India joins Mangrove Alliance for Climate (MAC) at COP27
News this fortnight
17 Nov 2022
Mangroves in Sunderbans (Source: IWP Flickr Photos)

India joins the newly formed Mangrove Alliance for Climate (MAC)

With an aim to improve the pace and scale of mangrove conservation, as well as restoration, across the world, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), along with Indonesia, took the initiative to form the Mangrove Alliance for Climate (MAC) at the COP27 summit in Egypt. According to the official website, MAC seeks to “scale up, accelerate conservation, restoration and growing plantation efforts of mangrove ecosystems for the benefit of communities globally, and recognize the importance of these ecosystems for climate change mitigation and adaptation”.

India is among the first countries to join the alliance; the others include Australia, Japan, Spain, and Sri Lanka.

(Outlook India)

Groundwater extraction lowest in 18 years: CGWB

According to the 2022 assessment report by the Central Ground Water Board (CGWB), the total annual groundwater recharge for the entire country is 437.60 billion cubic metres (bcm) and annual groundwater extraction for the entire country is 239.16 bcm. The assessment suggests that groundwater extraction is the lowest since 2004, when it was 231 bcm.

The assessment further indicates an increase in the groundwater recharge which may mainly be attributed to increase in recharge from canal seepage, return flow of irrigation water and recharges from water bodies/tanks & water conservation structures.

Along with this, there is an improvement in groundwater conditions in 909 assessment units in the country when compared with 2017 assessment data. 

(The Hindu)

Among all states, Tamil Nadu is leading the fight against climate change

By announcing three major missions namely Climate Change; Biodiversity Conservation and Greening; and Wetlands, the state has become a forerunner in climate action. For its Biodiversity Conservation and Greening Project (TBGP) which aims at climate change response, Tamil Nadu has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Japan International Cooperation Agency. The major objective of the project will be mitigating climate change through improvement of ecosystems, combined with socio-economic development.

Taking a multi-pronged approach to implement the project, the state is setting up district climate change missions in all 38 districts to develop climate change mitigation strategies.

(Down to Earth)

Country’s State Pollution Control Boards are in a dire state, reveals CPR

A recent report published by the Centre for Policy Research has revealed that the State Pollution Control Boards in India lack expertise and function with a human resource crunch.

The report highlighted that nine states (Punjab, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, and West Bengal) and the State Pollution Control Committee of the Union Territory of Delhi are in a dismal state particularly, as there is staff shortage, especially the technical staff, the dominance of government officials, politicians and the like on these boards, less space for air quality management experts.

Moreover, most of these state pollution control boards lack representation of civil society, academia, and public health experts. (Mongabay India)

UNFCCC warns of Himalayan Glacier retreat and variable monsoon threats for India

The 27th United Nations Climate Change Conference or COP27 report indicates the retreat of Himalayan glaciers and an erratic monsoon pattern —two of the most visible impacts of climate change in and around India— will make life more challenging for Indians in the near future.

In the Himalayan region, glacial retreats have reduced water availability in rivers and put hydropower projects at increased risk from glacial lake outburst floods (GLOF), while the variable monsoon trends indicate heavy rain in quick bursts after prolonged dry periods in India.

The report calls on policymakers to give special attention to water resource availability, a key driver of agricultural vulnerability, not just in India but across Asia as a whole. (Outlook India)

This is a roundup of important news published from November 1 -15, 2022. Also, read policy matters this fortnight.

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