Upsc Environment


Гео и язык канала: Индия, Английский
Категория: Природа


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Related to environment and ecology
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Гео и язык канала
Индия, Английский
Категория
Природа
Статистика
Фильтр публикаций


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Green Credit Program


1. It was initiated by the Prime Minister of India during the COP 28 event, which took place in 2023 at Expo City, Dubai, UAE.
This program is a part of the government’s Lifestyle for Environment (LiFE) movement.
2. It is an innovative market-based mechanism designed to incentivize voluntary environmental actions across diverse sectors, by various stakeholders like individuals, communities, private sector industries, and companies.
2. The GCP’s governance framework is supported by an inter-ministerial Steering Committee and The Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education (ICFRE) serves as the GCP Administrator which is responsible for program implementation, management, monitoring, and operation.
3. The GCP focuses on two key activities: water conservation and afforestation.
4. Draft methodologies for awarding Green Credits have been developed and will be notified for stakeholder consultation.
5. These methodologies set benchmarks for each activity/process, to ensure environmental impact and fungibility across sectors.
6. The Green Credit Registry and trading platform would facilitate the registration and thereafter, the buying and selling of Green Credits.
7. Unlike the carbon markets, which are more focused at industry and corporations, green credit programme can benefit individuals and communities as well.


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Ringwoodite

Scientists have made a ground-breaking discovery of a gigantic ocean lying 700 kilometres beneath the Earth’s surface, hidden within a rock called ringwoodite.
This subterranean reservoir, three times the volume of all the planet’s surface oceans combined, was revealed through studies of seismic activity.
Ringwoodite’s unique properties allow it to trap water like a sponge.
This discovery suggests a whole-Earth water cycle and sheds light on the abundance of liquid water on the planet’s surface.
Ringwoodite is a mineral that forms in the Earth’s mantle at high temperatures and pressures. It’s a water-rich mineral that can contain iron and hydrogen


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Lake Kariba

1. It is the world’s largest man-made lake and reservoir by volume.

2. It lies approximately 1,300 kilometres upstream from the Indian Ocean, along the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe.

3. The Kariba dam is a double curvature concrete arch dam in the Kariba gorge of the Zambezi river basin between Zambia and Zimbabwe. 

4. The wall spans the Kariba Gorge, forming a boundary between Zambia and Zimbabwe.

5. The dam generates substantial electricity for both Zambia and Zimbabwe and bolsters a robust commercial fishing industry.

6. Lake Kariba and its shores host a diverse array of bird species, such as fish eagles and cormorants, often seen hunting along the shoreline.

The lake also draws elephants and other big game for hydration, creating spectacular scenes of these animals at the water’s edge and bathing in the shallows.


What is the status of India’s solar energy capacity?

India’s solar energy capacity is growing, aiming for 500 GW from non-fossil fuels by 2030.

India heavily relies on imports to meet its solar energy needs, particularly from China and Vietnam.
China is a major supplier, contributing to 53% of India’s solar cell imports and 63% of solar PV modules.

In the past five years, India’s solar import value reached approximately $11.17 billion.

China’s dominance in the sector is further highlighted by its 80% share in global manufacturing capacity for key solar components.


Polar vortex

The polar vortex is a large, persistent circulation of frigid air located in the stratosphere and typically centred near the Earth’s poles.
It is characterized by a strong wind current that circulates from west to east, trapping cold air within the polar regions during the winter months.
 The polar vortex plays a crucial role in maintaining the polar climate and can influence weather patterns in mid-latitude regions.
 Occasionally, disruptions in the polar vortex can occur, leading to phenomena such as sudden stratospheric warming events, which can result in shifts in weather patterns and colder temperatures in regions outside of the polar areas.


Why there are so many elephants in Botswana?

1. The country’s political stability and low human population facilitate effective wildlife management.

2. Following a surge in poaching due to conflict in Namibia and Angola, elephants ceased to cross the Chobe River, opting to remain within the safer confines of Botswana instead.

3. Botswana has implemented stringent anti-poaching measures, including a ‘shoot-to-kill’ policy initiated in 2013 against suspected poachers, and a ban on trophy hunting introduced in 2014.

4. The country also imposed a ban on trophy hunting that previously took place under an official government license.


Blue Leaders

1. About: It is an alliance of countries calling for urgent action to save the global ocean in the face of the climate crisis, overfishing, pollution, and other threats.

2. Members: There are 24 member countries of blue Leaders. Belgium, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain are some of the key members of this alliance.

Note: India is not the member of this alliance. 

3. Goals: The Blue Leaders are committed to two major goals: 

a) Securing a new international target to protect at least 30% of the global ocean through a network of highly and fully protected marine areas by 2030.

b) The rapid and successful conclusion of a new High Seas Treaty that provides for establishment of fully and highly protected marine areas in the high seas and strengthens management of human activities outside protected areas.

4. What does “highly” and “fully” protected actually mean: 

a) Highly protected means only light extractive activities, such as subsistence or small-scale fishing with minimal impact, are allowed.
 
b) Fully protected means that no extractive or destructive activities are allowed.


NTCA:
• The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) is a statutory body under the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change.
• It was constituted under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, as amended in 2006, for strengthening tiger conservation.
• The NTCA is tasked with the management of Project Tiger and the Tiger Reserves in India.
• The NTCA was established in December 2005 following the recommendation of the Tiger Task Force, which was constituted by the Prime Minister of India to review the status of tigers in the country.
• The chairman of the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) is the Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change.
Key Functions:
• Monitoring Tigers: The NTCA monitors tigers at the pan-India level using technological tools like camera traps within a robust statistical framework for understanding tiger population dynamics.
• Management Evaluation: The NTCA conducts the Management Effective Evaluation of Tiger Reserves of India.
• Technical & Financial Support: The NTCA provides technical and financial support to Tiger Reserves.
• Reintroducing Tigers: India has the unique distinction of reintroducing tigers from the wild in Sariska and Panna Tiger Reserves. The NTCA is the authority to permit the cheetah reintroduction plan in India. The NTCA has also identified suitable habitats for the cheetahs in India, such as Kuno National Park in Madhya Pradesh, where the first batch of eight cheetahs arrived in September 2022.
• International Co-operation: India is actively pursuing the tiger conservation agenda with other Tiger Range Countries (TRCs) at the international level through bilateral agreements, capacity building, and co-operation initiatives.
• Special Tiger Protection Force: For protecting tigers in landscapes vulnerable to poaching, the NTCA has constituted Special Tiger Protection Force (STPF) in selected tiger reserves.


Taeniogonalos deepaki

1. About: It was discovered in the Belgaum region of Karnataka. The genus Taeniogonalos belongs to the family Trigonalyidae of the order Hymenoptera.
2. Category: The Trigonalyidae family comprises hyperparasitoids, a type of insect that “sneak into” parasitoids or insects whose larvae grow on or inside other insects’ bodies.
Note: A parasitoid is an organism that lives in close association with its host, but at the host’s expense. Unlike typical parasites (such as fleas or ticks), parasitoids eventually result in the death of their host.
3. Distribution: The Taeniogonalos genus is distributed in Afrotropical, oriental, eastern palaearctic, nearctic, Australian and neotropical regions. 6 of the species have been reported earlier from India and 20 from China.
4. Distinguish features: A combination of features, including the head, antenna, and fore-wing, distinguishes the new species from other Taeniogonalos species found in India.


Kallakkadal

1. About– Kallakkadal refers to coastal flooding caused by swell waves during the pre-monsoon season (April-May) and sometimes during post monsoon along the southwest coast of India.

2. Meaning:
a. The term “Kallakkadal,” coined by local fishermen, combines two Malayalam words: “Kallan,” meaning thief, and “Kadal,” meaning sea.

When spoken, these words were combined as “Kallakkadal,” signifying the sea arriving like a thief.

b. In 2012 UNESCO  formally approved this term.

What causes Kallakkadal?

1. Ocean swell and distant storms:
a. It is caused by waves formed by ocean swells, which originate from distant storms such as hurricanes or prolonged periods of intense gale winds.

b. These storms transfer significant energy from the air into the water, resulting in the formation of extremely high waves.

c. These waves can travel vast distances from the storm centre until they reach the shoreline.

2. Formation– Typically, Kallakkadal occurs due to strong winds in the southern Indian Ocean, where ocean swells are generated. These waves then travel northward, taking around two to three days to reach the coastline.


FIRST EVER Nuclear Energy Summit

World leaders from over 30 countries (including India) and the EU convened at the recently inaugurated NUCLEAR ENERGY Summit in Brussels, emphasizing nuclear power’s role in achieving energy security, climate goals, and sustainable development.
 
Key Takeaways from the NUCLEAR ENERGY Summit:

Promotion of Nuclear Energy: The summit aimed to promote nuclear energy as a vital component of achieving low-carbon electricity production.

Historic Inclusion in Global Stocktake: Following its inclusion in the Global Stocktake at COP28 in 2023, nuclear energy’s deployment was emphasized for accelerating its role in combating climate change.

The Global Stocktake monitors the Paris Agreement’s (2014) progress and links national contributions to its goals. Its aim is to enhance climate ambition by evaluating collective efforts.
Currently, nuclear energy is responsible for around 25 % of global low-carbon electricity production

Atoms4NetZero : The Summit collaborates with IAEA’s ‘Atoms4NetZero’ program, aimed at supporting Member States’ efforts to utilize nuclear energy in achieving net zero emissions.

Technological Advancements: Advances such as Fusion Energy, and Small Modular Reactors (SMRs), with capacities of up to 300 MW(e) per unit, were highlighted as promising developments in nuclear technology.

Challenges: Safety concerns post-Fukushima, vulnerability to cyber-attacks, and high upfront costs were acknowledged as challenges that need to be addressed for the wider adoption of nuclear energy.

IAEA’s Role: The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), as the organizer, underscored its role in promoting safe, secure, and peaceful nuclear technologies worldwide


Key Highlights of the Report on the Status of Leopards in India 2022:
• India’s leopard population rose by 8% from 12,852 in 2018 to 13,874 in 2022. About 65% of the leopard population is present outside protected areas in the Shivalik landscape. Only about a third of the leopards are within protected areas.
• Central India shows a stable or slightly growing population of leopards (2018: 8071, 2022: 8820), Shivalik hills and Gangetic plains experienced decline (2018: 1253, 2022: 1109). In Shivalik hills and Gangetic plains, there is a 3.4% decline per annum, while the largest growth rate was in Central India and Eastern Ghats at 1.5%.
• Madhya Pradesh has the highest number of leopards (3,907), followed by Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu.
• In Odisha, the number of leopards dropped from 760 in 2018 to 562 in 2022, and in Uttarakhand, the population declined from 839 in 2018 to 652 in 2022. Kerala, Telangana, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, and Goa too reported population declines.
• The Central India and Eastern Ghats landscape is home to the largest population of leopards, which is growing due to protective measures within the framework of tiger conservation.
• The report highlights that leopard densities are higher in Tiger Reserves compared to areas outside Protected Areas, despite the regulatory pressure exerted by tigers on leopards.
• Common threats are poaching of prey for bush meat, targeted poaching for tiger and leopard skins and body parts, and habitat loss due to mining and other human activities.
• In Odisha, as many as 59 leopard skins were seized from wildlife smugglers between 2018 and 2023. Additionally, road accidents are a significant cause of leopard fatalities.


Blue Leaders

1. About: It is an alliance of countries calling for urgent action to save the global ocean in the face of the climate crisis, overfishing, pollution, and other threats.

2. Members: There are 24 member countries of blue Leaders. Belgium, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain are some of the key members of this alliance.

Note: India is not the member of this alliance. 

3. Goals: The Blue Leaders are committed to two major goals: 

a) Securing a new international target to protect at least 30% of the global ocean through a network of highly and fully protected marine areas by 2030.

b) The rapid and successful conclusion of a new High Seas Treaty that provides for establishment of fully and highly protected marine areas in the high seas and strengthens management of human activities outside protected areas.

4. What does “highly” and “fully” protected actually mean: 

a) Highly protected means only light extractive activities, such as subsistence or small-scale fishing with minimal impact, are allowed.
 
b) Fully protected means that no extractive or destructive activities are allowed.


Wildlife Institute of India (WII)

1. About
– It is an internationally acclaimed Institution, which offers training program, academic courses and advisory in wildlife research and management.

2. Established in 1982 as an attached office of the Ministry of Environment and Forests. Subsequently, it was granted autonomous status in 1986.

3. Mandate– It carries research in areas of Biodiversity, Endangered Species, Wildlife Policy, Wildlife Management, Wildlife Forensics, Spatial Modelling, Eco-development, Habitat Ecology, Climate Change, Forensics, Remote Sensing and GIS, Laboratory, Herbarium, and an Electronic Library are the spheres of research too.


Eturnagaram Wildlife sanctuary

Location
1. It is located near the border of Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh and Telangana.
2. Eturnagaram is one of the oldest sanctuaries in Telangana.
Status
It was declared as a wildlife sanctuary in 1953.
River flowing through
The perennial river Dayyam Vagu flows through the sanctuary, separating the wildlife sanctuary into two parts. The river Godavari also passes through the sanctuary.
Vegetation
It has tropical dry deciduous type of vegetation.
Flora
The sanctuary is rich in the teak, bamboo and other trees like madhuca and terminalia. Climbers are the unique features which are found in abundance across the Sanctuary.
Fauna
Indian gour and giant squirrel are the keystone species in the sanctuary.
It is home to Tiger, Leopard, Jackals Sloth Bear, Panther, Wolf, Wild Dogs,Chousingha, Sambar.

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