Environment Current Affairs

Earth Hour 2015 observed across the World

Ninth edition of Earth Hour was observed on 28 March 2015 across the World. Earth Hour 2015 encouraged people to explore and adopt a cleaner and more sustainable lifestyle by embracing renewable energy solutions.

In this edition of Earth Hour, millions of people around the world took part in the event for the global climate change awareness campaign.

Over 170 countries participated in the event and more than 1,200 landmarks along with 40 UNESCO world heritage sites observed the Earth Hour.

Paris’s iconic Eiffel Tower, Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate and Hong Kong’s famed skyline also participated in the Earth Hour by switching off their lights. The Eiffel Tower turned off lights for only five minutes due to security reasons.

About Earth Hour

  • It is an annual global event organized by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).
  • The initiative began in 2007 in Sydney, Australia and later became global event.
  • Earth Hour’s goal is to raise awareness for sustainable energy use and create a more environmentally sustainable lifestyle.
  • This day encourages citizens, communities, businesses and organisations to switch the lights off from 8:30 pm local time for an hour to highlight the plight of the planet.

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Great Indian one-horned Rhinoceros’ population rises in Kaziranga: 2015 Census

As per the latest census, the Great Indian one-horned Rhinoceros population in Assam’s Kaziranga National Park (KNP) – world heritage site has increased to over 2041.

The census was conducted by Assam’s forest department in association with several wildlife NGOs as a regular exercise in the park for four days from 24 to 28 March 2015.

Entire Park was divided into 81 blocks for the purpose of census and the whole exercise involved about 200 people.

Key highlights of census

  • The census has counted 2,401 rhinos in the park in indicating that their population has increased by 71 rhinos the past two years.
  • About 1,651 adult rhinos were counted in the census followed by 294 sub adult rhinos.
  • 251 juvenile rhinos in the park were estimated followed by 205 calves.

Previous census

  • It should be noted that Rhino census is conducted every three years. The last census was carried out in 2012. It had confirmed 2,290 rhinos in the park.
  • However, a special census of the rhinos was conducted in 2013 by Assam Government. The special census had confirmed 2,329 rhinos in the park.
  • It was conducted after the poaching incidents had increased in the park and large numbers of rhinos were poached.

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Rajasthan passes bill to ban camel slaughter

Rajasthan Government on 27 March 2015 passed the Rajasthan Camel (Prohibition of Slaughter and Regulation of Temporary Migration or Export) Bill, 2015. It was passed in state legislative assembly by a voice vote.

The bill bans the slaughter, trading and unauthorised transportation of camels in the state. It also prescribes rigorous punishment for its violation including five years of rigorous imprisonment along with monetary fine. Causing injury to camel is also punishable as per the bill.

Background

  • The bill was enacted after several cases of intentional killings of camel and its progeny had come to light in state. Large numbers of camels for the purpose of slaughter were transported to other states.
  • The menace illegal camel slaughter and trade had increased in recent times due to the recurrent famine and scarcity conditions in the state. It had resulted in the decline of the camel population.
  • In July 2014, state government had declared camel as the state animal of Rajasthan in order to curb its illegal trade.

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