Environment & Biodiversity 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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Ahead of International Day of Biological Diversity (celebrated on 22 May), an awareness campaign was launched by the name of ‘Not all animals migrate by choice’ to be displayed at major airports across India.
Key Highlights about Campaign
- To raise awareness on illegal wildlife trade
- To garner public support for conservation and protection of wildlife, prevention from smuggling and for reduction in demand of wildlife products.
- It also complements worldwide action taken on illegal trade in wildlife via UN Environment’s global campaign called Wild for Life.
- Launched By: United Nation (UN) Environment India and Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) of India. Both WCCB and UN Environment started a comprehensive approach with focus on awareness building towards issue of prevention of illegal trade, smuggling of wildlife (and wildlife products) through exit points.
- Inauguration: Campaign was inaugurated by Dia Mirza, the UN Environment Goodwill Ambassador (and also UN Secretary-General’s SDG Advocate), in presence of officials from Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC), Wildlife Crime Control Bureau of India (WCCB), UN Environment, UN agencies and GMR Group.
- Coverage: In collaboration with Airports Authority of India (AAI) and GMR Group, the campaign is set to travel across 22 airports across India over the next year.
- Need: Illegal wildlife trade drives a species to brink of extinction. With a thriving organized wildlife crime industry, the crime chains are spreading across world and India is also seeing a sharp rise in its illegal trade in wildlife. Thus there is an urgent need for awareness, action and stringent law enforcement to curb illegal wildlife trade which is threatening biodiversity and conservation in wild.
- Importance: Conservation is natural to India’s ethos. Although, while wildlife faces global threat and India’s flora and fauna’s demand continues to rise in illegal global markets, India’s stringent provisions for protection of wildlife under its Wildlife Protection Act (WPA), 1972, and efforts towards creating awareness among public at large would still have to go a long way to help protect our wildlife. Thus, campaign is an important step forward in creating much-needed awareness and regaining public attention on wildlife trafficking which threatens very survival of these species.
- Species covered: In First Phase of the campaign, Tiger, Star Tortoise, Pangolin and Tokay Gecko are featured. They have been chosen as they are highly endangered because of illegal trading in International markets. Second Phase will see more threatened species.
- Tiger is trafficked for its skin, body parts and bones.
- Pangolin, is most illegally traded wild mammal on the planet. It is trafficked for its meat and for its scales which are used in traditional medicines.
- Star Tortoise is trafficked for pet trade and meat.
- Tokay Gecko is trafficked for its use in traditional medicine, mostly into South East Asia (SEA) but mainly Chinese Markets.
About Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB)
- WCCB is a statutory multi-disciplinary body established by Government of India (GoI) under Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), to combat organized wildlife crime in India.
- It assists Customs authorities in inspection of consignments of flora & fauna as per the provisions laid down in Wild Life Protection Act (WPA), 1972, (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and Export-import (EXIM) Policy governing such an item.
Tags: AAI and GMR Group • Airports Authority of India • CITES • Dia Mirza • Forest and Climate Change • Ministry of Environment • Pangolin • Star Tortoise • Tiger • Tokay Gecko • UN Environment Goodwill Ambassador • United Nation Environment India • WCCB • Wildlife Crime Control Bureau • Wildlife Protection Act (WPA) 1972
A tripartite Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG), INTACH (The Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage) and HCL Foundation for plantation of 10,000 Rudraksh trees in catchment area of river Ganga Basin in Uttarakhand.
Key Highlights of MoU
- About: NMCG has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with INTACH and HCL Foundation to take up a project of ‘Plantation of 10000 Rudraksh Trees in Uttarakhand’. This is part of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative under ‘Namami Gange’ Programme.
- Objective: To create a greener ecosystem in Ganga Basin. For this the project aims at planting Rudraksh trees in Uttarakhand in association with local community and other stakeholders within state. This will also help in generating income for people residing in those plantation areas.
- Significance: The project undertaken will provide sustainable and comprehensive solutions for a cleaner ecosystem along the stretch catchment area of river Ganga. It covers about 97 towns and 4,465 villages on Ganga stretch and being a public-private partnership (PPP) provides initiative a much-needed impetus.
About Rudraksh Tree
- Scientific Name: Elaeocarpus ganitrus
- The term is derived from words Rudra which is one of hindu Lord Shiva’s vedic names and Akṣa means ‘teardrops’. Thus, Rudraksh actually means Lord Shiva’s teardrops.
- It is a large evergreen tree, with a height of 60-80 feet and has broad-leaves. It is the seeds of the tree which are known as Rudraksh.
- Its seed is traditionally used for prayer beads in Hinduism and Buddhism and primarily used in India and Nepal.
- It is an autonomous non-governmental Indian non-profit charitable organization. It was founded in 1984 and is registered under the Societies’ Registration Act, 1860. It seeks to preserve Indian culture and heritage. UN has
- INTACH was awarded a special consultative status with United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) by UN in 2007.
Tags: ECOSOC • Ganga Basin • Green Ecosystem • HCL Foundation • INTACH • Memorandum of Understanding • MoU • Namami Gange Programme • National Mission for Clean Ganga • NGO • NMCG • Public Private Partnership • River Ganga • Rudraksh Tree • UN • United Nations Economic and Social Council • Uttarakhand