- The National Bureau of Animal Genetic Resources (NBAGR) has conferred rare and singular species genetic recognition tag to the threatened breed of Kendrapara sheep found in Odisha.Kendrapara sheep is found only in coastal Jagatsinghpur and Kendrapara districts of Odisha. Locally it is called kuji mendha.
- Bornean orangutan, a primate species has been declared critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN).Bornean orangutan is a primate species native to the island of Borneo.Orangutans share approximately 97% of their DNA with humans. They are highly intelligent and display advanced tool use and distinct cultural patterns in the wild.Reasons for decline in Population-Deforestation, slow breeding,hunting for their meat
- Namami Gange Programme is an ambitious integrated Ganga Conservation Mission that was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in May 2015.The programme integrates the efforts to clean and protect the Ganga River in a comprehensive manner.
Focus of Programme: Pollution abatement interventions by interception, diversion and treatment of wastewater through bio-remediation.Appropriate in-situ treatment or use of innovative technologies such as effluent treatment plant (ETPs) and sewage treatment plants (STPs) for cleaning Ganga.
Besides, it also seeks to benefit vast population dependent on the river Ganaga in terms of job creation, improved livelihoods and health benefits.
- The Union Government has launched National Green Highways Mission (NGHM), a plantation drive around 1500 km of National Highways.NGHM was launched under the Green Highways Policy, 2015 to provide a holistic vision of developing eco-friendly and green National Highways.
The mission aims to provide a green canopy along 100,000 km of highways and create jobs for 1 million youth.
It has been initiated to engage corporates, Public Sector units, Government organizations and other institutions for developing green corridor along National Highways through plantation and allied activity on median, avenue and other available nearby land patches .
The funds for the mission will be met by Green Fund corpus which is 1 per cent of the total project cost set aside for plantation purposes
The afforestation across National Highways is expected to help in sequestering approximately 12 lakh metric ton carbon annually.
It will also generate jobs and can be a game-changer for agriculture and rural economy.Besides, the minister also launched ‘Adopt a Green Highway’ Program, ‘Kisan Harit Rajmarg Yojana’ and National Green Highways Mission Mobile App.
- Kisan Harit Rajmarg Yojana: It is a pilot scheme to extend green belt beyond the existing ‘Right of Way’ of highways. It seeks to engage farmers and also provide alternative livelihood option to the nearby communities.
- Zoological Survey of India (ZSI)
ZSI is the apex institution on animal (fauna) taxonomy in India.
Established: 1 July 1916. 2016 is the centenary year of ZSI.
Headquarter: It also has 16 regional centres located in different parts of the country.
Objective: To promote the survey, exploration, research and documentation on various aspects of animal taxonomy in the Indian subcontinent. It also seeks advancement of knowledge on animal taxonomy.
Functions under: Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC). It activities are coordinated by the Conservation and Survey Division of MoEFCC.
It has been declared as the designated repository for the National Zoological Collection as per section 39 of the National Biodiversity Act, 2002
Activities Undertaken: Study of the fauna of states, of conservation areas, of important ecosystems. Status survey of endangered species, fauna of India and ecological Studies & Environmental impact assessments.
ZSI publishes Red Data Book on Indian Animals. It was first published in 1983 and is similar to Red Data Book published by IUCN.
- Sweden inaugurated a test stretch of an electric road in Sandviken to conduct tests with electric power for hybrid heavy transports on public roads.
With this, Sweden becomes first country in the world to have electric road.
- Union Government has launched a pilot programme to run two wheelers on Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) in New Delhi to curb air pollution in cities.The first-of-its-kind pilot programme in India to run two-wheelers on CNG has been launched by Indraprastha Gas Limited (IGL). Indraprastha Gas Limited (IGL): It is a joint venture of GAIL, BPCL and government of Delhi. It is the sole supplier of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) and Piped Natural Gas (PNG) in the National Capital Territory (NCT) of Delhi, Noida, Greater Noida and Ghaziabad.
- Norway has become the first country in the world to prohibit deforestation. In this regard, Norwegian Parliament had pledged to make government’s public procurement policy deforestation-free.
- Gangetic River dolphin declared city animal of Guwahati.Gangetic River Dolphin locally in Guwahati is known as ‘Sihu’ and it is on the verge of extinction. Less than 2,000 Gangetic river dolphins remain in the Brahmaputra River along Guwahati.
- The Gangetic Dolpin are also called as the ‘Tigers of Ganga’ as it enjoys the position in Ganga that is equivalent to that of the tiger in the forest.
Scientific name: Platanista gangetica.
Habitat: Being freshwater dolphin they prefer deep waters in and around the confluence of two or more rivers. They share their habitat with fresh water turtles, crocodiles and wetland birds.
Characteristic features: It has a sturdy, yet flexible body with large flippers. It has a low triangular dorsal fin. It weighs up to 150 kg. Males are smaller than females. Gangetic Dolpins are generally blind and use ultrasonic sound to catch their prey.
Protection status: IUCN has listed it as ‘endangered‘. It is also placed in Schedule-I of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.
Threats: Entanglement in fishing nets, hunting for their oil and meat, poisoning of water supply of river from industrial and agricultural chemicals.
They are facing most significant threat from building of dams along the upper course of their habitable rivers. It causing the segregation of populations and has a narrowed gene pool in which dolphins can breed.
Conservation Programme: Union Government (MoEFCC) had launched Ganges River Dolphin Conservation Programme in 1997 to build a scientific database of their population status and also study their habitat quality of the dolphins’ distribution range.
- Every year World Environment Day (WED) is observed on 5 June to raise global awareness to take positive environmental action to protect nature and the planet Earth.
2016 Theme: Go Wild for Life (Zero tolerance for the illegal trade in wildlife) This year’s theme seeks to encourage conservation of all those species under threat and calls for taking action to help safeguard them for future generations.WED was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1972 to mark the opening of United Nations Conference on the Human Environment 1972 which began in Stockholm.
The first World Environment Day was observed in 1973
- Haryana Government has launched Asia’s first ‘Gyps Vulture Reintroduction Programme’ at the Jatayu Conservation Breeding Centre at Pinjore.
- The main reason for rapid decline in population of vulture is due to Diclofenac, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug which is given to cattle in inflammation and pain.
Though vultures have robust digestive system, they are not able to break down Diclofenac and die of renal failure or kidney failure after eating carcasses of cattle administered with the drug.
- International Solar Alliance (ISA)
ISA is India’s first international and inter-governmental organization comprising of 121 Countries. United Nations is its Strategic Partner.
It was jointly launched by India and France in November 2015 during the United Nations climate change conference (COP21) in Paris.
It has its headquarters in Gurgaon, India.
It seeks to empower solar-rich countries located between the tropic of Cancer and tropic of Capricorn to make collaborative efforts to harness solar energy to generate the electricity.
- Three Objectives of ISA: (i) To force down prices by driving demand, (ii) To bring standardization in solar technologies and (iii) To foster research and development.
It also seeks to improve access to energy and opportunities for better livelihoods in remote and rural areas and also to increase the standard of living.
- The Union Government has set an ambitious target of achieving 175 Giga Watt (GW) power capacity from clean renewable energy resources by 2022. Out of this, 60 GW target is set for wind power.
The present installed wind power capacity in the country is nearly 26.7 GW accounting for nearly 9% of total installed capacity.
Globally, India is at 4th position in term of installed wind power capacity after China, USA and Germany.
The National Institute of Wind Energy (NIWE) under the MNRE assesses the wind power potential in the country at 100 meter above ground level.
It has estimated it over 302 GW and there are 8 windy states namely Maharashtra, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Telangana.
- Suryamitra initiative: It is Union Government’s skill development program to create skilled manpower in commissioning, installation, O&M of solar power plants and equipment. It primary objective is to provide entrepreneurship and employability opportunites to rural and urban youth & women.
- World’s largest single rooftop solar power plant of 11.5 MegaWatt (MW) capacity was inaugurated at Dera Baba Jaimal Singh in Beas near Amritsar in Punjab.
This is the largest Solar Power Plant spread over 82 acres of rooftop in single campus on multiple roofs with installed capacity of 19.5 MW.