Expected Questions in Environment Latest Developments 2019-IAS/NET (Part- 2) (SET-1) (Download PDF)

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Please find below the most important expected topics for the upcoming UPSC Prelims exam 2019. Subscribe@Examrace YouTube Channel to get the complete series of expected questions. For practice and solutions visit - doorsteptutor. com. You can download the pdf by clicking the option “Download PDF”.

COP24 IN KATOWICE: Main Outcomes

  • 2018 United Nations Climate Change Conference - b/w 2nd & 15thDec. , 2018 in Katowice, Poland.

  • 24th Conference of Parties to UNs Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP24).

  • Katowice Climate Change Conference or Katowice Climate Talks.

  • Most imp. outcome of COP24 was that countries have agreed on rules for implementation of 2015 Paris Agreement.

  • Participating nations agreed on rules to implement Paris Agreement that will come into effect in 2020. Rules are regarding how member nations will measure carbon-emissions & report on their emissions-cutting efforts. This ‘rulebook’ can be called as detailed “operating manual” of 2015 Paris Agreement.

  • Members of conference did not agree to “welcome” Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report on 1.5°C. US, Saudi Arabia, Russia & Kuwait refused to “welcome” IPCC report.

  • Parties to conference agreed to record pledges in a public registry, as per existing interim portal. Public registry will continue to include a search function, although many attempts are

  • made to get it deleted.

  • It was agreed among members that future pledges should cover a “common timeframe” from 2031. Number of years for timeframe will be decided later.

  • Many difficult matters could not reach agreement & are postponed to next year for resolution. This includes questions such as ways to scale up existing commitments on emission reduction, different ways of providing financial aid to poor nations, wording that prevents double counting & whether member nations are doing enough to cut their respective emissions.

Draft Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ), 2018

  • Released by Ministry of Environment & Forests (MoEF) has potential to change way coastal stretches in India are governed.

  • Aims to conserve & protect unique environment of coastal stretches & marine areas, besides livelihood security to fisher communities & other local communities in coastal areas & to promote sustainable development based on scientific principles taking into account dangers of natural hazards, sea level rise due to global warming

CRZ limits

Major change in new draft pertains to CRZ limits on land along “tidal influenced water bodies”. Proposed limit is reduced from 100 metres to 50 metres or width of creek, whichever is less.

Mapping of high tide and hazard lines

Draft makes National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management (NCSCM) final authority to lay down standards for High Tide Line (HTL). Hazard line, demarcated by Survey of India (SOI), is delinked from CRZ regulatory regime, & will now be used as a “tool” for disaster management & planning of “adaptive & mitigation measures.

Bifurcation of CRZ-III areas

  • CRZ III refers to land that is relatively undisturbed such as in rural areas, & do not fall in areas considered close to shoreline w/I existing municipal limits are divided into 2 categories:

  • CRZ-III A refers to rural areas w/population density of 2,161 people per sq. km. or more as per 2011 Census. Such areas shall have a “No Development Zone” (NDZ) of 50m from HTL.

  • CRZ-III B refers to rural areas w/population density lesser than 2,161 people per sq. km. Such areas shall continue to have NDZ of 200m from HTL.

Projects that require MoEF’s approval

  • Only those projects located in CRZ-I (environmentally most critical) & CRZ-IV (water & seabed areas) shall require MoEF clearance.

  • All other projects shall be considered by Coastal Zone Mgmt. Authorities (CZMAs) in states & UTs.

  • Draft allows for construction of roads & roads on stilts, “by way of reclamation in CRZ-1 areas”, only in exceptional cases for “defence, strategic purposes & public utilities, ” to be recommended by CZMA & approved by Ministry.

Floor space index for CRZ-II

While 2011 notification had frozen floor space index or floor area ratio for CRZ-II areas at 1991 Development Control Regulation (DCR) levels, new draft proposes to de-freeze same & permit FSI for construction projects as prevailing on date of new notification.

Guidelines for ground water extraction

  • Guidelines aim to ensure a more robust ground water regulatory mechanism in country.

  • Guidelines were revised in wake of directions issued by National Green Tribunal (NGT) to address various shortcomings in existing guidelines of ground water extraction.

  • Encouraged use of recycled & treated sewage water by industries.

  • Provision of action against polluting industries.

  • Mandatory requirement of a recorders, w/or w/o telemetry depending upon quantum of extraction.

  • Mandatory water audit by industries abstracting ground water 500 m3/day or more in safe & semi-critical area & 200 m3/day or more in critical & over-exploited assessment units.

  • Measures to be adopted to ensure prevention of ground water contamination in premises of polluting industries/projects.

Exemptions under revised guidelines:

  • Revised guidelines exempt requirement of NOC for agricultural users, users employing non-energised means to extract water, individual households (using less than 1 inch diameter delivery pipe) & Armed Forces Establishments during operational deployment.

  • Other exemptions are granted to strategic & operational infrastructure projects for Armed Forces, Defence & Paramilitary Forces Establishments & Govt. water supply agencies.

Water Conservation Fee:

  • Imp. feature of revised guidelines is introduction of concept of Water Conservation Fee (WCF), fee charged on extraction of ground water.

  • WCF payable varies w/category of area, type of industry & quantum of ground water extraction.

India Water Impact Summit 2018

Jointly organized by National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) & Centre for Ganga River Basin Management & Studies (cGanga).

Summit focused on 3 key aspects:

  • Spotlight on 5 states: U’Khand, UP, West Bengal, Delhi & Bihar. Its objective was to showcase efforts & works going on w/I respective states.

  • Ganga Financing Forum: It was inaugural forum that brought number of institutions to common knowledge, information & partnership platform. It brought together financial institutions & investors interested in Namami Gange programmes.

  • Technology and Innovation: It was pilot/demonstration programme aimed at providing opportunity to technology & innovation companies from around world to showcase their solutions for addressing problems prevalent in river basin.

Key Facts

  • This is annual event where stakeholders get together to discuss, debate & develop model solutions for some of biggest water related problems in country. Discussions this year were on rejuvenation of Ganga River Basin. There was multi-country dialogue on subject showcasing of technological innovations, research, policy frameworks & funding models from India & abroad.

  • There were sessions on afforestation & biodiversity, urban river/water mgmt. plans, creating global ecosystem for financing Ganga Rejuvenation Programme & tapping into global capital markets for long term project finance.

Guidelines on Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure

Govt. has issued a set of guidelines to upgrade charging infrastructure in country to boost electric vehicles. Union Housing & Urban Affairs Ministry has made amendments to Model Building Byelaws (MBBL) 2016 & Urban Regional Development Plans Formulation & Implementation (URDPFI) Guidelines 2014, making provisions for establishing EV charging infrastructure.

Key Features of Guidelines

  • Public charging station should be on both sides of highways or roads on every 25 km.

  • For long range & heavy-duty electric vehicles, there should be at least one station on each side of highway every 100 km.

  • Guidelines advocate for charging points in residential areas.

  • These guidelines will act as a guiding document to state govt. & UTs to incorporate norms & standards of electric vehicles in their respective laws.

What necessitated new guidelines?

Centre estimates that 25 % of total vehicles on roads will be electric vehicles by 2030. This necessitates erection of robust electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure across country. Guidelines are a step forward in this direction.

RAT-HOLE MINING

Recently, collapse of a coal mine in Meghalaya’s East Jaintia Hills in which 15 workers were trapped, has thrown spotlight on a procedure known as “rat-hole mining”.

About rat-hole mining

  • It involves digging of very small tunnels, usually only 3 - 4 feet high, w/o any pillars to prevent collapse, in which workers (often children) enter & extract coal.

  • National Green Tribunal (NGT) banned it in 2014 on grounds of it being unscientific & unsafe for workers. State govt. appealed order in SC.

  • Even after ban, it remains prevalent procedure for coal mining in Meghalaya as no other method would be economically viable in Meghalaya, where coal seam is extremely thin.

Advantages of Rat-hole mining

  • Less Capital Intensive: This type of mining when done in a scientific way, w/suitable equipment is less capital intensive.

  • Less Polluting: Unlike big mine fields which leave nearby area nearly uninhabitable, rat-hole mines are less polluting to soil, air & water.

  • Easy self-employment: rat-hole mining provides easy self-employment to people.

Negative impacts of Rat Hole Mining

  • Environmental Degradation: It has caused the water in Kopili river (flows thru Meghalaya & Assam) to turn acidic.

  • Pollution: Roadsides used for piling of coal leads to air, water & soil pollution.

  • Exploitation of workers: Max. mining in Meghalaya is from rat hole mining where workers put their lives in danger but benefits are cornered by few pvt. individuals.

  • Risk to Lives: Rat-holes mines w/o adequate safety measures pose high risk to miner’s lives. According to one estimate, one miner dies in these rat-holes mines every 10 days.

  • Fueling illegal activities: Illegal money earned from these unlawful mines end up fueling insurgency in state.

  • Encouraging Child Labor: According to a Shillong based NGO, rat-hole mining employs 70,000 child laborers.

  • Encouraging Child Labor: According to a Shillong based NGO, rat-hole mining employs 70,000 child laborers.

ACCESS AND BENEFIT SHARING

U’Khand High Court has directed Divya Pharmacy, to share its profits w/local & indigenous communities, as part of Fair & Equitable Benefit Sharing (FEBS) objectives of Biodiversity Act, 2002.

Access & Benefit-Sharing (ABS)

  • It refers to way in which genetic resources may be accessed & how benefits that result from their use are shared b/w people or countries using resources (users) & people or countries that provide them (providers).

  • ABS are designed to ensure that physical access to genetic resources is facilitated & that benefits obtained from their use are shared equitably w/providers. In some cases this includes valuable traditional knowledge associated w/genetic resources that comes from indigenous people & Local Communities (ILCs).

  • Benefits to be shared can be monetary, or non-monetary, such as development of research skills & knowledge.

  • ABS is based on prior informed consent (PIC) being granted by a provider to a user & negotiations b/w both parties to develop mutually agreed terms (MAT) to ensure fair & equitable sharing of genetic resources & associated benefits.

  • Nagoya Protocol on ABS under Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD): It aims at sharing benefits arising from utilization of genetic resources in a fair & equitable way, including by appropriate access to genetic resources & by appropriate transfer of relevant technologies.

Related initiatives for ABS

Centre for Biodiversity Policy and Law (CEBPOL)

• GoI in collaboration with Norwegian Government has established this centre to develop professional expertise in biodiversity policies & laws & develop capacity building.

UNEP – GEF – MoEF ABS Project

• Objective: To increase the institutional, individual and systemic capacities of stakeholders to effectively implement Biological Diversity Act, 2002 & Rules 2004 to achieve biodiversity conservation thru implementing Access & Benefit Sharing Agreements in India.

Online filing of Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) applications in 2017.

• NBA teamed up w/National Informatics Centre (NIC), to launch website to enable E-filing of applications.

Obesity, Undernutrition and Climate Change Linkage

“Global Syndemic of Obesity, Undernutrition & Climate Change: Lancet Commission report” says that in near future health effects of climate change will considerably compound challenges of under nutrition & obesity which are leading cause of poor health globally.

3 pandemics— obesity, undernutrition & climate change- affect most people in every country & region worldwide. They are said to constitute a “Syndemic” i. e. a synergy of epidemics because:

  • They co-occur in time & place

  • Interact w/each other to produce complex pathological conditions

  • Share common societal driversCOP24 IN KATOWICE: Main Outcomes

    • 2018 United Nations Climate Change Conference - b/w 2nd & 15thDec. , 2018 in Katowice, Poland.

    • 24th Conference of Parties to UNs Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP24).

    • Katowice Climate Change Conference or Katowice Climate Talks.

    • Most imp. outcome of COP24 was that countries have agreed on rules for implementation of 2015 Paris Agreement.

    • Participating nations agreed on rules to implement Paris Agreement that will come into effect in 2020. Rules are regarding how member nations will measure carbon-emissions & report on their emissions-cutting efforts. This ‘rulebook’ can be called as detailed “operating manual” of 2015 Paris Agreement.

    • Members of conference did not agree to “welcome” Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report on 1.5°C. US, Saudi Arabia, Russia & Kuwait refused to “welcome” IPCC report.

    • Parties to conference agreed to record pledges in a public registry, as per existing interim portal. Public registry will continue to include a search function, although many attempts are

    • made to get it deleted.

    • It was agreed among members that future pledges should cover a “common timeframe” from 2031. Number of years for timeframe will be decided later.

    • Many difficult matters could not reach agreement & are postponed to next year for resolution. This includes questions such as ways to scale up existing commitments on emission reduction, different ways of providing financial aid to poor nations, wording that prevents double counting & whether member nations are doing enough to cut their respective emissions.

    Draft Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ), 2018

    • Released by Ministry of Environment & Forests (MoEF) has potential to change way coastal stretches in India are governed.

    • Aims to conserve & protect unique environment of coastal stretches & marine areas, besides livelihood security to fisher communities & other local communities in coastal areas & to promote sustainable development based on scientific principles taking into account dangers of natural hazards, sea level rise due to global warming

    CRZ limits

    Major change in new draft pertains to CRZ limits on land along “tidal influenced water bodies”. Proposed limit is reduced from 100 metres to 50 metres or width of creek, whichever is less.

    Mapping of high tide and hazard lines

    Draft makes National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management (NCSCM) final authority to lay down standards for High Tide Line (HTL). Hazard line, demarcated by Survey of India (SOI), is delinked from CRZ regulatory regime, & will now be used as a “tool” for disaster management & planning of “adaptive & mitigation measures.

    Bifurcation of CRZ-III areas

    • CRZ III refers to land that is relatively undisturbed such as in rural areas, & do not fall in areas considered close to shoreline w/I existing municipal limits are divided into 2 categories:

    • CRZ-III A refers to rural areas w/population density of 2,161 people per sq. km. or more as per 2011 Census. Such areas shall have a “No Development Zone” (NDZ) of 50m from HTL.

    • CRZ-III B refers to rural areas w/population density lesser than 2,161 people per sq. km. Such areas shall continue to have NDZ of 200m from HTL.

    Projects that require MoEF’s approval

    • Only those projects located in CRZ-I (environmentally most critical) & CRZ-IV (water & seabed areas) shall require MoEF clearance.

    • All other projects shall be considered by Coastal Zone Mgmt. Authorities (CZMAs) in states & UTs.

    • Draft allows for construction of roads & roads on stilts, “by way of reclamation in CRZ-1 areas”, only in exceptional cases for “defence, strategic purposes & public utilities, ” to be recommended by CZMA & approved by Ministry.

    Floor space index for CRZ-II

    While 2011 notification had frozen floor space index or floor area ratio for CRZ-II areas at 1991 Development Control Regulation (DCR) levels, new draft proposes to de-freeze same & permit FSI for construction projects as prevailing on date of new notification.

    Guidelines for ground water extraction

    • Guidelines aim to ensure a more robust ground water regulatory mechanism in country.

    • Guidelines were revised in wake of directions issued by National Green Tribunal (NGT) to address various shortcomings in existing guidelines of ground water extraction.

    • Encouraged use of recycled & treated sewage water by industries.

    • Provision of action against polluting industries.

    • Mandatory requirement of a recorders, w/or w/o telemetry depending upon quantum of extraction.

    • Mandatory water audit by industries abstracting ground water 500 m3/day or more in safe & semi-critical area & 200 m3/day or more in critical & over-exploited assessment units.

    • Measures to be adopted to ensure prevention of ground water contamination in premises of polluting industries/projects.

    Exemptions under revised guidelines:

    • Revised guidelines exempt requirement of NOC for agricultural users, users employing non-energised means to extract water, individual households (using less than 1 inch diameter delivery pipe) & Armed Forces Establishments during operational deployment.

    • Other exemptions are granted to strategic & operational infrastructure projects for Armed Forces, Defence & Paramilitary Forces Establishments & Govt. water supply agencies.

    Water Conservation Fee:

    • Imp. feature of revised guidelines is introduction of concept of Water Conservation Fee (WCF), fee charged on extraction of ground water.

    • WCF payable varies w/category of area, type of industry & quantum of ground water extraction.

    India Water Impact Summit 2018

    Jointly organized by National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) & Centre for Ganga River Basin Management & Studies (cGanga).

    Summit focused on 3 key aspects:

    • Spotlight on 5 states: U’Khand, UP, West Bengal, Delhi & Bihar. Its objective was to showcase efforts & works going on w/I respective states.

    • Ganga Financing Forum: It was inaugural forum that brought number of institutions to common knowledge, information & partnership platform. It brought together financial institutions & investors interested in Namami Gange programmes.

    • Technology and Innovation: It was pilot/demonstration programme aimed at providing opportunity to technology & innovation companies from around world to showcase their solutions for addressing problems prevalent in river basin.

    Key Facts

    • This is annual event where stakeholders get together to discuss, debate & develop model solutions for some of biggest water related problems in country. Discussions this year were on rejuvenation of Ganga River Basin. There was multi-country dialogue on subject showcasing of technological innovations, research, policy frameworks & funding models from India & abroad.

    • There were sessions on afforestation & biodiversity, urban river/water mgmt. plans, creating global ecosystem for financing Ganga Rejuvenation Programme & tapping into global capital markets for long term project finance.

    Guidelines on Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure

    Govt. has issued a set of guidelines to upgrade charging infrastructure in country to boost electric vehicles. Union Housing & Urban Affairs Ministry has made amendments to Model Building Byelaws (MBBL) 2016 & Urban Regional Development Plans Formulation & Implementation (URDPFI) Guidelines 2014, making provisions for establishing EV charging infrastructure.

    Key Features of Guidelines

    • Public charging station should be on both sides of highways or roads on every 25 km.

    • For long range & heavy-duty electric vehicles, there should be at least one station on each side of highway every 100 km.

    • Guidelines advocate for charging points in residential areas.

    • These guidelines will act as a guiding document to state govt. & UTs to incorporate norms & standards of electric vehicles in their respective laws.

    What necessitated new guidelines?

    Centre estimates that 25 % of total vehicles on roads will be electric vehicles by 2030. This necessitates erection of robust electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure across country. Guidelines are a step forward in this direction.

    RAT-HOLE MINING

    Recently, collapse of a coal mine in Meghalaya’s East Jaintia Hills in which 15 workers were trapped, has thrown spotlight on a procedure known as “rat-hole mining”.

    About rat-hole mining

    • It involves digging of very small tunnels, usually only 3 - 4 feet high, w/o any pillars to prevent collapse, in which workers (often children) enter & extract coal.

    • National Green Tribunal (NGT) banned it in 2014 on grounds of it being unscientific & unsafe for workers. State govt. appealed order in SC.

    • Even after ban, it remains prevalent procedure for coal mining in Meghalaya as no other method would be economically viable in Meghalaya, where coal seam is extremely thin.

    Advantages of Rat-hole mining

    • Less Capital Intensive: This type of mining when done in a scientific way, w/suitable equipment is less capital intensive.

    • Less Polluting: Unlike big mine fields which leave nearby area nearly uninhabitable, rat-hole mines are less polluting to soil, air & water.

    • Easy self-employment: rat-hole mining provides easy self-employment to people.

    Negative impacts of Rat Hole Mining

    • Environmental Degradation: It has caused the water in Kopili river (flows thru Meghalaya & Assam) to turn acidic.

    • Pollution: Roadsides used for piling of coal leads to air, water & soil pollution.

    • Exploitation of workers: Max. mining in Meghalaya is from rat hole mining where workers put their lives in danger but benefits are cornered by few pvt. individuals.

    • Risk to Lives: Rat-holes mines w/o adequate safety measures pose high risk to miner’s lives. According to one estimate, one miner dies in these rat-holes mines every 10 days.

    • Fueling illegal activities: Illegal money earned from these unlawful mines end up fueling insurgency in state.

    • Encouraging Child Labor: According to a Shillong based NGO, rat-hole mining employs 70,000 child laborers.

    • Encouraging Child Labor: According to a Shillong based NGO, rat-hole mining employs 70,000 child laborers.

    ACCESS AND BENEFIT SHARING

    U’Khand High Court has directed Divya Pharmacy, to share its profits w/local & indigenous communities, as part of Fair & Equitable Benefit Sharing (FEBS) objectives of Biodiversity Act, 2002.

    Access & Benefit-Sharing (ABS)

    • It refers to way in which genetic resources may be accessed & how benefits that result from their use are shared b/w people or countries using resources (users) & people or countries that provide them (providers).

    • ABS are designed to ensure that physical access to genetic resources is facilitated & that benefits obtained from their use are shared equitably w/providers. In some cases this includes valuable traditional knowledge associated w/genetic resources that comes from indigenous people & Local Communities (ILCs).

    • Benefits to be shared can be monetary, or non-monetary, such as development of research skills & knowledge.

    • ABS is based on prior informed consent (PIC) being granted by a provider to a user & negotiations b/w both parties to develop mutually agreed terms (MAT) to ensure fair & equitable sharing of genetic resources & associated benefits.

    • Nagoya Protocol on ABS under Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD): It aims at sharing benefits arising from utilization of genetic resources in a fair & equitable way, including by appropriate access to genetic resources & by appropriate transfer of relevant technologies.

    Related initiatives for ABS

    Centre for Biodiversity Policy and Law (CEBPOL)

    • GoI in collaboration with Norwegian Government has established this centre to develop professional expertise in biodiversity policies & laws & develop capacity building.

    UNEP – GEF – MoEF ABS Project

    • Objective: To increase the institutional, individual and systemic capacities of stakeholders to effectively implement Biological Diversity Act, 2002 & Rules 2004 to achieve biodiversity conservation thru implementing Access & Benefit Sharing Agreements in India.

    Online filing of Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) applications in 2017.

    • NBA teamed up w/National Informatics Centre (NIC), to launch website to enable E-filing of applications.

    Obesity, Undernutrition and Climate Change Linkage

    “Global Syndemic of Obesity, Undernutrition & Climate Change: Lancet Commission report” says that in near future health effects of climate change will considerably compound challenges of under nutrition & obesity which are leading cause of poor health globally.

    3 pandemics— obesity, undernutrition & climate change- affect most people in every country & region worldwide. They are said to constitute a “Syndemic” i. e. a synergy of epidemics because:

    • They co-occur in time & place

    • Interact w/each other to produce complex pathological conditions

    • Share common societal driversCOP24 IN KATOWICE: Main Outcomes

      • 2018 United Nations Climate Change Conference - b/w 2nd & 15thDec. , 2018 in Katowice, Poland.

      • 24th Conference of Parties to UNs Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP24).

      • Katowice Climate Change Conference or Katowice Climate Talks.

      • Most imp. outcome of COP24 was that countries have agreed on rules for implementation of 2015 Paris Agreement.

      • Participating nations agreed on rules to implement Paris Agreement that will come into effect in 2020. Rules are regarding how member nations will measure carbon-emissions & report on their emissions-cutting efforts. This ‘rulebook’ can be called as detailed “operating manual” of 2015 Paris Agreement.

      • Members of conference did not agree to “welcome” Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report on 1.5°C. US, Saudi Arabia, Russia & Kuwait refused to “welcome” IPCC report.

      • Parties to conference agreed to record pledges in a public registry, as per existing interim portal. Public registry will continue to include a search function, although many attempts are

      • made to get it deleted.

      • It was agreed among members that future pledges should cover a “common timeframe” from 2031. Number of years for timeframe will be decided later.

      • Many difficult matters could not reach agreement & are postponed to next year for resolution. This includes questions such as ways to scale up existing commitments on emission reduction, different ways of providing financial aid to poor nations, wording that prevents double counting & whether member nations are doing enough to cut their respective emissions.

      Draft Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ), 2018

      • Released by Ministry of Environment & Forests (MoEF) has potential to change way coastal stretches in India are governed.

      • Aims to conserve & protect unique environment of coastal stretches & marine areas, besides livelihood security to fisher communities & other local communities in coastal areas & to promote sustainable development based on scientific principles taking into account dangers of natural hazards, sea level rise due to global warming

      CRZ limits

      Major change in new draft pertains to CRZ limits on land along “tidal influenced water bodies”. Proposed limit is reduced from 100 metres to 50 metres or width of creek, whichever is less.

      Mapping of high tide and hazard lines

      Draft makes National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management (NCSCM) final authority to lay down standards for High Tide Line (HTL). Hazard line, demarcated by Survey of India (SOI), is delinked from CRZ regulatory regime, & will now be used as a “tool” for disaster management & planning of “adaptive & mitigation measures.

      Bifurcation of CRZ-III areas

      • CRZ III refers to land that is relatively undisturbed such as in rural areas, & do not fall in areas considered close to shoreline w/I existing municipal limits are divided into 2 categories:

      • CRZ-III A refers to rural areas w/population density of 2,161 people per sq. km. or more as per 2011 Census. Such areas shall have a “No Development Zone” (NDZ) of 50m from HTL.

      • CRZ-III B refers to rural areas w/population density lesser than 2,161 people per sq. km. Such areas shall continue to have NDZ of 200m from HTL.

      Projects that require MoEF’s approval

      • Only those projects located in CRZ-I (environmentally most critical) & CRZ-IV (water & seabed areas) shall require MoEF clearance.

      • All other projects shall be considered by Coastal Zone Mgmt. Authorities (CZMAs) in states & UTs.

      • Draft allows for construction of roads & roads on stilts, “by way of reclamation in CRZ-1 areas”, only in exceptional cases for “defence, strategic purposes & public utilities, ” to be recommended by CZMA & approved by Ministry.

      Floor space index for CRZ-II

      While 2011 notification had frozen floor space index or floor area ratio for CRZ-II areas at 1991 Development Control Regulation (DCR) levels, new draft proposes to de-freeze same & permit FSI for construction projects as prevailing on date of new notification.

      Guidelines for ground water extraction

      • Guidelines aim to ensure a more robust ground water regulatory mechanism in country.

      • Guidelines were revised in wake of directions issued by National Green Tribunal (NGT) to address various shortcomings in existing guidelines of ground water extraction.

      • Encouraged use of recycled & treated sewage water by industries.

      • Provision of action against polluting industries.

      • Mandatory requirement of a recorders, w/or w/o telemetry depending upon quantum of extraction.

      • Mandatory water audit by industries abstracting ground water 500 m3/day or more in safe & semi-critical area & 200 m3/day or more in critical & over-exploited assessment units.

      • Measures to be adopted to ensure prevention of ground water contamination in premises of polluting industries/projects.

      Exemptions under revised guidelines:

      • Revised guidelines exempt requirement of NOC for agricultural users, users employing non-energised means to extract water, individual households (using less than 1 inch diameter delivery pipe) & Armed Forces Establishments during operational deployment.

      • Other exemptions are granted to strategic & operational infrastructure projects for Armed Forces, Defence & Paramilitary Forces Establishments & Govt. water supply agencies.

      Water Conservation Fee:

      • Imp. feature of revised guidelines is introduction of concept of Water Conservation Fee (WCF), fee charged on extraction of ground water.

      • WCF payable varies w/category of area, type of industry & quantum of ground water extraction.

      India Water Impact Summit 2018

      Jointly organized by National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) & Centre for Ganga River Basin Management & Studies (cGanga).

      Summit focused on 3 key aspects:

      • Spotlight on 5 states: U’Khand, UP, West Bengal, Delhi & Bihar. Its objective was to showcase efforts & works going on w/I respective states.

      • Ganga Financing Forum: It was inaugural forum that brought number of institutions to common knowledge, information & partnership platform. It brought together financial institutions & investors interested in Namami Gange programmes.

      • Technology and Innovation: It was pilot/demonstration programme aimed at providing opportunity to technology & innovation companies from around world to showcase their solutions for addressing problems prevalent in river basin.

      Key Facts

      • This is annual event where stakeholders get together to discuss, debate & develop model solutions for some of biggest water related problems in country. Discussions this year were on rejuvenation of Ganga River Basin. There was multi-country dialogue on subject showcasing of technological innovations, research, policy frameworks & funding models from India & abroad.

      • There were sessions on afforestation & biodiversity, urban river/water mgmt. plans, creating global ecosystem for financing Ganga Rejuvenation Programme & tapping into global capital markets for long term project finance.

      Guidelines on Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure

      Govt. has issued a set of guidelines to upgrade charging infrastructure in country to boost electric vehicles. Union Housing & Urban Affairs Ministry has made amendments to Model Building Byelaws (MBBL) 2016 & Urban Regional Development Plans Formulation & Implementation (URDPFI) Guidelines 2014, making provisions for establishing EV charging infrastructure.

      Key Features of Guidelines

      • Public charging station should be on both sides of highways or roads on every 25 km.

      • For long range & heavy-duty electric vehicles, there should be at least one station on each side of highway every 100 km.

      • Guidelines advocate for charging points in residential areas.

      • These guidelines will act as a guiding document to state govt. & UTs to incorporate norms & standards of electric vehicles in their respective laws.

      What necessitated new guidelines?

      Centre estimates that 25 % of total vehicles on roads will be electric vehicles by 2030. This necessitates erection of robust electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure across country. Guidelines are a step forward in this direction.

      RAT-HOLE MINING

      Recently, collapse of a coal mine in Meghalaya’s East Jaintia Hills in which 15 workers were trapped, has thrown spotlight on a procedure known as “rat-hole mining”.

      About rat-hole mining

      • It involves digging of very small tunnels, usually only 3 - 4 feet high, w/o any pillars to prevent collapse, in which workers (often children) enter & extract coal.

      • National Green Tribunal (NGT) banned it in 2014 on grounds of it being unscientific & unsafe for workers. State govt. appealed order in SC.

      • Even after ban, it remains prevalent procedure for coal mining in Meghalaya as no other method would be economically viable in Meghalaya, where coal seam is extremely thin.

      Advantages of Rat-hole mining

      • Less Capital Intensive: This type of mining when done in a scientific way, w/suitable equipment is less capital intensive.

      • Less Polluting: Unlike big mine fields which leave nearby area nearly uninhabitable, rat-hole mines are less polluting to soil, air & water.

      • Easy self-employment: rat-hole mining provides easy self-employment to people.

      Negative impacts of Rat Hole Mining

      • Environmental Degradation: It has caused the water in Kopili river (flows thru Meghalaya & Assam) to turn acidic.

      • Pollution: Roadsides used for piling of coal leads to air, water & soil pollution.

      • Exploitation of workers: Max. mining in Meghalaya is from rat hole mining where workers put their lives in danger but benefits are cornered by few pvt. individuals.

      • Risk to Lives: Rat-holes mines w/o adequate safety measures pose high risk to miner’s lives. According to one estimate, one miner dies in these rat-holes mines every 10 days.

      • Fueling illegal activities: Illegal money earned from these unlawful mines end up fueling insurgency in state.

      • Encouraging Child Labor: According to a Shillong based NGO, rat-hole mining employs 70,000 child laborers.

      • Encouraging Child Labor: According to a Shillong based NGO, rat-hole mining employs 70,000 child laborers.

      ACCESS AND BENEFIT SHARING

      U’Khand High Court has directed Divya Pharmacy, to share its profits w/local & indigenous communities, as part of Fair & Equitable Benefit Sharing (FEBS) objectives of Biodiversity Act, 2002.

      Access & Benefit-Sharing (ABS)

      • It refers to way in which genetic resources may be accessed & how benefits that result from their use are shared b/w people or countries using resources (users) & people or countries that provide them (providers).

      • ABS are designed to ensure that physical access to genetic resources is facilitated & that benefits obtained from their use are shared equitably w/providers. In some cases this includes valuable traditional knowledge associated w/genetic resources that comes from indigenous people & Local Communities (ILCs).

      • Benefits to be shared can be monetary, or non-monetary, such as development of research skills & knowledge.

      • ABS is based on prior informed consent (PIC) being granted by a provider to a user & negotiations b/w both parties to develop mutually agreed terms (MAT) to ensure fair & equitable sharing of genetic resources & associated benefits.

      • Nagoya Protocol on ABS under Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD): It aims at sharing benefits arising from utilization of genetic resources in a fair & equitable way, including by appropriate access to genetic resources & by appropriate transfer of relevant technologies.

      Related initiatives for ABS

      Centre for Biodiversity Policy and Law (CEBPOL)

      • GoI in collaboration with Norwegian Government has established this centre to develop professional expertise in biodiversity policies & laws & develop capacity building.

      UNEP – GEF – MoEF ABS Project

      • Objective: To increase the institutional, individual and systemic capacities of stakeholders to effectively implement Biological Diversity Act, 2002 & Rules 2004 to achieve biodiversity conservation thru implementing Access & Benefit Sharing Agreements in India.

      Online filing of Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) applications in 2017.

      • NBA teamed up w/National Informatics Centre (NIC), to launch website to enable E-filing of applications.

      Obesity, Undernutrition and Climate Change Linkage

      “Global Syndemic of Obesity, Undernutrition & Climate Change: Lancet Commission report” says that in near future health effects of climate change will considerably compound challenges of under nutrition & obesity which are leading cause of poor health globally.

      3 pandemics— obesity, undernutrition & climate change- affect most people in every country & region worldwide. They are said to constitute a “Syndemic” i. e. a synergy of epidemics because:

      • They co-occur in time & place

      • Interact w/each other to produce complex pathological conditions

      • Share common societal drivers

- Published/Last Modified on: April 16, 2019

Environment/Ecology

Monthy-updated, fully-solved, large current affairs-2019 question bank(more than 2000 problems): Quickly cover most-important current-affairs questions with pointwise explanations especially designed for IAS, NTA-NET, Bank-PO and other competetive exams.