Environment & Ecology

23rd January – Role of Gram Sabhas in sustainable growth

More than 300 million people including tribals live in and around forest areas in India, depending on forests for their sustenance and livelihood. Ecological security is the prime objective of National Forest Policy, 1988, but forest-dwelling communities cannot be separated from forests. Background – The involvement of communities in forest management was initiated in 1990 …

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17th January – Blue Flag Certification

Recently, the Centre issued an Extraordinary Gazette Notification declaring a list of activities and facilities that would be permissible in the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) areas of certain beaches, which have been identified for obtaining the ‘Blue Flag’ certification. Context – In July 2019, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) had identified …

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7th January – State of the Forest Report

India’s forest cover has increased by 3,976 sq km or 0.56% since 2017. For the second successive time since 2007, the biennial State of Forest Report (SFR) recorded a gain — an impressive 1,275 sq km — in dense forest (including Very Dense Forest with a canopy density of over 70%, and Moderately Dense Forest …

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2nd January – Why is it so cold this year?

This winter, in many parts of the region, maximum temperatures on some days have been nearly 10°C below normal. What is a ‘cold day’? A cold-day condition is said to prevail when the maximum temperature during the day is at least 4.5°C below normal. If the maximum temperature is at least 6.5°C below normal, it …

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23rd December – Renewable energy is the way forward

In a span of just seven days recently, two varying bits of information emerged on the climate change front for India. The first is that India lost 2,018 lives in 2018 due to the fallout of this crisis; and The second is that the country entered the league of top ten nations in Climate Change …

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14th December – Not many lessons learnt from water planning failures

Following the massive water crisis across India in the summer of 2019, the Central government hurriedly launched the Jal Shakti Abhiyan (JSA), a time-bound, mission-mode water conservation campaign to be carried out in two phases, across the 255 districts having critical and over-exploited groundwater levels. It aims to make water conservation a ‘people’s movement’ through …

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11th December – Climate treaty at a tipping point

The annual Climate Summit, with increasing levels of concentration of greenhouse gases, raises questions on global climate policy. Issue – The policy problem is that the Climate Treaty considers symptoms (emissions of greenhouse gases), rather than the causes (use of natural resources). What drove climate change? Three shifts in natural resource use have taken place …

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14th November – India walks its green talk

Among the world’s major economies, India seems the most serious about doing its bit to contain climate change. So suggests a report released by Climate Transparency, a global non-government organisation. Details – Its Brown To Green Report 2019 has reportedly noted that ours is the only country among G20 nations that is close to its …

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5th November – To mitigate air pollution, look beyond tokenism

The odd-even scheme is an out-of-the-box idea with unproven claims on containing AQI levels. It is though a terrific concept (like the laser light display touted as a replacement for crackers this Diwali) to focus attention on air pollution, especially that caused by automobiles. The issue – For three years now, the National Capital Region …

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17th October – What a carbon tax can and can’t achieve against climate change?

Profound uncertainty about the impact of climate change means that estimates of the social cost of carbon have been all over the place. Consider two of the most influential estimates that were released in recent years. Nicholas Stern of the London School of Economics estimated it at $85 per tonne of carbon. William Nordhaus of …

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