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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Factual Report on Great Indian Bustard by Rajasthan Forest Department

In a factual report submitted by the state forest department following the directive of the National Green Tribunal (NGT), it has been stated that there are about Great Indian Bustards (GIBs) in the Jaisalmer area of the Desert National Park in Thar.

This claim by the Rajasthan Forest Department is contrary to that by the Wildlife Institute of India which had estimated a total population of GIB at 150 for whole India.

Fact Box: Great Indian Bustard

Scientific Name: Ardeotis nigriceps

IUCN status: Critically Endangered

Plea before NGT

A petition filed by the Centre for Wildlife and Environment Litigation (CWEL) stating that wind power projects and transmission lines were proving to be a major hazard for the survival of the endangered species in the desert area and most of the wind power projects are located in the natural habitat of the GIB in Rajasthan, Gujarat, Karnataka and Maharashtra. Due to their weight, GIBs cannot fly at a high altitude. As a result, they caught in power lines.

Even the 30th Forest Advisory Committee report had advised ensuring that transmission lines in the natural habitats of GIBs should pass underground.

The petition claimed that the Rajasthan government is not doing enough to conserve the critically endangered species. No effort has been made to install ‘bird diverters’ on these power lines. Further, no measure has been taken to curb the menace of feral dogs and foxes in the park.

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Face of Disasters 2019 Report

The Face of Disasters 2019 report was released by the Sustainable Environment and Ecological Development Society (SEEDS). The report is aimed at bringing about a conversation on building a sustainable future, which is beyond response to disasters.

Findings of the Report

  • India is staring at extremes of too little and too much rainfall in 2019. There is a significant drought condition even before the onset of summers.
  • Extreme floods in unexpected locations during the Monsoons are fast becoming a new normal in India.
  • Other disasters are hidden because of slow-onset or they may be affecting ignored populations or occurring at the same time as more high profile disasters.
  • For instance, during the June to September monsoon of 2018, Punjab experienced a “normal” monsoon with rainfall just 7% higher than the average rainfall in the State. But this figure masked the fact that Ropar saw 71% excess rainfall while Ferozepur experienced a 74% shortage.
  • Similarly, eastern Uttar Pradesh saw a minimal shortage of 16% lower than usual. However, Kushi Nagar received 82% less while Kannauj actually had a surplus of 62%.

The report also outlines the following eight key areas:

Water and the changing nature of disaster risk: A ‘new normal’ of rainfall variability is bringing challenges of too much and too little water, often in parallel.

  • No disaster is ‘natural’: Risks lurking under the radar slip through the cracks because they don’t meet the idea of a ‘natural disaster’.
  • The silent events: The disasters that go unseen leave those affected at even greater risk.
  • Land becomes water (and water becomes land): Changes to the coastline are already affecting livelihood sources and will be hotspots for vulnerability in the future.
  • The complexity of disaster impact: Beyond official ‘damages’, the long-term and uncaptured disaster impacts have life-changing consequences for affected communities.
  • The urban imperative: Risk is rapidly urbanising and will affect everyone.
  • Transformations in the third pole: Himalayan glaciers are melting, with serious implications for the whole region.
  • Planning for what you can’t see: Earthquake risk is looming large under the radar, but are we prepared?

Additionally, the report also looks into the changing face of disaster risks and the need to look at ‘disasters’ from a broader perspective, with roots in resource management practices.

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