Action Plan Current Affairs - 2019

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NGT asks centre to prepare plan for protection of Great Indian Bustard

A National Green Tribunal (NGT) Bench headed by NGT chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel has directed Central government to prepare a time-bound action plan within two months for protection of Great Indian Bustard. This decision is in response to the high mortality rate of birds noted by NGT.

Key Highlights

Committee: NGT Bench headed by Justice A K Goel constituted a joint committee comprising officials of Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC), Ministry of Power, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) and nominees of Energy Departments of Gujarat and Rajasthan. The committee was tasked to prepare an action plan for implementation of suggestions put forth by Wildlife Institute of India (WII) over the isuue.

Plea:  NGT was hearing a plea filed by Centre for Wildlife and Environment Litigation (CWEL), through advocate Gaurav Bansal, seeking directions to ministry to make bio-diversity impact assessment mandatory for every wind-power project, irrespective of its size/capacity. Plea stated that the reason for high mortality rate of critically endangered species of birds as per 30th Forest Advisory Committee meeting is power lines, especially high-voltage transmission lines with multiple overhead wires as the bird have poor frontal vision. It put forth that 75% of birds have died due to collision with power lines in past 30 years.

Environment Ministry also acknowledged that adult mortality among GIB is still very high due to collisions with power-lines that crisscross their flying paths.

WII Report Recommendations:

It suggested a slew of measures, such as mitigation of all power transmission lines passing through priority bustard habitats and disallowing new wind turbines, solar farms among others.

Steps should be taken to reduce poaching of specie and other wildlife in Thar landscape.

Poaching of GIB and other wildlife in Thar landscape could be reduced by improving protection enforcement through training of forest department frontline staff in smart patrolling tools with help of conservation organisations.

About Great Indian bustard

Scientific Name: Ardeotis nigriceps

Population: 200 individuals worldwide. Its largest populations are found in Indian state of Rajasthan.

Status: It is Listed in-

  • Schedule I of Indian Wildlife (Protection)Act, 1972,
  • Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) or Bonn Convention
  • Appendix I of CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora)
  • IUCN Red List- as Critically Endangered
  • National Wildlife Action Plan (2002-2016)

It has also been identified as one of the species for recovery programme under Integrated Development of Wildlife Habitats of Union Ministry of Environment and Forests, and Climate Change (MoEFCC).

SCO Tourism Ministers’ conference held in Wuhan, China

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Tourism Ministers’ conference was held in Wuhan, China. It was first meeting of SCO tourism ministers since the organization was established in 2001 in Shanghai. From India Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Tourism K. J. Alphons attended the conference.

Key Facts

The meeting approved joint action plan that will serve as guideline for tourism cooperation between SCO member states for 2019-2020. It specifies cooperation among national tourism administrations, as well as measures member states could take to improve tourist experience and safety, develop tourist products and promote smart tourism. It

Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO)

SCO is political and security grouping headquartered in Beijing. It was founded in 2001. The full members of organization are China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, India and Pakistan. They represent over 40% of humanity and nearly 20% of the global GDP. Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran and Mongolia have observer status at present.

SCO is successor of grouping called Shanghai Five, founded by China in 1996. It comprised Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan. In 2001 Uzbekistan was invited to join it and SCO was officially born.  After Astana Summit Declaration in 2005, SCO has emerged as a regional security organization

SCO’s main objective is military cooperation between the members. It also works towards intelligence-sharing, counter-terrorism operations in Central Asia. It is primarily centred on its member nations’ Central Asian security-related concerns, often describing main threats it confronts as being terrorism, separatism and extremism. The role of China as well as strategic importance of SCO has increased over period of decade and now address problems like terrorism, separatism and militancy in the region.