. check dams were created and traditional
• Recently a White tiger has been spotted in Aahar-Pyne irrigation system and traditional
Nilgiri water bodies were desilted and renovated,

accompanied by campaigns to create • India has set up its largest floating solar
awareness about rainwater harvesting. power plant in Banasura Sagar dam in
• Sentinel-5P satellite of European Union Wayanad, Kerala.
tracking the levels air pollutants around the o Banasura Sagar dam is built using waters
world has beamed back new views of the of a tributary of river Kabini which is in
Earth’s atmosphere, including images of turn a tributary of the river Cauvery.
pollution drifting away from power plants in o They have higher efficiency due to the
India. As per the satellite’s data, in India the moderating effect of water bodies on
worst of pollution runs from north of Patna in panel temperature.
Bihar to south of Raipur in Chhattisgarh. o The floating panels accumulate lower
• Maharashtra state cabinet recently approved concentration of dust.
the Favourable Climate change policy • Recently, IUCN has categorized the Christmas
focusing on ‘Climate proof’ village (a village Island Pipistrelle (a bat species that is found
in which sustainable practices are adopted only in Australia’s Christmas Island) as
such as zero-till farming, integrated nutrient officially extinct.
and water management and proper • A new species of frog Bhupathy’s purple frog
harvesting and storage.). (Nasikabatrachus bhupathi) was discovered
• “Wood is Good” Campaign under the which has purple skin and a pointy pig-nose
Partnership for Land Use Science (Forest- on the eastern slopes of the Western Ghats
Plus) (a partnership between USAID and near the Srivilliputhur Grizzled Giant Squirrel
MoEFCC) has been launched to promote Wildlife Sanctuary in Tamil Nadu.
wood as a climate-friendly resource and a o Significance – It constitutes additional
substitute to materials like plastic and steel evidence in favour of Theory of
because it is carbon neutral. Continental Drift. The Purple Frog is an
• Government has set up a committee for inhabitant of Seychelles and discovery of
North- East India in the aftermath of Bhupathy’s purple frog in India suggests
destructive flood in the region to develop a that Indian Subcontinent was part of
strategy for management of region’s water ancient Gondwana before splitting and
resources. Ministry of Development of North- drifting northwards 65 million years ago.
Eastern Region will be coordination agency
and the committee will submit the plan of
action by June 2018.
• Local Treatment of Urban Sewage Streams
for Healthy Reuse (LOTUS HR) an Indo-
Netherlands joint project funded by
Department of Biotechnology(DBT) and
NWO/STW (Netherlands Organisation for
Scientific Research) has been taken up for the
cleaning and beautification work of the
Barapullah Drain, New Delhi.