NGT dismisses plea against state government’s policy
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) dismissed a batch of applications filed against a Bihar government policy which allows artificial bifurcation of homogenous stretches of river bed in terms of sand mining.
On applicants’ argument that while framing the policy, the state did not state the source of power under which it was published, the NGT said “this contention appears to have been made overlooking the obvious power of the State to make policies, pass orders, issue administrative rules, circulares, instructions etc. in exercise of its executive powers so long as those are not violative of the constitutional and statutory provisions.
It said that the 2019 policy was “in conflict with the ‘Sustainable Sand Mining Guidelines, 2016” and an earlier decision of the SC as “it permitted division of river stretches in a district into contiguous blocks.”
Every 5th fire death in world is in India: Study
With 27,027 deaths, every fifth fire-related death in the world in 2017 took place in India. Around 9 million fire incidents and 1.2 lakh deaths were recorded across the globe that year.
Of these incidents, India recorded 1.6 million fires and 27,027 deaths, according to a 195-nation analysis by Global Diseases Burden published in The BMJ Injury Prevention journal recently. The Indian deaths were 2.5 times the figures in China, where 10,836 people died in fires in 2017. India, along with seven countries, including Pakistan, accounted for over half the deaths due to fires. The study said kids under five and adults above 60 are the biggest fire victims — a trend seen in urban India as well.
Longest UN climate talks COP25 end with no deal on carbon markets
The longest UN climate talks ended in Madrid with no deal on carbon markets.
Delegates from almost 200 countries failed to come up with more ambitious targets to cut greenhouse gases at UN climate talks.
It failed to fulfill the terms of the 2015 Paris agreement prompting UN chief Antonio Guterres to lament a “lost opportunity” to fight global warming.
The two-week long negotiations saw no agreement on major issues such as Article 6, loss and damage, and long term finance.
Under Article 6 of the Paris agreement signed in 2015, the countries had agreed to set up a global carbon market system to help developing countries decarbonise their economies at lower cost.
IMD study clocking climate change suggests more agroclimatic zones
Climate change has prompted the India Meteorological Department (IMD) to suggest the reclassification of 127 agroclimatic zones in the country.
Agroclimatic classification is based on the type of vegetation, soil and climate. Crop planning, selection of the crop, time of sowing and other parameters are based on the agroclimate of the region.
Reclassification will further divide the 127 agroclimatic zones. It will refine crop planning and help in increasing crop productivity of wheat, rice, cotton and other crops.
The IMD study that analysed temperature, both maximum and minimum, and rainfall trends for 30 years from 1985 said both parameters necessary for crop cultivation had undergone significant change.
“The study between two episodes from 1951 to 1980 and from 1981 to 2010 suggests that peninsular India, Gujarat and states of the northeast are warming more at 0.01°C per year when compared with the northern states. The dry farming tracts of the country are experiencing a decreasing trend in the rainfall activity.
1st inter-state tiger translocation project withdrawn after violations
The country’s first inter-state translocation of tigers from Madhya Pradesh to Odisha was suspended on Wednesday by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), a statutory body under MoEFCC monitoring tiger reserves, after it found that “pre-requisite conditions for reintroduction of tigers were not followed”.
As per the latest ‘Status of tiger report 2018’, while tiger population has increased at the national level from 2,226 in 2014 to 2,967 in 2018, and states like Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Uttarakhand and Kerala showed gains, Odisha drew a blank over the same period.
In the last 16 years, Odisha’s tiger population has reduced by 104 from 132 in 2002 to 28 in 2018.
The NTCA move should also be an eye-opener for Maharashtra which is contemplating to translocate Bramhapuri tigers to Navegaon-Nagzira Tiger Reserve (NNTR).
Coal Min to set up Sustainable Development Cell to promote clean mining
The Ministry of Coal has decided to establish a Sustainable Development Cell (SDC) in order to promote environmentally sustainable coal mining in the country.
It will also address the environmental concerns during the decommissioning or closure of mines.
The SDC will advise, mentor, plan and monitor the mitigation measures taken by the coal companies for maximising the utilisation of available resources in a sustainable way.
Google Earth covers 98 percent of the entire population
Search engine giant Google has revealed that it’s powerful mapping service, Google Earth now covers more than 98 percent of the world.
It has captured 10 million miles of Street View imagery, a distance that could circle the globe more than 400 times.
When it comes to Google Earth, the software that lets you browse the globe with 3D representation, right from the comfort of your couch, offers 6 million square miles of high definition satellite images, covering more than 98 percent of the entire population.
Google also shared more information about how exactly all these images are captured.
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