80 countries agree to save oceans in UN-backed summit

News this week: 80 countries join hands to save the world's oceans; Panel blames hydel projects for 2013's devastating floods; Tumkur drought destroys more than 50% of coconut crop
Oceans of the world (Source: Wikimedia Commons) Oceans of the world (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

80 countries join hands to save world's oceans

At the recently held Global Oceans Action Summit for Blue Growth and Food Security, nearly 80 countries have decided to collectively tackle climate change, overfishing, habitat loss and pollution to save oceans across the world. The Summit has also laid down the way forward for blue growth in order to achieve healthy ecosystems in the oceans. The event was a joint initiative of the Government of the Netherlands, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Bank.

Hydel projects behind 2013's devastating floods, says panel

A panel of 11 experts appointed by MoEF, has blamed the ill-management of hydropower projects in northern India for causing deadly floods last year, which took thousands of lives and caused severe destruction. The severity of flooding was aggravated by the huge volumes of sediment in the rivers that had collected due to the poor management of hydropower plants in the area. The report states that it wasn't a coincidence that the worst destruction occurred in areas downstream of the hydel projects.

Tumkur drought destroys more than 50% of coconut crop

The palms in Karnataka's Tumkur district are withering due to drought prevailing for the last three years, and pest attacks. The drought has reduced the total area under cultivation in the district to less than 50%, reports the Department of Horticulure. The district administration is providing no relief to the 75,688 affected farmers owing to the model code of conduct for the Lok Sabha Elections.

Textile units in Rajasthan operating illegaly under government's nose

Around 546 textile units in Pali, Rajasthan, continue to function without 'consent to operate', despite receiving closure orders from the National Green Tribunal. Even the Rajasthan Pollution Control Board (RPCB) is making little effort to prohibit the operation of these units, that have been releasing untreated chemical effluents in the Bandi river and Nehra dam for years.

Keezhumadu Health Department makes arrangement for thyroid disorder treatment

The 77 people in Kerala's Keezhmadu, who are affected with thyroid dysfunction, do not have to go anywhere else for treatment as the Health Department is making all the arrangments in a nearby primary health centre. The health issue occurred after the people of Keezhmadu, which neighbours an ISRO unit, consumed water contaminated with ammonium percholate (rocket fuel). The Authorities are also conducting a probe to find the source of contamination.

This is a weekly roundup of important news from April 28-May 3 2014. Also read last week's policy matters updates.

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