National Current Affairs

India-ASEAN Youth Summit begins in Bhopal

The India-ASEAN Youth Summit began in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh to commemorate 25th anniversary of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)–India dialogue partnership in the ongoing year.

The first of its kind event was organised by Union Foreign Ministry, Union Sports Ministry, Madhya Pradesh government and India Foundation.

Key Facts

The five day Summit will commemorative this year’s theme of “Shared Values, Common Destiny”. Madhya Pradesh was chosen for this event as the Sanchi stupa located here strengthens the state’s cultural affiliation with the ASEAN countries.

Around 100 delegates from ASEAN countries Indonesia, Singapore, Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam are going to participate in the summit. It will also have participation of 75 youth leaders from India.

The participants will represent some of the largest institutions in their countries, including leaders from ruling as well as opposition parties, think tanks, media and universities to renew and revitalise engagement with the region reflecting close cultural and civilisational links.

About Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN)

ASEAN regional organisation comprising 10 South east Asian countries that aims to promote intergovernmental cooperation and facilitates economic integration amongst its members. It came into existence on August 8, 1967 after ASEAN declaration (also known as Bangkok declaration).

Principal aims of the ASEAN are to accelerate economic growth, intergovernmental cooperation, social progress, and sociocultural evolution among its members, protect of regional stability and facilitate political, military, educational and cultural integration amongst its members and Asian states.

Its 10 members are Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. Its motto is “One Vision, One Identity, One Community”.

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Government launches nationwide campaign Gaj Yatra to protect elephants

The Union Ministry of Environment and Forest has launched a nationwide campaign Gaj Yatra to protect elephants. It was launched on the occasion of World Elephant Day observed on August 12.

The ministry also released the All India Census 2017 Report on elephants and Agreed Points of Action on Trans-Boundary Conservation of Elephants by India and Bangladesh.

Gaj Yatra Campaign

The campaign is planned to cover 12 elephant range states across the country. It is 15 months campaign the will be led by the Wildlife Trust of India (WTI). The ‘Gaju’ mascot, which was released by the Ministry in 2012, will be helm of the campaign.

The campaign aims create awareness about elephant corridors to encourage free movement in their habitat. During the period of the campaign, artists and craftsmen will create life-size works on the theme of elephants in places along the route of the roadshow using local art and craft. Specially fabricated vehicles will be also deployed to display these on pre-determined routes with campaigners.

World Elephant Day

The World Elephant Day is observed every year on August 12 to support various stakeholders involved in supporting various conservation policies to protect elephants. It also seeks to support stakeholders involved in improving enforcement policies to prevent illegal poaching and trade in ivory, conserving elephant habitats, providing better treatment for captive elephants and reintroducing captive elephants into sanctuaries.

The World Elephant Day was conceived in 2011 by Canadian filmmakers Patricia Sims and Michael Clark of Canazwest Pictures and Sivaporn Dardarananda, Secretary-General of Elephant Reintroduction Foundation of Thailand. Now it is supported by over 65 wildlife organisations and many individuals in several countries across the globe.

Elephants

As per the available population estimates, there are about 400,000 African elephants and 40,000 Asian elephants across the globe. Asian elephants are listed as “endangered” and African elephants are listed as “vulnerable” in the IUCN Red List of threatened species.

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