Sunderbans tagged under Ramsar Convention

Mangroves of the Sunderbans (Source: Nature Environment & Wildlife Society - NEWS)
Mangroves of the Sunderbans (Source: Nature Environment & Wildlife Society - NEWS)

Indian Sunderbans gets recognition under Ramsar Convention on Wetlands 

The Indian side of the Sunderbans has been recognised as the Wetlands of International Importance under the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. After the East Kolkata Wetlands, which got the tag in 2002, Sunderbans has become the second Ramsar site in Bengal to snag the tag. The tag will not only help the world’s largest mangrove to feature more prominently in international treaties on biodiversity and migratory birds but also help fight climate change and demand better conservation of the region. Sundarbans wetlands is located within the largest mangrove forest in the world and is also home to many rare and critically endangered species. 

Failure of northeast monsoon causes worry in south India

In its Statement on Climate in India during 2018, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has pointed that the rainfall over the country during the northeast monsoon had been substantially below normal. The failure of the northeast monsoon is a cause for worry as it is crucial for farming and water security in the south. The data analysis of the northeast monsoon has revealed that the highest rainfall departure occurred in Telangana followed by Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. In response to monsoon failure, the state governments have introduced water cuts. Moreover, Andhra Pradesh has declared 347 mandals in nine districts to be drought-hit.

Experts call relocation of crocodiles from Narmada dam mindless

To make way for seaplane services for the visitors to the Statue of Unity, the Gujarat government has decided to relocate 300 crocodiles from the Narmada dam. The conservationists have called the move drastic and mindless as it will have an adverse impact on the ecology of the area. Being apex predators, these crocodiles act as water cleaners and removing them is going to have a cascading effect on the quality of water in the dam. A legal notice against the translocation of crocodiles has been sent to the environment ministry, the chief minister, chief conservator of forest and chief secretary of Gujarat. 

Goa comes up with state biodiversity tag

The Goa State Biodiversity Board (GSBB) has introduced a tagging system for organisations selling products which are made using ingredients from the state biodiversity zones. The aim behind the move is to provide access benefit share from the profits to the communities residing within these zones. With the new initiative in place, the sellers are supposed to pay 0.01 percent of their annual profit to the GSSB. The board had approached over 300 industries to join the scheme but currently only three organisations—Tanshikar Spice Farm, Krishna Plantation and Raika Honey—have agreed to it. 

CAG blames Chhattisgarh forest department for incurring avoidable expenses

As per the recent report by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG), the Chhattisgarh forest department incurred excess and avoidable expenditure on unirrigated mixed plantations set up under the State Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (State CAMPA) in 2014-2015. The department dug big pits for plantation which resulted in excess labour charges and increased consumption of vermin-compost and fertilisers leading to excess expenditure to the tune of Rs 2.03 crore. 

This is a roundup of important news published between  January 29 - February 4, 2019. Also read policy matters this week.