Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change Current Affairs - 2020

Category Wise PDF Compilations available at This Link

Phase Out of Ozone Depleting Chemicals achieved by India

Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (EFoCC) recently announced that India has achieved the complete phase out of ozone depleting Hydro Chloro Fluoro Carbons (HCFC). The achievement has its route to the Montreal Protocol

Highlights

In order to move towards environment friendly technologies, the Ministry of EFoCC prohibited import of HCFC-141b. The order was issued according to Ozone Depleting substances (Regulation and Control) amendment rules, 2019. The rules were issued under Environment (Protection) act, 1986.

The use of HCFC-141b by foam manufacturing industries have been come to an end with the stoppage of import of HCFC-141b. This is because, HCFC-141b is not produced in India. The domestic requirements of HCFC-141b so far had been met through imports.

Benefits

The phase out of HCFC-141b will help in healing the ozone layer in the stratospheric zone. Also, it will help in climate change mitigation as the industries dependent on HCFC for foam production will be forced to work on alternative technologies that contribute to lesser global warming.

Impacts

The step will have great impact on ozone layer. This is because around 50% of ozone depleting chemicals being used in the country attribute to HCFC-141b.

On the other hand, polyurethane dependent sectors will face dents. HCFC is used as blowing agent in the production of polyurethane foams. Polyurethane is used in applications such as water geysers, refrigerators, thermo wares, furniture appliance, commercial refrigeration.

Govt measures to reduce impacts

The after effect of the phase out will greatly affect the MSME (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises). In order to prevent this, the Ozone Cell of Ministry of EFoCC had signed agreements with Central Institute of Plastics Engineering and Technologies to find alternate technologies. Assistance is being provide to field trails, training and product validation.

Montreal Protocol

The Montreal Protocol was signed by 190 countries in 1987 to phase out Ozone Depleting Substances. In order to achieve this, India in 2017 launched a phase out plan. Though the target of the plan was 2023, India achieved the goal far ahead of the deadline.

Get these updates on Current Affairs Today Android App

FSI: 21.4% of forest cover prone to forest fires

The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change recently released India State of Forest Report, 2019. The report predominantly talks about forest cover in the country. The report also mentions about forest fires in the country.

Highlights of forest fire

According to the report, 21.4% of Indian forests are prone to forest fires. The report has given the figures after a thorough study of fire points identified between 2004 and 2017. The study says that forests in central India and north-eastern India are most vulnerable to forest fires.

The total number of forest fire alerts issued between November 2018 and June 2019 were 29,547. Out of these alerts, Mizoram recorded the highest. Of the alerts received, one-third were from north-eastern states. The major reason for increased number of alerts in north eastern region is slash and burn cultivation (Jhoom Cultivation).

The report also said that the overall forest cover of the country has increased. However, the forest cover in the north east region has declined.

Forest Survey of India

The Forest Survey of India begun in 1981. It is the successor of Pre investment Survey of Forest Resources (PISFR). The PISFR was supported by FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization). The report is published twice a year.

Get these updates on Current Affairs Today Android App