COP-13 on Migratory Species Current Affairs - 2020

SURAKHSYA: National Portal of “Project Elephant” launched

On August 10, 2020, the Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar launched National Portal on Human Elephant conflict called “SURAKHSYA”. The portal aims to collect real time information and will also manage conflicts on real time basis.

Highlights

The National Portal was launched during the celebration of international annual event World Elephant Day. The World Elephant Day is celebrated every year on August 12 to create elephant conservation and share knowledge for better protection of wild captive elephants.

The portal will help to set data collection protocols, data visualization tools and data transmission pipelines.

IUCN

The Asian Elephants are listed as “Endangered” in the IUCN Red List. This is mainly because, most of the Asian countries except India have lost their elephant population due to loss of habitats and poaching. There are 50,000 to 60,000 Asian Elephants. Of these, 60% are in India.

Elephants in India

Elephant is the Natural Heritage Animal of India. Indian Elephants have been listed under Appendix I of Convention of the Migratory Species in the recently held Conference of Parties of Convention of Migratory Species 13 in Gujarat in 2020.

Project Elephant

The Project Elephant was launched in 1992 by the Ministry of Environment and Forest. The project aims to provide financial and technical support to wild life management. It aims to make sure long-term survival of elephant populations in the natural habitats. The project also supports research in management of elephants and providing veterinary care and also conservation among local people.

Elephant Corridors

The Elephant Corridor is a narrow stretch of land that connects habitats with elephant population. There are 88 identified elephant corridors in India. Of these, 22 are in North-Eastern India, 14 in northern West Bengal, 20 in South India, 12 in North-Western India and 20 in Central India.

The major threats to elephant corridors are construction activities such as building roads, railways, etc. Also, the corridors are threatened due to mining, poaching and human elephant conflicts.

CMS COP 13: Insects Decline to be discussed for the first time

The United Nations Conference of Parties to the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS COP-13) is to discuss the effects of insects decline on migratory species for the first time.

Highlights

According to Convention on Migratory Species, around half of the insect species are declining. Also, the third phase which is insect extinction is to begin. The IPBES (Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services) says that at the current rate, 40% of the world insect species will be extinct in next few decades.

The insects play vital role in the functioning of ecosystems, especially for the insectivorous (the species that feed on insects) migratory species. It mainly includes bats and birds.

Steps taken

The draft resolution has been presented by the European Union for the discussion at CMS COP 13. This will help to understand insects die off and its effects on migratory species. The EUROBATS agreement is one such agreement that focuses on insect decline. However, it focuses on Conservation of Bats Population and indirectly adopts resolution towards insect conservation to save bats. CMS COP 13 will be the first convention to focus on insects on a larger scale.