MoEFCC Current Affairs

Environment ministry releases draft National Clean Air Programme

The Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has released draft of National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) proposing multiple strategies to reduce air pollution. It aims to tackle increasing air pollution problem across country in comprehensive manner. The goal of NCAP is to meet prescribed annual average ambient air quality standards at all locations in country in a stipulated time frame. However it does not mention of any specific target and time frame. Under NCAP, the MoEFCC plans to take host of measures to bring down air pollution.

Objectives of the NCAP

  • Augment and evolve effective and proficient ambient air quality monitoring network across country to ensure comprehensive and reliable database.
  • To have efficient data dissemination and public outreach mechanism for timely measures for prevention and mitigation of air pollution.
  • To have feasible management plan for prevention, control and abatement of air pollution.

Measures to be taken by MoEFCC under NCAP

Under proposed NCAP, the MoEFCC will augment air quality monitoring network, identification of alternative technology for real-time monitoring, set up of 10 city super network, indoor air pollution monitoring and management and air pollution health impact studies. Other measures under it also includes air quality forecasting system, issuance of notification on dust management, three-tier mechanism for review, assessment and inspection for implementation and national emission inventory.

Comment

Earlier Union Minister Harsh Vardhan had said that MoEFCC hopes to bring down air pollution in around 100 non-attainment cities by 35% in three years and 50% in five years. Non-attainment cities are those considered to have air quality worse than National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). However, NCAP released by MoECC has no reference to the target it internally conceived and publicly announced.

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 Blue Flag pilot project launched for beach clean-up and development

The Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has launched pilot project ‘Blue Flag’ to develop and enhance standards of cleanliness on beaches.

This information was given by Minister of State (MoS) in MoEFCC, Dr. Mahesh Sharma, in reply to a written question in Lok Sabha.

Key Facts

The ‘Blue Flag’ is a certification by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) that a beach, Marina or sustainable boating tourism operator, meets its stringent standards. Its purpose is to enhance standards of cleanliness, upkeep and basic amenities at beaches.

Under the pilot project, each of coastal state/UT was requested to identify and nominate a beach, which is to be funded through ongoing Integrated Coastal Management Programme (ICMP).

Till date, all the coastal states have nominated pilot beaches in their receptive territories including Goa. However, formal nominations are awaited from coastal UTs viz., Daman & Diu, Puducherry, Lakshadweep and Andaman & Nicobar.

Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE)

The FEE is a non-governmental, non-profit organisation promoting sustainable development through environmental education. It was established in 1981. It is Headquartered at Copenhagen, Denmark. It is active through five programmes; Eco-Schools, Blue Flag, Young Reporters for Environment (YRE), Green Key and Learning about Forests (LEAF).

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