Environment Current Affairs - 2019

Latest Environment Current Affairs 2019 for UPSC Exams, Bank Exams, Civil Services, SSC and other Competitive Exams. Latest developments in Environment and Climate Change 2019 all important national updates in Environment events for the year 2019.

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Monkey Declared Vermin in Himachal Pradesh

The government of Himachal Pradesh has made an announcement regarding the announcement of  Monkey as Vermin for the period of one year in 11 districts of the state. Monkeys were declared as vermin in 38 tehsils and sub-tehsils of 10 districts in Himachal Pradesh. The period of this notification was extended for one year on December 20, 2017.

The state government had urged the centre to declare Monkeys as vermin because the animals have been adversely affecting crops and causing harm to humans.

What does the designation of Vermin mean?

Vermin refers to pests or nuisance animals which spread diseases or destroy crops or livestock. In India Section 62 of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 empowers the states to send a list of wild animals to the Centre requesting it to declare them vermin for selective slaughter.

The Central Government through notification may declare any wild animal other than those specified in Schedule I and part 11 of Schedule H of the law to be vermin for any area for a given period of time.

For the period the notification is in force such wild animal shall be included in Schedule V of the law, depriving them of any protection under that law.

Declaration of Vermin provides a reprieve for those who kill these animals in the specified areas for a year after these notifications, from the jail terms and fines that hunting these animals typically invite.

The hunted wildlife is declared as government property and it imposes restrictions on how these carcasses must be disposed of.

It is criticised that once the animals are slotted as vermin they become an easy game for hunters as well as traders in meat.

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Cheetahs from Namibia to be kept at Nauradehi Sanctuary: NTCA

The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) has stated in the Supreme Court that Spotted Cheetahs being translocated from Namibia would be kept at Nauradehi sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh.

NTCA even stated that the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)  has given no objection for the translocation and the decision to reintroduce spotted cheetahs in India was supported by Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun.

Cheetah Extinction from India

India’s last spotted cheetah had died in 1947. In 1952, the animal was declared extinct in the country.

Cheetah Re-introduction Project

The central government had set up an expert panel for reintroducing the cheetah in India. The panel recommended that the home of the fastest animal could be Kuno Palpur in Madhya Pradesh, Velavadar National Park in Gujarat and Tal Chapar sanctuary in Rajasthan.

NTCA, a statutory body under Union Environment Ministry had committed Rs.50 crore to State for this project in the year 2011. Cheetah Re-introduction Project was conceived in the year 2012.

But the activists went to the Supreme Court against the decision. Supreme Court appointed a panel to review the project. The Supreme Court appointed panel advised against the reintroduction citing India does not have habitat and prey density” to support cheetahs. The report even accused government-run institutions of “incorrectly compressing” data to get the approval of the apex court to seek the reintroduction of the big cat from Africa. As a result, the project had gone into dead storage.

In the year 2018, the government of Madhya Pradesh wrote to NTCA to revive the project. The NTCA has approached the Supreme Court seeking a clarification that there is no blanket ban of the apex court on re-introduction of cheetahs in the country.

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