Environment Current Affairs 2017

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Union Government releases postage stamp to mark centenary year of ZSI

Union Government has released a commemorative postage stamp to mark the Centenary year of Zoological Survey of India (ZSI).

The postage stamp was released by Union Communication and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad in the presence of Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar in New Delhi.

They also released publications of ZSI- the Centenary Souvenir, Centenary Directory and A Glorious 100.

About Zoological Survey of India (ZSI)

  • ZSI is the apex institution on animal (fauna) taxonomy in India.
  • Established: 1 July 1916.
  • Objective: To promote the survey, exploration, research and documentation on various aspects of animal taxonomy in the Indian subcontinent. It also seeks advancement of knowledge on animal taxonomy.
  • Headquarter: Kolkata. It also has 16 regional centres located in different parts of the country.
  • Functions under the aegis of Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC). It activities are coordinated by the Conservation and Survey Division of MoEFCC.
  • It has been declared as the designated repository for the National Zoological Collection as per section 39 of the National Biodiversity Act, 2002
  • Activities Undertaken: Study of the fauna of states, of conservation areas, of important ecosystems.
  • It also undertakes status survey of endangered species, fauna of India and ecological Studies & Environmental impact assessments.
  • ZSI publishes Red Data Book on Indian Animals. It was first published in 1983 and is similar to Red Data Book published by International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN).

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India, France launched International Solar Alliance

India and France have launched International Solar Alliance (ISA) at the Conference of Parties (CoP21) Climate Conference in Paris, France.

It was jointly by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Francois Hollande in presence UN General Secretary Ban Ki-moon.

The idea of alliance was mooted by Indian PM Narendra Modi to harness solar power as a major step to mitigate carbon gas emissions.

Key facts

  • Aims to bring solar rich 121 tropical countries located fully or partly between the Tropic of Cancer and Capricorn together to tap solar energy.
  • These tropical countries are potential members of alliance and shall be united by the shared vision to bring clean, renewable solar energy within the reach of all.
  • The objective of the alliance is to augment solar power generation in these countries with a view to contribute global sustainable development.
  • It would play important role in achieving the objective of keeping global warming below 2 degree Celsius.
  • It will function from the Gurgaon based National Institute of Solar Energy (NISE).
  • Provide common platform to member countries to share collective ambitions to reduce the cost of finance and technology needed harness the solar energy.
  • Alliance would pursue cooperation in training, regulatory issues, building institutions, common standards and investment among the member countries.

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Union Government to roll out BS V norms from April 1, 2019

Union Government has decided to advance the date for implementation of Bharat Stage (BS) V and BS VI emission norms for four-wheelers in order to reduce vehicular air pollution from road transport sector.

As per advance dates,  BS V norms will be rolled out from 1st of April, 2019 and BS VI norms from 1st April, 2021.

In this regard draft notification was issued Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways as per the Auto Fuel Policy, 2003.

About Bharat stage (BS) norms

Bharat stage (BS) norms are emission standards decided by the government to regulate the amount of air pollutants from vehicles. They were adopted in line with European regulation standard ‘Euro norms’ in 2000.

So far, 4 states of Bharat stage (BS) norms have been issued by government. In each stage certain limit is specified on the released pollutants and in the succeeding higher stages, the BS norms reduces the limit of pollutant emission.

Issued BS stages are

  • BS-I      Euro 1     2000
  • BS-II    Euro 2     2005
  • BS-III   Euro 3     2010
  • BS-IV   Euro 4     2015 (63 cities till 1 April 2015)

Earlier, Saumitra Chaudhri Committee had recommended to introduce even lesser vehicular pollutant releasing BS-V (0.005 rspm) and BS-VI (0.0025 rspm) norms throughout the nation by 2022 and 2024 respectively.

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