Arunachal Pradesh Current Affairs

Singchung Bugun Village Community Reserve wins India Biodiversity Award 2018

Arunachal Pradesh-based NGO Singchung Bugun Community Reserve (SBVCR) won the India Biodiversity Award 2018 in the “Conservation of wildlife species” category. It was awarded for its efforts to conserve rare critically endangered bird Bugun Liocichla.

India Biodiversity Award

The award is joint initiative of Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC), National Biodiversity Authority (NBA) and United Nations Development programme (UNDP). It recognises contribution of a range of stakeholders towards the conservation of biodiversity. It is given in four categories viz. Conservation of Threatened Species, Sustainable use of biological resources, Successful models for access and benefit sharing and Biodiversity Management Committees.

Singchung Bugun Community Reserve

Singchung Bugun Community Reserve is 17 square km biodiversity hotspot in Arunachal Pradesh. It was instituted under Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. It is home to critically endangered bird species Bugun Liocichla, which is not reported anywhere else in world. It lies right next to Eaglesnest Wildlife sanctuary, a biodiversity hotspot, which is also home to the bird species.

Bugun Liocichla

The bird was identified as a new species in 2006 and is reportedly only new bird species to have been discovered in India since 1947. It has been named after Bugun tribe because of their conservation efforts. International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has classified Liocichla as Critically Endangered (CR). There are only about 20-24 pairs which live in the area.

Community Reserve

It is established under Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. It enables any state government to declare community-owned forest area as “community reserve” if locals are willing to participate in conservation efforts for same. Under it, community reserve receives same legal protection as National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries.

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UDAN scheme: First commercial flight of Arunachal Pradesh lands at Pasighat

The first commercial flight (42-seater ATR aircraft of the Alliance Airlines) of Arunachal Pradesh under UDAN scheme landed at Pasighat airport or Advance Landing Ground (ALG) in East Siang district. This historic moment puts border state on the aviation map of the country.

Key Facts

Alliance Air, a subsidiary of Air India, will operate flight services on Kolkata-Guwahati-Pasighat route thrice a week – on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Pasighat airport is on advance landing ground or ALG, meant to support operations of small aircraft and some military planes. This commercial flight connectivity opens up new vistas of economic development in the region and also provide ample opportunities for tourism industry of the state as it removes connectivity bottleneck faced by bordering state earlier.

Background

Arunachal Pradesh has some 120 helipads and 10 advanced landing grounds, built for defence as well as civil operations. Under UDAN scheme, eight locations in border state have been selected by bidders. Out of which Pasighat and Tezu have been selected for fixed wing.  Ziro, Daporijo, Itanagar, Tuting, Wallong and Yingkiong have been selected for helicopter services.

UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam naagrik) Scheme

UDAN RCS (Regional Connectivity Scheme) was launched in October 2016 to develop the regional aviation market. It is vital component of the National Civil Aviation Policy (NCAP), 2016. It aims to make flying affordable by providing connectivity to un-served and under-served airports of country through revival of existing airstrips and airports so that persons in regional towns are able to take affordable flights.

It is applicable on flights covering distance between 200 km and 800 km with no lower limit set for hilly, remote, island and security sensitive regions. It seeks to reserve a minimum number of UDAN seats i.e. seats at subsidized rates and also cap fare for short distance flights. It has unique market-based model to develop regional connectivity. It has Viability Gap Funding (VDF) mechanism to meet the VGF requirements under the scheme. Airports Authority of India (AAI) is implementing agency of the scheme.

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