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ENVIRONMENT - February 2024

Feb 2024

May 24, 2024

Over 4000 Gangetic Dolphins in India: Indian Wildlife Institute

  • According to a recent report by the Wildlife Institute of India, there are more than 4000 Gangetic dolphins in the Gangetic River basin. Over 2000 of these dolphins are found in Uttar Pradesh, primarily in the Chambal River. This increase suggests that the river's pollution levels are declining, and the government's conservation efforts are proving effective.
  • The Ganges river dolphin, also known as the blind dolphin, Ganges susu, or Hihu, has the scientific name Platanista gangetica. Historically found in the Ganga-Brahmaputra-Meghna and Karnaphuli-Sangu river systems, the dolphin is now present in specific stretches of the Ganga-Brahmaputra-Barak river system in India, as well as in river systems in Nepal and Bangladesh.

May 23, 2024

'Doomsday Glacier' Melting at Alarming Rate, Scientists Warn

  • The Thwaites Glacier in Antarctica, often referred to as the 'Doomsday Glacier', is melting at an accelerated pace, raising serious concerns among scientists about its potential impact on global sea levels. The glacier, one of the largest in Antarctica, has the capacity to significantly increase sea levels, potentially flooding coastal regions worldwide.
  • It's possible for Thwaites Glacier's ice to melt all the way to the surface, which would raise sea levels by about three meters (ten feet). The fall of this glacier could be very bad, causing coastal areas around the world to flood. This could happen within a few decades if the current melting trends continue.
  • Thwaites Glacier, which is also called the 'Doomsday Glacier', is in West Antarctica and is about the size of Florida.

May 21, 2024

Manipur Government Initiatives Safeguard Endangered Polo Ponies

  • In an important joint effort, the Government of Manipur, along with several equestrian groups and state offices, has taken steps to keep the Manipuri Pony, also called the Meitei Sagol, from going extinct.
  • Several decisions were passed at the meeting to protect the breed. These included quickly gathering the ponies, naming temporary housing areas, and creating a task force. It was also planned for always-on consultation, a study of the grazing grounds, and registration through stud books. One important part was making a detailed budget for pony management, which emphasized that everyone needed to work together.
  • The Manipuri Pony is one of India's seven official horse breeds. It is special because of its historical and cultural value in Manipur. These ponies are an important part of Manipur's history and were once used by the local military. They were first bred for the traditional game of Sagol Kangjei, which later became polo.

May 19, 2024

Plastic Free River Campaign to Launch on June 5 on River Ganga Banks

  • This Plastic Free River Campaign is targeting Ganga and its tributaries across 7 states.
  • Jointly orchestrated by Wildlife Institute of India, National Clean Ganga Mission and Social Development for Communities Foundation, it focuses on educating locals about impacts of plastic on river biodiversity & human health.
  • Collected plastic will be processed into biofuel and tiles at a specialized facility in Dehradun.
  • To free the Ganga river and its 15 tributaries from plastic pollution and conserve the aquatic and terrestrial ecosystem, the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) and Social Development for Communities (SDC) Foundation have launched a collaborative initiative titled "Flowing Towards a Plastic-Free Future," on Thursday. This project has been launched in commemoration of World Environment Day on June 5. The drive will be conducted for five days in seven states including Uttarakhand, UP, Bihar, West Bengal, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Jharkhand.

Indonesia Evacuates Hundreds Near Erupting Volcano

  • Hundreds of residents near Mount Ibu, an active volcano on Halmahera Island in eastern Indonesia, were evacuated following a significant increase in volcanic activity. Authorities raised the alert status to the highest level after two consecutive days of massive eruptions, prompting precautionary measures to ensure the safety of local communities.
  • Residents within a seven-kilometer radius of Mount Ibu were urged to evacuate to designated shelters as a precautionary measure.
  • Indonesia, situated within the Pacific "Ring of Fire," experiences frequent seismic and volcanic events due to its geological characteristics. Mount Ibu is among the country's most active volcanoes, having erupted over 21,000 times in the previous year alone.

May 18, 2024

Venezuela Becomes First Country to Lose All Glaciers

  • Venezuela is the first country in modern history to lose all of its glaciers after climate scientists declared its remaining glacier little more than an ice field.
  • Climatologist Maximiliano Herrera Venezuela's Humboldt Glacier has shrunk to an area of two hectares and has gone static, downgrading it to an ice field.
  • The Humboldt Glacier, also known as La Corona, was the last remaining one in Venezuela after the country lost at least five others in the past century due to the effects of climate change.
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