Nature's Narrative Vol. 3(II)
Indian National Park Update
Expansion of the Kaziranga National Park by Assam Government
The Assam government has approved to expand the Kaziranga National Park by 3053 hectares. This would make the Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve to grow to 1085.53 sq km. Currently, the core area of the park is 430 sq. km. It would consolidate the wildlife areas to provide better wildlife conservation and would also lead to the reduction in human-wildlife negative interactions.
The other benefits are-
These additions are habitat corridors
It would help to provide connectivity to Orang and Nameri National Parks across river Brahmaputra.
It also provides connectivity to the hills of Karbi Anglong to the south of the park.
These additional areas are encroachment-evicted areas and suitable wildlife habitat on river islands that are vulnerable to encroachment.
Sunderbans enter the Red List of Ecosystems
A global team of researchers has evaluated the Indian Sundarbans ecosystem to be endangered driven by historical clearing of mangroves and diminishing fish populations. The analysis uses the Red List of Ecosystems (RLE) framework developed by the IUCN. It is analogous to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
The assessment calls for ‘cautious optimism’ because of the slow-down in historically high rates of mangrove clearing, and recently stabilising tiger populations. However, ongoing threats such as reduced freshwater and sediment supply must be effectively monitored and managed.
Indian Enviro-Relations Update
UN Biodiversity Summit 2020
The UN Biodiversity Summit held on 30 September 2020 under the theme of “Urgent Action on Biodiversity for Sustainable Development.” The meeting takes place on the margins of the opening of the 75th session of the UN General Assembly. During the summit Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change Prakash Javadekar said “Since time immemorial, India has a culture of not just conserving and protecting nature, but living in harmony with it.” India aims to restore 26 million hectares of degraded and deforested land and achieve land-degradation neutrality by 2030. In the last decade only tree cover enhanced by 24.56% in last decade.
He further said that “the emergence of Covid-19 has emphasized the fact that unregulated exploitation of natural resources coupled with unsustainable food habits and consumption patterns lead to destruction system that supports human life. As enshrined in our Vedic scripts ‘Prakriti Rakshati Rakshita’ that is if you protect nature, nature will protect you.” Mr. Javadekar said that India has enhanced the forest and tree cover to 24.56 per cent in the last decade.
Ministerial Roundtable Dialogue on Biodiversity, 2020
On September 24, 2020, the Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change represented India at the Ministerial Roundtable Dialogue on Biodiversity that was held virtually. The dialogue was hosted by China. The theme of the dialogue was, “Beyond 2020: Building a Shared Future for All Life on Earth.” The dialogue was held a week ahead of the United Nations Summit on Biodiversity to exchange views on biodiversity conservation and sustainable development.
More than 15 ministers from different countries participated in the dialogue. Union minister Prakash Javadekar highlighted India’s efforts to conserve the tiger population. The Tiger population has doubled in last decade.
ENO (Environment Online) Global Tree Planting day, 2020
On 21st September (World Peace Day) the ENO (Environment Online) Global Tree Planting day was observed. ENO India, and ACT NOW conducted World’s Largest and Longest environment online event “Peace Is Green”. The 24 hours long symposium that lasted from 21st September (12:00 hrs IST) to 22nd September (12:00 hrs IST) brought together the stakeholders of environment conservation from over 100 countries across the world.
The event was hosted by Mrs. Alka Kapur (CBSE Teachers Award 2019, Principal, Modern Public School), Jay Kay Singh (Founder Principal, Brookfield International School, Chandigarh, and Act Now India), Rajiv K Shrivastava (Environment Online India, Act Now India) along with other educational luminaries. Nature lovers from over 115 countries – including UN Environment Program Coordinator, Switzerland, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Finland, President of Finland, Miss Earth India 2018, Miss India Earth 2011, Miss Earth 2010, and Miss Teen International 2019 among others.