IUCN Current Affairs - 2019
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Denmark’s Inger Andersen recently took charge as the new Executive Director (ED) of United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). She will hold the designation for period of 4-years.
About Inger Andersen
Inger is a Danish economist and environmentalist with over 30 years of experience in international development economics, environmental sustainability and policy-making. Now as ED of UNEP she brings to the role a passion for conservation and sustainable development.
Nomination: She was nominated for the ED post by United Nation’s Secretary-General (UNSG) Antonio Guterres and approved by UN General Assembly (UNGA) in February 2019.
Succeeded: She took over the charge from Joyce Msuya of Tanzania, who served as acting head of UNEP since late 2018. Msuya will now continue as Deputy Executive Director.
IUCN- She has served as Director General of International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) between January 2015 and May 2019.
World Bank– Before joining IUCN, she held various leadership roles at World Bank (WB) such as- served as WB’s Vice President of Middle East and North Africa (MENA), Vice President for Sustainable Development and Head of Consortium of International Agricultural Research Centers Fund Council (IARCFC).
Even before joining World Bank, she worked at the UN for over 12 years.
About UN Environment Programme
It was founded by Maurice Strong (UNEP’s 1st director) and was established as a result of United Nations Conference on Human Environment (or the Stockholm Conference) on 5 June 1972.
It is headquartered in Nairobi (capital of Kenya) and also has 6 regional offices and various country offices.
Function: It is a UN agency that provides leadership and encourages partnership in caring for environment and is also responsible for coordinating UN’s environmental activities, assisting developing countries in implementing environmentally sound policies and practices.
Tags: Antonio Guterres • Inger Andersen • International Union for Conservation of Nature • IUCN • Joyce Msuya • Maurice Strong • Stockholm Conference • UN Environment Programme • UN General Assembly • UNEP Executive Director • United Nations Conference on Human Environment • United Nations Environment Programme • United Nations Secretary-General • World Bank
According to a recent UN report, Climate change and rising sea levels may eventually wipe out ‘The Sundarbans’, which is one of world’s last and largest tiger strongholds. The studies of report rely on climate change scenarios developed by Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) for its simulation models.
Key Findings of Report
- As per UN findings if greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions continued at current rate, the atmosphere would warm as much as 1.5C (above preindustrial levels) by 2040. This climate change would lead to rising sea level and existential threat to the Sundarbans.
- In 2010, World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF, a Non-governmental organization) estimated that sea level rise of 11 inches could reduce number of tigers in Sundarbans by 96% within a few decades.
- By 2070, there will be not be any suitable habitats of tiger remaining in Bangladesh Sundarbans.
- 70% of Sundarbans is just a few feet above sea level, thus faces grave threat due to climate changes. It is one of the prime habitats of Bengal tigers, who are among 500,000 land species whose survival is in question because of threats to their natural habitats due to climate change.
- Once the Sundarbans are flooded it may lead to increased confrontations (conflict) between humans and tigers, as the latter would stray outside their habitat in search of new land.
- Conservation efforts and fight against habitat loss in Sunderbans needs to begin immediately, as it could take about 20 years for these efforts to even start showing any results, but if action isn’t taken soon there won’t be any forest or tigers to save in 50 years.
- They are 10,000 square kilometres of marshy mangroves ecosystem shared between Bangladesh and India.
- They hosts world’s largest mangrove forest and a rich ecosystem that supports hundreds of animal species, including Bengal tiger.
- They are only mangrove forests in world where Bengal tigers are found.
About Bengal tiger (Panthera Tigris Tigris)
- It is national animal of India and Bangladesh.
- It found predominantly in India with some populations in Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, China and Myanmar.
- Initiatives by India: As Bengal tiger species is the most numerous of all tiger subspecies (about 2,500 left in wild) Indian government undertakes various initiave to in a bid to conserve species. The Project Tiger launched in 1973 was India’s first-ever tiger conservation programme.
- IUCN Red List Status is endangered.
- Since early 1900s, hunting, poaching, habitat loss, and illegal trade of animal parts (to meet growing demand in Asia) have decreased global population of tigers from around 100,000 to fewer than 4,000 and puy the species at risk.
Tags: Bangladesh • Bengal Tiger' • Bhutan • Chin • Endangered • GHG • greenhouse gas • India • Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change • IPCC • IUCN • Nepal • Project Tiger 1973 • Red List • Sundarbans • World Wide Fund for Nature • WWF