The environment regained its glory in 2020, even if temporarily

The environment regained its glory in 2020, even if temporarily

NEW DELHI: The Kovid-19 pandemic battered and cherished the world in 2020, teaching the value of human life, but one obvious positive effect was that it bounced the environment back to its glory, albeit temporarily.
While schools, workplaces, transportation and industry remained closed for a large part of the year as people began living in their homes, gray skies began to turn blue and air pollutants began to freeze.
According to the Central Pollution Control Board, the air quality improved significantly during the lockdown (from 22 March to 18 May), as PM2.5 in Delhi decreased by almost 50 percent compared to the levels observed during 2019.
Pollution levels in five of India’s most polluted cities – Ghaziabad, Delhi, Noida, Greater Noida and Gurgaon – which are in the top 10 globally, exceed 50 percent during the first 10 days of lockdown imposed to counter Kovid Come down -19 outbreak, Greenpeace India said.
Apart from air quality, the water quality of seven rivers – Yamuna, Brahmani, Godavari, Kaveri was improved. Krishna, Tapi and Brahmaputra – which was attributed to the discharge of minimum industrial flows in view of the closure of almost all industries, any human activities related to the disposal of pooja material and waste, any anthropogenic activities such as outdoor bathing, washing, There are no vehicle washes and cattle. The CPCB had said that there was no washing, no pilgrimage activities etc. during the locking phase.
The panic caused by the epidemic came as a blessing for the animals in disguise as the government kept humans away from them and their habitat. Swinging into action after a tiger at the American Zoo tested positive for Kovid-19, the Ministry of the Environment asked all states and union territories to restrict the movement of people to various national parks and sanctuaries so that any human – Animal contact can be avoided.
However, according to a study conducted by the wildlife trade monitoring network TRAFFIC, the incidence of wildlife poaching in India has more than doubled during the Kovid-19 lockdown, compared to 35 in the pre-lockdown days at this time. 88 animals are killed for meat and trade. .
The brutal murder of a pregnant elephant in Kerala, after she was fed a cracker-filled pineapple, took to social media by storm, prompting the government to investigate the case.
Fear of an epidemic led people to believe at one point that migratory birds were spreading the disease. However, the government busted the myth, stating that “fear psychosis” was occurring in people and that coronoviruses had no connection with migratory birds.
This year India decided to preside over the 13th Conference of the Parties for the 13th Conference, a conference on the conservation of migratory species of wild animals (CMS COP 13) which was held in Gujarat in February, starting Coronavirus. Havoc in the country just one month before it happened.
During the conference, the countries adopted an agreement, the Gandhinagar Declaration that maintaining and restoring ecological connectivity is one of the top priorities for CMS. Three migratory birds – the Great Indian Bustard, the Asian Elephant and the Bengal Florican – were classified as “endangered migratory species” by the United Nations body, which paves the way for cross-border conservation efforts.
The conference saw participation from more than 100 countries, excluding China, because it was chosen due to travel restrictions in the wake of the coronovirus outbreak, which began with the same case in Wuhan city.
Fearing the impact of Kovid-19 on the world economy caused the government to worry about achieving climate targets under the Paris Agreement, with Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar urging people to use blue skies, fresh air and not being “very romantic”. Asked for Green earth.
Noting that there was a direct link between the well-being and health of Kovid-19 and the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG), which is a part of the SDG set in 2015 by the United Nations General Assembly and intended to be achieved by 2030, the minister said The economic consequences of the epidemic could weaken India’s commitment to climate action.
However, a few months later, the Minister announced that India was the only G20 country in compliance with the goals of the Paris Agreement and that none of the developed nations is compliant.
The government has been on its toes to deal with pollution arising due to coronovirus cases in the country and has been repeatedly issuing guidelines on waste disposal with the Central Pollution Watchdog CPCB.
As cases progressed, CPCB directed all health care centers across the country to place separate color-coded cans or containers in the wards and proper segregation of waste as per the Bio-Medical Waste (BMW) Management Rules 2016 Keep it up. It said that biomedical waste, if any, should be collected separately in yellow bags and bins originating from quarantine centers or camps.
The Ministry of the Environment also issued a notification to approve bulk drug projects to fight coronovirus, stating that environmental clearances to active drug paraphernalia (API) and bulk drug intermediate units, to reduce the impact Will ensure the overall preparation and availability of medicines. the outbreak.
In the year 2020, there was a major tussle between the Center and environmentalists over the amendment to the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), alleging that it intended to exempt controversial amendments, such as post-approval grants, to many large industries. . By public hearings, allowing industries to submit only one compliance report a year instead of two, the increasing validity of environmental clearances for mining projects and river valley projects, and many more.
Although some students from universities and institutes across the country had demanded that the draft EIA be put on hold as it was published during the epidemic and people were unable to give their opinion, some demanded the withdrawal of the draft. Imposed that it is controversial. Allegations and negative response said it had already extended the deadline by more than a month.
Another decision by the Center that drew sharp criticism was its grand plan to redevelop Central Vista, which recently received the approval of the Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) and brought it closer to getting environmental clearance.
Experts said the Rs 13,450-crore project was the government’s way of “pampering itself”, without considering that the project was about to abandon the giant green cover and let the wind from the dust of its construction and demolition Toxic.
Several jaw dropping reports were released this year, one of which claimed that India needed to achieve its ambitious target of 175 GW (GW) of renewable energy by 2022 total land in the shape of Himachal Pradesh or Chhattisgarh. Footprint will be required.
The report was based on research conducted by the environmental think tank working with the government – The Nature Conservancy and the Center for Study of Science, Technology and Policy (CSTEP).
Another report claimed that over 20 million people in India will be forced to flee their homes by 2050, as climate disasters including floods, droughts and cyclones are three times higher than current figures. The report, based on a study conducted by international agencies ActionAid International and Climate Action Network South Asia, states that by 2050, more than 60 million people will be displaced in South Asia alone. It states that the number of displaced people in India in 2020 is 1.4 crore.
A Greenpeace Southeast Asia report with inputs from the Center for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA) stated that the cost of air pollution borne by India from fossil fuels is 5.4 percent of the country’s annual GDP and its Estimated value is US $ 150 billion. Annually, the third largest worldwide.
The year ended on a glorious note from India to a country with 42 wetlands, the highest in South Asia, being added to the list of recognized destinations of international importance under the Treaty of Ramsar Convention, with a party of 170 countries and 2,000 Are more. Recognized sites under it.
The latest site to be connected to India is a high-altitude wetland complex of two connected lakes, Startupsuk Tso and Tso Kar, in Ladakh. In the last three months, four wetlands, Lonar Lake in Maharashtra and Sur Sarovar, also known as Ketham Lake, were added to the list in Agra, Kabartal in Begusarai district of Bihar and the Asan Conservation Reserve in Dehradun.
The government also made it clear this year that India’s outlook at the important 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 26) to be held in Glasgow, UK in November 2021 would be positive and constructive, and it would make all efforts to make it happen. Success.

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