Ministry of Environment Forests and Climate Change Current Affairs - 2019

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India-Norway Marine Pollution Initiative

India and Norway signed a letter of Intent for establishing the India-Norway Marine Pollution Initiative. The letter of intent was signed by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, Government of India together with the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

India-Norway Marine Pollution Initiative

During the visit of the Norwegian Prime Minister’s visit to India in January, India and Norway had agreed to work more closely on oceans by signing a MoU and establishing the India-Norway Ocean Dialogue.

Both the governments had agreed to share experiences and competence, and collaborate on efforts to develop clean and healthy oceans, sustainable use of ocean resources and growth in the blue economy.

The India-Norway Marine Pollution Initiative is the first Joint initiative and it takes forward the commitments made under the MoU. The Joint initiative aims to combat marine pollution, which is one of the fastest growing environmental concerns.

The India-Norway Marine Pollution Initiative will support local governments in implementing sustainable waste management practices, develop systems for collecting and analyzing information about sources and scope of marine pollution and improve private sector investment.

The initiative will also support beach clean-up efforts, awareness-raising campaigns and pilot project using plastic waste as fuel substitution for coal in cement production and developing frameworks for deposit schemes.

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Survey of Elephants in Captivity

The Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change has submitted the affidavit with the findings of the first Survey of Elephants in Captivity to the Supreme Court.

Findings of the Survey

The Survey was undertaken after the order of the Supreme Court which had asked the Union Government to identify elephants in captivity and whether their owners have an ownership certificate while hearing a writ petition filed by Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre. The findings of the Survey are:

  • There are 2,454 elephants in captivity across the country of which 560 are in possession with forest departments and 1,687 with private individuals.
  • 664 of the total captive elephants in the country are without ownership certificate while there are 85 in zoos, 26 in circuses and 96 in temples.
  • 58 per cent of all captive elephants is concentrated in two states: 905 in Assam and 518 in Kerala.
  • The affidavit also points at some discrepancies in data especially from the State of Bihar.

The Survey was ordered after the Animal Welfare Board of India failed to produce data on the number of elephants held captive.

Animal Welfare Board of India

The Animal Welfare Board of India was established under the Provisions of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act,1960 to oversee the implementation of the animal welfare laws in the country.

The Board consists of 28 Members including 6 MPs (4 from Lok Sabha and 2 from Rajya Sabha). Previously based in Chennai, it is now headquartered at Ballabhgarh in Haryana.

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