Minister for Environment Current Affairs - 2020
The World Bicycle Day was globally celebrated on 3 June 2019 by organising group rides on the event to popularize the use of bicycles in daily life.
- In 2018, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) declared 3 June as World Bicycle Day to observe the day as a celebration of “uniqueness, longevity, and versatility” of the bicycle. Professor Leszek Sibilski of Montgomery College, Maryland, United States with his Sociology class petitioned for the bicycle to have its own day and to recognize all its good qualities.
- Professor Sibilski and his class then led a grassroots campaign to promote a UN Resolution for World Bicycle Day which used social media to spread word globally and nominated 3 of June to mark as World Bicycle Day. The campaign eventually gained the support of Turkmenistan and 56 other countries and was finally materialized in 2018, when the UN declared it a world holiday.
- The day highlights bicycle as an affordable, reliable, clean and environmentally fit sustainable means of transportation also as they do not produce any air-borne pollutants, fumes, greenhouse gases and even reduce countries carbon footprints
- Amsterdam leads the number with 40% of all its commuters use a bicycle to go to work.
- In an effort to bring bicycle and cycling habit back in fashion, the World Bicycle Day event in New York, saw the participation of various countries including Turkmenistan, Bahrain, Indonesia, Canada and even India’s Ambassador to the United Nations (UN) Syed Akbaruddin and his team.
- In 2018, Vice President Venkaiah Naidu, and then Minister for Environment, Forests, and Climate Change, Dr Harsh Vardhan, , inaugurated the adoption of bike sharing system in the core area of New Delhi
- Also days ahead of World Bicycle Day celebration in 2018, Bengaluru appointed its first ever ‘Bicycle Mayor‘ the first of its kind in India, Satya Shankaran.
Tags: 3 June: World Bicycle Day • Bicycle Mayor • India's Ambassador to the United Nations • Minister for Environment • Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change
India will collaborate with Bhutan, Nepal, Indonesia and Malaysia to increase the population of three species of Asian Rhinos namely Greater one-horned rhinoceros, Javan rhino, and Sumatran rhino.
India, Bhutan, Nepal, Indonesia and Malaysia have signed the New Delhi Declaration on Asian Rhinos 2019 declaration for the conservation and protection of the species at the Second Asian Rhino Range Countries Meet organised by the Environment, Forest and Climate Change Ministry in collaboration with IUCN Asian Rhino Specialist Group, WWF- India and Aaranyak.
Fact Box: IUCN Status
Greater One-Horned Rhinoceros: Vulnerable
Javan Rhinoceros: Critically Endangered
Sumatran Rhinoceros: Critically Endangered
New Delhi Declaration on Asian Rhinos 2019
The 12 point strategic actions outlined under the declaration are:
- To collaborate for strengthening protection regimes, strategic information gathering, and real-time sharing of actionable information on rhino crime and its horn trade to secure the rhino population within and between range countries.
- To initiate research on various habitat parameters including invasive species threatening the suitable habitats of Asian rhinos and take appropriate steps to optimally manage the habitats.
- To explore possibilities of expanding rhino ranges within the country or between rhino range countries for optimal population management.
- To strengthen transboundary collaboration among India, Nepal, and Bhutan for the greater one-horned rhino conservation and protection.
- To identify connectivity and corridors across international boundaries and keep them functional, safe and secure for free movement of Asian rhinos and other wildlife.
- To increase the engagement of the local communities as stewards to secure the future of rhinos in range countries.
- To initiate proactive monitoring on potential adverse impacts of climate change on rhino health and their habitats in range countries.
- To undertake studies on Rhino health issues & potential diseases and take necessary steps for management intervention.
- To regularly organize exposure visits for managers and frontline staffs of the rhino range countries and to document the best practices for wider dissemination.
- To collaborate and strengthen wildlife forensics for the purpose of investigation.
- To accelerate natural and conservation breeding of critically endangered Sumatran rhino including best use of all available individuals and technologies.
- To call to the attention of all countries that possible opening of international trade of rhino horn and other derivatives will have a severe detrimental impact on rhino populations in Asian rhino range countries.
On the occasion, Union Minister for Environment, Forests and Climate Change re-affirmed India’s commitment towards rhino conservation in India and added that national strategy will further pave the path for long term conservation of the Greater One-Horned Rhinos in India.