Mumbai lost 71 percent of wetlands in last four decades: Report

Among 22 cities in India, Mumbai has lost the maximum number of wetlands: WISA

According to a study by non-government organisation Wetlands International South Asia (WISA), India has lost nearly one-third of its natural wetlands to urbanisation, agricultural expansion and pollution over the last four decades. Further, the study informed that, with a 71 percent loss from 1970 to 2014, Mumbai has lost maximum wetlands, followed by Ahmedabad (57%), Bengaluru (56%), Hyderabad (55%), Delhi and National Capital Region (38%), and Pune (37%). The report is based on analysis of satellite images of land use and land and ground data of 22 cities and towns. (Hindustan Times)

Tamil Nadu releases its draft action plan on climate change

The state government has released its draft action plan on climate change and uploaded it on the Department of Environment’s website for inviting public comments. The plan has been prepared in sync with Nationally Determined Contribution, which India submitted under the Paris Agreement in 2015, and proposes to carry out 199 planned activities in seven key sectors by 2030. The seven sectors highlighted in the draft action plan are sustainable agriculture, water resources, forest and biodiversity, coastal area management, strategic knowledge for climate change, enhanced energy efficiency and solar mission, and sustainable habitat. (The New Indian Express)

Madhya Pradesh tops in Gharial count, claims state forest minister

As per a report of the Wildlife Trust of India, there are 1,255 gharials in the Chambal river of Madhya Pradesh and 255 in the Gandak river of Bihar. Along with this, it has been reported that only 46 gharials were present in the Chambal river that flows across Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. One of the major reasons for the increase in the number of gharials in the state is the creation of Devri Eco Centre where crocodile eggs are reared. After the eggs mature, the hatchlings are kept under observation for three years before being released in the Chambal river. (India Today)

Thane creek and Sanjay Gandhi National Park are best managed protected areas in Maharashtra: Centre

As per the management effectiveness evaluation (MEE) 2018-19, carried out by the western zone team of independent experts appointed by the Central government, the Thane Creek Flamingo Sanctuary (TCFS) and Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP), Borivli, have been designated as the best managed protected areas (PAs) among 11 wildlife sanctuaries and national parks in Maharashtra. The report also identified management weaknesses and prepared action plans for protected areas. Overall, all the 11 wildlife sanctuaries assessed have performed well and according to independent experts, judicial intervention is the reason that helped boost management for most PAs. (Hindustan Times)

Excess rains this year led to arrival of locust swarms, informs scientists

As a result of excess rains in northwest India in November, December and January, locust swarms have entered Fazilka in Punjab after ravaging mustard, gram and wheat crops in the border districts of Rajasthan like Barmer, Bikaner and Jaisalmer. Locusts were also seen in parts of Haryana bordering Rajasthan, but no swarm has reached Haryana yet. Wet environment is conducive for locusts as they breed in wet sandy soil. The National Agromet Advisory Service Bulletin has issued advisory to farmers to immediately report arrival or attacks of locusts to control rooms. (Hindustan Times)

This is a roundup of important news published between January 30 - February 7, 2020. Also read policy matters this week.