Environment Current Affairs 2017

El Salvador becomes world’s first country to ban metal mining

Central America’s smallest nation El Salvador became first country in the world to ban metal mining nationwide. In this regard, it has passed a law that bans all mining for gold and other metals.

The law imposes broad prohibition on the extraction of minerals to protect the nation’s allegedly quite fragile environment, water reservoirs and reduce social tensions.

Key Facts

  • The new law bans all exploration, extraction and processing of metals both in open pits and mines
  • It bans the use of cyanide and mercury for mining.
  • It does not apply to quarrying or the mining of coal, salt and other non-metallic resources.
Background

According to UN, El Salvador is one of the most densely populated countries and second-most environmentally degraded in America afterEl Salvador Haiti, making it sensitive to potential impact of large mining projects. The new mining ban law comes after a long-dragged dispute over a proposed gold mine by Pac Rim Cayman, a unit of Canadian-Australian company OceanaGold Corp over the environmental issue. In October 2016, El Salvador Government had won an international arbitration case filed by Pac Rim over a rejected licence to build gold mine in the country’s north. The international arbitration panel had rejected the company’s claim for compensation.

 

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Kanha tiger reserve becomes first in India get official mascot

Kanha in Madhya Pradesh became first tiger reserve in India to officially introduce a mascot named Bhoorsingh the Barasingha, to create a better connect with its visitors, especially the younger generation.

The mascot Bhoorsingh will soon feature in more artwork, posters and merchandise for the park management at Kanha.

Key Facts

  • The mascot aims to present the hard ground swamp deer (Barasingha) as the spirit of the reserve and spread awareness to save it from possible extinction.
  • It will also create a unique identity for Kanha, and also spread awareness and allow the younger generation to connect with all wildlife.
  • The mascot has been designed by cartoonist Rohan Chakravarty, who runs a popular website greenhumour.com which showcases over 350 cartoons, comics and illustrations on wildlife and nature conservation, environment, sustainability etc.

About Barasingha

  • Barasingha, or swamp deer is a deer species distributed in the Indian subcontinent. It is the state animal of Madhya Pradesh.
  • The Kanha tiger reserve, spread over Mandla and Balaghat districts (in Madhya Pradesh) is the only place in the world where the Barasingha species exists.
  • Barasingha differs from all the Indian deer species such that its antlers carry more than three tines. Because of this distinctive character it is designated barasingha, meaning “twelve-tined.
  • It has been listed vulnerable in the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Red List of Threatened Species.

About Kanha Tiger Reserve

  • It is one of the tiger reserves of India and the largest national park of Madhya Pradesh. Its present-day Kanha area was divided into two sanctuaries, Hallon and Banjar.
  • Kanha National Park was created in June 1955 and was made the Kanha Tiger Reserve in 1973. Today it stretches over an area of 940 square km in the two districts Mandla and Balaghat.
  • It the largest National Park in Central India and was ranked in the top 10 Famous Places for Tourists. It had inspired Rudyard Kipling for his famous novel Jungle Book.
  • The park has a significant population of Bengal tiger, Indian leopards, sloth bear, barasingha and Indian wild dog.

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