nsive study on environment
BANNI GRASSLAND .Why in news? Nomadic tribes (Maldhari) are leaving their villages in Banni region due to water scarcity. About Banni grassland The Banni grassland of Gujarat (near Rann of Kutch) is the largest natural grassland in the Indian subcontinent known for its scarce rainfall and semi-drought conditions. . The land of Banni is formed out of ocean clay, so it includes an element of salt from very beginning. This land is formed out of alluvial and clayey sand. .Migratory pastoralism has been followed here from centuries with a broader geographical landscape that included Sindh in Pakistan and even extended into parts of Baluchistan and Afghanistan Now, Banni is divided into eastern and western parts separated by National Highway 341, which leads to the India-Pakistan International Border. .There are 22 ethnic communities living in the area called Maldhari pastoralists('mal' means animal stock and 'dhari means keeper)
EURASIAN OTTER Why in news? . Recently scientist confirmed the presence of Eurasian otter in Western Ghats. About Otter .They are carnivorous mammals and adapt to a variety of habitats ranging from marine to freshwater environments. India is home to 3 of the 13 species of otters found worldwide. These are o Eurasian Otter (Lutra lutra): IUCN: Near Threatened; CITES Appendix I; Wildlife (Protection) Act Schedule Il o Smooth-coated Otter (Lutra perspicillata): IUCN: Vulnerable; CITES Appendix II; Wildlife (Protection) Act Schedule II. o Small-clawed otter (Aonyx cinereus): IUCN: Vulnerable; CITES Appendix Il; Wildlife (Protection) Act Schedule lI. Though the Eurasian otter has been recorded historically from the Western Ghats (Coorg in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu's Nilgiri and Palani hill ranges), this is the first photographic and genetic confirmation of its presence here
INTERGOVERNMENTAL PANEL ON CLIMATE CHANGE REPORT The IPCC has released its Special Report titled "Global Warming o 1.5 C", first in a series of Special Reports to be produced in the IPCC's Sixth Assessment Cycle. Key findings of the Report .The report documents glaring evidence of the devastating impacts of climate change on the poor and on developing countries. Present global warming status: Human-induced global warming has in 2017 already reached 1 C above preindustrial levels; the current climate efforts of countries will take the world to 1.5 C between 2030 and 2052. o Since 2000, the estimated level of human-induced warming has been equal to the level of observed warming due to contributions from solar and volcanic activity over the historical period.
Impacts of global warming at 1.5 C: Impacts at 1.5 C are far greater than anticipated and estimated earlier. o Accordingly, the world would witness greater sea level rise, increased precipitation and higher frequency of droughts and floods, hotter days and heatwaves, more intense tropical cyclones, and increased ocean acidification and salinity. o Warming greater than the global average has already been experienced in many regions and seasons, with average warming over land higher than over the ocean. . o Depending on the temperature dataset considered, 20-40% of the global human population live in regions that, by the decade 2006-2015, had already experienced warming of more than 1.5 C above pre-industrial in at least one season. Impact of transition from 1.5 C to 2 C: The report points out that the risk transition from 1.5oC to 2 C is very high and that the effects at 2 C will be more devastating than what IPCC's Fifth Assessment Report had indicated. o Coastal nations and agricultural economies like India would be the worst affected. o Decline in crop yields, unprecedented climate extremes and increased susceptibility could push poverty by several million by 2050.
Limited availability of Carbon Budget: . If global emissions continue as per the commitments made under Paris Agreement, the carbon budget (the amount of CO2 that the world can emit) for 1.5 C warming will be exhausted by 2030. .o In order to limit warming at 1.5 C, the world will have to reduce CO2 emissions by 45 per cent by 2030 from the 2010 levels and reach net-zero emissions by 2050. Effect of limiting global warming to 1.5 C: The report highlights a number of climate change impacts that could be avoided by limiting global warming to 1.5 C compared to 2 C, or more. For instance, o By 2100, global sea level rise would be 10 cm lower with global warming of 1.5 C compared with 2 C. o The likelihood of an Arctic Ocean free of sea ice in summer would be once per century with global warming of 1.5 C, compared with at least once per decade with 2 C. o Coral reefs would decline by 70-90 percent with global warming of 1.5 C, whereas virtually al > 99 percent) would be lost with 2 C.
. Way Forward . Keeping global warming within 1.5 C is very difficult but required: Keeping the focus on 2.0 C target would be disastrous for the poor and for developing countries. The following Pathways examined by the report to limit warming to 1.5 C can be considered: India must take the lead in forming a global coalition for a 1.5 C world to save its poor and vulnerable population o Investments in low-carbon energy technologies and energy efficiency would need to approximately double in the next 20 years and investment in fossil-fuel extraction and conversion decrease by about a quarter
Require a UNFCCC-plus approach: Climate efforts Ca be restrictive to the UNFCCC and the Paris Agreement. The world needs to think and devise more forums and venues to address climate change. . Equity is essential and must be revisited: IPCC Report points out that "social justice and equity are core aspects of climate- resilient development pathways that aim to limit global warming to 1.5 C". The world, however, requires a new formulation of equity in which every country must act now and actively raise its level of ambition
The developed countries must take the lead by rapidly de-carbonis their economies as well as reducing consumption. o Developing countries will have to pursue low-carbon pathways more vigorously and should limit addition of fossil fuel assets going ahead. . Enhancing sinks in natural ecosystem: All pathways to reduce emissions, to keep the warming within 1.5 C require Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR) in the Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use (AFOLU) sector in varying degree. Sequestering CO2 in AFOLU sector will require incentivising billions of farmers and forestdwellers to pursue sustainable practices that enhance carbon sinks. The world must come together to devise a mechanism to do this. . Acting on all fossil fuels is must: The IPCC report emphasises the need to reduce coal consumption rapidly, though it allows for the use of gas with carbon capture and storage. The world needs to act on all fossil fuels simultaneously.
OCEAN CLEANUP Why in news? Recently, the Ocean Cleanup project was s in the Pacific Ocean. Background Situation in India: According to Litterbase database, seas near Mumbai, Kerala and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands are among the worst polluted in the world. . Global Scenario: More than 8 million tonnes of plastic leaks into the ocean each year equal to dumping a garbage truck of plastic every minute. Every year Marine plastic gets trapped in the gyres (revolving water system in the world's oceans) which breaks down into micro-plastic and becomes harmful for marine as well as human life. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is the largest collection of marine debris in the North Pacific Ocean gyre.
About Ocean Cleanup Project Ocean Cleanup is a non-profi organisation which is developing advanced technologies to rid the world's oceans of plastics. It is directed at cleaning The Great Pacific Garbage Patch (GPGP) which is a zone between Hawaii and California. About 1.8 Trillion pieces of plastic float the surface of the GPGP. Impact of Increasing level of Plastics in Ocean Bio- accumulation: Many persistent organic pollutants (for example, pesticides, PCBs, DDT, and dioxins) float around the oceans at low concentrations, but their hydrophobic nature concentrates them on the surface of plastic particles. Marine animals mistakenly feed on the microplastics, and at the same time ingest the toxic pollutants. The chemicals accumulate in the animal tissues and then increase in concentration as the pollutants are transferred up the food chain.
. Other Steps taken for tackling Plastic Debris Blue Flag Beach Certificate Standards o Certificate is given to environment-friendly and clean beaches, equipped with amenities of international standards for tourists. These standards were established by the Copenhagen-based Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) in 1985 o Chandrabhaga beach on the Konark coast of Odisha will be the first in Asia to get the Blue Flag certification
About Minimum River Flo .Minimum River Flow or Minimum Environmental Flow or E-flow is a regime of flow in a river that mimics the natural pattern. It refers to the water considered sufficient for protecting the structure and function of an ecosystem and its dependent species. It means enough water is to be released in the downstream of the river system after utilizing the water for the development projects in order to ensure downstream environmental, social and economic benefits. It is either defined in terms of percentage of the average flow (monthly average or average of any predefined number of days) or in terms of cubic meters of water flow per second.
.It will also ensure demand side management of water as it will help to reduce w withdrawal from the river by adopting scientific practices in irrigation, reusing and recycling of water and regulating groundwater withdrawals for various purpose Uninterrupted flow of water in Ganga is also important to keep it clean through its natural ecological functions and processes. Concerns Inadequate minimum flow norms: Under Draft Ganga Act, Justice Girdhar Malviya Panel suggested stricter provision than these specifications to increase accountability and responsibility for cleanliness and uninterrupted flow (Niarmalta and Aviralta). Lack of guidelines for projects: Along with minimum flow, guidelines also need to be laid out for the modifications that projects need to make. .. No mention of aquatic biodiversity: The very purpose of e-flow is to ensure free migration of these species. But the notification is completely silent on this aspect thus, seemingly defeating the purpose of this exercise. .Environmentalists view: Some environmentalists are of the view that all the hydroelectric projects as well as mining in Haridwar-Kumbh region should be bannec completely to endure natural flow of the river.
DRAR ASIN MANAGEMENT BILL, 2018 Why in News? . Recently, Draft River Basin Management Bill, 2018 was released by government. Background . Second Administrative Reform Commision (2008) had recommended that River Basin Organisations (RBOs) should be set up for each inter- State river, as proposed by National Commission for Integrated Water resources Development, 1999 by enacting a legislation to replace the River Boards Act, 1956. River Basin: A geographical area determined by the watershed limit of the system of waters, flowing into the ocean/sea either directly or through another sovereign nation or into a natural lake having no outlet.
River Basin Authorities (RBA): . It seeks to establish 13 RBAs for development, management, and regulation of waters of an inter-state river basin, consisting of a Governing Council and an Executive Board o Executive Board: It will comprise the Chairman and administrative secretaries of thee concerned state governments to formulate a River Basin Master Plan for the inter-state river basin which analyze the river basin characteristics, environmental needs, assessment of the effects of existing legislation etc. o Governing Council: t will consist of Chief Ministers of basin states, and will approve the River Basin Master Plan, resolve conflicts among states, Review and give clearance to new water resources projects etc. o RBA will be setup for river basins of Ganga, Indus, Godavari, Mahanadi, Mahi, Narmada, Pennar, Cauvery, Krishna, Tapi, Subarnrekha, Brahmani-Baitarini and Brahamaputra- Barak- inter-state rivers of north-east. Binding Decision: Recommendations of the authority will be binding on all states within the river basin, except those concerning sharing of inter-state river waters. The dispute between two or more states will go to the Inter-State River Water Disputes Tribunal only if governing council of the concerned authority fails to address it.
Advantages of having Soil moisture forecast Irrigation requirements: Soil moisture is crucial for agriculture since it directly affects crop growth and helps assess the irrigation requirement for the area. For e.g Based on observed conditions parts of Andhra Pradesh are deficient in terms of soil moisture right now. This means that if there is not enough rainfall in one or two months, these are regions which will demand heavy irrigation whether that comes from groundwater or surface water storage.