IUCN Current Affairs - 2020

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Muppavarapu Venkaiah Naidu National Award to Prof M S Swaminathan

On January 14, 2020, the Agricultural Scientist Prof M S Swaminathan was awarded the “Muppavarapu Venenkaiah Naidu” National award. The award was also presented to Mr Muniratnam. Mr Muniratnam was the first person to receive the award four days back.


The professor was made the honours during Pongal celebrations at Raj Bhavan in Chennai. The award carried cash prize of Rs 5 lakhs.  During the celebrations, the professor was titled as “Father of Green Revolution and the Doyen of Agricultural Science”.

Muppavarapu foundation

Muppavarapu foundation is a non-profit organisation started by Mr Muppavarapu Harshavardhan, son of Vice President Venkaiah Naidu. The organisation arranges training on latest technologies. The trainings are predominantly offered in the fields of horticulture, agriculture, animal husbandry, home science, fisheries, vermi culture and mushroom culture.

M S Swaminathan

Mr Swaminathan is an Indian Geneticist. He played a major role in Green Revolution programme of India. He has played the role of director general of ICAR (Indian Council of Agricultural Research), director of IRRI (International Rice Research Institute) and president of IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources). He was a follower of Mahatma Gandhi.

The Great Bengal Famine kindled the professor’s interest towards agriculture. He left his doctor profession and learned agriculture from University of Kerala. He also conquered UPSC and qualified for IPS.

IUCN adds 1840 new species to the Red List of Threatened Species

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) added about 1,840 new species to its updated “Red List of Threatened Species”, a catalogue of plants and animals that risk extinction. The list now contains over 30,000 species under threat of disappearing. The group released its Red List update in the middle of COP25 climate talks in Madrid, Spain. The year 2020 will see two global IUCN gatherings, first in June in Marseille, France and another in Kunming, China, in October.

Key Findings of IUCN List

IUCN finds that hundreds of plant and animal species who already face the threat of habitat destruction, are now under further pressure from manmade climate change.

IUCN had earlier witnessed a genuine declines in 73 species since its last assessment. This new update reveals the ever-increasing impacts of human activities on wildlife. Moreover, the Climate change is adding to multiple threats species face, and there is a to act urgently and decisively to curb the crisis.

More than 1 million species are now at risk of vanishing as insatiable human demand puts them in danger of overexploitation, habitat loss, pollution and climate change.

Fish: Rising temperatures have already contributed to declines of several freshwater fish and sharks. Latest update showed that 37% of Australia’s freshwater fish species were threatened with extinction. Stocks of Short-tail nurse shark have declined around 80% in last 30 years, as its shallow water habitat is being degraded because of ocean warming.

Bird: Dozens of species of birds and plants are now also threatened by rising temperatures. However, IUCN also highlighted a small handful of conservation successes, including the recovery of Guam Rail, a bird previously listed as extinct in wild.

About International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)

It is an international organization that works in field of conservation of nature and sustainable use of natural resources. This membership Union is composed of both government and civil society organisations. It has more than 1,300 Member organisations and over 15,000 experts, this diversity and vast expertise makes IUCN the global authority on the status of the natural world and measures needed to safeguard it. IUCN is best known for its compiling and publishing of IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, which assesses the conservation status of species worldwide.