Climate Change Current Affairs

Government unveils third National Wildlife Action Plan for 2017-2031

The Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has unveiled third National Wildlife Action Plan for 2017-2031 to chalk out future road map for wildlife conservation.

The plan was unveiled by Environment Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan on inaugural day of Global Wildlife Programme (GWP) conference. It is third action plan after first released in 1983 to 2001 and second from 2002 to 2016, that had protected area-centric approach to wildlife conservation.

3rd National Wildlife Action Plan

The plan was initiated in February 2016 by MoEFCC. It was drafted by a 12-member committee chaired by JC Kala, a former secretary to the ministry. The key focus areas of this plan includes integration of climate change into wildlife planning, conservation of coastal and marine ecosystem, mitigation of human-wildlife conflict, focus on wildlife health among others.

Climate Change impact: It is first wildlife action plan to recognise concerns related to climate change impact on wildlife. It has stressed on integrating actions for its mitigation and adaptation into wildlife management planning processes.

It recommended assisted migration of wildlife and anticipatory planting along ecological gradients, as climate change may result in die-offs of certain tree species that are unable to adapt to newer environmental conditions.

Approach: It adopts landscape approach in conservation of all wildlife – uncultivated flora and fauna that have an ecological value to ecosystem and to mankind irrespective of where they occur. It gives special emphasis to recovery to threatened species of wildlife while conserving their habitats which include inland aquatic, coastal and marine ecosystems.

Human-animal conflict concerns: It addresses rising human-animal conflict owing to shrinkage, fragmentation and deterioration of habitats generating animosity against wild animals and protected areas.

People’s support: It underscores increasing need for people’s support for conservation of wildlife. It recommends eco-development, education, innovation, training, extension, and conservation awareness and outreach programs.

Participation of private sector: It underlines increased role of private sector in wildlife conservation. It lays down that Government will ensure that adequate and sustained funding including Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) funds are made available for implementation of plan.

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Volcanic carbon dioxide drove ancient global warming: Study

According to study conducted by researchers from University of Southampton, UK, extreme global warming event 56 million years ago was driven by massive carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from volcanoes, during formation of North Atlantic Ocean.

They had used combination of new geochemical measurements and novel global climate modelling to show that Palaeocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) was associated with rapid doubling of atmospheric CO2 in less than 25 thousand years because of CO2 emissions from volcanoes.

Key Facts

The PETM was most rapid and extreme natural global warming event of last 66 million years. It had lasted for around 150 thousand years and increased global temperatures by at least 5 degrees Celsius. Its period coincided with the formation of massive ‘flood basalts’ — large stretches of ocean floor coated in lava, resulting from of a series of huge eruptions.

Earlier it was suggested that PETM event was caused by injection of CO2 into ocean and atmosphere, but ultimate trigger source of CO2 was not known. Now researchers believe that, the CO2 was released during land drifts, separating Greenland from north-western Europe, thereby creating North Atlantic Ocean.

During this time, more than 10,000 petagrammes of CO2 was released predominantly from volcanic source. This is a vast amount of CO2, 30 times larger than all fossil fuels burned to date and equivalent to all current conventional and unconventional fossil fuel reserves.

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