Environment Current Affairs

India’s first Blackbuck conservation reserve to come up in UP

The Uttar Pradesh State Cabinet has approved Blackbuck Conservation Reserve in trans-Yamuna belt near Allahabad. It will be first of its kind conservation reserves in India exclusively dedicated to blackbuck.

In this regard, state government has evoked Section 36 A (1) and (2) of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, to declare the conservation reserve.

Key Facts

The wildlife conservation reserve will come up on over 126 hectares in Meja forest division known for its rocky, undulating and arid terrain. A herd of around 350 blackbucks is estimated to be inhabiting the region.

It will help in conservation of blackbuck in effective way. It will also create awareness about biodiversity conservation and provide opportunities for people’s participation. It will also encourage eco-tourism and locals will get opportunities for employment.

Blackbuck

Indian Blackbuck (Antilope cervicapra) is an antelope and is the only living species of the genus Antilope. It is considered to be the fastest animal in the world next to Cheetah. The horns of the blackbuck are ringed with one to four spiral turns and the female is usually hornless.

Habitat: Blackbuck inhabits grassy plains and slightly forested areas. Due to its regular need of water, it prefers areas where water is perennially available. It is found in Central- Western India (MP, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Punjab, Haryana, Maharashtra and Odisha) and Southern India (Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu).

Protection Status: Hunting of blackbuck is prohibited under Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972. It has been categorised least concerned in IUCN Red Data Book.

The Bishnoi community of Rajasthan is known worldwide for their conservation efforts to blackbuck and Chinkara.

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Creating and Sustaining Markets for Energy Efficiency project launched by EESL in partnership with GEF

The Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL), under Ministry of Power in partnership with Global Environment Facility (GEF) has launched Creating and Sustaining Markets for Energy Efficiency project.

The project will help in recognizing India’s efforts towards a low emission-economy and focusing on energy efficiency programmes. Currently around two-thirds of total power generation capacity in India is based on fossil fuels. By 2030, India is committed to achieve 40% of the installed capacity based on clean energy sources.

Funding

Project will receive composite funding of $454 million comprised of $20 million GEF grant and co-financing of $434 million in form of loans and equity, including $200 million loan from Asian Development Bank (ADB). Further, EESL also has proposed Energy Efficiency Revolving Fund (EERF) for sustainable funding mechanism of energy efficiency projects in country.

Initiatives under this Project

New technologies of super-efficient ceiling fans, tri-generation technologies & smart grid-applications will be financed for proof testing. Energy efficiency programmes like street lighting, domestic lighting, five-star rated ceiling fans and agricultural pumps will be undertaken. EESL also has partnered with UN Environment’s District Energy in Cities Initiative, which has already identified $600 million of projects across five cities in India.

Significance

The project is considered as significant step considering India’s efforts towards low emission-economy and focusing on energy efficiency programmes. It will also create awareness in citizens, especially among youth, to encourage energy efficiency measures like use of electric vehicles, energy efficient building codes etc. It will also facilitate sustainable growth by addressing climate change issues, boosting economy and generating greater employment in country.

Global Environment Facility (GEF)

GEF is a financial mechanism that provides grants to developing countries for projects that benefit global environment and promote sustainable livelihoods in local communities. It addresses six designated focal areas: biodiversity, climate change, international waters, ozone depletion, land degradation and Persistent Organic Pollutants.

It was established on the eve of 1992 Rio Earth Summit to help tackle our planet’s most pressing environmental problems. It unites 183 countries in partnership with international institutions, civil society organizations (CSOs), and private sector to address global environmental issues

India has been a leading developing country participant in the GEF since its inception in 1991 and has played a major role in shaping GEF. India is both donor and recipient of GEF.

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