Minamata Convention and Biodiversity (Download PDF)

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Ratification of Minamata Convention on Mercury. Approved by the Union Cabinet. Convention on Mercury enabling India to become a Party of the Convention. First Conference of the Parties (CoP) under the Minamata Convention took place in Geneva, Switzerland in 2017. Adopted decisions on guidance to the Global Environment Facility through which the convention is financed.


  • The Minamata Convention on Mercury.
  • First global legally binding treaty.
  • Protect human health and the environment from the adverse effects of mercury.
  • Agreed in Geneva, Switzerland in January 2013.
  • Came into force in August, 2017.
  • Convention requires party nations.
  • To reduce and eliminate (where feasible) the use and release of mercury from artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) .
  • Phase-out or take measures to reduce mercury use in certain products.
  • Phase out or reduce the use of mercury in manufacturing processes.
  • A ban on new mercury mines.

Controlling mercury air emissions from

  • Coal-fired.
  • Power plants.
  • Coal-fired industrial boilers.
  • Certain Non-ferrous metals production operations.
  • Cement production.



Irrawaddy Dolphin

  • Status raised from “vulnerable” to “endangered” .
  • Latest Red List of threatened species.
  • Produced by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) .
  • Found in the Ganges, Brahmaputra, and Irrawaddy and Mekong rivers.
  • Also known to be found in the tropical waters of the Indo-Pacific.
  • Total population of these animals in the world is estimated to be less than 7,500.
  • Bangladesh has the highest population being little over 6,000.
  • Population of Irrawaddy dolphins in Chilika is considered to be the highest single lagoon population.

Amur Falcon

  • Spotted at UmredKarhandla.
  • UmredKarhandla is a Wildlife sanctuary near Nagpur.
  • The migratory bird that stay every year at Doyang Lake (Nagaland) .
  • World՚s Amur Falcon capital- Pangti village in Nagaland.
  • Hunted by Naga tribesmen for meat.

UmredKarhandla Wildlife Sanctuary

  • Situated in Maharashtra, 60 km from Nagpur.
  • Declared as the satellite core of Bor Tiger Reserve by national tiger conservation authority.

Sangai Deer

  • The annual Sangai Festival.
  • Celebrated in the northeastern state of Manipur.
  • Is an endemic, rare and critically endangered subspecies.
  • Antlered deer found only in Manipur.
  • State animal of Manipur.
  • Habitat is restricted to the marshy wetland of Keibal Lamjao National Park.
  • Sangai is also known as the ‘dancing deer’ of Manipur.
  • Classified as ‘endangered’ by the IUCN.
  • Part of MoEFCC ′ s ′ Recovery Programme.

Nilgiri Tahr

  • First ever State-wide population estimation of Nilgiri Tahrs.
  • The total population of the endangered species at 1,420.
  • Tamil Nadu՚s state animal.
  • Endemic-Western Ghats from the Nilgiris to Kanyakumari.
  • Endangered status (because number fewer than 2,500 mature individuals) .
  • Protected (Schedule I) by the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act of 1972.
  • Confined to Shola Forest.

Chiru Antelope

  • Refusal regarding captive breeding of the Chiru goats (Tibetan antelope) .
  • Conservation and Breeding of the Chiru goat.
  • Can be given top shawl makers for collecting hair.
  • Increase in the number of goats.
  • Adding to the sustainable livelihood opportunities of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
  • ‘Near Threatened’ by the International Union for Conservation of Nature 2017.
  • China and Mongolia are breeding Chiru goats (Tibetan antelope) for its wool.
  • Shahtoosh shawl- Cost can run into crores of rupees.
  • Been hunted for underfur which is renowned for its quality.
  • Shahtoosh shawl՚s sales are banned in many countries including India.


Cobra Lily

  • A rare species of lilies.
  • Recently rediscovered in the western Nilgiris after 84 years.
  • A predatory plant native to Northern California and Southern Oregon.
  • Found in Shola forests in Nilgiris.
  • The Toda tribals of the Nilgiris.
  • At a greater risk of extinction.

Shola Forests

  • Temperate Forests.
  • In Nilgiris, Annamalai and Palani Hills.
  • Represent the continuation of the evergreen forest.
  • Endangered Nilgiri Tahr is endemic to Shola forests.
  • Trees found here are Mahogany, Gular fig, Rhododendron etc.

Red Sanders

  • An endemic tree of South India.
  • Found in Tropical Dry Deciduous Forest of the Palakonda and Seshachalam hill ranges of Andhra Pradesh.
  • Also found in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.
  • Usually grows in the rocky degraded and fallow lands with Red Soil and hot and dry climate.
  • A rare kind of sandalwood.
  • Major markets are China, Japan, Middle East, Sri Lanka, Bhutan and Nepal.
  • Export is banned in India in accordance with the CITES and Wildlife Protection Act 1972.

Used for Various Purposes

  • Immunity medicine.
  • Furniture.
  • Radiation absorbent.
  • Musical instrument.
  • Food dyes and spices.
  • Ayurveda and Sidha medicine.

Nilambur Teak

  • Accorded Geographical Indication (GI) tag.
  • Geographical Indication (GI) Registry.
  • Also known as Malabar teak and the Mecca of Teak.
  • Shows antioxidant properties making it ideal for usage in construction purposes like Buckingham Palace, the Kabba building in Mecca, the Titanic etc.
  • Known for hydrophobicity and its oily nature.

Conservation Measures

Elephant Census

  • Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.
  • Titled ‘Synchronized Elephant Population Estimation India 2017’ .
  • Karnataka has the highest number of elephants (6,049) , followed by Assam (5,719) and Kerala (3,054) .
  • To avoid errors in estimation arising from the significant movement of elephants across different states.

Elephant Corridors

  • Narrow strips of land.
  • Allow elephants to move from one habitat patch to another.
  • Approx. 100 identified elephant corridors are there in India.
  • Decline in overall elephant population from 2012 to 2017 by 3000.

Gaj Yatra

  • A nationwide campaign to protect elephants.
  • Launched on the occasion of World Elephant Day led by the Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) .

Asian Waterfowl Census 2018

  • Concluded in Coimbatore recently.
  • An international program.
  • Started in 1987 in the Indian Subcontinent.
  • Integral part of International Water Bird Census.
  • Coordinated by Wetland International (a global not-for-profit organisation working to sustain and restore wetlands and their resources for people and biodiversity) .
  • Jointly coordinated by the Bombay Natural History Society and Wetland International.

Project ‘Blue Flag’ for Beach Clean-Up

  • A pilot project ‘Blue Flag’ .
  • A certification by the Foundation.
  • Beach or sustainable boating tourism.
  • operator meets its stringent standards
  • For Environmental Education (FEE) .
  • Launched by the Environment ministry.
  • Beach clean-up and development.
  • Each state or union territory has to nominate a beach.
  • Funding through the ongoing Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) Programme.
  • To enhance standards of cleanliness, upkeep and basic amenities at beaches.

- Published/Last Modified on: March 15, 2020

Health, Environment/Ecology

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