Minamata convention
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Feb 2018 – Environment News

ENVIRONMENT NEWS BITS – FEB ‘18

 India State of Forest Report 2017

It is a biannual report released by Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate change (MoEFCC). This report states that Forest Cover in India has increased by approximately 1% since 2015. Now the Forest cover is 24.39% ( less than the target 33%). At present 15 States and Union Territories have 33% Forest cover. Very Dense Forest cover has been increased after a long time. Mangrove Forest cover has been increased by 181 Sq.km. None of the 12 Mangrove states showed decline in mangrove Forest cover. Madhya Pradesh tops the list followed by Arunachal Pradesh and Chattisgarh. State where forest cover increased is Andhra Pradesh followed by Karnataka and Kerala. However North East States saw decline in their Forest cover. India is among the top 10 Countries in terms of Forest cover in which except India (382) all other nations have Population density less than 150 persons per Sq.km.

forest survey of india

Himalayan Research Fellowship Scheme

The Government of India has given approval to Himalayan Research Fellowship Scheme to study Physical, Biological, Management and Social Aspects of Himalayas through Young and trained Environmental Managers, Ecologists and Socio Economists. This scheme will be executed in various institutions of Himalayan belt and first preference will be given to the North East States. As per Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate change (MoEFCC), research will be taken up on broad thematic areas such as Water Management, Hydro power development, Eco tourism etc. Fellowships will be awarded for 3 years and Financial support will be granted by National Mission on Himalayan Studies.

Super Straw Management System made Mandatory

In order to combat Stubble Burning, Government of Punjab made it mandatory to use Super Straw Management System along with Combined Paddy Harvester. Stubble Burning is declared as major cause for heavy winter Smog in Delhi by the Delhi High Court in 2016. If Super Straw Management system is attached to self propelled Paddy Harvester, it will cut down the stubbles into small pieces. Hence there is no need to burn the stubbles left in harvested field. Thereby Pollution through Stubble Burning will be reduced drastically.

Ghodazari Wildlife Sanctuary

Government of Maharashtra approves Ghodazari area in Chandrapur district as new Wildlife Sanctuary. It is located northeast to Tadoba Tiger Reserve and includes some parts of Brahmapuri Forest. It is an important corridor for wild animals moving from Tadoba-Andhari Wildlife sanctuary to Umred-Karhandla Wildlife Sanctuary and Vice versa. It will be helpful to provide employment opportunities for rural youths around the Forest.

Floating Treatment Wetland in Hyderabad

Floating Treatment Wetland (FTW) is like a Artificial island in a water body in order to get rid o Complex pollutants such as Nitrates. FTW is launched in Neknampur Lake in Hyderabad. Based on Hydroponics Technology, FTW comprises of 4 layers in which Base layer with Bamboo over which Styrofoam cubicles is placed, Third with Gunny bags and Final layer with Gravels. Cleaning agents such as Vettiver, Hibiscus, Ashwagandha, Tulsi to be planted on FTW. Microorganisms in the FTW will help to breakdown Complex pollutants. Root system will filter out sediments and Pollutants. This Technology is much cheaper than Sewage Treatment plant and helps to restore Biodiversity. Neknampur Lake Floating Treatment Wetland is largest FTW in India.

Pelican Bird Festival 2018

Pelican bird festival 2018 held for first time in Atapaka Bird Sanctuary which is one of the largest Pelicinary in the World. During Winter thousands of Pelican migrate here, reside and reproduce. This Sanctuary located on Kolleru lake in Andhra Pradesh which is Wildlife Sanctuary since 1999 and Wetland of International Importance since 2002. This Lake is Important site for resident and migratory birds. Other birds migrate here are Siberian cranes, ibis and Painted stork.

Ratification of Minamata Convention

India ratified Minamata Convention on February, 2018. It deals with the protection of Human Health and Environment from anthropogenic emissions of Mercury. This convention is named after Japanese city Minamata which underwent devastating mercury accidents. It was signed in 2013 and is effective from August, 2017. It protects the vulnerable and poor from harmful effects of mercury and urges enterprises to make alternative to mercury based products. It also allows for continued use of mercury and mercury compounds till 2025.

Minamata convention
Image source: econews

 Atal Bhujal Yojana

This scheme involves recharging Ground Water, reviving surface water bodies and make sufficient water storage facilities for agricultural purposes. This scheme is sponsored by Central Government along with World Bank. It will helpful to water deficient States such as Gujarat, Haryana, Rajasthan etc. It also focussed on Community participation and make aware of depleting ground water resource.

India to host World Environment Day 2018

India will host World Environment Day 2018 with theme “Beat Plastic Pollution”. India is one of the leading country and has one of the highest recycling rates in the World. As per reports, every year the world uses 500 Billion  plastic bags and a total of 8 million tonnes of plastic wastes is dumped in the ocean. Further, Plastic waste accounts 10% of total generated wastes.


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