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RISING SUN

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India's compendium of Green Good Deeds gets global recognition
India's compendium of ‘Green Good Deeds’ - a list of over 500 actions prepared to motivate and involve the masses in environment protection - has got international recognition with countries like China, Russia, Brazil and South Africa agreeing to take this people-centric approach forward at their joint forum.

These nations as part of BRICS - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa - have decided to include ‘Green Good Deeds’ in agenda of the next round of the group’s environment ministers meeting. Brazil will host the meeting in 2019. It is a mechanism to discuss and chart out their common course of action as a group during any negotiation on green issues at international forum.

The issue also caught attention of the UN body on environment during the World Environment Day on June 5 when India’s environment minister Harsh Vardhan made it a point to flag the issue in the gathering of experts and policy-makers from across the globe.

“The BRICS environment ministers’ meeting in Durban last month agreed to include ‘Green Good Deeds’ in its agenda for the next meeting,” said the minister.

He said, “It is the ‘Green Social Responsibility’ of every citizen to preserve the environment. If each and every one of us does at least one ‘Green Good Deed’ daily as part of our Green Social Responsibility, there will be more than a billion green good deeds accomplished each day across the country.”

The compendium of ‘Green Good Deeds’ comprises of small actions which may be adopted by people in their day-to-day life to save environment. It refers to several lifestyle issues, enlisting actions such as planting trees, saving energy, water conservation, use of public transport, promoting carpool and regulating consumption patterns among others.

Such actions assume significance in view of the country's consistent pitch for addressing the ‘lifestyle’ issue at global forum, citing India’s much lower per capita carbon emission and telling the world how the rich nations have been emitting more carbon due to their extravagant consumption for years.

India had, in fact, impressed upon the nations to put “sustainable lifestyle” in the preamble of the Paris Agreement on climate change in December, 2015. Though the preamble is a non-binding paragraph of this global deal, it acknowledges the importance of the issue and recognises that the “sustainable lifestyles” and “sustainable patterns of consumption and production” play an important role in addressing climate change.
India's compendium of Green Good Deeds gets global recognition - Times of India
 
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Power ministry may make 24 degrees celsius as default setting for air conditioners
Power minister RK Singh said on Friday that the government will consider making 24 degrees celsius as mandatory default setting for air conditioners within a few months.

At a meeting with the minister, AC makers were also advised to have labelling indicating the optimum temperature setting for the benefits of consumers both from financial and their health points of view, the power ministry said in a statement.

The temperatures settings in ACs will be in the range of 24 to 26 degrees celsius, it said.

Singh launched a campaign to promote energy efficiency in the area of air-conditioning.

"Every one degree increase in the air-conditioner temperature setting results in saving of 6 per cent of electricity consumed," the statement quoted him as saying.

He added: "Normal human body temperature is approximately 36-37 degrees celsius, but large number of commercial establishments, hotels and offices maintain temperature around 18-21 degrees celsius. This is not only uncomfortable but is actually unhealthy."

He was of the view that setting the temperature in the range of 18 to 21 degrees celsius compels people to wear warm clothing or use blankets; therefore, this is actually wastage of energy.

Some countries like Japan have put in place regulation to keep the temperature at 28 degrees celsius.

Therefore, he said that under the guidance of ministry of power, the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) has carried out a study and has recommended that the default setting in the air-conditioning should be at 24 degrees celsius.

The new campaign will result in substantial energy savings and also reduce greenhouse gas emission, he added.

The minister further said that to begin with this will be an advisory to be issued to all establishments and manufacturers.

After an awareness campaign of 4 to 6 months, followed by a survey to gather public feedback, the ministry of power would consider making this mandatory, the minister added.

The power ministry estimates indicate that if all the consumers adopt, this will result in savings of 20 billion units of electricity in one year alone.

According to the statement, AC makers at the meeting have agreed on this and appreciated it as a step in the right direction.

They have agreed to support this campaign, it added.

BEE informed that, considering the current market trend, total connected load in India due to air conditioning will be 200 GW by 2030 and this may further increase as today only about 6 per cent of households use ACs.

As per the BEE's current estimate total installed air conditioner capacity is 80 million TR (ton of refrigerator) in the country, which will increase to about 250 million TR by 2030. Considering this huge demand, India can save about 40 million units of electricity usage every day.

The targeted commercial buildings will include airports, hotels, shopping malls, officers and government buildings.
Power ministry may make 24 degrees celsius as default setting for air conditioners - Times of India
 

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Why Yamuna river may be visibly cleaner by January
Come January 2019 and the Yamuna might start looking cleaner. Delhi Jal Board has been given a “final” deadline of six months to finish the much delayed work of laying interceptor sewage lines along three of the biggest drains in the capital. “The project is being carried out in six packages along the Najafgarh, Shahadra and Supplementary drains, and 92%of the work is finished. We are currently intercepting almost 93 mllion gallons of raw sewage per day that was flowing into the Yamuna,” claimed Dinesh Mohaniya, the water utility vice-chairman.

The project, when completed, will transport 242 MGD of raw sewage to the six treatment plants in Kondli, Yamuna Vihar, Rithala, Coronation Pillar, Nilothi/ Keshopur and Dwarka. By some estimates, 850-900 MGD of raw sewage currently flows directly into the Yamuna via 21 big and small drains, and the interceptor project is expected to bring about a significant reduction.




A large number of unauthorised colonies, JJ clusters and unplanned localities along the three major drains dump their sewage in them. “The basic idea is that a trunk sewage line, rather than a network of new lines, would better intercept the smaller sewers and block them from flowing into the main drains,” a senior DJB official explained. “By September, we estimate that we will be able to tap around 139 MGD of sewage and jump to 242 MGD by December. Between September and December, a few joint sections that are unfinished and which, therefore, reduce the flow to zero, will become functional.”

The Quarter IV outcome budget of Delhi government has outlined 48 km of the interceptor line being laid against the target of 53kms. “The overall project cost has been pegged at Rs 1,395 crore and work related to an estimated Rs 1,010 crore is over,” the official added. The additional sewage load will help improve the efficiency of the treatment plants, which are currently running way below their capacities. According to the latest economic survey, Delhi’s sewage treatment plants are running at 69% capacity.

According to estimates made by the Central Pollution Control Board, Delhi generates 3,800 million litres of sewage per day. More than half of this is not treated in any way.

Some of the major areas that will benefit from the interception project include Raghubir Nagar, Moti Nagar, Jwalapuri near Paschim Vihar, Bhalswa Dairy, Nanglipura, Tomar Colony near Coronation Park, Budh Vihar, Vijay Vihar, the slum colony near Rithala, Shiv Vihar, Gokulpuri, Zaffrabad near Yamuna Vihar and Seelampuri, Sahibabad and Rajdhani Enclave.
Why Yamuna river may be visibly cleaner by January - Times of India
 

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Maharashtra ditches plastic, here are other Indian states with partial and complete bans
In a much-debated move, Maharashtra finally enforced its well-planned ban on single-use plastic items (of use and throw nature) today, amidst major confusion regarding the move. Meanwhile, dairy operators in the state have been ordered to put in place a buyback mechanism (stall owner is expected to offer money in return for the plastic packaged good deposited by buyer) for plastic milk pouches till July 11.

Who manages the plastic ban in Maharashtra?
State government's role


The state government led by Devendra Fadnavis had given manufacturers, distributors, and consumers three months to dispose their stock since it last announced the ban in March.

The state has also formed an association comprising stakeholders including plastic manufacturers of Maharashtra, ministry officials and environmental experts to ensure that the ban is implemented effectively.

Pollution Board's role

Officials from Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) and district and local administration have been authorised to implement this ban.

Tourism Board's role

For regulating this law at tourist locations, tourism police, or Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation has been made responsible.

Municipal Board's role

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has deployed 250 inspectors to penalise violators.

The corporation has also installed 37 collection bins at various municipal markets to collect plastic trash.

What happens if someone violates the plastic ban in Maharashtra?
Those found carrying plastic bags will be charged with 5,000 rupees fine for the first time, second-time offenders from the state of Maharashtra will have to shell out a 10,000-rupee fine, while a third-time offender will go through a 25,000 fine and may also face a three-month imprisonment.

Those who are unable or unwilling to pay the fine will have to face court proceedings.

Which items are covered under the Maharashtra plastic ban?
The state government has banned the use, manufacture, transport, wholesale and retail sale and storage, import of plastic bags, and disposable products made out of plastic and thermocol (even for decoration purposes).

Disposable cups, glasses, plates, spoons, forks and containers are prohibited.

Apart from this, plastic straw, non-woven polypropene bags, pouches and any other plastic used in areas of Maharashtra to store, package and transfer food items will no longer be permitted in the state.

Which items are not covered in the Maharashtra plastic ban?
The ban excludes plastic for packing medicines and drugs, a food grade virgin plastic used to package milk, compostable packing bags used for horticulture and agriculture purposes, bags used to export goods, plastic that is used for handling solid waste, and that that which is used at the manufacturing stage.

Arguments surrounding the plastic ban in Maharashtra
Those from the plastic industry are frowning upon the state's decision to implement the ban, citing that in the 50,000 crore industry, lakhs of people of Maharashtra will be rendered jobless.

However, environmentalists and NGOs that work to eliminate these synthetic vices advocate the move and suggest plastic industries to find alternatives to manufacture, that do not harm the environment.

Not just plastic manufacturing companies, but also every industry that relies on some or the other form of plastic use will suffer from the move -- like the food delivery milk selling sector.

Indian states other than Maharashtra that have banned plastic
According to IndiaSpend, a data journalism initiative, 20 states/UTs have a complete ban on plastic, while 5 have a partial one (as of April 2018).

It'll be helpful for you to know -- other than Maharashtra -- states that have a partial ban -- and what that means -- so that the ones with the complete ban can be assumed, so here goes:

1. Odisha: Complete ban on use and sale of plastic carry bags in particular areas at the surroundings of Chilika Lake.

2. West Bengal: Completely banned in religious and historical places.

3. Gujarat: Complete ban on plastic products in Gandhi Nagar.

4. Goa: Partial ban on manufacture, stock, import, transportation, recycle, sale and use of plastic (carry bags, cups, forks, paper plates, spoons).

5. Kerala: Complete ban on plastic carry bags in Thiruvananthapuram, Kannur and Kottayam District during the pilgrimage season.
Maharashtra ditches plastic, here are other Indian states with partial and complete bans
 

RISING SUN

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Monsoon covers entire country, 17 days ahead of normal schedule
The monsoon has covered the entire country, 17 days ahead of its normal onset date, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said on Friday. The monsoon reached Sriganganagar, its last outpost in the country located in west Rajasthan. Its normal date to reach Sriganganagar was July 15.

"The monsoon today covered the entire country," additional director general Mritunjay Mohapatra said. The monsoon covers the entire country by July 1 but West Rajasthan gets rains later, he said. But this year, due to good easterly winds, it has taken the rains to the entire country early, Mohapatra added.

The four-month monsoon season normally begins from June 1 and ends on September 30. This year, monsoon touched Kerala on May 29, three days ahead of its normal onset date of June 1. It battered the western coast in the first half of June.

However, after a brief lull, it made a steady advance. Yesterday, it reached Delhi, a day ahead of its schedule.
The monsoon deficiency, which until early this week was 10 per cent, went down to six per cent today.

The Southwest Monsoon gives 70 per rains to the country, where agriculture still remains a major contributor to the GDP.
Monsoon covers entire country, 17 days ahead of normal schedule - Times of India
 

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These Indian fishermen take plastic out of the sea and use it to build roads
Every one of India’s 1.3 billion people uses an average 11kg of plastic each year. After being used, much of this plastic finds its way to the Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean, where it can maim and kill fish, birds and other marine wildlife.

Fisherman in India’s southern state of Kerala are taking on the battle to cut the level of plastic waste in the oceans.

When the trawlers drag their nets through the water, they end up scooping out huge amounts of plastic along with the fish. Until recently the fishermen would simply throw the plastic junk back into the water.

But last summer Kerala’s fisheries minister J. Mercykutty Amma started a scheme to change this. Under her direction, the state government launched a campaign called Suchitwa Sagaram, or Clean Sea, which trains fishermen to collect the plastic and bring it back to shore.

In Suchitwa Sagaram’s first 10 months, fisherman have removed 25 tonnes of plastic from the Arabian Sean, including 10 tonnes of plastic bags and bottles, according to a UN report on the scheme.

From waste to roads

Once all the plastic waste caught by the Keralan fishermen reaches the shore, it is collected by people from the local fishing community - all but two of whom are women - and fed into a plastic shredding machine.

Like so many of India’s plastic recycling schemes, this shredded plastic is converted into material that is used for road surfacing.

There are more than 34,000km of plastic roads in India, mostly in rural areas. More than half of the roads in the southern state of Tamil Nadu are plastic. This road surface is increasingly popular as it makes the roads more resilient to India’s searing heat. The melting point for plastic roads is around 66°C, compared to 50°C for conventional roads.

Using recycled plastic is a cheaper alternative to conventional plastic additives for road surfaces. Every kilometre of plastic road uses the equivalent of a million plastic bags, saving around one tonne of asphalt. Each kilometre costs roughly 8% less than a conventional road.

And plastic roads help create work. As well as the Keralan fishing crews, teams of on-land plastic pickers across India collect the plastic waste. They sell their plastic to the many small plastic shredding businesses that have popped up across the country.

Plastics ban
The need for schemes such as Suchitwa Sagaram is emphasised by research that shows 90% of the plastic waste in the world’s oceans is carried there by just 10 rivers - two of which are in India.

According to a study by the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research, India’s Indus and Ganges rivers carry the second and sixth highest amounts of plastic debris to the ocean. The Indian Ocean, meanwhile, is choked with the second highest amount of plastic out of all of the world’s oceans.


Image: Statista


Like Kerala’s fisheries minister, Indian politicians appear to be taking action in the face of this mounting crisis.

This month India’s prime minister Narendra Modi pledged to eliminate all single-use plastic in the country by 2022, starting with an immediate ban in urban Delhi.

The move came just three months after India’s western state of Maharashtra issued a ban virtually all types of plastic bag, disposable cutlery, cups and dishes, as well as plastic containers and packaging.

Residents face fines from 5,000 rupees (US$73) for a first time offence to 25,000 rupees ($367) and jail time for repeat offenders, while the state’s Environment Department is also encouraging people to recycle bottles and milk bags through a buy-back scheme.

While’s India’s plastic problem is substantial due to the size of its population and its rate of economic growth, schemes such as those in Maharashtra, Delhi and Kerala set an example to western nations.


Image: The Economic Times

In the US, for example each person on average generates up to 10 times the amount of plastic waste generated by their Indian counterpart.

If western nations followed India’s lead of combining political pressure with entrepreneurial ventures, perhaps the world will stand of a chance of avoiding the predicted catastrophe of there being more plastic than fish in the sea by 2050.
These Indian fishermen take plastic out of the sea and use it to build roads
 
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After fish and frog, new species of snail discovered in Karnataka

By Deepthi Sanjiv, Bangalore Mirror Bureau | Updated: Jul 5, 2018, 02:00 IST


Neelavara Ananthram Aravind from Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE), Bengaluru, and Barna Pall Gergely from Plant Protection Institute, Centre for Agricultural Research, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Hungary have described a new species of land snail from Malai Mahadeshwara hills of Chamarajanagar district.

The new species, Dicharax bawai, is the third known member of the family Alycaeidae in southern India. Land snails live on land and have a strong muscular foot. They have a mantle and have one or two pairs of tentacles. Their internal anatomy includes a radula and a primitive brain. In terms of reproduction, the majority of land snails have a full set of organs of both sexes and most lay clutches of eggs. Usually, their shells are coiled on the right.

“The species is smaller than Dicharax footei, with a more elevated spire and protoconch, less expanded outer peristome, longer shell region along the sutural tub with denser ribs and smoother region preceding the sutural tube,” describes Aravind. “Historically, the genus Dicharax was defined on the basis of a sharp swelling on the shell. This new species is named after Kamaljit S Bawa, founder president of ATREE, who has contributed immensely to reproductive and conservation biology,” he adds.

Malai Mahadeshwara Hills are part of the Eastern Ghats. The altitude ranges from 400 to 1,200 m above sea level. In September, 2013, the team collected two kg of soil and leaf litter samples from various habitats in these hills, including moist deciduous, dry deciduous and scrub forests. Samples were collected from the bases of large trees and boulders, which are among the richest microhabitats of micro-snails here. The sites where the new species were found are about one kilometre apart.

There are approximately 370 species of Asian Alycaeidae snails, which are widely distributed from southern India to Japan. The centres of the diversity of this family, inferred from the number of known taxa, include northern Vietnam, the Malay Peninsula, the eastern Himalaya region and southern Japan.


Kerala Botanists Discover Two New Ginger Species in Arunachal


New Delhi, July 4: Ginger not only adds some spice to Indian food but is also an important medicinal plant. Now a team of researchers from Kerala has discovered two new species of ginger in the biodiversity hotspot of the Northeast.

The new species have been found in Arunachal Pradesh. One of them, named Amomum nimkeyense (Zingiberaceae), was found in Lohit district while the other named Amomum riwatchii (Zingiberaceae) in the neighbouring Dibang Valley district. The first has been named to pay respect to a sacred abode of a spirit invoked by Mishmi community of the Lohit district and the second to acknowledge the work by an organisation in the field of biodiversity conservation in Dibang Valley district – Research Institution of World Ancient, Traditional, Culture and Heritage (RIWATCH).

“It was accidental discovery. We were going around in wild forest near this Tiding area (in Lohit district) scouting. So far, this species was not found anywhere else. Locals too are not using it,” lead researcher Mamiyil Sabu from the Department of Botany, University of Calicut at Kerala told India Science Wire.
“This species is restricted to a very small area. It is vulnerable to damage due to landslides etc.”​
RIWATCH executive director Vijay Anna Swami said “Nimke is the sacred place between Tiding and Parshuram Kund on the banks of Lohit river. It is the place of resting of the spirit invoked by nature-worshipping Miju Mishmi community at the start of their rituals.”


Amomum nimkeyense (left) and Amomum riwatchii (right) species of ginger. (Photo : Mamiyil Sabu)

In India, Amomum – a herb of the ginger family – is represented by 22 species distributed in North-East India, Southern Peninsular India and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands with the major centre of distribution in North-East India.

Amomum nimkeyense is similar to A. subulatum, but differs from the latter by having ovate to linear-obovate leaf lamina with equal base, the abaxial surface densely pubescent, a 8−9 mm long pubescent ligule, inflorescence bracts reddish towards the base and golden brown at the middle, and bracteoles pale yellowish brown with a median red band, a white-pink tinged calyx, pubescent corolla tube, obovate labellum lacking lateral staminodes, a glabrous ovary and a capsule with small wings towards the apex,” researchers said while describing the taxonomy of the new find in their research paper published in journal Phytotaxa.​
The habitat and ecology for Amomum nimkeyense is known only from Tidding area in the Lohit river valley, on the way to Hayuliang from Tezu in Lohit district. The plants grow in the moist sloping areas in association with other shrubs.

“As the occurrence of this new taxon is found in highly restricted 1–2 sq km area, the species is likely to fall within a category of threat. Probable threat to its existence in this locality due to natural calamities and other developmental activities which may lead to loss of its natural habitat. Thus, based on the present knowledge and available data, conservation status is assessed as Data Deficient,” the researchers said.

Amomum riwatchii was found in Lower Dibang Valley district, 42-km away from Roing, district headquarters, towards Mayodia Pass. “Amomum riwatchii is similar to A. carnosum, but differs from the latter in having non-stoloniferous rhizome, oblong-lanceolate lamina, 5−6 mm long ligule with entire apex, broadly ovate or orbicular dark red thick outer bract, calyx lobes with cuspidate or horned apex, oblong labellum with entire apex and non-winged capsule,” researchers said in their paper published in journal Botany Letters .

These ginger plants were found growing along the margins of temperate evergreen forest in association with bamboo and other shrubs at an altitude range from 2100 to 2560 meters. “We could not identify any serious threat on the new species, but the population might be impacted by road broadening. Based on the available data, the conservation status is assessed as Data Deficient,” the paper said.

But why ginger?

“There is a lot of potential for commercial or medicinal use of gingers. This is one of the most economically important food item and a familiar herb across India, but nobody has worked on this. It is food, medicine and, also has ornamental value but for almost 125 years, there have been no major study on gingers,” said Sabu.

Sabu has been exploring north east India since 2000. He has published papers in several international journals about Amomum from Arunachal Pradesh and Andaman & Nicobar Islands (ginger and wild bananas). It was in 1892 that British scientist J D Hooker had done an extensive taxonomical study of various species in India. Since then few have worked on gingers. That intrigued Sabu, who has been working on the taxonomy of Indian zingiberaceae.

His research includes field visits, exploring wild forest areas, documenting what is the best-suited climate for its growth, other favorable conditions, study of pollen grains, anatomical study, morphology, microscopic molecular study (in the research lab) among many other small and big things, he said.

Sabu’s team included Vadakoot Sankaran Hareesh, his colleague from University of Calicut; Tatum Mibang from Department of Botany, Jawaharlal Nehru College, Pasighat, Arunachal Pradesh and Arup Kumar Das from Department of Botany, Rajiv Gandhi University, Itanagar. RIWATCH facilitated the field work. One of its associates Sathyanarayanan Mundayoor was instrumental in suggesting the name Nimke for the ginger species found near Tiding in Lohit district. The research was funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DST)
 

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Maharashtra govt to implement India's first plastic buyback scheme from July 11
The Maharashtra government will implement India's first plastic buyback scheme for PET bottles and milk pouches from July 11 to ensure recycling, The Times of India reported.

Under this scheme, customers will get back a deposit paid to a retailer on handing PET bottles or milk pouches back to the store. The state is also planning to institute a similar mechanism for tetra packs and retail packaging in three months.

The buyback depository system is prevalent in 40 countries around the world.

The state has mandated manufacturers to take responsibility for setting up collection and recycling infrastructure for plastic in the Maharashtra Plastic and Thermocol Products (Manufacture, Usage, Sale, Transport, Handling and Storage) Notification, 2018.

The move may help the city reduce the generation of plastic waste, but it has been facing challenges in its implementation as recyclers say the guidelines are not clear.

"So far there is no mechanism for me to find out how many Bisleri or Aquafina bottles were crushed in my crushing machines. How do I seek compensation from manufacturers in the absence of that data? A bar code mechanism needs to be in place, which will take more than three days to do,"Arvind Shah of Wild West Innovations, a leading plastic recycler, told the paper.

Experts believe that the high deposit rates, shortage of recycling capacity and lack of incentives may render the scheme a non-starter.

"A 500 ml bottle costs 60 paise and the recycler has to refund Rs 2 to consumers. How will this work? People will start manufacturing empty PET bottles and dump them in these machines. That would give them a profit of Rs 1.40 per bottle. The scheme will only work if the recycler also generates profits," Shah said on the Rs 2 refundable charge for PET bottles of less than 1-litre capacity.

Officials from the environment department have been holding consultations with manufacturers regarding the plastic ban across the state. "This policy is continuously being revised. Suggestions and difficulties of all the stakeholders are considered," an official told the paper.

The recyclers add that mixing different grade of plastics at the recycling stage would yield low-value plastic. Thus, if the three types of plastics — the bottle, plastic wrapper and lid are not sorted — value of crushed material will be reduced.

According to the report, dairy owners say the government is yet to discuss the buyback plan with them, adding that it would be difficult for them to set up collection and recycling mechanism at a retail level.
Maharashtra govt to implement India's first plastic buyback scheme from July 11
 

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On International Tiger Day, Hopes Pinned For Tiger Population To Increase
World Tiger Day 2018: International Tiger Day is celebrated on this day to increase awareness on tiger populations throughout the world as well as the challenges and successes tiger conservationists face today.
World | Edited by Anuj Pant | Updated: July 29, 2018 11:43 IST




International Tiger Day 2018: India has launched the world's largest wildlife survey effort (AFP)

At a time when safe space for wildlife to thrive is being rapidly encroached by human activities, the population of tigers has become a cause for concern across the world. International Tiger Day is celebrated on this day to increase awareness on tiger populations throughout the world as well as the challenges and successes tiger conservationists face today. Tiger conservationists and organisations throughout the world have taken to social media to voice their thoughts on the state of tiger conservation today.

The World Wide Fund for Nature or WWF, in a report, shares some interesting facts. In 2016, the WWF shared good news, saying the wild tiger population was increasing.

They said the wild tiger count went up to 3,900. The report also said that the Tx2 initiative, a global collaboration of 13 tiger range country governments and international corganisations, had committed to doubling the number of wild tigers by 2022.

India, which holds a vast tiger population, has launched what the government claims to be the world's largest wildlife survey effort.

It is a matter of pride for us that India is home to the largest population of Tigers in the world. It is therefore our bigger responsibility to preserve and protect our national pride. On this #InternationalTigerDay , Lets pledge to conserve them. pic.twitter.com/nERQJLO1Pz
— Dr. Mahesh Sharma (@dr_maheshsharma) July 29, 2018
The All-India Tiger Estimation, 2018, is a census exercise to estimate the number of tigers present throughout the country presently.

It's International #Tiger day. A day to raise awareness about tiger conservation, as it is not only about one species. You conserve tiger to conserve ecosystem. Some 4000 left on this whole planet. pic.twitter.com/6QwvwmLXT1
— Parveen Kaswan, IFS (@ParveenKaswan) July 29, 2018
The census exercise will use the latest technology, including Monitoring System for Tigers-Intensive Protection and Ecological Status or M-STrIPES application, for collecting, archiving and analyzing data.

Thanks to everyone who has helped us protect tigers in the wild. $5 will protect one tiger for one day in Sumatra. #InternationalTigerDaypic.twitter.com/JiH9GSjrH7
— Terri Irwin (@TerriIrwin) July 29, 2018
The application will record data on signs and animal sightings with geo-tagged photographs. "With increased camera trap density and the use of android technology, estimates arrived at are likely to be more robust - both in terms of accuracy and precision," said a Press Information Bureau press release on the census.

Celebrating #InternationalTigerDay with the good news about the rise in the number of tigers remaining in the wild: As Global Tiger Day Approaches, There's Good News About the Number of Tigers Remaining in the Wild
(Photo: USFWS) pic.twitter.com/mSLcL3XkzJ
— US Consulate Kolkata (@USAndKolkata) July 29, 2018
The PIB press release also said nearly 15,000 cameras will be used as compared to the 9,700 cameras used for the last census in the year 2006.

This majestic creature is on the verge of extinction. Do not let that happen. Stop deforestation, hunting and poaching. Save our national animal. #InternationalTigerDay#India#incredibleindia@tourismgoi@alphonstourismpic.twitter.com/wrhZvL4Swj
— Incredible!ndia (@incredibleindia) July 29, 2018
India conducts a census to assess tiger population every four years. The cycles of the estimation have already been completed in 2006, 2010 and 2014.

These estimates showed there to be 1,411, 1,706 and 2,226 tigers in 2006, 2010 and 2014 respectively.

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This year, once the census is completed, tiger conservationists throughout the year, will hope that tiger numbers will increase in India, which has the most number of tigers in the world.

Link :On International Tiger Day, Hopes Pinned For Tiger Population To Increase

 
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On International Tiger Day, Hopes Pinned For Tiger Population To Increase
World Tiger Day 2018: International Tiger Day is celebrated on this day to increase awareness on tiger populations throughout the world as well as the challenges and successes tiger conservationists face today.
World | Edited by Anuj Pant | Updated: July 29, 2018 11:43 IST




International Tiger Day 2018: India has launched the world's largest wildlife survey effort (AFP)

At a time when safe space for wildlife to thrive is being rapidly encroached by human activities, the population of tigers has become a cause for concern across the world. International Tiger Day is celebrated on this day to increase awareness on tiger populations throughout the world as well as the challenges and successes tiger conservationists face today. Tiger conservationists and organisations throughout the world have taken to social media to voice their thoughts on the state of tiger conservation today.

The World Wide Fund for Nature or WWF, in a report, shares some interesting facts. In 2016, the WWF shared good news, saying the wild tiger population was increasing.

They said the wild tiger count went up to 3,900. The report also said that the Tx2 initiative, a global collaboration of 13 tiger range country governments and international corganisations, had committed to doubling the number of wild tigers by 2022.

India, which holds a vast tiger population, has launched what the government claims to be the world's largest wildlife survey effort.

It is a matter of pride for us that India is home to the largest population of Tigers in the world. It is therefore our bigger responsibility to preserve and protect our national pride. On this #InternationalTigerDay , Lets pledge to conserve them. pic.twitter.com/nERQJLO1Pz

— Dr. Mahesh Sharma (@dr_maheshsharma) July 29, 2018
The All-India Tiger Estimation, 2018, is a census exercise to estimate the number of tigers present throughout the country presently.

It's International #Tiger day. A day to raise awareness about tiger conservation, as it is not only about one species. You conserve tiger to conserve ecosystem. Some 4000 left on this whole planet. pic.twitter.com/6QwvwmLXT1

— Parveen Kaswan, IFS (@ParveenKaswan) July 29, 2018
The census exercise will use the latest technology, including Monitoring System for Tigers-Intensive Protection and Ecological Status or M-STrIPES application, for collecting, archiving and analyzing data.

Thanks to everyone who has helped us protect tigers in the wild. $5 will protect one tiger for one day in Sumatra. #InternationalTigerDaypic.twitter.com/JiH9GSjrH7

— Terri Irwin (@TerriIrwin) July 29, 2018
The application will record data on signs and animal sightings with geo-tagged photographs. "With increased camera trap density and the use of android technology, estimates arrived at are likely to be more robust - both in terms of accuracy and precision," said a Press Information Bureau press release on the census.

Celebrating #InternationalTigerDay with the good news about the rise in the number of tigers remaining in the wild: As Global Tiger Day Approaches, There's Good News About the Number of Tigers Remaining in the Wild


(Photo: USFWS) pic.twitter.com/mSLcL3XkzJ

— US Consulate Kolkata (@USAndKolkata) July 29, 2018
The PIB press release also said nearly 15,000 cameras will be used as compared to the 9,700 cameras used for the last census in the year 2006.

This majestic creature is on the verge of extinction. Do not let that happen. Stop deforestation, hunting and poaching. Save our national animal. #InternationalTigerDay#India#incredibleindia@tourismgoi@alphonstourismpic.twitter.com/wrhZvL4Swj

— Incredible!ndia (@incredibleindia) July 29, 2018
India conducts a census to assess tiger population every four years. The cycles of the estimation have already been completed in 2006, 2010 and 2014.

These estimates showed there to be 1,411, 1,706 and 2,226 tigers in 2006, 2010 and 2014 respectively.

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This year, once the census is completed, tiger conservationists throughout the year, will hope that tiger numbers will increase in India, which has the most number of tigers in the world.

Link :On International Tiger Day, Hopes Pinned For Tiger Population To Increase

According to some estimates, Tiger population will cross 3,000 in 2018 estimate :)

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RISING SUN

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On the frontline of India's human-elephant war
On the day Yogesh became another of the dozens of Indians trampled to death each year, the coffee plantation worker knew from the fire crackers set off nearby that danger was at hand.

"Everything happened so fast. The elephant suddenly emerged from behind the bushes, trampled him and disappeared," his younger brother Girish -- thin, bearded and wearing a Nike baseball cap -- told AFP.

The 48-year-old from the southern state of Karnataka, home to India's largest elephant population with more than 6,000 jumbos, 20 percent of the country's total, left behind a wife and two children.

As India's 1.3-billion population grows, people are encroaching into habitats where until now the elephant, not man, has been king, with painful effects for both parties.

The Indian government told parliament last year that 1,100 people had been killed in the previous three years.

The elephants too are paying a heavy price with around 700 fatalities in the last eight years across the country.

Most were killed by electric fences, poisoned or shot by locals angry at family members being killed or crops being destroyed, and accidents on railway cutting through ancient migratory routes.

And Karnataka, which is also part of the wider southern region criss-crossed by over 10,000 of the mighty tusked beasts weighing up to five tonnes (11,000 pounds), is on the frontline.

"At present we have an annual death rate of around 30 to 40 people in the state," C Jayaram, Karnataka's chief wildlife warden, told AFP.
WATCH: On the frontline of India's human-elephant war
 

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Man-animal conflict to be listed as disaster under SDRF by UP govt

The Wildlife Protection Act does not have provision for compensation in case any human being or cattle is killed by a wild animal within a protected area.



PTI | New Delhi | August 5, 2018 3:53 pm





Representational Image.


In possibly the first-of-its-kind move, the Uttar Pradesh government has given its in-principle approval to bring man-animal conflict under listed disasters in State Disaster Response Fund to ensure better coordination and relief during such incidents.

The Uttar Pradesh government has given the nod to bring man-animal conflict in the list of disasters and detailed guidelines will be issued soon, a recent order said.

The move will enable faster relief, creating awareness, ensuring police support in areas when such conflicts are reported, and proper guidelines to handle situations when wild animals venture in human in-habitation, field director of Dudhwa National Park, Ramesh Pandey, told PTI.

According to data provided by World Wildlife Fund, 98 cases of human and big cats conflicts have been reported in the state in the last two years.

Tiger attacks in Uttar Pradesh have alone claimed seven lives in last three years in Uttar Pradesh, according to the union environment ministry data.

“The recognition of man-animal conflict as a disaster under SDRF is a paradigm shift in handling such situations which will ensure better synergy among agencies and quicker relief to affected people,” Pandey said.

The Wildlife Protection Act does not have provision for compensation in case any human being or cattle is killed by a wild animal within a protected area or sanctuary, noted wildlife expert Suresh Chaudhari said.

The government gives ex-gratia at fixed rates in such cases but that is a time-consuming process and may take a year to get relief, that too if inquiry clears such a payment, he said.

Payment of ex-gratia amount to victims of wild animal attack is provided with a view to reduce retaliatory killings, according to the union ministry.

It is provided under Schemes of ‘IDWH’, ‘Project Tiger’ and ‘Project Elephant’, as and when sought by state governments and subject to availability of fund.

Delays in getting ex-gratia triggers anger among local population against protected animals which often results in tigers and leopards being killed by villagers, said landscape coordinator of WWF in Uttar Pradesh, Mudit Gupta.

The forest department and other agencies like health, police, district administration work in silos when a situation of man-animal conflict arises but bringing it under SDRF will ensure that all these agencies work in synergy under district magistrate in better and efficient manner, officials said.

The declaration of such conflict under SDRF will also mean that police and local administration will step in as soon as such a situation arises like a herd of elephants entering a village, a leopard being spotted or a tiger venturing in human inhabitation, Gupta said.

Uttar Pradesh has 23 wildlife sanctuaries across 27 districts covering over 5,000 sq km, besides Dudhwa National Park with an additional 490 sq km of area and Pilibhit Tiger Reserve with an area of 726 sq km, according to the data of a report by Wildlife Trust of India and the state government.

Man-animal conflict to be listed as disaster under SDRF by UP govt
 

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Leopard cub enters hut, dozes off beside 2 kids
Sumita Sarkar | TNN | Updated: Aug 15, 2018, 12:24 ISTHighlights

  • The cub then made its way into the mosquito net and, probably comforted by the warmth of the bed, fell asleep
  • The 3-month-old cub didnot harm the two kids of a Nashik village
  • Foresters used vegetable tray to trap cub

Leopard cub enters hut, dozes off beside 2 kids

NASHIK: It was the crack of dawn on Tuesday and Manisha Barde, still sleepy, returned to her hut after answering the call of nature. Snuggling between her two small kids, asleep under the mosquito net, was her pet cat. Or so she thought.

Moments later, it wriggled in slumber and Manisha, now wide eyed, grasped the enormity of the situation: while she was away, the door kept unlocked as usual, a leopard cub had sneaked into the hut—one of the handful dotting the tribal village of Dhamangaon on the woody foothills in Igatpuri taluka.

The cub then made its way into the mosquito net and, probably comforted by the warmth of the bed, fell asleep. Manisha somehow kept her calm. She stealthily removed her children, who didn’t have a scratch on their bodies, and rushed out of the hut to wake up the villagers.


The 3-month-old cub did not harm the two kids of a Nashik village
Top Comment
the credit must go to the villagers. they showed great sense and did not attack the leopard cub with bricks and sticks but alerted the authorities to rescue the cub. the villagers should be apprecia... Read Moredean m

Foresters used vegetable tray to trap cub

Forest officials, who were promptly alerted, used a vegetable tray to trap the 3-month-old leopard cub. Forest circle officer Gorakshnath Jadhav later took it to the local office of the forest department.

Range forest officer of Igatpuri Ramesh Dhomse said, “The kids was still asleep when the cub entered the hut. Initially, she (Manisha) mistook it for their pet cat. We were informed of the incident at around 5am and rescued the cub by 6am. It did not harm anyone.”

In Video: Leopard cub enters hut, fell asleep beside 2 kids

Leopard cub enters hut, dozes off beside 2 kids - Times of India ►
 

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India’s first penguin chick born at Mumbai zoo
Eight Humboldt penguins were brought to Byculla Zoo from South Korea in July 2016.
The kind of tension typically felt outside a maternity ward was seen at Byculla zoo on Wednesday. Anxious minutes passed as staffers waited for the baby’s arrival. And at 8.02 p.m., they saw, via CCTV, the sight they had anticipated for 40 days — the first Humboldt penguin to be born in India, or as someone put it, ‘the freedom baby’, born on August 15.

The seven penguins in Byculla zoo paired up soon after being placed in their enclosure more than two years ago, with only little Bubbles remaining single. Donald and Daisy, Olive and Popeye, and Mr. Molt and Flipper achieved celeb status. In fact, three-year-old Mr. Molt, the new father, had a brief fling with Bubbles before dumping her for Flipper, who is four-and-a-half years old.

The couple built a home using the bamboo, sand, and pebbles kept for the purpose. On July 5, Flipper laid an egg, the first one of the colony. Since then, the parents had been taking turns to incubate it.

Alert parents
“If the egg is infertile, the parents find out soon enough, and abandon it. But they did not do so, and that was the first sign of hope,” said Dr. Sanjay Tripathi, director of Byculla zoo.

The egg’s 40-day incubation ended on August 15. The same day, after 7 p.m., zoo authorities saw cracks on the egg. The chick used its beak to eventually break it open at 8.02 p.m. “It made a shrieking sound while coming out. The chick remained with the parents. It was only in the morning that we went to inspect it,” said Dr. Madhumita Kale, head veterinarian.

It weighed 75 gm and was reported to be healthy. The average weight of a healthy newborn penguin is 60-80 gm. The zoo will conduct a DNA test to determine its sex. On Thursday, the baby ate the same seafood as the parents, who regurgitate and feed it the slurry. The chick’s eyes have not fully opened, and it was in a prone position. It would be up on its feet only after a week. It can swim only after a few months from now.
Watch: India’s first penguin chick born at Mumbai zoo
 

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2 years after enacting law, Centre unlocks Rs 66,000 crore green fund
2 years after enacting law, Centre unlocks Rs 66,000 crore green fund - Times of India

Northeast losing canopy cover at alarming rate: study

The analysis revealed that about 7590 square kilometers of forests have been lost between 1924 and 2009 with a mean deforestation rate of 0.64 % (for 85 years). Using the land-use changes of 1990-2009, researchers have projected the likely deforestation in the region for the year 2028. If the current rate remains undeterred, more than 9000 square Kilometers of area could be devoid of forests by 2028, predict scientists.
 

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Indian Flower That Blooms Every 12 Years Under Attack

ERAVIKULAM NATIONAL PARK, INDIABeautiful, purplish-blue flowers that carpet the hillsides of southern India just once every 12 years are under threat of never blooming again.
The flowering shrubs of Strobilanthes kunthianus have bloomed only 15 times since they were first documented in 1838. The last time they appeared in Kerala state was in 2006, the same year Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein was executed, Pluto was downgraded to a dwarf planet, and Italy won the World Cup.
Now, 12 years later, Neelakurinji or Kurinji, as it’s locally known, once again is appearing in Eravikulam National Park in southern India’s Kerala state—the only place in the world that these particular flowers grow.
“A single flower doesn't matter, but taken together, in a wide area, it's a romantic scene,” says G. Rajkumar, a founder of the Save Kurinji Campaign Council. “When you see it, you fall in love.”
Their historic legacy is enshrined as early as the 1st century in poems of the Tamil Sangam literature. Members of an indigenous tribe in the region, the Muthuvan, refer to their ages by the number of flowerings they have witnessed.

Shrinking Habitat
Now mostly confined to Eravikulam’s protected reserve, the shrub and its rare flowerings have disappeared from much of the region. Kurinji was once abundant at 5,000 to 8,500 feet in the Western Ghats mountain range, a hotspot of biological diversity in India’s southwest. But a triple threat—plantations of eucalyptus and acacia, agriculture, and most recently, tourism—has stripped the grasslands in which Kurinji grows.

The evolution and survival of Strobilanthes are intricately tied to its mountain home.
“Neelakurinji's mass blooming is a kind of reproductive mega big bang,” says Jomy Augustine, head of the botany department at St. Thomas College in Palai, Kerala. “It spends all its energy for the success of flowering and fruiting. If anything happens to the ecology of the Western Ghats, it affects reproduction and thereby the future of Strobilanthes diversity.”