Daily Current Affairs – 2020
Topic: For Prelims and Mains
Why in News?
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has recently directed the Odisha government to prepare an action plan within three months on 14 marked elephant corridors to provide free migration from one habitat of elephants to another in the state.
- The Orissa Wildlife Society had sought the intervention of the NGT for necessary legal action against the encroachers in the proposed corridors and those violating the provisions of the Forest (Protection) Act 1980 and the Indian Forest Act 1927.
- The elephants in India are included in Schedule-I under the Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972 and in Appendix-I of the International Trade Convention of Endangered Flora and Fauna (CITES).
What are Elephant Corridors?
- Elephant corridors are narrow strips of land that connect two large habitats of elephants.
- Elephant corridors are crucial to reduce animal fatalities due to accidents and other reasons. So fragmentation of forests makes it all the more important to preserve migratory corridors.
Why protect elephant corridors?
- The movement of elephants is essential to ensure that their populations are genetically viable.
- It also helps to regenerate forests on which other species, including tigers, depend.
- Nearly 40% of elephant reserves are vulnerable, as they are not within protected parks and sanctuaries. Also, the migration corridors have no specific legal protection.
- Forests that have turned into farms and unchecked tourism are blocking animals’ paths. Animals are thus forced to seek alternative routes resulting in increased elephant-human conflict.
- Weak regulation of ecotourism is severely impacting important habitats. It particularly affects animals that have large home ranges, like elephants.
Elephant Corridors in India:
- After the growing problem of elephants and human conflict, efforts are now being made in India to develop and protect a corridor between the two forests.
- With this, it will be possible to stop elephants in the forest itself and the incidence of entering their populated areas will be reduced.
- There are 110 corridors for elephant movement in the country.
About 70 percent of these are regularly used by elephants.
Facts for Prelims:
HL-2M Tokamak: The Artificial Sun of China:
China successfully powered up its “artificial sun” nuclear fusion reactor for the first time marking a great advance in the country’s nuclear power research capabilities.
- The HL-2M Tokamak reactor is China’s largest and most advanced nuclear fusion experimental research device.
Name of the mission: Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST).
Location: Sichuan province
- The reactor is often called an “artificial sun” due to the enormous heat and power it produces.
- It uses a powerful magnetic field to fuse hot plasma and can reach temperatures of over 150 million degrees Celsius which is approximately ten times hotter than the core of the sun.
Scientists hope that the device can potentially unlock a powerful clean energy source.