Prakash Javadekar Current Affairs - 2020

Unique Urban Forest inaugurated at the Office of CAG in New Delhi

Keeping in mind its community responsibilities towards the increasing cause of concern from the degrading Air Quality Index (AQI) in the National Capital over the years, an Urban Forest will be established in the Office Park of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) for India at New Delhi. The Urban Park was inaugurated on 2nd July 2020 by the Prakash Javadekar (Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change).

Background

On the World Environment Day on 5th June 2020, Nagar Van Scheme was announced under which the target was set for the development of 200 Urban Forests in the upcoming five years over the country.

The success of the scheme depends on people’s participation, community responsibilities of Government Departments, and collaboration between the Corporates, NGOs, Forest Departments, etc.

Urban Forest at CAG office in New Delhi

Greenery at the Urban Forest will have 30 times the surface area of a single-layered lawns. 12000 saplings will be planted in the Urban Forest. Saplings of 59 indigenous species will be planted.

To grow the forest, the Miyawaki method (invented by Japanese Botanist Akira Miyawaki) will be used. Under this method, the Urban Forest will be able to increase the moisture by more than 40 percent and reduce the surrounding temperature by up to 14 degrees.

The size of the Urban Forest is little over 1 acre and with minimal maintenance, the Urban Forest will be self-sustainable by October 2021.

Western Ghats to be declared Ecologically Sensitive Area soon

On May 21, 2020, the Union Minister Prakash Javadekar interacted with the Chief Ministers of the State Governments through video conference. The meeting held discussions relating to notification of declaring Western Ghats as Ecologically Sensitive Area.

Highlights

The states that participated in the video conference include Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Goa, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat. The Government of India constituted a High level working group under Dr Kasturirangan. The committee identified geographical areas in the states that need to be declared Ecologically Sensitive Areas. Based on the report submitted by the committee, the Central Government in 2018 issued a draft notice to notify the areas as Ecologically Sensitive Areas (ESA).

The meeting is a follow up to make a conclusion in declared the regions as ESA.

Outcome of the meet

The State Governments have expressed their interests in expediting early notification of ESA. They were unanimous in ensuring the protection of Western Ghats.

Maharashtra

The State of Maharashtra proposed to include a greater number of villages as Ecologically Sensitive Areas. Under its proposal, the state has requested to include 2,092 villages under ESA. The Centre had proposed to include 2,133 villages.

These villages cover 37% of Western Ghats

What is ESA?

When an area is declared ESA, it means that restrictions are put on mining, thermal plants, quarrying, construction and setting up of industries.