Decline in Dolphin population observed in India's only dolphin sanctuary
As per the survey conducted by Vikramshila Biodiversity Research and Education Centre (VBREC) in partnership with researchers from Ashoka Trust for Research on Ecology and Environment (ATREE), Bangalore and Wildlife Institute of India (WII) Dehradun, the number of dolphins at Bihar's Vikramshila Gangetic Dolphin Sanctuary (VGDS) has declined to 154 from 207 in 2015. One of the main reasons for this decline is found to be the movement of big cargo vessels in the river and dredging activities which have increased after the stretch of the Ganga from Varanasi to Haldia in West Bengal got declared as National Waterway Number 1.
Deforestation pace slows down: FAO
According to the State of World's Forests Report 2018 by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the rate of deforestation has slowed down in recent years. However, the world's forest area has decreased from 31.6 percent of the global land area to 30.6 percent between 1990 and 2015. Deforestation is considered to be the second leading cause of climate change and is significant to achieving Sustainable Development Goals. The report has called for effective partnerships and private sector engagement to pursue sustainable goals.
Coimbatore's Noyyal river turns frothy
Noyyal river in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, has turned frothy after it received pre-monsoon showers. Some unidentified, untreated effluents from dying units are being blamed for the frothing of the river. To curb the pollution in the river, the high court, in 2011, ordered to shut down 700 dying units around the water body. A similar phenomenon was observed in 2017 which was brushed aside by the authorities as froth from bathing soap used by residents. The residents say that Noyyal river has remained polluted for many years now.
Sukhna lake will soon be wetland
The Chandigarh administration has initiated the process to declare Sukhna lake as wetalnd under the Wetlands (Conservation and Management) Rules, 2017. The decision is seen as a major step to save the lake. If notified as wetland, the encroachment in the catchment area of Sukhna Lake will be completely prohibited. The construction and other activities will also be prohibited within 50 metres of the wetland. The administration has constituted a 15-member Chandigarh Wetland Authority in this regard.
Water resources ministry launches video contest on water conservation
The Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation has launched a video contest titled 'Jal Bachao, Video Banao, Puruskar Pao' to engage people on the important issues of water conservation and water management. The contest was launched through MyGov portal and will last till November 4, 2018. Three winners will be chosen every fortnight. The ministry has appealed the people to make and upload videos capturing the efforts, significant contributions and best practices in the field of water conservation.
This is a roundup of important news published between July 8 - 16, 2018. Also, read policy matters this week.