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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The Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) has finalised the first draft of the comprehensive amendments to the Indian Forest Act, 1927. The amendments provide definitions to important terms that were missing from the law.
Features of the Amendments
- The draft amendment defines community as “a group of persons specified on the basis of government records living in a specific locality and in joint possession and enjoyment of common property resources, without regard to race, religion, caste, language and culture”.
- Under the proposed amendment Forest is defined to include “any government or private or institutional land recorded or notified as forest/forest land in any government record and the lands managed by government/community as forest and mangroves, and also any land which the central or state government may by notification declare to be forest for the purpose of this Act.”
- The amendments shift the focus of the Indian Forest Act from laws related to transport of forest produce and the tax on it to conservation, enrichment and sustainable management of forest resources and matters connected therewith to safeguard ecological stability to ensure provision of ecosystem services in perpetuity and to address the concerns related to climate change and international commitments.
- The amendment provides that if the state government, after consultation with the central government, feels that the rights under Forest Rights Act will hamper conservation efforts, then the state may commute such rights by providing compensation to maintain the social organisation of the forest-dwelling communities or alternatively set out some other forest tract of sufficient extent, and in a locality reasonably convenient, for the purpose of such forest dwellers.
- The amendment introduces a new category of forests namely production forests which will be forests with specific objectives for production of timber, pulp, pulpwood, firewood, non-timber forest produce, medicinal plants or any forest species to increase production in the country for a specified period.
The amendments have been proposed based on the inputs of a core committee Inspector General of Forests (Forest Policy) Noyal Thomas.
India Post released a special stamp cover on Ice Stupa in Leh at an event in the presence of Himalayan Institute of Alternatives Ladakh founder Sonam Wangchuk who spearheaded the Ice Stupa initiative.
- Ice Stupas refer to the artificial glaciers which freeze and hold the water that keeps flowing and wasting away down the streams and into the rivers throughout the winter.
- Instead, the water from these artificial glaciers melt in the springtime, just when the fields need
- Leh lies in the cold desert region and most villages in the region face acute water shortage, particularly during the two crucial months of April and May when there is little water in the streams whereas in June there is an excess of water and even flash flooding due to the fast melting of the snow and glaciers in the mountains.
- By September all farming activities end and yet a smaller stream flow throughout the winter steadily but wastefully going into the Indus river without being of use to anybody.
- Hence the idea of ice stupa from artificial glaciers which store this wasting winter water in the form of ice mountains that melt and feed the farms when water is most needed by the farmers was initiated.
Ice Stupas are aimed at reducing water crisis in the region and also to convey a message to the world that how the Mountain people are forced to do such innovative ideas to solve the water crises, Ice Stupas also sends a message to all the people who live in big cities to not use resources in such a way that it creates problem for mountain people.