International Tiger Day
(GS-III: Environment and Ecology)
International Tiger Day is celebrated on July 29 every year to raise awareness about the dwindling population of the endangered cat.
It is the anniversary of the agreement of Saint Petersburg Tiger Summit in Russia in 2010.
It was declared by representatives that the tiger populated countries would make efforts to double the tiger population by the year 2022.
The theme for the 2021 International Tiger Day is “Their survival is in our hands”.
Key facts related to tiger population:
As per the World Wide Fund for Nature, the number of tigers dropped by 95 per cent over the past 150 years.
India is the land of royal tigers and current tiger population stands at 2967 which is 70 per cent of the global tiger population.
Madhya Pradesh has the highest number of tigers at 526, closely followed by Karnataka (524) and Uttarakhand (442).
Kanha Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh is the first tiger reserve in India to officially introduce a mascot, Bhoorsingh the Barasingha.
Conservation efforts- National and Global:The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) has launched the M-STrIPES (Monitoring System for Tigers – Intensive Protection and Ecological Status), a mobile monitoring system for forest guards.
At the Petersburg Tiger Summit in 2010, leaders of 13 tiger range countries resolved to do more for the tiger and embarked on efforts to double its number in the wild, with a popular slogan ‘T X 2’.
The Global Tiger Initiative (GTI) program of the World Bank, using its presence and convening ability, brought global partners together to strengthen the tiger agenda.
Over the years, the initiative has institutionalised itself as a separate entity in the form of the Global Tiger Initiative Council (GTIC), with its two arms –the Global Tiger Forum and the Global Snow Leopard Ecosystem Protection Program.
The Project Tiger, launched way back in 1973, has grown to more than 50 reserves amounting to almost 2.2% of the country’s geographical area.
Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972: Schedule I.
International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List: Endangered.
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES): Appendix I.
Earth Overshoot Day, 2021
(GS-I: Geographical Phenomenon)
Earth Overshoot Day 2021 happened on July 29, almost a month earlier than the year before.
It was pushed forward because emissions are on the rise and biodiversity loss is speeding up.
Who announces the date?
The date is announced annually by the Global Footprint Network, the global organisation calling for urgent climate action and sustainable consumption.
What is it?
Each year, Earth Overshoot Day marks the date when we have used all the biological resources that the Earth can renew during the entire year.
This means humanity has again used up all biological resources that our planet regenerates during the entire year by 29th July, 2021.
Why it has been observed one month earlier this year?
We’ve already seen a 6.6% increase in our global carbon footprint, while our global forest biocapacity decreased by 0.5% due to widespread deforestation in the Amazon rainforest.
Deforestation had also increased by 12% in 2020, and estimates for 2021 suggest the figure will reach a 43% year-on-year increase.
What’s the concern now?
At our current rate, we’re using around 1.7 Earths every single year. From now until the end of the year, we’re operating on “ecological deficit spending”.
Our spending for 2021 is among some of the highest since we entered into the overshoot territory in the 1970s, based on UN data.
The concept of earth overshoot day:
The concept of Earth Overshoot Day was first conceived by Andrew Simms of the UK think tank New Economics Foundation, which partnered with Global Footprint Network in 2006 to launch the first global Earth Overshoot Day campaign.
How is it computed?
Earth Overshoot Day is computed by dividing the planet’s bio capacity (the amount of ecological resources Earth is able to generate that year), by humanity’s Ecological Footprint (humanity’s demand for that year), and multiplying by 365, the number of days in a year.
What is Ecological Footprint?
It is a metric that comprehensively compares human demand on nature against nature’s capacity to regenerate.
The Commissions of Inquiry Act, 1952
(GS-II: Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies)
The West Bengal government has set up a Commission of Inquiry (Lokur Commission), under the 1952 Act, to look into the alleged surveillance of phones using the Pegasus spyware developed by the Israeli cyber-intelligence company NSO Group.
The Commission will look into the alleged breach of privacy of several individuals.
Who can set up such commissions?
While both central and state governments can set up such Commissions of Inquiry, states are restricted by subject matters that they are empowered to legislate upon.
If the central government set up the commission first, then states cannot set up a parallel commission on the same subject matter without the approval of the Centre.
But if a state has appointed a Commission, then the Centre can appoint another on the same subject if it is of the opinion that the scope of the inquiry should be extended to two or more states.
What are its powers?
Under The Commissions of Inquiry Act, 1952, a Commission set up by the government shall have the powers of a civil court, while trying a suit under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908.
This means that the Commission has powers to summon and enforce the attendance of any person from any part of India and examine her on oath, and receive evidence.
It can order requisition of any public record or copy from any court or office.
What kind of subjects can a Commission probe?
Commissions set up by the central government can make an inquiry into any matter relatable to any of the entries in List I (Union List) or List II (State List) or List III (Concurrent List) in the Seventh Schedule to the Constitution, while Commissions set up by state governments can look into entries in List II or List III.
Pegasus inquiry commission matter is related to:
The West Bengal government has cited public order and police entries. While these subjects are in the State List, an argument could also be made that the subject matter of the inquiry essentially falls under the Central List.
Also, Entry 31 of the Union List deals with posts and telegraphs, telephones, wireless, broadcasting and other like forms of communication.
What value does such a Commission’s report have?
The findings of such commissions are normally tabled in the Assembly or Parliament, depending on who constituted it.
However, the government is not bound to make the report public. The findings are not binding on the executive wither, but can be relied upon by courts as evidence.
(GS-III: Environment and Ecology)
The project was launched by Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) & BSF have launched Project BOLD in Jaisalmer to Prevent Desertification and Support Rural Economy. Under this, they have planted 1000 bamboo saplings.
Please note that recently KVIC launched Project BOLD in the tribal village of Nichla Mandwa in Udaipur, Rajasthan.
Under this, 5000 saplings of special bamboo species – BambusaTulda and BambusaPolymorpha specially brought from Assam – were planted in vacant arid Gram Panchayat land.
With this, KVIC created a world record of planting the highest number of bamboo saplings on a single day at one location.
About the Project BOLD:
BOLD stands for Bamboo Oasis on Lands in Drought.
Launched by Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC).
The initiative has been launched as part of KVIC’s “Khadi Bamboo Festival” to celebrate 75 years of independence “Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav”.
Objectives: To create bamboo-based green patches in arid and semi-arid land zones, To reduce desertification and provide livelihood and multi-disciplinary rural industry support.
Why Bamboo was chosen?
Bamboos grow very fast and in about three years’ time, they could be harvested.Bamboos are also known for conserving water and reducing evaporation of water from the land surface, which is an important feature in arid and drought-prone regions.
Khadi and Village Industries Commission:
KVIC is a statutory body established under the Khadi and Village Industries Commission Act, 1956.
The KVIC is charged with the planning, promotion, organisation and implementation of programmes for the development of Khadi and other village industries in the rural areas in coordination with other agencies engaged in rural development wherever necessary.
It functions under the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises.