Rubber plantations in Tripura affecting monkeys, vegetation, suggests paper
(GS-I: Indian Geography)
The research article, Impact of Monoculture Rubber Plantation on non-Human Primates and Plant Diversity in South Tripura, has warned against monoculture farms and suggest eco-friendly measures to increase biodiversity.
The conversion of tropical forests into monoculture plantations has a major effect on non-human primates and plant species.
g., Turning the forests into natural rubber plantations in Tripura is negatively impacting non-human primate species and vegetation in the region.
Humans are overusing the world’s tropical forests: As per the WWF, every year, about 140,000 square kilometres of forests have been lost
A large proportion of primary forest in India has been converted into monoculture plantations like tea, oil palm, teak and natural rubber
Impact on animals: The number of monkeys in the rubber plantation area is much lower than in the nearby forests and the primates spend less time in rubber plantations
Due to the growing rubber plantations, they do not get enough food, which makes their survival difficult. This threatens the species and the primates can go extinct, disrupting the environment’s natural state.
What is the importance of Non-human primates?
Non-human primates are of central importance to tropical biodiversity and various ecosystem
They are humans’ nearest biological relatives and play a significant role in many societies’ livelihoods, cultures and religions, the paper said.
These primates help in the pollination, seed dispersion and seed germination of many plants and they are essential seed predators in some ecosystems.
Building eco-friendly rubber plantations: Growing fruiting plants in rubber plantation areas, maintaining specified distance, so animals are more attracted to them.
Various plants should also be kept intact at the edges of the rubber plantation and around the water bodies, which provide shelter or food habitat for many animals in these areas
The agroforestry system allows rubber plants, forest vegetation, and edible and useful plants planted together and kept at proper intervals, which is economically suitable and also will help conserve biodiversity.
Other impacts of Monoculture farming:
Continuous monoculture, or “monocropping” where the same species is grown year after year, can lead to unsustainable environments such as building up disease pressure and reducing particular nutrients in the soil. Under certain circumstances, monocropping can lead to deforestation
It reduces the availability of certain nutrients and degrades the soil. Monocultures may therefore also lead to soil exhaustion when the soil becomes depleted of these nutrients.
Centre clears ₹19,744-crore Green Hydrogen Mission
Union Cabinet has approved the National Green Hydrogen Mission, which is aimed at making India the global hub for the production of green hydrogen.
Expected Mission Outcomes:
Components of the Mission:
India’s status for Green Hydrogen:
Benefits of the Mission:
About the Mission:
National Hydrogen Mission was launched on August 15, 2021, with a view to cutting down carbon emissions and increasing the use of renewable sources of energy.
Nodal Agency: The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) will formulate the scheme guidelines for implementation.
All concerned ministries, departments, agencies and institutions of the Central and State Governments will undertake focused and coordinated steps.
Urban Forestry and Urban Greening in Drylands
The food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has released this report, under the framework of FAO’s Green Urban Oases Programme.
Key points highlighted by the report:
35% of the world’s largest cities (including New Delhi, Mexico City etc.) are built on the world’s dryland
Urban policies have yet to incorporate forestry and greening strategies in the majority of dryland cities
Select local trees for green spacing
Build local capacity and involve the community to create a sense of ownership
Create policies for urban greening
About the Green Urban Oases (GUO) Programme:
GUO program contributes to FAO’s Green Cities Initiative (2020) which aimed to improve the livelihoods of urban and peri-urban populations in at least 100 cities in the next 3 years.
The objective of the programme:
Turn dryland cities into “green urban oases”
Strengthen their overall resilience to climatic, health, food, and economic crisis
To reduce the impact of urbanization on biodiversity and the surrounding natural environment
What are drylands?
United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) defines drylands according to an aridity index (AI), which is the ratio between average annual precipitation and potential evapotranspiration; drylands are lands with an AI of less than 0.65 (Zero Point six five)
Dryland systems are ecosystems characterised by a lack of water. They include cultivated lands, scrublands, shrublands, grasslands, savannas, semi-deserts and true deserts. It makes up around 41% of the earth’s land ( mainly in Asia and Africa).
Silent Valley bird species go up to 175
A bird survey conducted at the Silent Valley National Park identified 141 species, of which 17 were new. So far, 175 species of birds have been spotted in Silent Valley.
The survey is the 30th anniversary of the first bird survey in Silent Valley.
Bird species found in Silent Valley National Park:
Brown wood owl, Banded Bay cuckoo, Malabar woodshrike, White-throated kingfisher, Indian nightjar, Jungle nightjar, and Large cuckooshrike were among the 17 species newly identified in the Silent Valley.
Silent Valley has several species endemic to high-elevation areas like Nilgiri laughingthrush, Nilgiri flowerpecker, Brown-cheeked fulvetta, Black-and-orange flycatcher, Grey-headed canary-flycatcher, greenish warbler, Common chiffchaff, Tytler’s leaf warbler, Shaheen falcon, Nilgiri wood pigeon, and Malabar whistling thrush.
About Silent Valley National Park:
The park is located in the Nilgiri hills. It is situated in the core of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve.
Silent Valley is home to the largest population of Lion-tailed macaques, an endangered primate specie.
River Kunthi descends from the Nilgiri hills and traverses the entire length of the valley.