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ENVIRONMENT - October 2020

Oct 2020

Sep 25, 2021

India Added at Least 800 species of Plants, Animals in 2020

  • India added at least 800 new species of plants and animals, including those which were earlier not known to man, in 2020 despite being a pandemic year.
  • However, the number of discoveries dropped due to the Covid-19 pandemic from the average number of discoveries made by the Botanical Survey of India (BSI) and Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) in the past five years.
  • On an average, the BSI has been identifying around 350 species of plants every year in the last five years at least.
  • The BSI released its list of new discovery of plant species in September, while that of the ZSI was out last month. Both have their headquarters in Kolkata.

Sep 24, 2021

WHO Revises Global Air Quality, Sets New Quality Levels

  • The World Health Organisation (WHO) released a revised Global Air Quality Guidelines, announcing more stringent limits for six pollutant categories —particulate matter (PM), ozone (O3), nitrogen dioxide (NO2) sulfur dioxide (SO2) and carbon monoxide (CO).
  • The latest WHO guidelines provide clear evidence of the damage air pollution inflicts on human health, at even lower concentrations than previously understood. The guidelines recommend new air quality levels to protect the health of populations, by reducing levels of key air pollutants, some of which also contribute to climate change.

Sep 23, 2021

Australian Shark Species on the Verge of Extinction

  • More than 10 per cent of Australia`s shark species are at risk of extinction.
  • The National Environmental Science Program (NESP) marine biodiversity hub published the first-ever complete assessment of extinction risk for all Australian sharks.
  • It found that Australia is home to more than a quarter of the world`s cartilaginous fish species, with 182 sharks, 132 rays, and 14 chimeras calling Australian waterways home and that 12 percent, or 39 species, are facing extinction.

Sep 22, 2021

Two more Indian Beaches Get Coveted International 'Blue Flag' Certification

  • According to an official statement by the Environment Ministry, in recognition of India's commitment to protect and conserve the pristine coastal and marine ecosystems through holistic management of the resources, the globally recognised and the coveted international eco-label "Blue Flag" has accorded the Blue Flag Certification for two new beaches this year, Kovalam in Tamil Nadu and Eden in Puducherry beaches.
  • A waving "Blue Flag" is an indication of 100% compliance to stringent criteria set by the Foundation for Environment Education in Denmark (FEE), which accords the globally recognised Blue Flag Certification.
  • It has also given re-certification for eight nominated beaches Shivrajpur-Gujarat, Ghoghla-Diu, Kasarkod and Padubidri-Karnataka, Kappad-Kerala, Rushikonda- Andhra Pradesh, Golden-Odisha and Radhanagar- Andaman and Nicobar, which were awarded the Blue Flag in 2020.

Sep 20, 2021

Europe's Mediterranean Leaders Pledge Cooperation on Climate, Security

  • The leaders of Europe's Mediterranean countries pledged to expand cooperation in the fight against climate change and to back common security and defense initiatives in the European Union.
  • The meetings in Athens were held in the aftermath of massive summer wildfires that ravaged parts of southern Europe, and the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan.
  • The nine Mediterranean countries expressed their "strong conviction that urgent and ambitious global action" to fight climate change is needed at national, regional and local levels.
  • Attending the talks were President Emmanuel Macron of France, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, Spain's Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and leaders and senior representatives from Malta, Greece, Cyprus, Slovenia, Croatia and Portugal.
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