IUCN Current Affairs - 2020

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India marks the beginning of “Super Year of Biodiversity” with CMS COP 13

The year 2020 has been nick named as “Super Year” by global advocacy groups including the United Nations. This has been done to highlight 21 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and their targets.

India marks the “Super Year of Biodiversity” with the Conservation of Migratory Species Conference of Parties 13. The year includes UN summit in September 2020 and will end in UN Biodiversity Conference in the end of 2020.

Super Year

In Super Year, the SDGs of Climate, Ocean, Gender, life below water and land are to be implemented. Several major initiatives to achieve these SDGs were taken by the United Nations. This year all such initiatives are to be given special focus. They are as follows

Gender Equality

  • The Beijing Programme of Action marks 25th anniversary in 2020. It was framed in 1995 at the fourth United Nation World Conference on Women.
  • The 64th session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women is to be held in March 2020.

Climate Action

  • The COP 26 is to be held in Glasgow in 2020 to address the gaps that were undermined at COP 25 and also harmed the reputation of COP 25.
  • The first Global Transport on Sustainable Transport is to be held in May 2020

Life Below Water

  • The Strategic Plan for Bio Diversity 2011-20 comes to an end in 2020. It was adopted in 2010 at the convention on Biological Diversity. In 2019, the Inter-governmental Science Policy platform published the Global Assessment of State of Biodiversity and Ecosystem services. It listed 20 Biodiversity Targets. They are now to be taken for implementation in 2020 as the plan end in 2020.
  • The IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) is to hold World Conservation Congress in Marseille, France in June 2020. It is being organized once on 4 years.

2020-A Decade of Closure (Ocean)

  • Apart from a new beginning, the 2020 will also close bio-diversity related agendas. It includes the Decade for Deserts which marked the fight against desertification. This was marked by the UN Convention to Combat Desertification.
  • The Second UN Ocean Conference is to be held in 2020. The first was held in 2017 in New York. Since its first conference the community has been working on ocean acidification.

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February 15: World Pangolin Day; GoI radio tagged Pangolins first time to learn their Ecology

Every year the third Saturday of February month is celebrated as World Pangolin Day. The ninth World Pangolin Day is being celebrated on February 15, 2020. The numbers of Pangolin is rapidly declining in Asia and Africa. This is mainly because Pangolin scales are rich in medicinal properties. Recently, China had found that Pangolin scales can be used to treat Corona Virus infections.

As Pangolins numbers are declining greatly, the Madhya Pradesh Forest Department has radio-tagged Indian Pangolins for the first time to learn their ecology.

Highlights

The World Pangolin Day is marked by several organizations all over the world including United Nations Environment Programme.

Significance

They are hunted for their medicinal benefits and culinary delicacy. In December 2019, Xinhua news agency (China) reported the seizure of more than 10 tonnes of Pangolin scales by the Chinese customs in the eastern Chinese city Wenzhou. This on one hand proves that there is still quite good population of Pangolins in the world and on the other hand provides the message that they are still endangered.

Scales of Pangolins

The pangolins use their scales to protect themselves from big carnivores such as tigers and lions. They curl into a ball when they are being attacked. These scales are now in huge demand in China as they are used in traditional medicines.

Protection

Pangolins are protected under CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species). In India they are protected under Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972. They are listed under Schedule I of the act. The IUCN Red List puts the Indian Pangolin under Endangered category.

India’s Measures

For the first time, the Madhya Pradesh Forest department radio-tagged Indian Pangolin in order to learn its ecology. It is a joint operation of the forest department and the NGO Wildlife Conservation Trust.

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