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ENVIRONMENT - November 2020

Nov 2020

Jun 17, 2021

Egyptian Vulture Seen in UK for First Time in 150 Years

  • An Egyptian vulture has been seen in the UK for the first time in what is believed to be more than 150 years.
  • Described as a "once-in-a-century" sighting, it is thought it may have come to the Isles of Scilly from Northern France.
  • If the incredibly rare sighting is confirmed to be a wild bird, it would be the first since 1868, say experts.
  • There have been two official sightings recorded in the UK - one in Somerset in 1825 and another in Essex in 1868.

Govt. Okays Proposal to Roll out Project to Explore Deep Ocean for Resources

  • The Centre approved a proposal to roll out a "deep ocean mission" to explore the deep ocean for resources and develop deep-sea technologies for sustainable use of ocean resources.
  • The decision was taken by the Union Cabinet at its meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. This will support the blue economy and take India into a new era.
  • The proposal for launching the "deep sea mission" came from the Ministry of Earth Sciences.
  • Under the mission, a mineral study will be conducted 6,000 metres deep in the ocean. The mission will also study the changes, if any, noticed due to climate change.
  • A study will also be conducted on more deep sea biodiversity.
  • An advanced marine station will be set up for ocean biology under the mission. There will also be an offshore thermal energy centre, which will help new emerging sectors.
  • After the US, Russia, France, Japan and China, India will be the sixth country to have this kind of technology.

Jun 16, 2021

Sustainable Development Report 2021

  • Sustainable Development Report was prepared and released by experts from UN Sustainable Development Solution Network (SDSN). The index compares how countries implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
  • This year, Finland was ranked highest in the index.
  • A Nordic country has ranked at the top of SDG Index for the first time.
  • Finland has topped even when COVID-19 has slowed down sustainable development process across the world.
  • As per Government, Finland has topped the index based on its achievements with respect to the goals related to poverty reduction, health, education, energy, water, peace, reduction of inequality and rule of law.

Jun 14, 2021

Maharashtra Govt. Clears Action Plan to Protect Heritage Trees

  • The Maharashtra Cabinet passed an action plan to protect and preserve trees older than 50 years in urban areas by terming them heritage trees.
  • The plan includes the concept of heritage tree and plan of action for conservation; method to define age of the tree; compensatory plantation; rules to be followed before hacking trees; formation of the Maharashtra Tree Authority; structure of the local tree authority and their duties; tree census; fixing land of tree plantation; transplantation of trees; and tree cess and fine to be charged.
  • The State will also bring about amendments in the Maharashtra (Urban Area) Protection and Preservation of Trees Act. As per the plan, trees older than 50 will be termed heritage trees. The Environment and Climate Change Department will issue guidelines in consultation with the State Forest Department based on the existing methods.

Jun 11, 2021

Declining Growth Rates of Global Coral Reef Ecosystems

  • According to a new Southern Cross University study, if the trend of declining coral growth continues at the current rate, the world's coral reefs may cease calcifying around 2054.
  • Research from the late 1960s until now, reveals the global spatiotemporal trends and drivers of coral reef ecosystem growth (known as calcification).
  • One hundred and sixteen studies from 53 published papers were analysed.

Jun 10, 2021

National Geographic Officially Recognises New Ocean

  • The National Geographic officially recognised the Southern Ocean — also known as the Antarctic or the Austral Ocean — as the world's fifth and newest ocean.. Thus, far four oceans have been known: Atlantic, Pacific, Indian, and Arctic.
  • "The Southern Ocean has long been recognised by scientists, but because there was never agreement internationally, we never officially recognised it," National Geographic Society Geographer Alex Tait said.
  • Notably, while other oceans are identified by the region they surround, the Southern Ocean is defined by its current.
  • According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Southern Ocean covers 30 percent of the Earth's ocean surface. It is made up of the waters encircling Antarctica.
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