Current Affairs April 2019 Environment
Current Affairs are different from the news magazine. Current Affairs is a form of broadcast journalism where the importance is on detailed analysis and discussion of news that have recently occurred or ongoing at the time of broadcast. Current Affairs April 2019 Environment covers all the important Environment news of the April month.
Environment News – Latest Current Affairs – April 2019
- International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has listed Hump-backed Mahseer as Critically Endangered in the Red List of Threatened Species.
- The Hump-backed Mahseer is a species of freshwater ray-finned fish and is referred to as tiger of the water.
- The Hump-backed Mahseer is found only in the Cauvery river basin including Pambar, Kabini and Bhavani rivers.
- There are about 16 species of mahseer in India.
- Great hornbill which was earlier categorised as “Near Threatened”.
- Hump-backed Mahseer is now “Vulnerable” due to high hunting pressure coupled with habitat loss and deforestation.
- The wreathed hornbill has moved from “Least Concern” to “Vulnerable” by IUCN.
2. State of the Global Climate in 2018
- The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) unveiled the State of the Global Climate in 2018 Report. The highlights of the report are:
- Extreme weather events impacted close to 62 million people in 2018 and displaced more than two million as of September of that year.
- The physical signs and socio-economic impacts of climate change are accelerating as record greenhouse gas concentrations drive global temperatures towards increasingly dangerous levels.
- India Meteorological Department (IMD) has finally declared that weak El Nino conditions are prevalent in the equatorial Pacific Ocean.
- IMD predicts that these conditions are likely to persist in the early part of the summer season and likely to weaken thereafter.
- The initial impact of a weak El Nino can already be seen with the rising temperatures and heat waves across the country.
- Till Mid March IMD was maintaining that “warm ENSO neutral conditions are prevailing over equatorial Pacific Ocean” and that they are likely to remain near to the El Nino threshold value during the next two months.
- The current declaration marks the departure from its earlier predictions.
- The Indian Oil Corporation has stated that Supply of ultra-clean BS-VI grade petrol and diesel has begun in cities adjoining the national capital.
- The rest of the country will follow suit from April 2020. New Delhi is the first city in the country to leapfrog from BS-IV grade petrol and diesel to BS-VI fuels.
2. State of Global Air 2019
- The US-based organisation Health Effects Institute (HEI) has released the State of Global Air 2019. The findings of the Study are:
- Overall long-term exposure to outdoor and indoor air pollution contributed to nearly five million deaths from stroke, diabetes, heart attack, lung cancer, and chronic lung disease in 2017.
- Out of these, three million deaths are directly attributed to PM 2.5, half of which were from India and China.
- South Asia viz. Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Pakistan is the most polluted region, with over 1.5 million air-pollution-related deaths from air pollution in 2017.
- Independent weather forecaster Skymet has made the following predictions about the Southwest Monsoons:
- India could face its third consecutive below-normal monsoon this season, and the rainfall is expected to be 93% of the long-period average.
- With all likelihood of El Niño playing a disruptive role, there is only a 30% chance of normal rain during this year’s southwest monsoon, which delivers about 70% of the country’s annual rainfall and there is a 55% probability of below normal rainfall this year.
- A National Seminar on “Greenery and Landscaping” was organized by the Central Public Works Department (CPWD). The seminar focused on Green Urban Areas. The recommendations made at the conference are:
- Green Urban Areas play an important role in the social and natural sustainability and improve quality of life.
- Greenery and Dense plantation have a major impact on the conservation of energy and reduce the energy requirement of the building.
- In order to maintain a sustainable environment, pollution free clean air, it is essential to take up the plantation work.
2. Report of Amicus Curiae on Kerala Floods
- The amicus curiae Jacob P. Alex appointed by the Kerala High Court to assist it in flood-related cases has submitted the report to the Kerala High Court. The report makes the following observations:
- The sudden release of water simultaneously from different reservoirs during the heavy rain in August 2018 had aggravated the damage during the floods.
- High reservoir storage and sudden release of water had resulted in worsening the floods.
- It appeared that dams in the State did not have an effective flood control zone and flood cushions. The flood cushion or flood control zone is a temporary storage space for absorbing high flow for alleviating downstream flood damage.
- The Air Pollution levels at the Indian cities are at an alarming level. Various Reports have time and again tried to shed light on the quantum of the problem.
- A Delhi based Environment Body claims that the Varanasi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Lok Sabha constituency, is ranked third on the WHO’s list of 15 most polluted cities and the situation is “deteriorating” as its MP has focused on beautification and infrastructure.
- In the ‘Political Leaders Position and Action on Air Quality in India 2014-2019’ report, released by Climate Trends Delhi is ranked sixth on the list.
- The report states that there has been “laziness” on part of its elected caretakers in tackling air pollution in the city.
- The Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) have signed an MoU to map, validate and protect smaller wetlands in the coastal region and restore them through coastal livelihood programmes.
- Smaller wetlands (which were smaller than 2.25 hectares) cover an area of more than 5 lakh hectares across the country, with Kerala alone having as many as 2,592 such wetlands.
- The 4th Resilient Cities Asia-Pacific 2019 Congress is being organised by International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) and hosted by South Delhi Municipal Corporation in New Delhi.
- The congress will offer cities & regions from Asia-Pacific a variety of innovative solutions that build resilience to climate change at the sub-national level.
- The congress will host combination of high-level plenaries and technical sessions on the implementation and achievement of the Sustainable DevelopmentGoals, the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), and the New Urban Agenda of 2016, while at the same time bringing together experts and practitioners who will share their experiences and encourage cities to take actions on resilience.
2. Seychelles President’s Underwater Speech
- Seychelles President Danny Faure delivered a speech from deep below the ocean’s surface.
- Seychelles President made a global plea for stronger protection of the Oceans which are beating blue heart of our planet.
- The underwater speech comes at a time when many island nations including Seychelles threatened by global warming.
- Seychelles is an archipelago of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean, off East Africa. Small island nations like Seychelles are among the most vulnerable to the rise in sea levels caused by climate change.
- The speech was made during a visit to an ambitious British-led science expedition, Nekton Mission exploring the Indian Ocean depths.
- The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has formed a Central Monitoring Committee to prepare and enforce a national plan to make over 350 river stretches pollution free across the country.
- River pollution has caused a serious threat to the safety of water and environment.
- The committee would comprise representatives of NITI Aayog; secretaries of Ministry of Water Resources, Ministry of Urban Development and Ministry of Environment; the director general of National Mission for Clean Ganga and the Central Pollution Control Board chairman.
- The Committee will also coordinate with the River Rejuvenation Committees of the states and oversee the execution of the action plans, taking into account the timelines, budgetary mechanism and other factors.
- The Face of Disasters 2019 report was released by the Sustainable Environment and Ecological Development Society (SEEDS).
- The report is aimed at bringing about a conversation on building a sustainable future, which is beyond response to disasters.
- India is staring at extremes of too little and too much rainfall in 2019. There is a significant drought condition even before the onset of summers.
- In a factual report submitted by the state forest department following the directive of the National Green Tribunal (NGT), it has been stated that there are about Great Indian Bustards (GIBs) in the Jaisalmer area of the Desert National Park in Thar.
- This claim by the Rajasthan Forest Department is contrary to that by the Wildlife Institute of India which had estimated a total population of GIB at 150 for whole India.
- 1. Fact Box: Great Indian Bustard
2. Scientific Name: Ardeotis nigriceps
3. IUCN status: Critically Endangered.
- According to draft of UN report set to be released on May 6, 2019, up to One million world species are at risk of extinction due to human activity.
- It highlights how humanity has undermined natural resources upon which its very survival depends.
- This 44-page draft report which has summarized 1,800-page assessment of scientific literature on the state of Nature conducted by the UN will be examined on 29 April, 2019 by 130 nations that will meet in Paris, France.
- According to research study conducted by Rutgers University in US and published in Journal of Nature, marine ecosystem and sea creatures are most affected by global warming.
- It is first research which compares cold-blooded marine and land species sensitivity to global warming and their ability of finding refuge from heat even while staying in their normal habitats.
- It studied worldwide research on nearly 400 species from lizards and fish to spiders.
- Researchers calculated safe conditions for 88 marine and 294 land species and coolest temperatures available to each species during hottest parts of year.
- According to The India Met Department (IMD) Cyclone Fani in South East Bay of Bengal is likely to intensify from a severe cyclonic storm into a ‘very severe cyclonic storm’ as it approaches coastal Tamil Nadu by 30 April.
- Later, IMD issued red alert for Kerala and Tamil Nadu and asked fishermen to avoid going into sea in South East Bay and adjoining equatorial Indian Ocean and those already at sea to return immediately till further notice.