Environment Current Affairs - 2020

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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Indian Bird Species have declined by 80% says State of India’s Birds Report at CMS COP 13

On February 18, 2020, the State of India’s Birds Report was released at the CMS COP 13. It assessed the status of more than 867 birds. The report says that more than 80% of Indian bird species have declined in the last 5 years. More than 15,000 bird watchers participated in the survey.

Highlights

According to the report, the highest decline of birds in India was found in vultures, eagles, warblers and migrating shore birds. The report says that habitat loss and hunting are the two main reasons behind decline in bird population. The report is first of its kind.

The report classified 101 species of birds as “High Conservation Concern”.

Stability

The stability in count was found only with house sparrows. Their population have gone up in rural areas. The Indian peafowl was found in abundance according to the report.  Around 48% of bird species in the country were stable.

Assessment

The report was prepared based on three assessments namely long-term trend, measure of distribution range and current annual trend.

Long Term Assessment

Out of the 261 species that were assessed on long term basis, 52% of them declined since 2000. Only 43% showed a long-term trend and were stable. Around 22% of them declined strongly.

Current annual Trend

The current annual trend was assessed over 146 species. Under this category, 80% of the birds declined and 50% declined strongly. Only 6% were stable and 14% were increasing in numbers.

Categories of Concern

The report with the help of IUCN Red List and the three indices classified the birds into three categories. Around 442 of the birds were put under Low Concern Category, 319 in Modern Concern Category and 101 in high concern category.

Who prepared the report?

The report was prepared by 10 research and conservation organizations. It included Wildlife Institute of India, Natural History and Wetlands International South Asia, World Wide Fund for Nature India, Bombay Natural History Society and Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and Environment.

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CMS COP 13: Insects Decline to be discussed for the first time

The United Nations Conference of Parties to the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS COP-13) is to discuss the effects of insects decline on migratory species for the first time.

Highlights

According to Convention on Migratory Species, around half of the insect species are declining. Also, the third phase which is insect extinction is to begin. The IPBES (Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services) says that at the current rate, 40% of the world insect species will be extinct in next few decades.

The insects play vital role in the functioning of ecosystems, especially for the insectivorous (the species that feed on insects) migratory species. It mainly includes bats and birds.

Steps taken

The draft resolution has been presented by the European Union for the discussion at CMS COP 13. This will help to understand insects die off and its effects on migratory species. The EUROBATS agreement is one such agreement that focuses on insect decline. However, it focuses on Conservation of Bats Population and indirectly adopts resolution towards insect conservation to save bats. CMS COP 13 will be the first convention to focus on insects on a larger scale.

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