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Kerala Government implements Green Protocol for making Weddings more Nature Friendly

Kerala State government has come out with a green protocol to make the weddings in the state more nature-friendly.

Salient Highlights

As per the protocol, plastic and other non-biodegradable articles including disposable glasses and plates and thermocol decorations will not be permitted to be used in wedding ceremonies. Instead of these non-biodegradable articles, the marriage parties would be persuaded to use tumblers, plates and other utensils made of glass and environment-friendly metals. The protocol has been released as a part of the government’s anti-plastic drive and Green-Kerala Mission.

Suchitwa Mission which is the state nodal agency for sanitation, has already launched the initiative on a pilot basis in Kannur, Ernakulam, Kollam and Alappuzha. The protocol is expected to be implemented in the rest of the districts soon. The Mission is colloborating with district administration, panchayat authorities and socio-cultural and religious outfit for implementing the green protocol initiative.

For carrying out inspections at marriage halls, convention centres and hotels and other venues of the wedding ceremony, Special squads, comprising officials of Suchitwa Mission and Revenue Department will be formed. In cases of violations of the protocol, action would be taken depending on the nature of utensils and articles used in the ceremony.

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India’s biodiversity riches increases by 499 species

According to the Animal Discoveries 2016, New Species and Records, brought out by the Zoological Survey of India and Plant Discoveries 2016, by the Botanical Survey of India, 499 new species have been discovered from various parts of the country last year.

Salient Highlights

Animals

Of the new discoveries, 258 are invertebrates and 55 are vertebrates. Around 97 are insects, 27 are fish, 12 are amphibians, 10 are Platyhelminthes, nine are Crustacea, six species of reptiles, 61 species of moths and butterflies and 38 of beetles.

The new species are known to occur in the four biological hotspots of the country, namely, the Himalayas, the northeast, the Western Ghats and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

As per the Animal Discoveries 2016, the number of animal species in the country for the first time has crossed one lakh to number 1,00,693. Till last year, the number of animal species in India was 97,514. India is one of the 17 megadiversity countries and is home to 6.42% of the global fauna.

Plants

As per Plant Discoveries 2016 , 186 new species of plants have been discovered including seven new genera, four subspecies and nine new varieties taking the total number of species to 206. The publication lists 113 new records from India.

The new species of the plant were discovered in the Western Ghats (17%), followed by the Eastern Himalayas (15%), the Western Himalayas (13%), the Eastern Ghats (12%) and the west coast (8%).

Eight new species of wild balsams, five species of wild ginger and one species of wild amla has been discovered. In addition, 39 varieties of mushrooms have been discovered.

BSI

The Botanical Survey of India (BSI) is the apex research organization under the MOEF for carrying out taxonomic and floristic studies on wild plant resources of the country. BSI was established on 13th February, 1890 with the basic objective to explore the plant resources of the country and to identify the plants species with economic virtues.

ZSI
The Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) was launched in 1916. It is India’s apex organization on animal taxonomy. It’s objective is 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. It has been declared as the designated repository for the National Zoological Collection as per section 39 of the National Biodiversity Act, 2002

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National Board of Wildlife Clears Rutland Island for DRDO’s Missile Testing Project 

The National Board of Wildlife has approved Rutland Island in South Andaman to be the site for the country’s long-range missile test facility. DRDO has been seeking the approval for the test facility since 2012. Taking into account the strategic importance of the project for country’s defence, the Standing Committee of the National Board of Wildlife has approved the project.

Reasons for Delay

The project was continuously stalled by the environment ministry as the project involves diversion of 49.978 acres forest land, of which 0.84 ha falls in the Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park and 49.138 ha reserve forest within 10km of the Eco Sensitive Zone. Rutland island is also very rich in marine life. 

Significance

The island is located at an ideal distance from the mainland where tests are typically launched from. The test facility is vital for DRDO’s plans to have a comprehensive testing facility in order to identify and track long-range missile tests. DRDO also requires a land-based test area to accurately track its long range missiles. The Rutland Island is ideally located due to its distance from mainland.

Conditions

The state Chief Wildlife Warden has imposed certain conditions that are need to be fulfilled while implementing this project.

The conditions include preparation of a specific marine and terrestrial wildlife conservation plan; installation of essential deflectors and anti-radiation screens around satellite antennas to reduce the harmful impact of radiation on biodiversity; Vessels used for construction must take only the approved route; Project authority must take necessary approvals from the Chief Wild Life Warden while entering into waters of Marine National Park; no forest material/fire wood is to be collected from forest area; and no effluent or domestic sewage should be discharged into sea/forest area.

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