VULTURE CULTURE :
- In the late 1990s, when the population of the vultures in the country had begun to decline sharply, one White-backed vulture was rescued from Keoladeo National Park in Rajasthan, where vultures were dying at an alarming rate.
- To study the cause of deaths of vultures, a Vulture Care Centre (VCC) was set up at Pinjore, Haryana.
- Starting with just a few vultures, the VCC, until then the sole facility for conservation of vultures in the country, has come a long way in the past two decades.
- Later in 2004, the VCC was upgraded to being the first Vulture Conservation and Breeding Centres (VCBC) in India.
- At present there are nine Vulture Conservation and Breeding Centres (VCBC) in India, of which three are directly administered by Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS).
- The main objective of the VCBCs was to look after the vultures and breed them in captivity and also release them into the wild.
- The major reason behind the vulture population getting nearly wiped out was the drug Diclofenac, found in the carcass of cattle the vultures fed on.
- The drug, whose veterinary use was banned in 2008, was commonly administered to cattle to treat inflammation.
- India‘s conservation efforts are focussed on the three species of vultures which are Critically Endangered according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
UTTARAKHAND PLANS BIO-FENCES TO CHECK MAN-ANIMAL CONFLICT
- To prevent wild animals from entering residential areas and to protect agricultural crops and livestock in areas adjoining to forests, the Uttarakhand government has decided to carry out bio-fencing by growing various species of plants in those areas.
- According to officials, lemongrass, agave, rambans, and certain species of chilly and some other plant species have been identified to be grown in areas where wild animals enter residential areas and near forests.
- Once these plants are in place, the department will string beehives in the next phase to deter elephants.
- The state Forest Department had been using traditional methods like solar-powered wire fencings, walls and pits in the woods to prevent the entry of elephants, wild boars, tigers, leopards and others in residential areas.
- Officials said bio-fencing will be economical and environment-friendly as compared tothe other methods.
- The farmers can also earn by growing lemongrass- which is a good source of oil.
- Bio-fencing will help in saving the money that the government spends on building walls, digging pits and solar-powered wire fencing.
- Reduce the man-animal conflict, prevent wild animals from entering residential areas, and protect agricultural crops and livestock in areas adjoining the forests.
WORLD OZONE DAY
- Every year, 16th September is observed as the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone layer.
- In 1994, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 16th September the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer, commemorating the date of the signing, in 1987, of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer.
- “32 years and healing‖ is the theme of 25th World Ozone Day celebrations.
- The theme signifies over three decades of remarkable international cooperation to protect the ozone layer and also the climate system under the Montreal Protocol.
- The abundance of Ozone Depleting Substances (ODSs) in the atmosphere is declining and a recent study has indicated that the ozone hole is recovering.
UNCCD – COP 14
- Held in Greater Noida, this was the first time that India hosted an edition of the UNCCD COP.
- The theme of the Conference was ‗Restore land, Sustain future‘.
- India being the global host for COP 14 has taken over the COP Presidency from China for the next two years till 2021.
- Delhi Declaration is an ambitious statement of global action by each country on how to achieve Land Degradation Neutrality.
- In an unprecedented global campaign to save productive land, country parties have agreed to make the Sustainable Development Goal target of achieving land degradation neutrality by 2030 a national target for action.
- It also reiterated India‘s commitment to achieving land degradation neutrality by2030.
- Commitment for a range of issues, including gender and health, ecosystem restoration, taking action on climate change, private sector engagement, Peace Forest Initiative and recovery of five million hectares of degraded land in India.
- It is launched as a one-stop-shop for all actions on drought.
- It is a sort of knowledge bank which contains tools that strengthen the ability of countries to anticipate and prepare for drought effectively and mitigate their impacts as well as tools that enable communities to anticipate and find the land management tools that help them to build resilience to drought.
International coalition for action on Sand and Dust storms (SDS)
- The coalition will develop an SDS source base map with the goal of improving monitoring and response to these storms.
The initiative of Sustainability, Stability, and Security (3S)
- Launched by 14 African countries to address migration driven by land degradation.
Cooperation From Youth
The global Youth Caucus on Desertification and Land convened its first official gathering in conjunction with the UNCCD COP14 to bring together youth advocates from different parts of the world, to build their capacity, share knowledge, build networks and to engage them meaningfully in the UNCCD processes.
Peace Forest Initiative
- It is an initiative of South Korea to use ecological restoration as a peace-building process. It aims at addressing the issue of land degradation in conflict-torn border areas and would go a long way in alleviating tensions and building trust between communities living there and between enemy countries in particular.
- India is among the select few countries to have hosted the COP of all three Rio conventions on climate change, biodiversity, and land.
WORLD BAMBOO DAY
- Every year, September 18 is observed as the World Bamboo Day by the World Bamboo Organisation, in order to generate awareness about conserving and promoting the bamboo industry.
- Known as green gold, bamboo is ubiquitous as it dominates rural and urban landscapes.
- From artifacts to sustainable architecture, bamboo remains a favorite as it‘s fast to grow, low on maintenance and has versatile potential.
- According to reports, India is the world‘s second-largest cultivator of bamboo after China, with 136 species and 23 genera spread over 13.96 million hectares, according to the State of Environment report 2018.
- The National Bamboo Mission, under the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, has been initiated to provide a boost to livelihood and environmental acreage.
- Additionally, in 2017, Parliament ‗declassified‘ bamboo as ‗a tree‘ on non-forest lands.
- Similarly, a scheme called SFURTI (Scheme of Fund for Regeneration of Traditional Industries) is being implemented by the Ministry of Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSME) in order to boost traditional industries and bamboo artisans.