Daily Current Affairs – 2020
Topic: For Prelims and Mains
Nagar Van Scheme
9th June, 2020
Why in News?
Recently, on World Environment Day, the Government announced the implementation of the Nagar Van scheme to develop 200 Urban Forests across the country in the next five years.
- The scheme aims to develop 200 Urban Forests across the country in the next five years with Warje Urban Forest in Pune (Maharashtra) to be considered as a role model for the Scheme.
- The scheme will focus on people’s participation and collaboration between the Forest Department, Municipal bodies, NGOs, Corporates and local citizens.
- These urban forests will primarily be on the existing forest land in the City or any other vacant land offered by local urban local bodies.
- The scheme will be financed by the CAMPA (Compensatory Afforestation Fund (CAF) Act, 2016) funds.
- The Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change (MoEFCC) will be the nodal agency for scheme implementation.
What is Urban Forest?
Urban Forest refers to forested areas in the vicinity of a city accessible to the city dwellers suitably managed for providing a wholesome natural environment for recreation, conservation education, biodiversity conservation and support services like water and soil conservation, pollution abatement, reduction of heat islands effect etc.
- To compensate the losses of forest area and to ensure sustainability, the Government of India enacted a well-defined Act, known as CAMPA (Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority).
- Under this act, a National Compensatory Afforestation Fund under the Public Account of India, and a State Compensatory Afforestation Fund under the Public Account of each state was established.
These Funds will receive payments for
(i) compensatory afforestation,
(ii) the net present value of forest (NPV), and
(iii) other project-specific payments with the provision that National Fund will receive 10% of these funds, and the State Funds will receive the remaining 90%.
World Environment Day:
- World Environment Day is observed on the 5th of June since 1974 every year for encouraging worldwide awareness and action to protect our environment.
- In 2020, Colombia hosted the World Environment Day with the theme ‘celebrating biodiversity’ a concern that is both urgent and existential.
- India hosted World Environment Day in 2018 emphasizing on prevention of ‘Plastic Pollution’
India’s first Dofphin Observatory
Why in news?
Bihar government is setting up India’s first Dolphin observatory in the Vikramshila Gangetic Dolphin Sanctuary(VGDS).
- Gangetic river dolphin:It is India’s national aquatic animal found in parts of the Ganges, Meghna and Brahmaputra river systems in India, Nepal and Bangladesh.
- They are locally known as Susu which refers to the noise the dolphin is said to make when it breathes.
Significance: They can be an indicator of the health of the freshwater ecosystem as they can only live in freshwater.
IUCN Red List: Endangered
Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972: Schedule I
CITES: Appendix I
Threats: Declining water level, Climate Change, Poaching and increase in pollution level.
- Vikramshila Gangetic Dolphin Sanctuary (VGDS):It is located in Bhagalpur District of Bihar.It was designated as a protected area for the Gangetic dolphins in 1991.
Facts for Prelims
It is the Indian side of Petrapole-Benapole border checkpoint between India and Benapole of Bangladesh, on the Bangladesh-India border, near Bongaon in North 24 Parganas district of West Bengal.
- Petrapole border is the only land port in south Bengal. It is also the largest land customs station in Asia.
- The landport alone accounts for nearly 60 per cent of the bilateral trade between India and Bangladesh.
It was launched on the occasion of World Environment Day.
- The ‘#iCommit’ initiative is centred around the idea of building an energy resilient future.
- The calls upon all stakeholders and individuals to continue moving towards energy efficiency, renewable energy, and sustainability to create a robust and resilient energy system in the future.
- The initiative is driven by Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL), under the administration of Ministry of Power.
- It includes a diverse set of players such as Governments, Corporates, Multilateral and Bilateral Organisations, Think Tanks and Individuals.