Current Affairs December 2019 - Environment


1 - India ranked among top 10 countries with higher climate performance


India, for the first time, ranked 9th under "high category" in 2019 Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI) presented at the COP25 climate summit in Madrid. The index also noted that despite an overall high rating, India's 2030 renewable energy target is rated very high for its well-below 2 degrees Celsius compatibility.

Sweden topped the rankings followed by Morocco and Lithuania. Saudi Arabia, the USA and Iran were ranked in bottom three. The new Climate Change Performance Index shows signs of a global turnaround in emissions, including declining coal consumption.

2 - IUCN adds 1840 new species to the Red List of Threatened Species

Red List

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature added 1,840 new species to its catalogue of plants and animals that risk extinction. The list now contains more than 30,000 species under threat of disappearing. The decline was observed in 73 species compared to last assessment due to rising temperature.

IUCN highlighted a small handful of conservation successes, including the recovery of the Guam Rail, a bird previously listed as extinct in the wild. Dozens of species of birds and plants are now also threatened by rising temperatures, the list found.

3 - Assam set up Anti Depredation Squads to avoid human-wildlife conflicts

Human-Wildlife Conflicts

The state government of Assam has set up 15 Anti-Depredation Squads in 15 major human-wildlife conflict districts of Forest department to deal with human-wildlife conflicts in state. It is done to ensure the safety of both humans and animals. The squads would spread awareness about animal behavior and help the Forest Department to reduce casualties in conflict situations.

Assam government has trained 50 front line staff to handle conflict situations. Squads will be equipped with all logistics, 12 bore pump action guns and rubber bullet ammunition.

4 - Government of India mapped Tiger Corridors in the country

Tiger Corridors

Centre mapped tiger corridors inside and outside protected areas across the country and developed a conservation plan for tigers. National Tiger Conservation Authority and Wildlife Institute of India have jointly mapped 32 major corridors and details the tiger conservation plan under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.

The strategy to streamline infrastructure projects with mandatory inclusion of safe passages have been published in a document titled as ‘Connecting Tiger Populations for Long-term Conservation’. The strategy includes providing material, logistical and financial support to tiger reserves.

5 - Indian Coast Guard conducted ‘Swachchh Samundra NW-2019’

Indian Coast Guard

The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) conducted a two-day regional level pollution response exercise named 'Swachchh Samundra NW-2019' at sea off Vadinar in Gulf of Kutch. The exercise was done with an aim to validate and reinforce the response mechanism for oil pollution incidents and enable the Indian Coast Guard to fine-tune the actions required in such eventualities.

The exercise evolutions included reporting procedures, testing of communication links, threat assessment and deployment of pollution response equipment for containment and recovery of spilt oil.

6 - ‘Oxygen Parlour’ at Nashik Railway Station to combat air pollution

Oxygen Parlour

In a unique initiative to battle rising air pollution in cities, Indian Railways has opened an 'Oxygen Parlour' at Nashik railway station to provide an experience of breathing clean air to the commuters. Airo Guard in collaboration with the Indian Railways has come up with this initiative, on recommendation of National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

Around 1500 plants of the Oxygen parlour at the railway station will bring down the pollution in the air at the railway station and allow the people to breathe cleaner air.