14 hours ago
A team of German researchers discovered the world’s fastest ant, the Saharan silver ant. The researchers analyzed insects found near the remote Douz area of Tunisia.
Saharan silver ant:
♦ The desert-living creature gallops over the scorching sand faster, relative to its body size than a cheetah. The ant hits speeds approaching one meter per second. It comes out at the height of the midday heat to scavenge on corpses.
♦ The ant clocked in at about 2.8 feet per second or 108 times its own body length per second. It puts the species among the world’s most nimble animals.
♦ The length of the ant lies between 4.3 and 6.8mm.
♦ It moves 1,300 mm per second. It moves with all six feet off the ground most of the time which is similar to the movement of a horse’s gallop. Before initiating the next stride, each foot contacted the ground for as little as seven milliseconds.
3 days ago
An annual study on the state of the glaciers by the Cryospheric Commission at the Swiss Academy of Sciences said that Switzerland’s glaciers had lost one-tenth of their volume in the past five years alone.
♦ Despite the growing global alarm over climate change, the intense heatwaves over the summer in Switzerland will cause a snow-filled winter is expected to limit the glacier melt in 2019.
♦ The commission also said that in April-May 2019, the snow cover on the glaciers was between 20 and 40% higher than usual. Depths of up to six meters measured in some places as late as June.
♦ The volume of snow and ice that are melting on Swiss glaciers was equivalent to the country’s total annual consumption of drinking water.
♦ Over the past 12 months, around 2% of Switzerland’s total glacier volume has been lost. The rate of loss over the past 5 years exceeds 10%.
3 days ago
National Green Tribunal (NGT) directed the Railways to evolve appropriate mechanisms to curb pollution caused in Faizabad Railway station, Uttar Pradesh. A Bench headed by NGT chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel, directed the Uttar Pradesh State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) to take steps for the assessment and recovery of environmental compensation.
The move comes after a plea that sought remedial action against air pollution caused due to the loading and unloading of Cement and fertilizers at the Faizabad railway station. NGT also suggested the railway administration at Faizabad to make sure that it does not violate air quality norms. It has also asked the administration for an appropriate mechanism to be evolved by the Railway Board.
National Green Tribunal (NGT):
NGT was established on 18 October 2010. It is formed under the National Green Tribunal Act 2010. It is headquartered in Delhi. The Chairperson of NGT is Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel. NGT has been set up to handle the expeditious disposal of the cases pertaining to environmental issues. NGT is given the power to hear all civil cases related to environmental issues and cases related to the implementation of laws listed in Schedule I of the NGT Act.
4 days ago
Indian Railways (IR) has announced that it will become a net-zero carbon emitter by 2030. The move will be a part of India's strategy to combat climate change. The announcement was made by railways and commerce minister Piyush Goyal at the India Energy Forum by CERAWEEK in New Delhi. India stands third as the biggest emitter of greenhouse gases after the US and China. Also, India is among countries most vulnerable to climate change.
Indian railways is the world's largest railway network. It has a rail network of around 1,25,000km under single management. IR is to go green by setting up solar power generation capacities in its large tracts of land along its network.
India's move towards climate change:
India is moving to curb pollution and cut its dependence on foreign oil. The country has become one of the top renewable energy producers globally with ambitious capacity expansion plans. India is running the world's largest renewable energy program. The installed renewable energy capacity of the country is about 80 gigawatts (GW). As a part of its climate commitments, it also plans to achieve 175GW by 2022 and 500GW by 2030.
October 11, 2019
Scientists from the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) undertook a barcode of at least 100 species of spiders based on their DNA. It is the largest exercise on DNA barcoding of spiders from India
Species of Spiders:
The study includes various species such as the spitting spiders-Scytodes thoracica, Thwaitesia species-spiders with natural mirrors in their abdomen and those that steal others’ food-Argyrodes flavescens. The barcoding also included species that are found only in India.
A minimum of 101 species, with at least 5 endemic species, have been DNA barcoded.
DNA barcoding is a method used to quickly identify any species based on extracting a DNA sequence from a tiny tissue sample of any organism. In other words, it is the molecular signature of a species based on its genes.
October 10, 2019
Researchers at Shiv Nadar University have discovered two strains of plastic-eating bacteria from the wetlands of Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh. It is believed that this eco-friendly alternative might be used as a clean-up method for plastic waste worldwide.
The bacteria have the potential to decompose polystyrene, a key component in Single-Use Plastic (SUP) items such as disposable cups, cutlery, toys, packaging materials etc. Polystyrene, a type of plastic, is quite resistant to degrade due to its high molecular weight and long-chain polymer structure.
The bacterial species are isolated from the unexplored wetlands adjoining the university. The name of the species are
♦ Exiguobacterium sibiricum strain DR11
♦ Exiguobacterium undae strain DR14
October 10, 2019
The government has announced its plan to create a 1400km-long and 5km wide green belt from Gujarat to the Delhi-Haryana border. The massive afforestation drive in northwest India is similar to the Great Green Wall that runs from Dakar in Senegal to Djibouti.
Environmentalists fought against authorities for cutting down hundreds of trees in Mumbai. Farmers and other private landholders would play the most crucial part of the afforestation program.
The move aims to boost India’s action against climate change. The wall will help combat the growing challenge of land degradation across the Thar desert and the Aravalis.
♦ The green wall will protect the people from the dust storms that are caused due to the desert in western India and Pakistan.
♦ Over 50% of the land area is degraded in Gujarat, Rajasthan, and Delhi. The land is prone to desertification.
♦ Over 30% of the land is estimated to be degraded in India. The reason cited is human activities and extreme weather events. The degrading lands have affected millions of livelihoods as well as the biodiversity as a whole.
♦ India aims to restore 13 million hectares (Mha) of land by 2020 and an additional 8 Mha by 2030.
Great Green Wall:
The Great Green Wall of the Sahara and Sahel is led by the African Union (AU). The creation of the green wall aimed to combat the impacts of climate change and desertification. The African Great green wall is 7,600 km long and 15 km wide. Around 15% of the wall is completed with millions of trees planted in Senegal, Nigeria, and Ethiopia, so far.
October 9, 2019
Centre introduced Ganga Aamantran Abhiyan, a unique initiative to connect with Ganga’s Stakeholders. It was launched by Jal Shakti Minister Shri Gajendra Singh Shekhawat. Under this initiative, an open-water rafting and kayaking expedition on the Ganga River will be held between 10th October to 11th November 2019.
Ganga Aamantran Campaign:
♦ The campaign is a unique social awareness initiative to connect with the people and its various stakeholders.
♦ The expedition will start at Devprayag and end at Ganga Sagar. The rafting expedition covers over 2500 Km.
♦ The initiative aims to spread the message of River Rejuvenation and Water Conservation on a massive scale.
♦ It will also attend to the ecological challenges being faced by Ganga.
♦ It will encompass the five Ganga basin states including Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Bihar, and West Bengal. The expedition will have stops at Rishikesh, Haridwar, Kanpur, Allahabad, Varanasi, Patna, Sonepur and Kolkata.
♦ Under this initiative, a team from CSIR–Indian Institute of Toxicology Research will collect water samples from across diverse ranges of the river. It will test the water.
♦ Also, members of the Wildlife Institute of India will conduct flora and fauna census for the year 2019.
♦ The Expedition would comprise of 9-member team of swimmers and rafters primarily from the three Services of the Indian Armed Forces and 3 from NDRF, 2 members each from WII and CSIR-IITR.
♦ The expedition will be led by Wing Commander Paramvir Singh from Indian Air Force (IAF).
October 7, 2019
The Government launched green firecrackers with an aim to curb air pollution. The green firecrackers was launched by the Union Minister for Science & Technology, Earth Sciences and Health and Family Welfare, Dr. Harsh Vardhan.
The green firecrackers were developed by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) labs. It has successfully developed various environment-friendly fireworks such as sound-emitting crackers, flowerpots, pencils, chakkar, and sparklers. Along with CSIR 8 labs participated. The labs are CSIR-NEERI, Central Electronics Engineering Research Institute (CEERI), IITR, Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT), National Chemical Laboratory (NCL), Central Electro Chemical Research Institute (CECRI), National Botanical Research Institute (NBRI) and Central Mechanical Engineering Research Institute (CMERI). The entire process was co-ordinated by CSIR NEERI.
The green fireworks that have been manufactured by CSIR are available in the Indian market for consumers and sellers. For the manufacture of green crackers around 165 fireworks manufactures have been roped in and around 65 more manufacturers are in the process of coming on board.
The emissions testing facilities for the green firecrackers are set up at CSIR-National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI). The green firecrackers will reduce a 30% reduction in particulate matter. For immediate improvement CSIR-NEERI developed improvements in conventional formulations based on Barium Nitrate to meet the stipulated norms of green crackers.
October 5, 2019
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has decided to impose a ban on single-use plastic. The announcement was made by RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das on 5 October.
PM Modi's vision:
On 15 August, at the Independence Day speech, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had called for an end to single-use plastic to protect the environment. He said that the government would conduct a mega public outreach programme in the next three years to achieve the target
October 2, 2019, Mahatma Gandhi's 150th birth anniversary, was the starting point of a mass movement to remove single-use plastic, to achieve the target by 2022.
October 4, 2019
Indian Oil Research and Development Centre has constructed a 0.85 km of road with different concentrations of plastic waste at Faridabad. The move by Indian Oil aims to utilize single-use plastic waste.
About the road:
For the construction of the road, around 16 million tonnes of waste plastic from single-use carry bags and packaging film waste were used. The road made out of plastic waste has the maximum percentage of waste plastic used for paving bituminous roads in India.
Indian Oil's bituminous road has a concentration of up to 3% of single-use plastic. Previously, the concentration of plastic was only 0.8%.
♦ Waste plastic roads have advantages of higher strength, increased durability, lesser rainwater seepage, and lesser potholes.
♦ Single-use plastic reduces the cost of road construction by Rs.2 lakh for each kilometre of road constructed.
Using 2% of single-use waste plastic, the R&D Centre has designed a special grade of bitumen CRMB55. It was approved by the central govt. for the first supply of CRMB55 from Panipat.
The R&D Center also aims to generate BS-VI compliant fuel from plastic, which it plans to launch by April 2020.
October 3, 2019
Fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) major ITC introduced the country’s first multilayered plastic (MLP) collection and recycling initiative in Pune. It had partnered with Swach, a waste-pickers co-operative and recyclers such as Shakti Plastic to ensure sustainable plastic waste management. Multilayered plastic waste is weighed and collected from waste collectors in Pune.
MLP prevents food contamination and helps with transport and storage. This plastic is difficult to recycle. It has posed a huge challenge to all stakeholders, including companies, consumers and policymakers in the war on plastic. There is no replacement to MLP as it simply consists of multiple layers of plastic and other materials such as aluminium foils, paper, paperboards etc, which are all part of the packaging.
The recycling unit of ITC has invested in a novel technology to help convert the MLP waste into pellets. These pellets are used to make everyday items such as plastic chairs, stools, files, clips, buckets, mugs, etc. It is expected that this will bring a solution to the MLPs.
October 3, 2019
A study by the Deep Carbon Observatory (DCO) said that human activity causes up to 100 times more planet-warming carbon each year as compared to all the volcanoes on Earth.
Highlights of the survey:
♦ The 500-strong international team of scientists found the human emissions of the greenhouse gas are 100 times greater than all of Earth’s volcanoes.
♦ The findings said that just two-tenths of 1% (which is 43,500 gigatonnes) of Earth's total carbon.
♦ The carbon present in the oceans, the land, and the atmosphere are disturbed by human activity.
October 3, 2019
On Mahatma’s 150th birth anniversary, the government launched massive campaigns against single-use, or disposable, plastic products. It was launched by Union home minister Amit Shah on 2 October.
♦ Government is to impose the single-use plastic ban in phases in the country
♦ It is also exploring alternatives ways before the imposition of the ban
♦ Other plans are also underway to loop in the corporate sector
♦ The government is expected to introduce strict norms and impose heavy fines on corporates, including the hospitality industry, mobile manufacturers and packaging industry, if they fail to stop the use of plastic
♦ The Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) scheme plans to implement more effectively. Under the scheme product manufacturers, brand owners, and product importers will have to bear the responsibility for the environmental impact of the products through their life-cycle
♦ EPR was introduced in the Plastic Waste Management (PWM) Rules, 2011
October 1, 2019
A 1,650 kg charkha (spinning wheel) which was made out of plastic waste will be inaugurated on the occasion of Mahatma Gandhi's 150th birth anniversary in Noida, Uttar Pradesh. It will be inaugurated by MP Mahesh Sharma.
The effort aims to raise awareness among the people for proper disposal of plastic too.
About plastic charkha:
The charkha symbolizes Mahatma Gandhi's vision of self-reliance. It is being touted to be the biggest yet made using plastic waste. Around 1,250 kg of plastic waste has been used to create the charkha. The charkha measures 14 feet, 20 feet and 8 feet. It is located near the Mahamaya flyover. Noida Authority is running a campaign from 11 September to 27 October to ensure voluntary plastic collection from citizens.
October 1, 2019
The Australian Antarctic Division said that a new iceberg has broken off from the Amery Ice Shelf in East Antarctica. It is more than half the size of the Australian Capital Territory. It also said that the iceberg covers 1,636 square kilometers and its separation is part of the normal cycle and not the result of climate change.
The separation of the iceberg, which is labeled as D28, from the ice shelf is expected to happen on 3 October 2019. The iceberg is about 210 meters thick and contains 315 billion tonnes of ice. Australian glaciologist said that the carving was unlikely to affect sea levels as the ice shelf is already floating on the ocean.
Amery Ice Shelf:
Location: Mac. Robertson Land
It is a broad ice shelf in Antarctica located at the head of Prydz Bay. It is an undersea basin north of the Amery Ice Shelf.
Australian Antarctic Division:
AAD is a part of the Australian Government's Department of the Environment and Energy. It is responsible for Australia’s presence and activities in the Australian Antarctic Territory and the Southern Ocean. AAD leads Australia’s Antarctic Program.
Director: Kim Ellis
Executive Assistant: Anne Domaradzki
Executive Officer: Jane Russell
September 27, 2019
The researchers, including from the University of Arkansas in the US, suggested that up to 60% of wheat-growing areas around the world might see severe and prolonged droughts by 2100.
♦ The researchers say that even if the global average temperature is held within 2 degrees Celsius, up to 30% of the global wheat-producing areas will simultaneous drought.
♦ severe drought could affect up to 15% of current wheat-growing areas if the weather patterns currently observed continue along with the same trend.
♦ Food production will be affected by the Global warming
♦ The risk of widespread drought in wheat-producing areas of the world will be four times the current level
♦ It might lead to food insecurity worldwide.
Wheat is the largest rain-fed crop in terms of harvested area. It is a worldwide staple food. It provides about 20% of all calories consumed by humans.
September 26, 2019
European football's governing body, Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), announced that is to plant 6,00,000 trees across 12 countries. The announcement is a part of its commitment to offset carbon emissions from travel to next year's Euro 2020. In all the 12 host countries, UEFA will plant 50,000 trees for the Euro 2020 tournament.
Union of European Football Associations (UEFA):
Parent organization: FIFA
Formed on: 15 June 1954
Founded at: Basel, Switzerland
Headquarters: Nyon, Switzerland
President: Aleksander Čeferin
General Secretary: Theodore Theodoridis
National association members: 55
UEFA is FIFA's one of six continental confederations.
Euro 2020 tournament:
UEFA Euro 2020 will be the 16th UEFA European Championship. The tournament will be hosted in 12 countries from 12 June to 12 July 2020.
September 24, 2019
PM Narendra Modi announced that India is to increase the renewable energy target to 450 GW. He made the announcement at the United Nations Climate Action Summit. PM has also presented a practical approach and a road map to achieve the target. He also reiterated India’s commitment to the creation of 175 GW renewable energy capacity by 2022 under the Paris Climate Agreement.
India's strategies to achieve the target:
♦ India is to spend approximately $50 billion on the Jal Jeevan Mission to conserve water, harvest rainwater and develop water resources.
♦ India has planned to considerably increase the proportion of the biofuel blend in petrol and diesel.
♦ India has plans to make the transport sector green through the use of electrical vehicles.
♦ The country has banned single-use plastics
♦ The International Solar Alliance (ISA), an Indian-led initiative, under which India had provided 160 million families with cooking gas connections.
September 24, 2019
A giant earthworm was found at Kollamogaru, the foot of Western Ghats, Mangaluru, Karnataka. The earthworm measured 3 ft 5 cm. The earthworm is being preserved in chemical solutions at the laboratory of the department at the Mangalagangotri campus of the university. The giant earthworm is being studied at the Mangalagangotri campus of the university.
In 2008, the largest earthworm, Drawida nilamburensis, which belongs to the Moniligastridae family was found. That specimen was found from the Nilgiris and it measured up to 1,000 mm in length.
September 24, 2019
Australian researchers have discovered nine new species of bees in Fiji. Some of the species have already shown signs of exposure to the environmental changes. The discovery of the bee species will give an opportunity to highlight the risks.
One of the newly discovered species has been named Homalictus terminalis. This species is at the risk of climate-related extinction. It is found only on Mount Batilamu near the city of Nadi. The species has only been found within 95 metres of the mountain peak.
Black Homalictus achrostus:
Black H. achrostus features unusual large mandibles. It is one of the most interesting endemic bee species on Fiji. It is found only on top of the mountain. It is one of the four previously described species of endemic bee in Fiji.
It is named in honour of Flinders biological sciences graduate Dr. Scott Groom. He uncovered the hidden diversity using molecular techniques with Flinders University and the South Australian Museum in 2009.
September 23, 2019
A report by the world’s leading climate agencies said that the period from 2015 to 2019 is likely to be the hottest five-year period on record since 1850. The report was released ahead of the United Nations Climate Action Summit which is to be held in New York.
The report pointed out that the gaps between agreed targets to combat global warming and the ground reality.
The report said that the greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere have risen to record levels. This will cause locking in the warming trend for decades to come.
It also said that the global average temperature increased 1.1°C since 1850–1900, the pre-industrial period, and by 0.2°C compared to 2011-2015.
Carbon dioxide reached a record high of 37 billion tonnes of concentration and grew to 2% in 2018.
September 22, 2019
The Western Railway has installed a polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottle crushing machine in Mumbai Rajdhani Express for the first time ever. The PET bottle crusher machine was installed in the train under the Indian Railways' Swachh Bharat and Go Green missions. The move also ties in with an impending ban of single-use plastic by the Centre.
The installation of the PET bottle crusher is expected to reduce carbon footprints by 100% recycling. This will also avoid littering in landfill from bottle waste. To create awareness to the people about the ban on single-use plastic, the Western Railways has put up selfie points at Churchgate and Andheri stations.
PET bottle crusher machine:
PET bottle crusher machine can accept all types of PET bottles from 200 ml to 2.5 litres capacity and has an internal storage bin of approximately 20 litres which is equivalent to 1500 bottles. This crushing machine can crush up to 3,000 bottles per day.
The Indian Railways is also planning to serve tea, snacks, and meals in kulhads and other earthenware plates to the Rail passengers at 400 major stations across the country. To support the measure, the Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) has agreed to provide 30,000 electric potter wheels along with the grinding machines to recycle/crush the earthenware.
September 21, 2019
Amazon Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos have announced The Climate Pledge. The pledge is a commitment to meet Paris Agreement's goal 10 years early by achieving net-zero carbon across businesses by 2040. As a part of its pledge, the company has partnered with American startup Rivian and ordered 1 lakh electric vans (EVs) for deliveries starting 2021.
Amazon will have 10,000 new EVs on the road as early as 2022 and all 100,000 vehicles on the road by 2030. The company expects that this induction of EVs will help in saving 4 Mn metric tons of carbon per year by 2030.
As per the Climate Pledge:
The company will measure and report greenhouse gas emissions on a regular basis
Decarbonization strategies will be implemented by Amazon as per the Paris Agreement. The implementation will be done by real business changes and innovations, including efficiency improvements, renewable energy, materials reductions, and other carbon emission elimination strategies
The company aims to neutralize the remaining emissions to achieve net-zero annual carbon emissions by 2040.
September 19, 2019
The researchers from the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and London's Natural History Museum has identified a new species of giant salamander using DNA from museum specimens. The 74-year-old museum specimen can possibly be the world's biggest amphibian. The specimens were collected in the 1920s.
The researchers found three distinct genetic lineages in salamanders from China. The species are Andrias davidianus, Andrias sligoi, and a third species which has yet to be named. Andrias davidianus was earlier considered as a single species.
The suspected world's biggest amphibian species has been named Andrias sligoi, or the South China giant salamander. It is suspected that it is the largest amphibian among the 8,000 amphibians that are alive today. The idea about the species was first proposed in the 1920s based on an unusual salamander from southern China that lived at the time at London Zoo. This species can reach nearly two metres.
Chinese giant salamanders:
Chinese giant salamanders are usually considered as the world's biggest amphibians. This species has been now classified as Critically Endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Redlist. The species which was once widespread throughout central, southern and eastern China have currently moved widely around China. The species is rare in wild but millions can be seen in farms. Humans moved the salamanders around China to stock farms for food. It is also used for medicinal purposes. The species numbers have been catastrophically declined recently due to the recent overexploitation for food. Urgent measures are being taken for the conservation of the species.
September 16, 2019
Three lions are associated with one lioness(four lions) within the 2-3 year age were saved from one hundred feet deep unused well on the farm in Manavav in the evening of 14th Sept 2019 in the Gir forest at Gujarat.
How lions rescued from well:
The farm owner has alerted the officers. the forest department team managed well to rescue the lions and lioness by operating through the night. the well was dry and also the four lions had to be dragged out with the assistance of residents and instrumentality they had carried to rescue.
The Gujarat government had constructed 37,201 parapets on open wells in forests to stop lions from falling into them. According to officers, there are over 50,000 wells that cause danger to wild animals
Gir National park:
Gir park may be a forest and life sanctuary close to Talala Gir in Gujarat,it is established in 1965.it is totally protected as a park and 1,153 km2. The 14th Asiatic Lion Census was conducted in 2015. the population of lions was 523 (27% up compared to the previous census in 2010). The population of lions was 411 in 2010 and 359 in 2005. The population of lions in the Junagadh District was 268, Gir Somnath District was 44, Amreli District was 174 (highest increase), and Bhavnagar District was thirty-seven. There are 109 males, 201 females and 213 young/cubs.
September 12, 2019
A new species of pterosaur called Cryodrakon boreas which was recently discovered was unveiled by scientists. The previously unknown type of pterosaur was one of the largest flying animals that ever lived.
Cryo Drakon boreas, which means frozen dragon of the north wind flew over North America 77 million years ago. The plane-sized reptile had a wingspan of 32.8 feet and it weighed 250 kilograms, researchers said in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.
The fossils of Cryodrakon were initially found 3 decades ago in Dinosaur Provincial Park, located in Alberta, Canada. However, scientists thought that the fossil belonged to Quetzalcoatlus.
The fossils found include legs, neck, a rib and part of the wings. The remains were of a juvenile whose wingspan was about 16.4 feet. However, the palaeontologists studied the giant neck bone of an adult to estimate that the wingspan of a fully grown Cryodrakon would be about 32.8 feet. Cryodrakon belonged to the azhdarchids family of pterosaurs which is known for having long necks.
Cryodrakon was a carnivore and ate lizards, small mammals and even baby dinosaurs.
Even though the reptile had a wing capacity to cross oceans, the fossil records show that they stayed close to the inland.
Fragmentary remains of more than 100 known species of pterosaurs have been found across North and South America, Asia, Africa and Europe.
September 11, 2019
Research Scientists from the biological science Survey of India (BSI) have discovered 2 new species of ginger. Zingiber prenense has been discovered from the Peren district of Nagaland and Zingiber dimapurense was found within the Dimapur in Nagaland on 11th Sept.
About Two new species:
The first new species Zingiber dimapurense is looking with the flower in white color with dark- red blotches and its leafy shoot is about 90-120 cm tall.
The second species Zingiber perenense reach up to 70 cm tall with the lip of the white flower with purplish-red streaks.
Collection of species:
The specimen of genus Zingiber dimapurense was collected in October 2016 from the Hekese village. The genus Zingiber perenense was collected in Sep 2017 in peren, Nagaland. They began flowering in June 2018. The Zingiber has 141 species distributed throughout Asia and more than 20 species are found in northeastern India.
September 10, 2019
Tamil Nadu State government has announced penalty and imprisonment on defacing trees on the roadside. The state mentioned it as anti-nature to hit nails on trees.
Defacing the tree including putting up many metal rods and electric wires on trees for decoration. This reduces the lifetime of a tree. To avoid this the State has introduced this move.
The Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) said that people who deface roadside trees by putting up advertisements, cables and lights will face a penalty of Rs.25,000 and a jail term of up to 3 years. The State has given 10 days to private organizations and individuals to remove such advertisements.
The prohibitor will be punished under the Chennai City Municipal Corporation Act, 1919. Section 326 of the Act explains the regulations and procedures on how hoarding can be put up in a public place in the corporation limits. It also requires a license from the District Collector. GCC has now extended this Act to include roadside trees.
September 8, 2019
The Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (I&B) has announced its plan to get rid of single-use plastic within the secretariat. The Ministry has encouraged the staffers to turn the recycled paper.
The reason aims to implement the ban as it plans to have a clean and green environment with collective responsibility and endless methods toward achieving the goal of plastic-free surroundings. All the Ministry officials are requested to discontinue the single-use of plastic folders, plastic water bottles, and different such things forthwith and instead start/encourage the utilization of recycled paper.
On 4 July 2019, Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the people to avoid single-use plastic. Minister Prakash Javadekar advised that each one involved within secretariat and media units are ought to discontinue the utilization of single-use plastics.
September 2, 2019
The Uttarakhand government has determined to set up a Special Tiger Force for Jim Corbett Tiger Reserve. It will function as an abundantly required second layer of protection with the big cat. The force can have 85 posts.
Special tiger force:
The STPF is effective in checking outlaw human intrusion into the reserve through villages situated on its fringes for 250 tigers at the reserve.
The need for such a force was being felt by life specialists and conservationists for an extended time with three-tier protection to tigers at reserves.
About Three Tier protection :
The First layer of protection is by beat level forest guards through regular patrols.
The second layer of protection is by STPF.
The third layer of protection comes from intelligence gathering mechanism within which forest, police and central intelligence agencies personnel work along to stop crimes like cooking of tigers.
August 31, 2019
Air India has banned the usage of single-use plastic on the flight of its subsidiaries from October 2, 2019. The subsidiaries of Air India are Air India Express and Alliance Air. Also, Air India has announced that in its second phase, the single-use plastic will be banned in all Air India flights.
From October 2, the banana chips and sandwiches on Alliance Air flights and Air India Express flights will be packed in butter paper pouches instead of plastic pouches. Instead of Cake slices uplifted in snack boxes, muffins will be served to avoid the present plastic wrapping.
Also, the crew meal cutlery will be replaced with lightweight steel cutlery. Tea and Coffee will be served only on sturdy paper cups. Eco-friendly birch wood cutlery will be used for special meals that are ordered and paid for by passengers in advance in the crew of Alliance Air and Air India Express.
Plastic in India:
A report by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change said, in India, about 20,000 tonnes of plastic waste is generated every day. Out of this, only 13,000-14,000 tonnes are collected.
The move comes after the Centre announced its plan for the reduction in the use of single-use plastic. The Union government will be announcing its first move towards freeing India of single-use plastic on October 2, which is Mahatma Gandhi’s birth anniversary.
August 30, 2019
The Ministry of Environment released over Rs.47,000 crore for compensatory afforestation in 27 states. The fund also includes other green activities like prevention of forest fire, biodiversity management, and soil conservation. The funds were released by the Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar under Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA). The fund will be utilized for wet conservation works in forests, voluntary relocation of villages from protected areas, management of biological resources and diversity, analysis in biological science and observance of CAMPA works among others.
States receiving funds:
The states that will be receiving the funds for afforestation are Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Telangana, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Haryana, Punjab, Assam, Bihar, Sikkim, Manipur, Goa, West Bengal, Mizoram, Tripura, Meghalaya, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
Among the states, Odisha received the highest amount of Rs.6,000 crore followed by Chhattisgarh with Rs.5,791 crore and Madhya Pradesh with Rs.5,196 crore respectively. Kerala got the least with Rs.81.59 crore.
The CAMPA funds can not be used for payment of pay, travel allowances, medical expenses, etc.
Important activities on the fund:
The Important activities that will be carried out using the fund include antagonistic conversion, drainage area Treatment, life Management, Management of Biological Diversity and Biological Resources, analysis in biology and watching of CAMPA works, etc.
The Fund will be utilized according to the provisions of the Compensatory Afforestation Fund (CAF) Act and Rules. The Centre plans to use geographic tagging technology to follow up whether the States are using their allotted funds appropriately.
August 30, 2019
Researchers of the Puducherry-based Indigenous Biodiversity Foundation (IBF) discovered a Peacock Parachute Spider or Gooty Tarantula in the Pakkamalai Reserve Forests close to Villupuram district, Tamil Nadu. The species was found at totally different locations within the reserve forests.
The species was cross-matched with photographic proof printed by the installation reaching Organisation and life data Liaison Development Society. The spider was found in 1899 by Reginald Innes Pocock on the premise of one feminine specimen in Gooty, Andhra Pradesh. After 102 years later this species has been recorded at a degraded forest between Nandyal and Giddalur, Andhra Pradesh.
Peacock Parachute spider:
The Scientific name of the species is Poecilotheria Metallica. It is commonly known with the name Peacock Parachute Spider or Gooty Tarantula. The natural habitat of the species is a deciduous forest in Andhra Pradesh. It is the only species that is covered with blue hair. It is less chromatic when it is young and turns blue as it matures.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) classified it as Critically vulnerable. This species is endemic to India. Species of the genus are supported on the undersurface of the legs.
August 30, 2019
The Government planned to establish an International Standard Zoo and Biopark on the forest land at Gorewada, Nagpur. The main aim is to protect forests. The Zoo will have attractions like Bio Park, Indian Safari, African Safari, Night Safari, Research, Education and Training, facilities for tourists.
The Government of Maharashtra accorded permission for establishing the International Zoo, through Forest Development Corporation of Maharashtra Limited (FDCM. Ltd.), Nagpur. The formation of Special Purpose Vehicle of FDCM. Ltd and a Joint Venture Company of private investors under Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode of financing with government stake at 51% was approved. The Government agreed to provide Viability Gap Funding (V.G.F) of Rs. 200 crore.
The tasks of protection of forests and wildlife at the Gorewada forests and wildlife habitat development have been assigned to FDCM Ltd for which State Forest Department is providing grants and manpower at the disposal of FDCM Ltd. The task of construction of Indian Safari and ancillary activities, Water Reservoir, and Gorewada Reserve has been given to FDCM Ltd. with Government Grants.
August 28, 2019
Union atmosphere Minister Prakash Javadekar has announced a project to restore 50 lakh hectare land by 2030. The Ministry aims to save 29.3% of land in India that was affected by degradation.
The project aims to develop and adopt best practices for the restoration process. It will also ensure the monitoring protocols for the Indian states and build capacity within the 5 pilot states, namely Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Nagaland and Karnataka on forest landscape restoration (FLR) and Bonn challenge.
India is hosting the Conference of Parties (COP) 14 of the United Nations Convention Combat geologic process (UNCCD) from 2-13 September in Noida. It is expected that over 5,000 representatives from more than 197 will be participating in the two-week conference.
About the land geologic process:
One-third of the globe faces challenges in the matter of land. Several factors like over-exploitation, over crazing, over-waterlogging, flood, and wind has destroyed the land. The centre is taking efforts to revive the devastated land into fertile land by 2030.
The plans to facilitate cut back land degradation was launched in the previous few years under various schemes and ideas like Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana, Soil Health Card theme, Soil Health Management theme, Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojna (PKSY) and Per Drop additional Crop.
August 24, 2019
The World Health Organization (WHO) reported that the number of Microplastics in drinking water does not pose a health risk at current levels. This is the WHO's first report into the consequences of microplastics on human health. WHO looked into the particular impact of Microplastics in faucet and drinking water. It conducted a lot of in-depth analysis into Microplastics and also the potential impact on human health.
Microplastics are larger than 150 micrometers will not be absorbed by the organic structure of the human body. The uptake of smaller particles is limited.
The drinkable studies have found Microplastics concentrations starting from 1 to 0.001 microparticles per litre with the balance of chemical, physical, and infection-related risks of drinking these particles.
Effects of Microplastics:
Microplastics contain chemicals that might probably hurt organs like flame retardants, or cause injuries many diseases. Even less is thought Nanoscale plastic particles can cause epithelial duct as just microscopic particles.
August 24, 2019
Discovery India and World Wide Fund (WWF) India have partnered with the Forest Directorate. The government of West Bengal and local communities in the Sundarbans.
The mangrove forest, the habitat of Bengal tigers, to reduce the tiger-human conflict and also as part of a global movement “Project CAT -Conserving Acres for Tigers”.WWF India and Discovery India are working with government agencies Their main aim is to help the local communities and village panchayats and to focuses on farmland productivity through low-cost measures
The Two Sundarbans Ecological Observatories will be set up each featuring data loggers, monitoring buoys and an onsite laboratory. This is to be done in partnership with West Bengal Forest Directorate and Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research (IISER)Kolkata. Datasets will be built on impacts of climate change on estuarine ecosystem.
A detailed intervention is also being implemented at Manas Tiger Reserve.
August 21, 2019
The Lok Sabha Secretariat has banned the use of non-reusable plastic water bottles and other plastic items within the Parliament complex. All officers and staff of the Secretariat and other allied agencies working in the Parliament House Complex have been advised to use environment friendly biodegradable bags and other material.
The above initiative steps by the Lok Sabha Secretariat is a step towards the call by the Prime Minister to the nation to make the country free from plastics which was set to be achieved by October 2 as the country celebrates the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
About non-reusable plastic bottles:
As many plastics are safe to reuse but some contain components that may be harmful to humans and the environment that can’t reusable. Plastics made up of polyvinyl chlorides having many phthalates which a group of chemicals exposure to phthalates allergy and respiratory problems. Most plastics used for food packaging and disposable food items such as plastic plates, bowls, etc will cause toxin damage, gastrointestinal, kidney and respiratory function.
The World Health Organization's International Agency that did research on Cancer classified styrene in plastics also possible to cause carcinogenic cancer to humans.
August 19, 2019
The Scientists of the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) have discovered two new species of freshwater fish in Mizoram and Himachal Pradesh. Both the fishes were less than seven centimetres.
Glyptothorax gopii, a new species of catfish was found in Mizoram’s Kaladan river. This species measured 63 mm standard length without caudal fin. It has an axe-shaped anterior nuchal plate which makes it distinct from other species of the genus Glyptothorax.
Garra Simbalaraensis was found in Himachal Pradesh’s Simbalbara river. Garra simbalaraensis measured 69 mm standard length without caudal fin. It has a yellowish-grey colour fading ventrally.
Garra simbalbara ensis has a prominent unilobed and rounded proboscis with tubercles that help the fish in manoeuvrability.
The recent discoveries include Garra compressa in 1998, yersglanis jayarami in 1999, G. elongata in 2000, Glyptothorax senapatiensis in 2015, G. tamangi in 2016, and G. chindwinensis and Olya parviocula in 2018. These species were all found in north-eastern India.
August 17, 2019
The Union Minister Prakash Javadekar announced a massive public campaign to make India free of single use plastics at the function ordered by the Indian Consulate in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The Ministry conducted a series of meet with all the stakeholders including state governments gathering to eliminate the use of single-use plastic. It also suggested shopkeepers to provide eco-friendly bags to their customers.
Government's measure to avoid single-use plastics:
Narendra Modi-led government has urged the people to use jute and cloth bags to protect the environment. About 20,000 tonnes of plastic waste is generated every day in the country and out of which only 13,000-14000 tonnes are collected.
The government also urged the shopkeepers to stop selling the plastic bags and used to sell jute and cloth bags. It also directed the Customers should adopt ways to reduce plastic usage in use to abolish plastic usage.
August 16, 2019
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) directed the Ministry of Environment to modify the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP). NGT said that the timelines should be reduced and the target of reduction should be increased considering its adverse effect on public health.
NGT also directed the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and state pollution control boards to asses and ensure the air quality. It also guided them to install enough number of the real-time online continuous Ambient Air Quality Monitoring systems within six months.
National Clean Air Programme (NCAP):
NCAP is the first ever national level strategy to tackle the increasing air pollution problem across the country in a comprehensive manner. This program functions under the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change. The Minister responsible for the Ministry is Prakash Javadekar.
NCAP has proposed to reduce national-level air pollution by 20-30% reduction of PM2.5 and PM10 concentration by 2017-2024.
The Centre is working towards scaling up the air quality monitoring network across the Country. Currently, there are 101 real-time air quality (AQ) monitors are there in the country, where at least 4,000 monitors are needed across the country. Various committee has been set up for the implementation of the programme.
NCAP has also proposed an extensive plantation plans, research on clean-technologies, landscaping of major arterial roads, and stringent industrial standards, real-time physical data collection, data archiving, and an action trigger system in 102 non-attainment cities, across 23 states and Union territories.
August 13, 2019
Mountaineers discovered the Kajin Sara lake in Manang district of Nepal few months ago. This lake in Nepal has set a new record of being the world's highest lake and replaced Tilicho Lake of Nepal.
Kajin Sara lake:
Kajin Sara lake is situated at an altitude of 4,919 metres in the Himalayan nation. It is located at Singarkharka area of Chame rural municipality. The measurement of the lake which is located at an altitude of 5,200 metres, is estimated to be 1,500 metre (1.5 km) long and 600 metre wide. The water of the Kajin’s lake is formed out mainly by melting waters from Himalaya.
Tilicho lake is the currently world’s largest lake situated at an altitude of 4,919 metres it is 4 km long and 1.2 km wide and around 200 metres deep in Nepal.
Nepal is a landlocked country in South Asia. Nepal is the 48th largest country for population. The capital of Nepal is kathmandu. The President of Nepal is Bidhya Devi Bhandari. The current Prime Minister of Nepal is KP Sharma Oli. The Currency is Nepalese rupee. Nepal's official language is Nepali.
August 8, 2019
The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has unveiled a draft plan, Environmental and Social Management Framework (ESMF). The draft was prepared by the Society for Integrated Coastal Management, an affiliated body of the environment ministry, along with the support of World Bank.
The draft is part of a World Bank-funded project. The document gives guidelines to regulate projects in all state coastal zones. It guides how the infrastructure projects situated along the coast should be assessed before clearance.
The project aims to assist the government by enhancing the efficiency of the coastal resource by building collective capacity for adopting and implementing integrated coastal management approaches.
The three coastal States where the project are carried out are Gujarat, Odisha and West Bengal.
Key activities of the proposed project:
The project consist of investments by States including mangrove afforestation/shelter beds, habitat conservation activities including restoration of sea-grass meadows, eco-restoration of sacred groves, development of hatcheries, rearing/rescue centres for turtles and other marine animals.
It also includes the demonstration of climate resilient or salinity resistant agriculture. The creation of infrastructure and facilities aim to support eco-tourism, community-based small-scale mariculture, seaweed cultivation, aquaponics, and value addition to other livelihood activities.
August 4, 2019
The Indian Army has launched an ecological initiative by employing electric cars (E-cars) for the use of Government officials in Delhi. E-cars initiative was launched by the Army in partnership with Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EECL) under the Ministry of Power.
The move comes as a solution to the worsening state of air in the capital city. Air pollution has been a major challenge in Delhi, with it crossing the danger mark often.
Electric vehicle technology is an alternative to combat air pollution and to reduce carbon emission footprint. The EESL has played a vital role in providing these e-vehicles to various Government agencies. Several other Indian automobile manufacturers including Tata Motors and Mahindra have also taken the initiative in manufacturing Electric Cars. The initiative Ecars is expected for the development of electric vehicle technology as it will be adopted by the general public in the near future.
Indian Army's initiatives to combat air pollution:
The Indian Army has played a lead role in several environmental conservation activities. It has been a part of major environmental protection initiatives such as forestation. These moves by the Indian Army are several conservation activities in close coordination with the locals to help preserve the ecological balance and protect the environment.
August 4, 2019
Canada government plans to create a protected marine area in the country's Arctic region. The move is after a severe climate change that took effect three times faster than global average weather.
Multiple species in the coast of Baffin Island, in Canada's northeastern Arctic archipelago are threatened by the Glacial melting and maritime traffic.
The move aims to protect marine area in arctic regions and protect the populations of belugas, narwhals, walruses, seals, polar bears and thousands of other species who depend on year-round sea ice to survive.
These species are now migrating, or in some cases, disappearing, In order to save various species the areas are to be planned in well protecting manner. The establishment of protected marine area would help the Canadian government to achieve its goal to protect 10% of marine and coastal regions by 2020.
Steps taken by Canada govt:
Recently, the Canada government had invested in modernizing the Coast Guard. It launched two Arctic patrol vessels. It aimed to increase protection for national interests in the region.
August 2, 2019
Innovating for Clean Air (IfCA), a two-year UK-India joint initiative providing Indian and UK stakeholders opportunities to test interventions related to air quality and EV integration
The event was launched in Bangalore. British Deputy High Commissioner Dominic McAllister collaborative initiatives are an example of UK.
India can work as a joint force for good on innovative solutions. The country can bring the best of our research communities, academia and businesses together to address shared challenges, such as clean air.
The initiative provides a unique measurement system for air quality by integrating satellite and sensor data and helping to support India's transition to electric vehicles. The programme is led by Innovate UK
It is a part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). It is funded by the Newton Fund with matched resources from various partners in Karnataka and India.
The key partners for the programme are the Indian Institute of Science, Enzen, Project Lithium, Confederation of Indian Industry, C40 Cities and Clean Air Platform. The other partners include Citizens for Sustainability, World Resources Institute, International Institute of Information Technology Bangalore, Shakti Foundation, Shell Technology Centre, Global Business Inroads and India Smart Grid Forum.
July 30, 2019
PM Narendra Modi released the All India Tiger Estimation Report 2018. The massive tiger census is conducted every four years. India now has 2,967 tigers. The growth in the 4th cycle of the Tiger Census has been a 33%. PM Narendra Modi, who released the figures of the tiger estimation and also he says that India has achieved the target of doubling tiger population before the deadline, that is 2022.
India achieved its target:
According to the survey taken in 2006, the recorded figure of tiger was 1,411. In the St.Petersburg Summit held at Russia in 2010, India vowed to double the growth rate of tigers. In 2014, the population of tigers in India was 2,226. According to the latest Tiger census report, it rose to 2,967, that is 33%, in 2018. Indiahas doubled tiger population and has achieved its target for 2022.
Also, in 2014, the number of protected areas were 692, the number increased to more than 860 in 2019. The number of community reserves were 43 in 2014 and it has been to more than 100 in 2019. The recent census indicates that tiger numbers have been increasing continuously.
July 29, 2019
Researchers from Indian Institute of Science(IISc), Bengaluru discovered new vine snake species named Pro Ahaetulla antique (member of the Ahaetuliinae family) evolved around 26 million years ago in the southern Western Ghats.
The common name suggested for these individuals is ‘keeled vine snake’.
Vine snakes get their names due to their slender bodies and vine-like appearances.
There are 4 species of commonly distributed vine snakes, and another one was discovered in Odisha recently in India
This research report has been published in the journal PLOS ONE in collaboration with researchers from Chennai Snake Park, Chennai, and Bombay Natural History Society, Mumbai.
The study was funded by the Department of Biotechnology(DBT), Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC), DBT-IISc Partnership Programme and the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund.
July 27, 2019
Researchers of Queen’s University Belfast found that the scaly-foot snail is the first species to be declared endangered as a result of deep-sea mining. The study also covers assessments of animals living in deep sea hydrothermal vents in the Indian Ocean.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has also added the scaly-foot snail to its global Red List, the international inventory of at-risk species. Also, 14 more species were found in a hydrothermal vent ecosystem that are to be included in the next edition of IUCN’s Red List to be out in 2019.
About Scaly Foot Snail:
Scaly foot snail was first discovered in 2003. It live at depths of up to 9,500 feet in the sea.
Its's shell consists of three layers:
♦ the outer layer which is fortified with iron sulphides
♦ an organic middle layer
♦ a calcified inner layer
The type of snails has an enormous heart.Only an enormous heart can circulate enough blood to oxygenate the snail and its many microbial passengers.