NTA UGC NET Environment related Current Affairs December 2020

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1.Prakash Javadeker launches India Climate Change Knowledge Portal

 Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change launched the India Climate Change Knowledge Portal. The portal will have all the major steps the Government is taking at both national and international levels to address the climate change issues.

It will be a single-point information resource that provides information on the different climate initiatives taken by various Line Ministries enabling users to access the status on these initiatives.

The portal captures sector-wise adaptation and mitigation actions that are being taken by the various line Ministries in one place including updated information on their implementation.

The eight major components included in the knowledge portal are:

  1. India’s Climate Profile
  2. National Policy Framework
  3. India’s NDC goals
  4. Adaptation Actions
  5. Mitigation Actions
  6. Bilateral and Multilateral Cooperation
  7. International Climate Negotiations
  8. Reports & Publications

2.Glistening ‘blue tide’ along Mumbai, Sindhudurg coasts

  • Beaches of Maharashtra have witnessed the blue fluorescence emitted by waves hitting the coastline. 
  • This phenomenon is called the "blue tide". 
  • Appears when luminous sea creatures make the ocean appear dark blue shades. 
  • This happens when phytoplankton (tiny marine plants) (often called flagellate algae) glow through a chemical reaction in proteins. 
  • Waves interfere with these single-celled microorganisms and cause them to release blue light.
  • Bioluminescence is the property of a living organism to produce and emit light. 
  • Animals, plants, fungi and bacteria show bioluminescence. A large number of marine animals and microorganisms can produce their own light. 
  • It is found in many marine organisms, such as bacteria, algae, jellyfish, worms, crustaceans, starfish, fish and sharks. 
  • Luminescence is generally higher in deep-living and planktonic organisms than in shallow species. This is an anti-predatory response. 
  • Bioluminescence is believed to surprise predators and make them hesitate. 

3.Lahore again tops list of world's most polluted cities

  • According to the recently released US Air Quality Index, Lahore has once again topped the list of world’s most polluted cities in the world.
  • The report says that the particulate matter rating of Lahore was 423. Lahore was followed by New Delhi with a particulate matter rating of 229. Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal ranked third with a particulate matter rating of 178.
  • Air Quality Index is an index that reports quality of air on daily basis. The index helps to measure how air pollution affects the health of the people living in and around the environment for a short period of time.
  • The Air Quality Index is calculated based on five major air pollutants such as ground level Ozone, Sulphur Dioxide, carbon monoxide, Nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter.
  • Higher the level of Air Quality Index greater is the level of air pollution.

4. UP's Pilibhit Tiger Reserve bags 1st-ever international award

  • The Pilibhit Tiger Reserve (PTR-Uttar Pradesh) recently won the international award TX2 for doubling the number of tigers in the past 4 years.
  • PTR is located in Uttar Pradesh. The northern edge of the reserve is along the India-Nepal border, while the southern border is marked by the Sharada and Khakra rivers. 
  • PTR is one of the best examples of the extremely diverse and productive Terai ecosystem. 
  • There are more than 127 species of animals, 326 species of birds and 2100 species of flowering plants in the habitat Wild animals include tiger, swamp deer, bengalflo, ho deer, leopard, etc. There are several bodies of water in its high sal forests, plantations and grasslands.
  • TX2 goal is a worldwide commitment to double the number of wild tigers in the world by 2022. The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has set goals through the Global Tiger Initiative, the Global Tiger Forum and other important platforms. 
  • Tiger Ridge countries: India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Russia, Thailand and Vietnam.

5. Wildlife preserve straddling Assam, Bhutan gets tiger conservation award

  • The Transboundary Manas Conservation Area receives the Conservation Excellence Award for the year 2020.
  • Conservation Excellence Award recognizes one site that has achieved excellence in two or more of these five themes:
    1. Tiger and prey population monitoring and research;
    2. Effective site management;
    3. Enhanced law enforcement & protection & ranger welfare improvement;
    4. Community based conservation, benefits and human-wildlife conflict mitigation;
    5. Habitat and prey management.

    Established in 2011. Its vision is to develop jointly and manage a transboundary protected area between Bhutan and India for the benefit of humans and wildlife.

    The TraMCA landscape forms an important mosaic of the entire protected area in the eastern Himalayas. It covers the entire Manas Tiger Reserve in India, four reserves in Bhutan and two biological corridors.

    The Manas Tiger Reserve in India and the Royal Manas National Park in Bhutan form the core of this biologically outstanding transboundary area.

    This is home to tigers, elephants, rhinos and more than 1,500 mammals, birds and vascular plants. The Manas River also flows through them.

    The number of tigers in the Manas Mountains in India increased from 9 in 2010 to 25 in 2018. In Manas, Bhutan, this number has increased from 12 times in 2008 to more than 26 times in 2018.

6. Wild ‘Kiwi’ of Arunachal Pradesh

Kiwis that are wild in the Ziro Valley of Arunachal Pradesh, India are the only certified organic fruit of this type in India. Ziro Valley is located in the Subasili region.

Arunachal Pradesh is the 1st state in India to obtain the organic certification of kiwifruit under the "Missions of the Northeast Region Organic Value Chain Development" (MOVCD-NER).

Mission of Northeast Region Organic Value Chain Development (MOVCD-NER) is a central department plan.

It is a sub-task of the National Sustainable Agriculture Mission (NMSA).

Initiator: Ministry of Agriculture and Farmer Welfare

Implemented in Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura

If no chemical fertilizers or pesticides are involved in the farming process, the agricultural practice/product is considered an organic product.

In India, such certification can be obtained through a rigorous scientific assessment by the regulatory agency Agriculture and Processed Food Export Development Agency (APEDA).

7. "Green Charcoal Hackathon” Launched to Reduce Carbon Emissions

NVVN (NTPC VidyutVyapar Nigam), a wholly-owned subsidiary of NTPC Ltd (National Thermal Power Corporation Limited) launched the Green Charcoal Hackathon.

This is a technical challenge that aims to quickly promote the technological development of NVVN and EESL (Energy Efficiency Services Co., Ltd.-a 100% state-owned energy service company).

The purpose of this event is to use innovative Indian thinking to bridge the technology gap. Its main goals are:

Clean the air by eliminating farm fires and generate renewable energy from agricultural residues.

Promote local entrepreneurship.

Increase farmers’ income.

The ultimate goal is to reduce the country's carbon footprint.

At the end of the hackathon, the organizers hope to propose an economically and commercially viable machine that can convert agricultural residues into charcoal without emissions. This is expected to benefit farmers and the environment.

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