Environment Current Affairs 2019 - Current Affairs Today

Environment Current Affairs 2019 read all the latest Environment Current Affairs Updates for 2019 at Fresherslive.com. This is the right place to get quick updates of Latest Environment Current Affairs 2019 and events not only for the competitive exam but also for the interview.

  • Mount Everest get an eco friendly toilet

    18 April 2019
    Mount Everest is to get an “eco-friendly” toilet at a Chinese campsite 7,028 metres (23,058 feet) above sea level in an ongoing campaign to deal with the peak’s waste problem.  Decades of commercial mountaineering have turned Mount Everest into the world’s highest rubbish dump. Fluorescent tents, discarded climbing equipment, empty gas canisters, and even human excrement pollute the well-trodden route to the summit of the 8,848-metre peak. The toilet will make it easy to collect the human waste produced by the climbers as there is a barrel with rubbish bags underneath the toilet. The waste will be collected and brought down the mountain. Similar facilities have been installed at lower camps, including at the 5,200-metre north base camp. The waste from the base camp is taken away daily and is provided to local farmers to use as fertiliser. The temporary toilets will be removed at the end of the climbing season. Governments on both sides of the mountain have been battling the human waste and trash left by an increasing number of climbers. In February, China banned non-climbers from accessing its Everest base camp in Tibet in an attempt to clean up its side of the mountain.

    Supreme Court banned mining along Kaziranga National Park

    17 April 2019
    The Supreme Court has banned all mining activities along the Kaziranga National Park and catchment area of rivers originating in Karbi Anglong Hills in Assam. The ban was ordered as per the recommendations of the Central Empowered Committee (CEC). Mining was continuing in the Karbi Anlong hills despite the Supreme Court ban in 1996 and in violation of the Forest Conservation Act, 1980, resulting in environment degradation and habitat destruction in an important elephant and tiger habitat. Supreme court has also banned new construction activities on private lands which form part of the nine identified animal corridors. About Kaziranga National Park: Located in: Golaghat and Nagaon district of Assam Established in: 1908 It is being declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in the year 1985. It is home to world's largest population of Indian one-horned Rhinoceros. It is also a tiger reserve and has a very high density of population of tigers. It is spread across the floodplains of the Brahmaputra River.

    Essel World launched an interactive bird park in Gorai

    14 April 2019
    Essel World launched an interactive bird park in Gorai, Mumbai, Maharashtra. The first-of-its-kind rainforest-themed park spread across 1.4 acres is home to over 500 exotic birds from more than 60 species. The main motive is to set up a bird park that meets international standards and let the city dwellers peep into the birds’ world. The park is carefully designed to ensure appropriate living conditions for the birds. It is meant not only for entertainment but also to spread awareness of different types of birds.  The park is equipped with small ponds for aquatic birds, dense cover of trees for birds to incubate their eggs and a water stream that offers drinking water to birds. It also houses a special bird’s kitchen and healthcare centre.

    Varanasi ranked third on the WHOs list of 15 most polluted cities

    12 April 2019
    According to the 'Political Leaders Position and Action on Air Quality in India 2014-2019' report, released by Climate Trends, the air quality in Varanasi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 2014 Lok Sabha constituency, is ranked third on the WHO's (World Health Organisation) list of 15 most polluted cities in the world. Fourteen of the 15 most polluted cities in the world, listed by World Health Organisation (WHO) are in India, of which four are in Uttar Pradesh. Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh is the most polluted city in the world and is ranked one on the list. Faridabad in Haryana has been ranked second. Delhi is ranked sixth on the list. Gaya and Patna in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh capital Lucknow, Cities of Agra, Muzaffarpur, Srinagar, Gurugram, Jaipur, Patiala and Jodhpur are also on the WHO list of most polluted cities. The air quality index (AQI) in Varanasi reached an alarming 490 in 2017 and 384 (very poor category)  in December 2018. Air Quality Index (AQI) in India: As per pollution control authorities, An AQI between ♦ 0 and 50 is considered "good", ♦ 51 and 100 "satisfactory", ♦ 101 and 200 "moderate", ♦ 201 and 300 "poor", ♦ 301 and 400 "very poor", and ♦ 401 and 500 "severe".

    NGT sets up a Central Monitoring Committee

    11 April 2019
    The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has constituted a Central Monitoring Committee to ensure the implementation of the action plan meant for reducing pollution stretched across the country. A Bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel considered the seriousness of the issue and inadequacy of success achieved so far, it concluded that it is necessary to constitute a Central Monitoring Committee to undertake a national initiative by way of preparation and enforcement of a national plan to make river stretches pollution-free. The panel will constitute members from Senior representatives of NITI Aayog, Secretaries of the Ministry of Water Resources, Ministry of Urban Development, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, apart from the Chairman, Central Pollution Control Board, and Director General, National Mission for Clean Ganga. The panel will coordinate with States to oversee the action plans and ensure execution of the same. National Green Tribunal (NGT): ♦ NGT was established on October 18, 2010, under the National Green Tribunal Act 2010. NGT is Headquartered at Delhi ♦ The first Chairman of NGT is Justice Lokeshwar Singh Panta and the current incumbent is Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel ♦ It has the power to hear all civil cases relating to environmental issues and questions that are linked to the implementation of laws listed in Schedule I of the NGT Act ♦ It draws inspiration from India's constitutional provision of Article 21, which assures the citizens of India the right to a healthy environment
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    River Periyar in Kerala witnesses decolourisation

    10 April 2019
    The River Periyar in Kerala is again witnessing the decolourisation. The pollution control Board (PCB) has attributed the change in colour to the poor quality of water as a result of eutrophication. PCB has stated that huge quantities of organic load in the form of sewage from nearby townships are regularly reaching the river system. The decolourisation of River Periyar which provides drinking water to Kochi city and adjoining areas. The water turned pitch black in one stream, it was milky near the Pathalam regulator-cum-bridge.  River Periyar: ♦ River Periyar is an artificial reservoir created by Mullaperiyar Dam across the river ♦ Periyar is the longest river and the river with the largest discharge potential in the Indian state of Kerala. The Periyar is of utmost significance to the economy of Kerala ♦ It generates a significant proportion of Kerala's electrical power via the Idukki Dam and flows along a region of industrial and commercial activity. The river also provides water for irrigation and domestic use throughout its course besides supporting a rich fishery. The river has been named as the "Lifeline of Kerala". 25% of Kerala's industries are along the banks of river Periyar  Eutrophication: ♦ Eutrophication is when a body of water becomes overly enriched with minerals and nutrients which induce excessive growth of plants and algae  ♦ This process may result in oxygen depletion of the water body. One example is an "algal bloom" or a great increase of phytoplankton in a water body as a response to increased levels of nutrients ♦ Eutrophication is often induced by the discharge of nitrate or phosphate-containing detergents, fertilizers, or sewage into an aquatic system Kerala: ♦ Governor: P. Sathasivam ♦ Chief Minister: Pinarayi Vijayan ♦ Capital: Thiruvananthapuram ♦ Districts: 14 ♦ Official: Malayalam

    London becomes world's 1st city to launch 24x7 pollution charge zone

    10 April 2019
    London became the first city in the world to implement a special Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) that would charge an entry fee for older vehicles if they do not meet the emission standards. This move aims to reduce toxic air pollution and protect public health. The ULEZ will be operational for 24 hours and seven days a week. Polluting vehicles account for around 50 per cent of London's harmful Nitrogen Oxide air emissions. London's famous red bus fleet is also being updated as part of these efforts, and all 9,200 vehicles will meet or exceed ULEZ standards by October 2020.

    MeT issued yellow weather warning for Himachal

    9 April 2019
    The Meteorological Department issued a yellow weather warning for rain in Himachal Pradesh. The weather department forecast thunderstorm with hail in isolated places of mid hills, including Shimla, Mandi, Kullu, Chamba, Solan and Sirmaur. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) issues colour-coded warnings to alert the public ahead of severe or hazardous weather conditions that can cause disruption or damage. IMD uses four colour codes to indicate various categories of alerts. These colour codes are a) green, b) yellow, c) amber and d) red. These colour codes signify the levels of caution to be taken Green indicates “no warning” and therefore no actions to be taken. No advisory is issued in such cases. Yellow indicates “be updated” i.e. keeping a watch on the weather situation as it may deteriorate. Yellow is the least dangerous of the weather warnings. Amber indicates “be prepared”. It implies there is an increased likelihood of extremely bad weather. Red indicates “Take action”. Red warning demands necessary actions to be taken by different agencies.

    Guwahati Railway station first to get ISO certification in India

    9 April 2019
    The Guwahati Railway Station has become the first ever railway station in the Indian Railways to get an ISO certification from the National Green Tribunal (NGT) for ‘providing passenger amenities in a clean and green environment.’ ISO certification received by Guwahati Railway Station is ISO-14001, which is for Environment Management System as per international norms which were upgraded in 2015. Thus, the station’s certificate reads ISO 14001: 2015. About ISO: ♦ ISO - International Organization for Standardization ♦ It  is responsible for establishing the standard in the different area of activities. ♦ Founded: 23 February 1947, London, United Kingdom ♦ Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland ♦ Membership: 164 members; (40 correspondent, 4 subscriber)

    Six new spider species spotted in Kerala

    7 April 2019
    Arachnologists from Kochi’s Sacred Heart College, Thevara, Kerala spotted a group of jumping spiders that mostly occur in Eurasia and Africa for the first time in Ernakulam’s Illithodu forests. The team also found that the spider belonging to the genus (a taxonomic classification above species) Habrocestum is a species new to science. The team came across six different-looking spiders, predominantly brownish-black in colour with white and creamy-yellow patches, while conducting a routine survey (funded by the Department of Science and Technology-Science and Engineering Research Board) for ground-dwelling spiders in the Illithodu reserve forests of the Malayatoor forest division.  They examined the physical features of males and females under a microscope and photographed them. They also compared these to similar-looking spider specimens collected earlier from the Thattekkad Bird Sanctuary, Ernakulam district, Kerala.

    Phayeng Village of Manipur becomes Indias first carbon-positive settlement

    6 April 2019
    A village is given the Carbon-Positive Tag if it sequesters more carbon than it emits, slowing the accumulation of greenhouse gases and mitigating the effects of climate change. As part of the carbon-positive village project, Phayeng will receive a grant of Rs10 crore in phases to facilitate afforestation in the catchment of river Maklang that flows along the village. Phayeng is a scheduled caste village of the Chakpa community in Imphal West district and its conservation efforts are mainly linked to the belief that the forest is a sacred grove. It is surrounded by three densely forested hillocks with fruit trees at centre and a stream flowing through it.

    Two new birds spotted in Kerala Aralam sanctuary

    4 April 2019
    The 19th edition of the bird survey in Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary spotted two new species of birds - Woolly-necked Stork (Karuvarakkuru) and White-bellied Drongo (Kakkarajan) - both dry land species. A total of 152 species were spotted in the three-day survey. About Kerala: ♦ Capital:Thiruvananthapuram. ♦ Chief Minister:Pinarayi Vijayan. ♦ National Parks: Eravikulam National Park, Silent Valley National Park, Mathikettan Shola National Park, Anamudi Shola National Park. ♦ Famous Dances: Kathakali and Mohiniyattam.

    Air pollution killed over 1.2 million in India in 2017

    4 April 2019
    According to the ‘State of Global Air Report 2019’, released by the Boston-headquartered Health Effects Institute, Air pollution in India contributed to over 1.2 million deaths in 2017. Of the total 49 lakh deaths due to diseases caused by exposure to air pollution in 2017, India and China accounted for the most with 12 lakh deaths each. The report further stated that a child born today will die 20 months sooner, on average, than would be expected without pollution. Overall long-term exposure to outdoor and indoor air pollution contributed to nearly 5 million deaths across the world from stroke, diabetes, heart attack, lung cancer, and chronic lung disease in 2017. In India, air pollution is the third-highest cause of death among all health risks, ranking just above smoking. At the same time, India has initiated major steps to address pollution sources: ♦ the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana Household LPG program, ♦ accelerated Bharat Stage 6/VI clean vehicle standards, and ♦ the new National Clean Air Programme.

    Hump-backed Mahseer, a large freshwater fish added in 'Critically Endangered' list

    2 April 2019
    Hump-backed Mahseer, also called the tiger of the water and found only in the Cauvery river basin (including Kerala’s Pambar, Kabini and Bhavani rivers) - is now “Critically Endangered”, as per the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species. There are about 16 species of mahseer in India. Maximum length  of fish will be 150 cm and a weight of 90 kg. The fish is considered as one of the 229 species from recent Red List which updated in November 2018. The threat status of 12 other Indian species, including great hornbills, has increased.

    SC suspended environmental clearance granted for an international airport at Mopa

    1 April 2019
    The Supreme Court has suspended the environmental clearance granted for an international airport at Mopa in Goa as it has observed that the health of the environment is key to preserving the right to life. It also said that every branch of governance and institutions across the country should strive to enforce the need to strengthen the ‘environmental rule of law’ for both intra and inter-generational equity. About Goa: ♦ Capital: Panaji ♦ Governor: Mridula Sinha ♦ Chief Minister: Pramod Sawant

    European Parliament bans single use plastic products

    31 March 2019
    The European Parliament approved ban on single-use plastic products such as the straws, cutlery and cotton buds that are clogging the world's oceans. The law on single-use plastic ban sets a target to gather 90% of plastic for recycling by 2029 and mandates the production of plastic bottles with 25% recycled material by 2025 and 30% by 2030. The law also insists on polluters pay principle insisting polluters to pay the costs of a clean-up.  Single-use plastics, or disposable plastics, are used only once before they are thrown away or recycled. They are not usually biodegradable and goes into a landfill where it is buried or it gets into the water and finds its way into the ocean. They degrade into tiny particles after many years. In this process of degradation, they release toxic chemicals which make their way into our food and water supply.

    Study says increasing levels of carbon dioxide will affect Wheat

    31 March 2019
    A study by Indian Institute of Technology- Kharagpur said over sustaining food production and productivity of major crops like wheat, paddy, and maize due to the increasing levels of carbon dioxide. Studies have shown that even though increased carbon dioxide levels stimulate wheat productivity, the consequent rise in temperatures would have a negative impact.  There has been optimism in tropical countries like Greenland, Canada, Northern China and Europe where annual temperatures are currently well below the optimum range for the growth of wheat and an increase in temperature would be beneficial to them with a possibility of a hike in wheat productivity. Whereas in tropical countries like India there is heightened concern as it is already hot enough and further rises in temperature could prove disastrous. 

    Vijayawada Railway Station awarded the Gold Rating for being Clean & Eco-Friendly

    29 March 2019
    Vijayawada railway station, one of the busiest railway junctions in India, has received Gold Rating by the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) for Green Measures. The IGBC-CII, with the support of the Environment Directorate of Indian Railways, developed the Green Railway Stations Rating System to facilitate adoption of green concepts, thereby reduce the adverse environmental impact due to station operation and maintenance and also enhance the overall commuter experience. The Vijayawada station has installed 100 per cent LED lighting, the fans are five-star rated, and solar power is already being used for water heating systems.

    GIZ Indo German Development Corporation to help in waste segregation

    27 March 2019
    The Indo-German Development Corporation, GIZ, has been tied to help the North Delhi Municipal Corporation to carry out waste segregation activities. The tie-up, which has been facilitated through the Swachh Bharath Mission, is for a five-year period during which time the development corporation will provide technical assistance such as training. In order to ensure implementation of the solid waste management bylaws in the North Corporation, ward level committees were being formed, involving Resident Welfare Associations, market associations, NGOs and Ragpickers organisations to look into specific local requirements. In addition, three ‘model wards’ have been selected where waste segregation will be ensured within six months.

    World's largest e-waste recycling hub opened in Dubai

    27 March 2019
    Located at the Dubai Industrial Park, the 2,80,000 square feet plant will process Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE), IT asset disposition (ITAD), refrigerant gas and specialised waste. It is established by ‘Enviroserve’ company with a total cost of $5 million. It has a processing capacity of 100,000 tonnes of total integrated waste per year, of which 39,000 tonnes is e-waste. The 120 million dirhams ($5 million) project is backed by the Swiss Government Export Finance Agency.

    Threats to Bumphead Parrot Fish in Andaman

    24 March 2019
    Bumphead parrotfish, Bolbometopon muricatum, is an important component of coral reef ecosystem, but is highly endangered globally. It is categorized as ‘vulnerable’ in the Red List of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). A group of researchers recently studied the distribution, abundance and dangers to this species in the waters of Andaman and Nicobar islands.

    Forty animals to be rescued from Gaza zoo

    23 March 2019
    Forty animals, including five lions, are to be rescued from squalid conditions in the Gaza Strip, Palestinian. The animals would be taken out of a zoo in the Palestinian enclave and relocated to sanctuaries in Jordan next week. Among the other animals to be taken out were hyena, monkeys, wolves, and porcupines. The organisation condemned the declawing, with almost 1,50,000 people signing a petition against the treatment. The animal welfare group had previously evacuated two other zoos in Gaza, where desperate poverty means owners are often unable to provide adequate conditions.

    INCOIS and French scientists discovered existence of a new sea level oscillation

    20 March 2019
    Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS) researchers, in collaboration with scientists from France, have discovered the existence of a ‘synchronous oscillation’ of sea level across the entire Tropical Indian Ocean with a time period of 30 to 80 days during winter months of December to April.  In these months, Indian Ocean routinely gains/loses 3 trillion tonnes of water from the Pacific Ocean every 30-80 days accompanied by a sea level rise/fall of 4 cm which is 30% of total sea-level change. This process is driven by intense winds hovering over a small area in the eastern Indian Ocean. This wind is associated with tropical weather phenomenon called Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO). MJOs, being a low-pressure system, is known to facilitate cyclone formation over the Indian Ocean. The study said the waves gain more relevance since MJOs are gradually getting more intense in the warming climate.

    Uttar Pradesh to take census of Otters for the first time

    20 March 2019
    For the first time, Uttar Pradesh is taking a census of Otters in its protected areas. The census has begun in the Pilibhit Tiger Reserve (PTR).  Otters  Otters live on fish and spend much of its time in or close to water bodies. A growing or healthy population of otters means the water bodies are pollution-free. Clean water bodies mean a healthy ecosystem of the forest.  India is home to 3 of the 13 species of otters found worldwide. These are: 1) Eurasian Otter (Lutra lutra) - IUCN status: Near Threatened 2) Smooth-coated Otter (Lutra perspicillata) - IUCN status: Vulnerable 3) Small-clawed Otter (Aonyx cinereus) - IUCN status: Vulnerable. Pilibhit Tiger Reserve  ♦ Pilibhit Tiger Reserve spreads across Pilibhit district, Lakhimpur Kheri District and Bahraich District of Uttar Pradesh  ♦ It is home to habitat for over 127 animals, 326 bird species and 2,100 flowering plants ♦ The reserve is home to a myriad of wild animals including the endangered tiger, swamp deer, Bengal florican, hog deer, leopard, wild boar, hog deer, swamp deer, blue bull etc.

    NGT instructed CPCB to prepare noise pollution map

    20 March 2019
    The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to prepare a noise pollution map and identify hotspots and categorise the cities with specified hotspots. CPCB is also expected to submit the remedial action plan to solve the issue across the country.  Noting the establishment of the noise monitoring mechanism in seven cities, NGT asked CPCB to consider setting up of such mechanisms in all cities where noise pollution is beyond permissible limits. Further, the police departments of all the States and Union Territories are asked to obtain the noise monitoring devices within a period of three months and specification of such devices may be finalized in consultation with the respective state PCBs and pollution control committees. NGT noted that the absence of implementation of noise pollution norms affects the health of citizens, especially infants and senior citizens. Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB): ♦ Formed on: 22 September 1974 ♦ Head Office: New Delhi ♦ Chairperson: S.P.Singh Parihar  ♦ Functions under the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change  ♦ It is the apex organisation in country in the field of pollution control ♦ It is responsible for maintaining national standards under a variety of environmental laws

    Cyclone Idai affected over 1.5 million people in Mozambique, Malawi, Zimbabwe

    19 March 2019
    Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi have been hit by a vicious cyclone that has killed nearly 150 people, left hundreds more missing and stranded tens of thousands. According to the UN and government officials, Cyclone Idai has affected more than 1.5 million people in the three southern African countries. The port city of Beira in Mozambique was hit the hardest. The deaths are mainly in Zimbabwe's Chimanimani, a mountainous area along the eastern border with Mozambique that is popular with tourists. About Mozambique: ♦ Capital: Maputo ♦ Currency: Mozambican metical ♦ Official language: Portuguese ♦ Prime Minister: Carlos Agostinho do Rosário ♦ President Filipe Nyusi About Zimbabwe: ♦ Capital: Harare ♦ Currencies: United States Dollar, South African rand ♦ President: Emmerson Mnangagwa About Malawi: ♦ Capital: Lilongwe ♦ Currency: Malawian kwacha ♦ President: Peter Mutharika

    NGT questioned MoEF for not furnishing proper data

    19 March 2019
    The National Green Tribunal (NGT) questioned the Union Environment Ministry for not furnishing proper data on monitoring mechanism for compliance of conditions of environment clearance granted by the Ministry.  The observations came following submissions by the Ministry that a mechanism existed to periodically monitor the compliance of environmental clearance conditions which was being strengthened. The tribunal had in January directed the MoEF to furnish data on the same following which it submitted that a total of 6,779 projects were monitored between 2013-2014 and 2018-19. The Ministry informed the Bench that while in 2013-14, 843 projects were monitored, in 2018-19, it was 1,002.  A Bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel instructed Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) to appear before the tribunal on April 29.

    NGT directed 6 states to submit action plans for bringing air quality standards

    18 March 2019
    The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed six States to submit by April 30 action plans for bringing air quality standards within the prescribed norms, failing which they would be liable to pay environment compensation of Rs.1 crore each.  A Bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel ordered the Chief Secretaries of Assam, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Punjab, Uttarakhand and Nagaland governments to submit their plan within the stipulated time.

    West Nile Virus found in Kerala

    18 March 2019
    A seven-year-old in Kerala has been detected with the West Nile Virus. The central government has sent the team to the state and is monitoring the case closely. West Nile Virus is a viral infection which typically spread by mosquitoes and results in neurological disease as well as death in people.  The Virus is the member of the flavivirus genus and belongs to the Japanese encephalitis antigenic complex of the family Flaviviridae. It was first detected in a woman in the West Nile district of Uganda in 1937 and was later identified in birds (crows and Columbiformes) in the Nile delta region in 1953.  The disease spreads through mosquito bites. Mosquitoes are infected when they feed on infected birds. People infected with WNV suffer from fever, headache, fatigue, body aches, nausea, vomiting, occasionally with a skin rash (on the trunk of the body), swollen lymph glands, stupor, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, and paralysis.

    Good nesting season for Olive Ridley turtles, says TN forest department

    15 March 2019
    Through the Olive Ridley nesting season so far, the Forest Department of Tamil Nadu State has recorded 251 nests and has collected 28,527 eggs which have been taken to their hatcheries. This is double the number of nests recorded by the department the previous year. Olive ridley sea turtle: ♦ The olive ridley sea turtle, also known as the Pacific ridley sea turtle, is the smallest and most abundant of all sea turtles found in the world ♦ This species of sea turtle is found in warm and tropical waters, primarily in the Pacific, Indian and the Atlantic Oceans ♦ These turtles are best known for their unique mass nesting called arribada, where thousands of females come together on the same beach to lay eggs ♦ Olive Ridley falls under Vulnerable Category in the IUCN Red List

    India ranks 16th in terms of highest number of impacted species in hotspots

    14 March 2019
    India was ranked 16th in the world in terms of highest number of impacted species in biodiversity-rich zones (also known as hotspots) due to human actions. In India, 35 species affected on an average in biodiversity-rich zones. Malaysia ranks first among countries with highest number of impacted species (on an average 125 species). Southeast Asian tropical forests — including those in India’s Western Ghats, Himalaya and north-east — are among the ‘hotspots’ of threatened species.

    NGT ordered Volkswagen to deposit Rs.500 crore with CPCB

    9 March 2019
    The National Green Tribunal (NGT) ordered Volkswagen India to deposit a sum of Rs.500 crore with the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) within two months for using cheat devices in its diesel vehicles.  A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel enhanced the compensation amount of Rs.171 crore, which was recommended by an NGT-appointed committee, as a means of creating deterrence.  In November last year, the green panel had directed Volkswagen to deposit a sum of Rs.100 crore as interim compensation. Coming down heavily on the company for not complying with the order, the NGT, in January, had directed Volkswagen to deposit the sum within one day.

    BHEL installed 1st solar EV charging station on Delhi-Chandigarh Highway

    7 March 2019
    Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) has set up its first solar-based electric vehicle (EV) charger on the Delhi-Chandigarh Highway. The project is covered under the FAME scheme (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles). To be implemented from April 1, 2019, the FAME II scheme envisages setting up of about 2,700 charging stations across India so that at least one charging station is available in a grid of 3×3 km2.

    India to collaborate with 4 countries to increase 3 species of Asian rhinos

    6 March 2019
    India is to collaborate with Bhutan, Nepal, Indonesia, and Malaysia to increase the population of three species of Asian rhinos, including the Greater one-horned rhinoceros found in the Indian sub-continent. The five rhino range nations signed a declaration ‘The New Delhi Declaration on Asian Rhinos 2019’ for the conservation and protection of the species at the recently held Second Asian Rhino Range Countries meeting in New Delhi, India. The declaration was signed to conserve and review the population of the Greater one-horned, Javan and Sumatran rhinos every four years to reassess the need for joint actions to secure their future.

    New Delhi is world's most polluted capital city in 2018

    6 March 2019
    According to a study by IQ AirVisual and Greenpeace, New Delhi was the world's most polluted capital city in 2018. Delhi was followed by the Bangladesh capital - Dhaka and Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan. Also, Seven of the 10 most polluted cities in the world in 2018 are in India, with Gurugram, Ghaziabad, Faridabad, Noida, and Bhiwadi in the top six worst-affected cities. Apart from these Indian cities, Pakistan's Faisalabad and Lahore and China's Hotan are also in the top 10.

    Aussie rodent becomes world's 1st mammal to go extinct due to climate change

    22 February 2019
    Australia officially declared a Great Barrier Reef rodent extinct, making it the first mammal believed to have been killed off by human-induced climate change. The small brown rat has not been seen since 2009. It was found only on a small sand island near the coast of Papua New Guinea. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, Australia has the third highest extinction rate of all nations, surpassed by only French Polynesia and the Republic of Mauritius.

    SC set aside NGTs decision to reopen Sterlite copper plant at Thoothukudi

    19 February 2019
    The Supreme Court on 18th February set aside the National Green Tribunal (NGT) decision to reopen the Sterlite copper plant at Thoothukudi. The plant had been ordered to be closed down by the Tamil Nadu government due to environmental pollution. The tribunal, in its December 15 order, directed the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) to pass fresh orders of renewal of consent and issue an authorization to Vedanta Limited to handle hazardous substances. A Bench led by Justice Rohinton Nariman concluded that the tribunal lacked jurisdiction to entertain the appeal by the plant's owner, Vedanta, against the shutdown. The Tamil Nadu State contended that Vedanta had not been complying with pollution norms, and the situation had severely deteriorated since 1996.

    NBWL approved the 99.82 percent projects in forests

    14 February 2019
    India’s apex National Board for Wildlife (NBWL), charged with allowing forest land in Protected Areas to be diverted for industry, cleared 682 of the 687 projects (99.82%) that came up for scrutiny. Only five projects were rejected since August 2014.  2017 analysis by the Centre for Science and Environment analysis said that from 2009-2013, the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) recommended 260 of the 328 that came into its purview or about 80% of the projects. It had deferred nearly 243 projects after 2013. The environment ministry has delegated all powers of the NBWL to a compliant Standing Committee which regularly meets and clears projects in Protected Areas with little due diligence.

    JSW Steel gets LoI for BPSL

    13 February 2019
    JSW Steel has received the Letter of Intent (LoI) from the resolution professional of Bhushan Power & Steel Limited (BPSL), taking the country's largest steelmaker a step closer towards the acquisition of the insolvent company.  The development comes more than a week after the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) on February 4, turned down Tata Steel’s request to consider its bid as the ‘most legitimate’ one for BPSL. It confirms the resolution plan will be submitted to the National Company Law Tribunal after the company's approval. JSW Steel topped Tata Steel’s offer of Rs.17,000 crore with Rs.19,650 crore bid.

    Study says that Climate change threatens underwater forests

    10 February 2019
    A study says Climate change could lead to a decline of underwater kelp forests by impacting their microbiome. Ocean warming can change microbes on the kelp surface, leading to disease and potentially putting fisheries at risk. Blistering and bleaching of the kelp’s surface impact their ability to photosynthesize.

    EDMC signed MoU with NTPC for waste management

    8 February 2019
    The East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) for the disposal and management of solid waste in its jurisdiction. The NTPC will be setting up an integrated waste management plant which will have a capacity to process 2,000 MT of garbage. The plant will have a waste to energy component to generate electricity as well as composting of waste to generate CNG.

    MoEF approved bullet train via flamingo and Sanjay Gandhi national park

    6 February 2019
    A committee, chaired by Union Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan, approved wildlife clearance to the Mumbai-Ahmedabad fast bullet train corridor that encroaches upon a Thane Creek Flamingo Sanctuary and the Sanjay Gandhi National Park, the home to leopards, in Mumbai. The proposal involves diversion of 3.2756 ha of forestland from the Thane Creek Flamingo Wildlife Sanctuary and 97.5189 ha of land close to the boundary of the forest’s protected area. The project for one of India’s first ‘bullet trains’ was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe in Ahmedabad in September 2017. It is expected to be ready by 2022. Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change: ♦ The Ministry is responsible for planning, promoting, coordinating, and overseeing the implementation of environmental and forestry programmes in the country ♦ Formed: 1985 ♦ Headquarters: New Delhi, India ♦ Minister: Dr. Harsh Vardhan

    Hyderabad acquired ODF plus plus status

    31 January 2019
    Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (HMWSSB) has been conferred ODF++ (Open Defecation Free Plus Plus) status by the Swachh Bharat Mission in the run-up to the Swachh Survekshan rankings.  Swachh Bharat Mission:  ♦ Launched on: October 2014 ♦ Launched by: Prime Minister Narendra Modi  ♦ Aim: To eliminate open defecation through the construction of household-owned and community-owned toilets ♦ During the period of 2014 to 2019, it aimed to clean up the streets, roads, and infrastructure of India's cities, towns, and rural areas  

    Greenpace reported 139 polluted cities not on clean air plan

    30 January 2019
    Greenpeace reported that there are 139 Indian cities that breach air pollution standards but are not included in the Centre's National Clean Air Programme (NCAP). Airpocalypse III, as the Greenpeace report is titled, analyses air pollution data of 313 cities and towns for the year 2017.  The NCAP was launched by the government earlier this month and is an Rs.300 crore initiative to reduce particulate matter (PM) pollution by 20-30% in at least 102 cities by 2024. The National Clean Air Programme (NCAP), which was formally unveiled is envisaged as a scheme to provide the States and the Centre with a framework to combat air pollution.

    NGT imposed Rs.10 crore each on State governments

    30 January 2019
    The National Green Tribunal (NGT) directed the State governments of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, and Delhi to submit a performance guarantee of Rs.10 crore each within a month as it was dissatisfied with the Yamuna cleaning project. A bench headed by NGT chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel directed the state governments to furnish a performance guarantee with the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to ensure there was no further lapse in this regard. The fine was imposed as the NGT was dissatisfied over the cleaning of the Yamuna. National Green Tribunal (NGT): ♦ Chairperson: Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel ♦ NGT is to handle the expeditious disposal of the cases pertaining to environmental issues.

    IMD announced cold waves in Himachal Pradesh

    28 January 2019
    India Meteorological Department said that the Cold wave conditions continue in Himachal Pradesh. The prominent tourist destinations have reduced to below freezing temperatures. The minimum temperature in Manali was minus 5 degrees Celsius, followed by minus 4.2 in Kufri, minus 1.5 in Dalhousie and minus 0.2 deg C in Shimla.  India Meteorological Department ♦ Formed on: 1875 ♦ Headquarters: New Delhi ♦ Functions under: Ministry of Earth Sciences ♦ Minister responsible: Harsh Vardhan ♦ Director General: K.J. Ramesh

    MoEF approved mini hydel project in ESZ

    28 January 2019
    The Forest Department has issued permission to expand Pioneer Power Corporation Ltd, a private company's mini-hydel project in the eco-sensitive zone (ESZ) of the Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary in Mandya district, Karnataka. The project was rejected twice by the State Board for Wildlife. Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change: ♦ Formed on: 1985 ♦ Headquarters: New Delhi ♦ Minister: Dr. Harsh Vardhan ♦ MoEF is responsible for planning, promoting, coordinating, and overseeing the implementation of environmental and forestry programmes in the country ♦ Conservation and survey of the flora of India and fauna of India, forests and other wilderness areas

    SANH to study nitrogen pollution

    27 January 2019
    Eighteen research institutions in India are among a group of 50 institutions, called the South Asian Nitrogen Hub (SANH), in the United Kingdom and South Asia that have secured £20 million (about Rs. 200 crore) from the U.K. government to assess and study the quantum and impact of “nitrogen pollution” in South Asia.  While nitrogen is the dominant gas in the atmosphere, it is inert and doesn’t react. However, when it is released as part of compounds from agriculture, sewage, and biological waste, nitrogen is considered “reactive”, and it may be polluting and even exert a potent greenhouse gas (heat trapping) effect.  The SANH will study the impacts of the different forms of pollution to form a coherent picture of the nitrogen cycle. In particular, it will look at nitrogen in agriculture in eight countries namely India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, and Maldives.

    Greenlands melting ice causes sea levels to rise

    24 January 2019
    Researchers warned that Greenland’s melting ice disappeared four times faster in 2013 than in 2003 and is noticeable across the Arctic island, not just on glaciers. Greenland’s melting ice causes sea levels to rise. The report said that 111 cubic kilometres of ice disappeared per year in 2003, 10 years later this figure had almost quadrupled to 428 cubic km.  The melting ice observed in the study is caused by rising land temperatures, and in part, the fact that the ice comes into contact with waters that are increasingly warmer. As the atmosphere’s temperature gradually rises, an acceleration of the ice melt can be immediately noticed.

    Two Rhinos from Kaziranga has been transferred to Manas

    24 January 2019
    Two Rhinos, One male, and other female, from Kaziranga national park has been moved to Manas National Park. The officials overseeing the translocation said that both the animals, who grew up together at Centre for Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation (CWRC) at Kaziranga, have been radio-collared so that their movement in the wild are monitored.  The augmentation of Rhinos were part of the initiative “Bring Back Manas’, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  Manas National Park: ♦ Location: Assam ♦ Established on: 1990 ♦ It functions under the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India ♦ It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site ♦ Listed as Endangered Wildlife Sanctuary by UNESCO in 1992-2011

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