Current Simplified part 4-Enviornment-4

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  1. biodiversity hotspot?
    • It is an area unusually rich in biodiversity of birds and animals,
    • but they are under constant threat of overexploitation. Such an area is called a biodiversity hotspot
    • Example of biodiversity hotspots in India : eastern Himalayas, western Ghats etc
  2. Difference between a national park, wildlife Sanctuary, and a biosphere reserve
    • National Park
      • No human activity or settlement allowed.
      • Villagers cannot graze their animals,
      • Extremely strict rules about jungle produce collection (Tendu leaves, Honey etc.)
    • Wildlife Sanctuary
      • People are not allowed to live (some exceptions though) but some human activities are allowed, such as grazing, firewood collection.
      • Tourism is permitted.
      • A Sanctuary can be upgraded as a National Park. However a National Park cannot be downgraded as a Sanctuary.
    • Biosphere reserve
      • People are allowed to live, own private land and carry on their traditional activities. (In the outer-zone)
  3. DDT and Biomagnification
    • DDT=dichloro-diphenyl trichloroethane.
    • It is a “broad” spectrum pesticide (meaning it can kill variety of insects, not just one or two.)
    • It lasts for a relatively long time (nearly 20 years) after one application.
    • DDT is cheap to produce, been extensively used across world.
    • Problem: DDT cannot be metabolized (digested) by any living organism.
      • Suppose DDT was sprayed on water.
      • There are millions of planktons in the water.
      • Each of them absorbed 5ppm of DDT.
      • Since they cannot digest DDT, it remains unprocessed in their body.
        • A fish eats 8 such planktons, so it gets 8 x 5 =40 ppm of DDT in its body.
        • A bird eats 50 such fishes, so bird gets 40 x 50 =2000 ppm of DDT in its body.
    • So the amount of DDT keeps increasing as we move up in the food chain. This phenomenon is known as bio magnification.
    • Bio magnification is bad because it produces variety of diseases in the species + its offsprings (babies) via teratogenesis.
      Teratogenesis = formation of defective embryo.
  4. Carrying Capacity
    • It means the maximum population that an environment can support and sustain.
    • When the carrying capacity is reached, birth rates equal death rates and the population should maintain a steady state equilibrium.
  5. Nagoya Protocol
    • under CBD,
    • For sharing benefits from genetic resources.
    • Official name= Nagoya Protocol
    • on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization (ABS).
    • India has already ratified Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit sharing.
  6. Athirapally Hydel project
    • It is to be constructed on Kerala’s Chalakkudi river in Thrissur district.
      New LDF government wishes to construct but tribal and coalition partners are opposed.
  7. According to the 2015 census, there are 523 lions in the गीर region.
  8. India has 26 of the total 169 Ramsar wetland sites.
    • Ramsar agreement was signed in 1971 in Iran’s Ramsar.
    • Notable wetlands in India: Wular Lake-Jammu Kashmir, Ashtamudi- Kerala, Deepor Beel- Assam and Nal Sarovar- Gujarat.
  9. What  is  LMDC?
    • The  Like  Minded  Group  of  Developing  Countries  (LMDC)  is  a  group  of  developing countries  who  organize  themselves  as  block  negotiators  in  international organizations  such  as  the United Nations  and  the  World  Trade  Organization.
    • LMDCs represent  more  than  50%  of the  world’s population. India for the  first  time,  hosted  the  meeting  of  the  LMDC  on  Climate  Change.
    • Objective
      •   To  prepare  strategies  and  way  forward  for  the  negotiations  in  the  run-up  to Paris COP  21  Meet.
      •   To exchange,  coordinate  and  harmonize  views on  the  Ad  Hoc  Working  Group  on the Durban  Platform  for Enhanced Action  (ADP)  in Bonn  negotiating.
  10. Intended  Nationally  Determined Contribution  (INDC)
    • INDC  outlines  the  post-2020 climate  actions  they  intend  to take under a international  agreement.
    • India’s  INDCs  contains  the  following  proposals:
      •  To reduce  the  emissions  intensity  of  its  GDP  by  33  to  35  per  cent  by  2030,  from 2005  levels. 
      •   To create  an  additional  carbon  sink  of  2.5  to  3  billion  tonnes  of  CO2  equivalent through  additional forest  and  tree  cover  by  2030. 
      •   Increase the Share  of  Non  Fossil Fuel Based Electricity.
      •   Sustainable Lifestyles.
      •   Cleaner  Economic  Development.
      •  Technology Transfer  and  Capacity  Building.
    •   Thane  represented  India  in  the  Global  Earth  Hour  Capital  Competition  of  16 countries  in  Seoul.
    • It  was  declared  the  winner  and  acknowledged  as  the  Global Earth Hour  Capital  2015. 
    • The year-long  competition  among  cities  is aimed at  promoting  renewable  energy and  preparing  for  climate  change.  In  its  third  year  in  India,  the  contest  had  13 participants. 
    • Last  year,  Coimbatore  was  selected as  the National Earth Hour Capital. o
    • The  notable  actions  by  the  Thane  city  administration  include  the  mandatory use  of  solar  water-heating  systems  for  municipal  buildings  and  solutions such  as  wind-solar  hybrid  systems  and  use  of  solar  energy  for  lighting  and air-conditioning.
    • Carbon  Sequestration  is the  process  by  which CO2  is  captured  from  the atmosphere  for  longterm  storage  to  slow down  the  accumulation of greenhouse  gases.   
    • A  study  by  Gujarat Ecological  Education  and Research (GEER) has prepared  a  hierarchy  of local  trees  in  India  on  the  basis  of their  capacity  for  carbon  sequestration.   
    • Teak  has  the  highest  capacity.  A  normal  teak  tree  can  absorb  3.70  lakh  tones  of CO2  from  the  atmosphere  in  its  life-time.  It  is  followed  by  Nilgiri,  Gando  baval, Neem etc.
  13. National  Green  Tribunal  Act,  2010 
    • The  Tribunal  has  the  same  powers  as  are  vested  in  a  civil  court  under  the  Code of Civil  Procedure,  1908.
    • But  guided by  principles  of natural justice.   
    • The  tribunal  shall  provide  speedy  environmental  justice  (disposal  of  applications within  6  months)  and  help  reduce  the  burden of litigation  in the  higher  courts.   
    • Also hears  cases  for  acts  such  as  Forest  Conservation  Act  and  Biological  Diversity Act.   
    • The  tribunal  has  original  jurisdiction  on  matters  of  “substantial  question  relating to  environment”  and  “damage  to  environment”  due  to  specific  activity  like pollution.
  14. Various acts
    • The Forest  Act,  1927;   
    • Wildlife  Protection  Act,  1972; 
    • Environment (Protection)  Act,  1986;   
    •   Air (Prevention  and  Control  of  Pollution)  Act,  1981;   
    •   Water (Prevention  and  Control  of  Pollution)  Act,  1974  (as  amended in  1988)
  15. SAMAR
    • The Indian Meteorological Department  (IMD)  has  launched  a System  of  Aerosol  Monitoring  and Research  (SAMAR)  which  will  help the country in studying concentration  of  black  carbon  in atmosphere  due  to  air  pollution and  its  impact  on  climate.   
    • It  is  a  network  of  16  Aethalometers, 12  Sky  radiometers  and  12 Nephelometers.
    • India  is  the  5th  largest  producer  of  e-waste  in  the  world  discarding  roughly  18.5 lakh  metric  tonnes  of  e-waste  each  year,  a  joint  study  by  Assocham-KPMG reveals. 
    • 12% of  the  waste  is  contributed  by  the  telecom  sector  alone,  with  25%  of  the mobiles  in  circulation  ending  up  in e-waste  annually.
  17. Great  Indian  bustard 
    • A  large  bird  with  a  horizontal  body  and  long  bare  legs  giving  it  an  ostrich appearance.   
    • This bird  is  among  the heaviest  of the  flying  birds. As few  as  250  individuals  were  estimated  in 2011.
    • Now  found  in central India,  western  India and  eastern  Pakistan
    • Habitat: Arid  and  semiarid  grasslands,  open  country  with  thorn  scrub,  t interspersed  with  cultivation. It avoids irrigated areas
    • The  Agasthyamala  Biosphere  Reserve  has  recently  been  included  in  UNESCO’s list  of  World  Biosphere  Reserve  Network. 
    • The  area  falls  in  the  Malabar  rainforests  and  is  one  of  the  noted  hotspot  in  the Western Ghats.   
    •   It  covers  about  3500  sq  kms  and  is  part  of  different  districts  of  Tamil  Nadu  and Kerala. 
    • Agastya  Mala,  the  peak  after  which  the  reserve  is  named,  rises  up  to  almost 1868  metres  above  sea level, in Thiruvananthapuram. 
    • There  are  many  endemic  and  endangered  species  of  flora  and  fauna  in  the reserve  including  endangered Nilgiri  Tahr.   
    • It  includes  the  Indian  eco  regions  of  moist  deciduous  forests,  montane rainforests  and  Shola  forests  and  grasslands.   
    • There  are three  wildlife  sanctuaries  within  the  reserve  –  Shendurney,  Peppara, and  Neyyar. 
    • The Kalakkad  Mundanthurai  Tiger  Reserve  was  recently  included  as  part  of  the biosphere  reserve.   
    •   It  is  also  home  to  Kanikaran,  one  of  the  oldest  surviving  ancient  tribes  in  the world.   
    • There  are  18  biosphere  reserves  in  India  and  9  of  them  were  included  in  the prestigious  UNESCO  World  Biosphere  Reserve  Network.  Agasthyamala  is  the tenth  one  to  be  added  to  the  list.  The  others  are  Nilgiri,  Gulf  of  Mannar, Sunderban,  Nanda  Devi,  Nokrek,  Pachmarh,  Similipal,  Achanakmar-Amarkantak and Great Nicobar.
    • Kudremukh  national  park  is  located  in  Western  Ghats  and  is  part  of  the  world’s 38  ‘hottest  hotspots’  of biological  diversity.   
    • It is  named after  the  Kudremukh  mountain  range  in  Karnataka. 
    • Kuduremukh  is  Karnataka’s  3rd  highest  peak  after  Mullayangiri  and  Baba Budangiri.    
    • The  park  is  home  to  unique,  threatened  and  endangered  biodiversity  including lion-tailed  macaques,  tigers,  Malabar  civets  and  great  pied  hornbills.   
    •   Important  South  Indian  rivers  Tunga,  bhadra  and  Netravati  originate  from  the heart  of this park.
    • The  Maharashtra  government  has  declared  the  area  along  Thane  Creek  as Flamingo  Sanctuary  under  Sec. 18  of the  Wildlife  Protection  Act,  1972. 
    • It will be  Maharashtra’s second  Marine  sanctuary, after Malvan. 
    • By  November  over  30,000  birds  come  to  this  sanctuary.  They  stay  here  till  May, after  which  most  of them  migrate  to  the  Bhuj area  of  Gujarat  for breeding. 
    •   Almost 90%  are  Lesser Flamingos  and  the  remaining  are  Greater Flamingos.   
    • Other  Bird  species:  About  200  including  Globally  Threatened  Species  like  the Greater Spotted Eagle.
    • Chengalikodan  has been  accorded  the Geographical  Indication  (GI) status. 
    • It is  known for its unique  size,  shape,  colour and  taste. 
    • Other Products  which  have  GI  status 
    • Palakkadan  matta  rice,  Vazhakkulam  pineapple,  Pokkali  rice,  Wayanadan scented  rice  varieties  Gandhakasala  and  Jeerakasala  and  Central  Travancore jiggery.
    • Amur Falcons  are  the  migratory  bird  that  stay  every  year  at  Doyang  lake  during their flight  from  Mongolia  to  South Africa 
    • Pangti village  in  Nagaland  is  considered  as  the  world’s  Amur  Falcon  capital 
    • Centre  will  soon  develop  the  Doyang  Lake  (Nagaland)  area  as  an  eco-tourism spot  for bird-watchers  across the  world. 
    • Until recently, Amur falcons were hunted by Naga tribesmen for meat.
  23. Biodiversity  Finance  Initiative  (BIOFIN)? 
    • Biodiversity  Finance  Initiative  –  BIOFIN,  is  a  new  global  partnership  seeking  to address  the  biodiversity  finance  challenge  in  a  comprehensive  manner  – building  a  sound  business  case  for  increased  investment  in  the  management  of ecosystems  and  biodiversity.   
    • BIOFIN  is  managed  by  the  UNDP  Ecosystems  and  Biodiversity  Programme,  in partnership  with  the  European  Union  and  the  Governments  of  Germany  and Switzerland. 
    • The Global  Environment  Facility  is  a  further  partner  financing  parallel  in-country projects  in  support  of  the  revision  of  National  Biodiversity  Strategies  and  Action Plans (NBSAPs).
  24. BLUE  MORMON 
    • The  Blue  Mormon  is  a  large,  swallowtail  butterfly  found  primarily  in  Sri  Lanka and  India,  mainly  restricted  to  the  Western  Ghats  of  Maharashtra,  South  India and  coastal belts.   
    • It  is  reportedly  the  second  largest  butterfly  found  in  India,  just  smaller  than  the southern  birdwing.  It  is  not  thought  to  be  threatened.  It  occurs  throughout  the year but  more  common  in the  monsoon  and  immediately  after it. 
    • Maharashtra  has  become  the  first  State  in  the  country  to  have  a  ‘State butterfly’.
  25. Sangai 
    • The  Sangai  is  an  endemic,  rare  and  critically  endangered  subspecies  of  browantlered  deer  found  only  in  Manipur.   
    •   It is  also  the  state  animal  of Manipur 
    • Its  habitat  is  restricted  to  the  marshy  wetland  of  Keibal  Lamjao  over  the floating  biomass in  Loktak  lake  which  is  locally  called  ‘phumdi’.   
    • While  walking  on  the  floating  biomass,  Sangai  often  balances  itself  which  looks as  if  it  is  dancing  on  the  green  grassland  and  therefore  popularly  called  as ‘dancing  deer’  of Manipur. 
    • It  is  classified  as  ‘endangered’  by  the  IUCN  but  is  part  of  MoEF’s  ‘Recovery Programme  for  critically  endangered  species and  habitats’.
    • Reasons  for  Declining  Sangai  Population 
      • Change  in  water  regime  due  to  construction  of  artificial  reservoir  and  barrage. This  is  resulting  in  thinning  of  phumdi  which  is  unable  to  bear  the  weight  of deers. 
      • The  shelter  plants  are  stunted,  mainly  due  to  constant  floating  of  phumdis making  Sangai  vulnerable  to  poaching.
  26. Recently  following  animals  were  declared  vermins  –
    • wild  boar  in  Uttarakhand,
    • Nilgai in  Bihar and
    • Rhesus  Macaque  monkeys in  Himachal Pradesh.
  27. Hangul,
    • also  known  as  Kashmir  Deer,  is  an  endangered  species  mainly  concentrated at  Srinagar’s  Dachigam  National Park.
  28. Particulate matter (PM)
    • PM 10,  which  are  smaller  than  10  microns  in  diameter,  enter  the  respiratory tract,  and  have  been  associated  with  risks  like  bronchitis,  asthma,  and  upper respiratory  tract  infections.  PM  10  aggravate  symptoms  of  existing  diseases more  than  triggering  new  conditions.    
    • PM  2.5  are  considerably  finer,  penetrate  into  the  lower  respiratory  tract  or deeper  in  the  respiratory  tract,  and  the  blood  stream,  causing  cardiovascular problems.  
    • PM 1,  which  are  so  much  finer  than  PM  2.5,  can  penetrate  the  cardiovascular stream  even  further,  and  give  rise  to  lasting  conditions,  such  as  predisposing people  to  heart  diseases.  
    • For the  first  time  in  the  country, PM1  was monitored during  the  odd-even traffic scheme  in  New  Delhi  
    • In  the  case  of  Delhi,  the  contribution  of  vehicles  to  air  pollution  is  quite  high. Certain  studies estimate  it  to  be  up  to  80%  of  the  total.  
    • Base noise levels in the  city  have  exceeded  acceptable  standards