Current Simplified part 2-Enviornment-2


  1. India and France have launched a programme with $1 trillion Potential Solar Programme under the International Solar Alliance (ISA).
    • It is a solar finance programme that aims at helping developing countries to fully harness their solar resources for a clean energy future.
  2. Pakke Tiger Reserve in East Kameng district of Arunachal Pradesh has won the ‘India Biodiversity Award 2016’.
    • The tiger reserve was selected in the conservation of threatened species category for its Hornbill Nest Adoption Programme.
  3. Pakistan Parliament becomes first in world to run entirely on solar power
  4. Biodiversity: It refers to the variety of flora and fauna that make up the ecosystem. The preservation of the ecosystem is vital to natural balance and human existence.
  5. Golden mahseer is the longest-living freshwater fish.
    • It is also known as the tiger of Indian rivers and belongs to the genus Tor.
    • It is native to mountain and sub-mountain regions and is found at altitudes of up to 2,000 metres above sea level.
    • During the southwest floods it migrates upstream for spawning and after spawning, it returns to the original feeding grounds
    • International Union of Conservation of Natural Resources (IUCN) has declared it endangered.
  6. Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM):
    • It was launched in 2010 by the Union Government with a target to setup 20,000 MW of grid connected solar power by 2022.
    • Later in 2014, the target was enhanced upto 1,00,000 MW.
  7. India’s grid-connected solar power generation capacity has crossed the 5,000 Mega Watt (MW) mark.
    Presently, Government has set an ambitious plan to achieve 175 Giga Watt (GW) of power generation capacity from renewable sources by 2022.

    • It includes 100 GW from solar and 60 GW from wind.
    • Under the National Solar Mission (NSM), Union Government increased the solar power generation capacity addition target by five times from 20,000 MW to 100 GW by 2022.
  8. International Energy Agency (IEA)
    Inter-governmental organization established in 1974 as per framework of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
    Members: Presently it has 29 member countries.

    • Headquarters (Secretariat): Paris, France.
    • IEA mandate: To focus on the “3Es” of effectual energy policy: energy security, economic development and environmental protection.
    • It also seeks to promote alternate energy sources (including renewable energy), rational energy policies and multinational energy technology co-operation.
    • It acts as energy policy advisor to 29 member countries and also non-member countries like China, India and Russia.
  9. Himalayan Brown Bears
    • Scientific name: Ursus arctos isabellinus.
    • They are also known as the Himalayan red bear, Isabelline bear or Dzu-The. They is a subspecies of the brown bear.
    • These bears are the largest mammal in the Himalayan region, males reach up to 2.2 m long while females are a little smaller.
    • They are omnivorous and hibernate in a den during the winter.
    • In India, they are found in 23 protected areas of the northern states of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, and Uttaranchal.
    • In J&K, they are found in Suru, Zanskar, Drass and Kargil in the Ladakh region.
    • IUNC Status: Critically endangered.
    • Threats: Loss of suitable habitat, persecution by humans etc.
  10. The Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 (FCA) governs diversion or use of forest land for non-forest purposes such as industrial or infrastructure projects.
    • A company diverting forest land must provide alternative land for taking up compensatory afforestation.
    • For the afforestation purpose, the company should pay for planting new trees in the alternative land provided to the state.
    • The loss of forest ecosystem must also be compensated by paying for (NPV).
    • In 2002, the Supreme Court of India observed that collected funds for afforestation were underutilised by the states and it ordered for centrally pooling of funds under ad hoc Compensatory Afforestation Fund.
    • The court had set up the ad hoc National Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (National CAMPA) to manage the Fund.
    • In 2009, states also had set up State CAMPAs that receive 10% of funds form National CAMPA to use for afforestation and forest conservation.
    • However, in 2013, a CAG report identified that the funds continued to be underutilised.
  11. The Paris Climate Agreement
    • was formulated within the framework of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
    • Facilitates enforcement of global GHGs reduction measures, adaptation and finance in the post-2020 i.e. in post Kyoto Protocol scenario.
    • The agreement was adopted by representatives of 195 countries at the 21st Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC held in Paris (France) in December 2015.
    • In the agreement, all countries agreed to work to limit global temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius, and to strive for 1.5 degrees Celsius.
    • Takes into account the principle of equity (climate justice) and common but differentiated responsibilities (CBDR) and respective capabilities.
    • The mitigation will be based on consensus among the members that have incorporated their respective Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs).
    • Developed countries will provide 100 billion dollars annually to the developing counterparts beginning in 2020 and it would increase with time.
  • Earth Day
    • The first Earth Day was celebrated in 1970. Since then it is being observed in more than 192 countries.
    • The concept of observing Earth Day was formally proposed by John McConnell at a UNESCO conference on Environment in 1969 as a global holiday.
    • Later in 1971, a proclamation was signed to observe international Earth Day annually on the Vernal Equinox by UN Secretary-General U Thant.
  • Key features of the Paris Agreement
    • Rights of Developing Countries: Acknowledges the development imperatives of developing countries and their rights to development.
    • It also supports their efforts to harmonize development with environment and protecting the interests of the most vulnerable.
      Sustainable Development:
    • It recognizes the importance of sustainable lifestyles and sustainable patterns of consumption.
    • In this regard developed countries take the lead and also highlight the importance of ‘climate justice’ in its preamble.
    • Implementation of the Convention: It reflects the principles of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities especially in the light of different national circumstances.
    • Other Objectives: It further ensures that it is not mitigation-centric and includes other important elements such as adaptation, finance, loss and damage, technology, capacity building and transparency of action and support.
    • Pre-2020 actions are also part of the decisions.
    • Financial support from Developed countries: They have been urged to scale up their level of financial support with a complete road map.
    • The sole purpose the financial support from developed countries is to achieve the goal of mitigating climate change jointly providing US 100 billion dollars by 2020.
    • The financial support will be used for mitigation and adaptation by significantly increasing adaptation finance from current levels. It will further provide appropriate technology and capacity building support.
  • Tiger Range Countries
    • tiger range countries (TRCs)
      are: Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Russia, Thailand, and Vietnam.
  • Tiger population in different countries:
    • India (2226), Russia (433), Indonesia (371), Malaysia (250), Nepal (198), Thailand (189), Bangladesh (106) and Bhutan (103).
  • World’s first White Tiger Safari
    • was inaugurated at Mukundpur in Satna district of Madhya Pradesh.
    • White Tigers in India: It is a pigmentation variant of the Bengal tiger. They have been reported in the wild from time to time in the Indian states of Assam, West Bengal, Bihar.
    • These tigers have white fur because lack of the pigment pheomelanin, which is found in Bengal tigers with orange colour fur.
  • Agasthyamala Biosphere Reserve (ABR)
    • included in the World Network of Biosphere Reserves of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
    • ABR in situated at the southern-most end of the Western Ghats and spread over two southern states Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
    • It was established in 2001.
      The reserve is named after Agastya Mala peak that rises up to almost 1868 metres above sea level, in Thiruvananthapuram,Kerala.
    • It covers an area of 3,500 sq km at an altitude ranging from 100 metres to 1,868 metres above the Mean Sea Level.
    • It covers Peppara and Shendurney wildlife sanctuaries and parts of the Neyyar sanctuary in Kerala and the Kalakad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve of Tamil Nadu.
    • Flora: It mostly consists of tropical forests and is home to 2,254 species of higher plants including about 400 that are endemic.
      About 400 Red Listed Plants have been recorded from ABR. About 125 species of orchids and rare, endemic and threatened plants have been recorded from the reserve.
    • Fauna: It is home to rare animals include the tiger, Asian Elephant, and Nilgiri Tahr.
    • Tribe: It is home to the Kanikaran tribe, one of the oldest surviving ancient tribes in the world.
  • Biosphere Reserve
    • Biosphere reserves are areas of terrestrial and coastal ecosystems which promote the conservation of biodiversity with its sustainable use. They are internationally recognized within the framework of UNESCO’s Man and Biosphere (MAB) programme and nominated by national governments.
    • There are primary and secondary criteria to select a biosphere reserve as follows:
      • Primary Criteria:
        • A site that must contain an effectively protected and minimally disturbed core area of value of nature conservation and should include additional land and water suitable for research and demonstration of sustainable methods of research and management.
        • The core area should be typical of a biogeographical unit and large enough to sustain viable populations representing all trophic levels in the ecosystem.
      • Secondary Criteria
        • Areas having rare and endangered species
        • Areas having diversity of soil and micro-climatic conditions and indigenous varieties of biota.
        • Areas potential for preservation of traditional tribal or rural modes of living for harmonious use of environment.
    • There are 18 notified Biosphere reserves in India. Out of them, 10 Biosphere Reserves are in the UNESCO’s MAB World Network.  These Biospehere Reserves and their respective years of including in MAB network are as follows:
      Nilgiri (2000), Gulf of Mannar (2001), Sunderban (2001), Nanda Devi(2004), Nokrek (2009), Pachmarhi(2009), Similipal (2009), Achanakmar-Amarkantak Biosphere Reserve (2012) , Great Nicobar Biosphere Reserve (2013) and  Agasthyamala Biosphere Reserve (2016)
  • Differences between Biosphere Reserves and National Parks/ Sanctuaries
    • The Key differences are as follows:
      • While National Parks, Wildlife Sanctuaries, Conservation Reserves, Community Reserves and Tiger Reserves are established as per provisions of Wildlife Protection Act, there is no law as such under which Biosphere Reserves are established.
      • No grazing or private tenurial rights land rights are allowed in National Parks. In Wildlife sanctuaries, they may be provided at the discretion of Chief Wildlife warden. However limited economic activity (sand and stone mining) is permitted in biosphere reserves. Further,
      • Biosphere reserves serve as ‘living laboratories’ for testing out and demonstrating integrated management of land, water and biodiversity.
      • While wildlife sanctuaries and national parks are set up for the protection of mammals normally,biosphere reserves envisage protection of plant species, Invertebrates and biotic community as a whole.
  • How a Biosphere Reserve is declared?
    • Biosphere reserves are declared by state or central governments by notification.
    • Once established, the National Governments can nominate them under the UNESCOs Man & Biosphere (MAB) Programme.
    • This programme was launched in 1971.
    • If UNESCO accepts the proposal, the biosphere reserve is entered
    • World Network of Biosphere Reserves (WNBR) under the MAB Programme. Within this network, exchanges of information, experience and personnel are facilitated.
    • Department of Environment is nodal agency for Biosphere Reserve programmes. It carries out detailed scientific investigation, maps the biogeographical regions and vegetation types, identified the critical areas.
    • Botanical Survey of India and Zoological Survey of India assist in this work.
    • The central Government assumes the responsibility of meeting the costs of set up while the state government would set up desired machinery.
  • Deforestation accounts for 12 to 20% of the global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that contribute to climate change.
  • Earth Hour
    • It is an annual global environmental event (movement) organized by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).
    • Earth Hour’s goal is to raise awareness for sustainable energy use and create a more environmentally sustainable lifestyle.
    • This day encourages citizens, communities, businesses and organisations to switch the lights off from 8:30 pm local time for an hour to highlight the plight of the planet.
    • The first Earth Hour was held on March 31, 2007 in Sydney, Australia. Since then it became annual global environmental event (movement).
  • World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF):
    • It is an international non-governmental organization (NGO) working in the field of the biodiversity conservation, and the reduction of humanity’s footprint on the environment.


  1. Sanket Ashokrao Patil

    Sir,best notes for upsc preparation.thank u so much

  2. Very nice

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