GOVERNMENT TO DEVELOP A MASTER PLAN FOR TIGERS AT HIGH ALTITUDE
Union Environment Minister has released recently, a report on Status of Tiger Habitats in high altitude ecosystems.
The reveals that ecology at high altitude is compatible for the tiger growth and the inputs from this study can be used to prepare a high altitude tiger master plan.
This study, led by the GTF, with range country governments of Bhutan, India and Nepal, along with conservation partners (WWF and country specific collaborators), has been supported by the Integrated Tiger Habitat Conservation Programme (ITHPC) of the IUCN AND dFw.
This provides the action strategy for a high altitude tiger master plan, with gainful portfolio for local communities and ensuring centrality of tiger conservation in development, through an effective coordination mechanism, involving stakeholders and line departments operating within the landscape.
The habitat of tiger of varied, encompassing several biomes and ecological conditions. However, most of the high-altitude habitats, within the range have not been surveyed for an appraisal of tiger presence, prey and habitat status. Hence, it become important to embark on a said appraisal, involving mapping of the habitat and carrying out a situation analysis for a future roadmap. Tiger habitats in high altitude require protection through sustainable land use, as they are a high value ecosystem with several hydrological and ecological processes providing ecosystem services and adaptation to mitigate the ill effects of climate change. Several high-altitude habitats in South Asia have the spatial presence of tiger, active in-situ efforts are called for ensuring their conservation.
GOVERNMENT TO PULL OUT ALL THE STOPS TO CUT USE OF PLASTICS
The Union government is working on a multiministerial plan to discourage the use of single use plastics across the country, likely to kick off on October 2, Gandhi Jayanti. A presentation for the same has been prepared and circulated across the Ministries. The nodal Ministry for the scheme would be the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, which has been asked not just to ensure and enforce the ban on single use plastics but also finalise the pending policy for Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR), especially on milk packet.
The Department of Industrial Promotion (Ministry of Commerce & Industry) will ensure that all cement factories use plastic as fuel. National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) will ensure that the plastic waste is collected and transported responsibly along National Highways. The collected plastic waste will be used for road construction. According to studies quoted by officials, roads constructed using water plastic are durable against extreme weather conditions and are also cost-effective.
The Ministry of Railways will organize massive shramdaans (voluntary work) on October 2 for the collection of plastic waste at railway stations and along the rail tracks. Food and Consumer Affairs Ministry has decided to put-forth a blanket ban on all types of single-use plastic that is used in the ministry & the PSUs including Food Corporation of India (FCI). Ministry of Textiles has pushed for greater production of jute bags to replace plastic bags. Ministry of Tourism is set to ensure & create awareness on single-use plastic at iconic tourist spots.
AUSTRALIA DOWNGRADES OUTLOOK FOR GREAT BARRIER REEF TO ‘VERY POOR’
The long-term outlook for Australia’s Great Barrier Reef was downgraded to “very poor” for the first time by the official agency charged with managing the world heritage site.
In its latest five-yearly report on the health of the world’s largest coral reef, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority singled out rising sea temperatures due to climate change as the biggest threat to the giant organism.
The significant and large-scale impacts from record-breaking sea surface temperatures have resulted in coral reef habitat transitioning from poor to very poor condition.
Strong and effective management actions are urgent at global, regional and local scales to rescue the 2,300-kilometre (1,400-mile) reef, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
The report published by The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority-An Australian Agency will be a major input into UNESCO’s Committee.
There are high chances that Great barrier reef to be considered for “ List of World Heritage in Danger”
CENTRE RELEASES ₹47,436 CRORE TO 27 STATES FOR AFFORESTATION
The Union Environment Ministry has transferred ₹47,436 crore to 27 States for afforestation.
These are long-pending dues part of the Compensatory Afforestation Fund (CAF), a ₹54,000 crore tranche that has been collected for nearly a decade as environmental compensation from industry, which has razed forest land for its business plans.
The amount to be paid by industry depends on the economic value of the goods and services that the razed forest would have provided. These include timber, bamboo, firewood, carbon sequestration, soil conservation, water recharge, and seed dispersal. Industrialists pay this money and this is eventually transferred to the States concerned to carry out afforestation. Only a fraction of this corpus had actually been disbursed to States, due to the lack of a legal framework and instances of States using it for nonforestry purposes.
Centre would use geographic tagging technology to keep a tab on whether States were using their allotted funds appropriately. The Fund will be used as per provisions of the CAF Act and Rules. These include catchment area treatment, wildlife management, forest fire prevention, soil and moisture conservation work in the forest, it cannot be used for payment of salary, travelling allowances, making buildings and buying office equipment for forest officers. Odisha, the top recipient of funds, got nearly ₹6,000 crore followed by Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh with ₹5,791 crore and ₹5,196 crore respectively. Kerala got the least with ₹81.59 crore.
GIRAFFES CLOSE TO BEING CLASSIFIED AS ‘CRITICALLY ENDANGERED’
In Africa, the population of the world’s tallest mammals are quietly, yet sharply, in decline. Giraffe numbers across the continent fell 40% between 1985 and 2015, to just under 100,000 animals, according to the best figures available to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The rate of decline is much higher in central and eastern regions, with poaching, habitat destruction and conflict the main drivers blamed for thinning herds of these gentle creatures.