Environment Current Affairs 2018

Latest Environment Current Affairs 2017 for UPSC Exams, Bank Exams, Civil Services, SSC and other Competitive Exams. Latest developments in Environment and Climate Change 2017 all important national updates in Environment events for the year 2017

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Measures to tackle stubble burning

Stubble burning in states such as Haryana and Punjab is a major cause of air pollution in north India in October and November. The stubble burning is one of the main reasons for the higher level of pollutants in the air in the National Capital Region. The Central government has initiated following steps to reduce and eradicate the stubble burning in the neighbouring states of NCR:

  • In the budget of the 2018-19, the central government had announced a special scheme’ to encourage farmers in these states to shift to alternative ways of dealing with agricultural waste.
  • In pursuance of the announcement in the budget, the government announced a central sector scheme on ‘Promotion of Agricultural Mechanization for In-Situ Management of Crop Residue in the States of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and NCT of Delhi’.
  • The scheme provides for in-situ crop residue management machinery to the farmers on subsidy, the establishment of Custom Hiring Centres (CHCs) of in-situ crop residue management machinery and undertaking Information, Education and Communication (IEC) activities for creating awareness among farmers to avoid stubble burning.
  • The Union Ministry of Power has brought out a policy for biomass utilization for power generation through co-firing in pulverized coal-fired boilers. The Ministry of Power has decided that the States of Haryana and Punjab shall issue bids for all coal based Thermal Power Plants to use a minimum of 5 per cent of biomass pellets and up to 10 per cent to be co-fired with coal.
  • The government is also taking steps to popularize zero tillage farming where the crop seed will be sown through drillers without prior land preparation and disturbing the soil where previous crop stubbles are present.

These measures have made a positive impact. The satellite data indicates that paddy residue burning events in 2018 have reduced by 29.5 per cent, 24.5 per cent and 11.0 per cent in the States of Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Punjab, respectively when compared with the paddy residue burning events in the year 2017.

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Initiatives to reduce carbon emissions from Farming

Recognising the need to cut down on carbon emissions to tackle climate change, the government of India has taken the following steps to reduce the emissions from the farm sector:

  • Crop diversification programme under Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY), National Food Security Mission (NFSM) and Bringing Green Revolution to Eastern India (BGREI).
  • Increasing the area under System of Rice Intensification (SRI) as an alternative to the widely used practice of transplanted paddy.
  • Deployment of zero tillage drill machines and other residue management equipment to enable planting of Rabi crop in the standing residue of rice crop to avoid stubble burning.
  • Adopting the practices like alternate wetting and drying, direct seeded rice system of rice cultivation, use of slow-release nitrogen fertilizers, integrated nutrient management practices, leaf colour chart-based nitrogen application, use of urea super granules etc in rice cultivation.
  • Neem coating of urea.
  • Planting of trees under National Food Security Mission (NFSM), Bringing Green Revolution to Eastern India (BGREI), Sub-Mission on Agro-Forestry (SMAF) and National Bamboo Mission (NBM).
  • Spreading of micro irrigation under Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana (PMKSY)-Per Drop More Crop
  • Models of Integrated Farming System (IFS) have been developed for replication in Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs) and in the States for enabling climate-resilient agriculture and cutting down the carbon emissions.

Together with above initiatives, various sub-programmes initiated by government like Soil Health Card (SHC), Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY), Mission Organic for Value Chain Development for North East (MOVCD), Rainfed Area Development (RAD), Sub-Mission on Agroforestry (SMAF) and National Bamboo Mission (NBM) are contributing towards cutting down of carbon emissions from farm sector.

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