Ministry of Environment Current Affairs
Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has launched Harit Diwali-Swasth Diwali campaign aimed to reduce adverse environmental conditions especially pollution in the country after post Diwali celebrations due to excessive bursting of crackers which contributes significantly to air and noise pollution.
Harit Diwali-Swasth Diwali campaign
This campaign was initiated in 2017-18 to enlighten children about harmful fire crackers and motivate them to celebrate Diwali in environment-friendly manner and not to buy fire crackers, instead buy gift, food items, or sweets for poor and underprivileged children living in their locality.
Under this campaign, the MoEFCC will undertake various activities for creating awareness among various stakeholders and encourage people to participate in combating air pollution. This campaign was extremely successful and the air quality had not deteriorated post Diwali in 2017 unlike what was experienced in 2016.
2018 Campaign: Following its earlier precedence, MOEFCC has initiated similar campaign, but has extended pan-India. It also merged this year’s campaign with “Green Good Deed” movement that has been initiated as social mobilization for conservation and protection of environment. All schools and colleges have been encouraged to be part of this campaign.
Air pollution is serious health issue in the country especially in northern parts during winter seasons. The air pollution in northern region is mainly due to dust, burning of kharif crop residue on large scale in certain states, burning of garbage, construction activities and prevailing climatic conditions. This air pollution has serious impacts on health of children aged people and people suffering from respiratory ailments. Diwali festival also falls during same period and as matter of traditional practice people have been celebrating this festival by bursting crackers. Crackers contains combustible chemicals that include potassium chlorate powdered magnesium, aluminum, salts of barium, copper, sodium, lithium, strontium etc. and emits hazardous smoke of these chemicals along with sound. This smoke and sound has health impacts on children, aged people and also animal and birds. Apart from hazardous smoke, large amount of waste is also generated after bursting of crackers. Thus, keeping in view the above detrimental effects and and importance of the festival, MoEFCC had initiated a Harit–Diwali campaign.
India’s first ever National Environment Survey (NES) will be kicked off in January, 2019 to map environment data of 55 districts across 24 states and 3 Union Territories. The NES will rank all districts on their environmental performance and document their best green practices based on various environmental parameters. The earliest first set of complete green data from this survey will be available in 2020.
1st National Environment Survey (NES)
The first NES will be carried out by Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) through Environmental Information System (ENVIS) and its hubs and resource partners across the country. It will be done through grid-based approach, using grids measuring 9×9 km to collect comprehensive data on various environmental parameters. These parameters will include air, water, soil quality; solid, hazardous and e-waste; emission inventory; forest & wildlife; flora & fauna; wetlands, lakes, rivers and other water bodies. It will also assess carbon sequestration potential of all the districts across the country.
The green data from this survey will provide important tool in hands of policy-makers for decision making at all levels – district, state and national. The survey will fully map and create emission inventory, provide valuation of ecosystem services and collate research in the field of environment. Initially the survey will be focusing on 55 districts and later will be scaled up to all districts in the country. The skilled manpower required for the survey will be provided from persons skilled and trained under MoEFCC’s Green Skill Development Programme.