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April 2019 - Environment News

  • World Earth Day is observed every year on 22 April. On 22nd April 2009 the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution declaring 22nd April as the 'International Mother Earth Day'.

    The theme of 2019 is ‘Protect Our Species’. It will mainly focus on saving species which are on the verge of extinction due to climate change, deforestation, pollution and illegal poaching.

  • A new study has found that there are hundreds of sounds that the dolphins use to communicate. The study was published in the Journal ‘PeerJ’. The Araguaian dolphins, also called botos, are hard to find and difficult to study. They identified 237 different types of sounds that the dolphins make.

  • India ranked 17th in Global Startup Ecosystem. According to data released by Startup Blink, India moved up to 17th position in 2018 from 37th spot last year in the Startup Ecosystem Ranking for 2019. The top three spots remained unchanged with the United States, United Kingdom and Canada. The cities with the most vibrant startup ecosystems in India are Bangalore, New Delhi, and Mumbai.

  • The active volcano of Indonesia Mount Agung has erupted again to a height of 2 km. Two other volcanoes popular with tourists Mount Bromo in East Java and Mount Merapi inYogyakarta also continues to erupt. Mount Agung is an active volcano in Bali of Indonesia.

  • The 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy is among the world's 'major industrial accidents' of the 20th century, as per a UN report. 2.78 million Workers die from occupational accidents and work-related diseases each year. The report titled 'The Safety and Health at the Heart of the Future of Work -Building on 100 years of experience'. It was released by the International Labour Organization (ILO).

  • A study found that the river water of Ganga contains a significantly higher proportion of organisms with antibacterial properties. The study, ‘Assessment of Water Quality and Sediment To Understand Special Properties of River Ganga,’ began in 2016 and was conducted by the National Environmental Engineering and Research Institute.

  • The first-ever global coalition on clean and efficient cooling was launched at the First Global Conference on Synergies between the 2030 Agenda and Paris Agreement, which concluded on April 3, 2019, in Copenhagen, Denmark. The Global Coalition links action across the Kigali Amendment, Paris Agreement and Sustainable Development Goals. India has developed its National Cooling Action Plan.

  • Phayeng in Manipur has become India’s first carbon-positive settlement. A village is given the carbon-positive tag if it sequesters more carbon than it emits, slowing the accumulation of greenhouse gases and mitigating the effects of climate change. As part of the carbon-positive village project, Phayeng will receive a grant of Rs.10 crore in phases to facilitate Afforestation.

  • Over 1.2 million early deaths in India due to air pollution. A global report has found that life expectancy of children born today will be shortened by 20 months on average, growing up in current high levels of air pollution. According to a study, conducted by the Boston-headquartered Health Effects Institute, the situation in South Asia is much worse with the life expectancy shortened by two years and six months. The institute’s State of Global Air Report 2019, released on 03 April 2019, said that overall long-term exposure to outdoor and indoor air pollution contributed to nearly 5 million deaths across the world from stroke, diabetes, heart attack, lung cancer, and chronic lung disease in 2017.

    This means that air pollution contributed to nearly one in every 10 deaths in 2017, making it a bigger killer than malaria, malnutrition, and road accidents. The report said that out of the 5 million, 3 million deaths are directly attributed to PM2.5, half of which is from India and China together. The analysis found that China and India together were responsible for over half of the total global attributable deaths, with each country facing over 1.2 million deaths from all air pollution in 2017.

  • Saving the Olive Ridleys of Visakhapatnam Coast. Visakhapatnam is one of the important sporadic nesting zones for the Olive Ridley Sea Turtles on the East Coast. Every winter, thousands of them come ashore to lay their eggs. The coast of Odisha still remains a site of mass nesting, places like Visakhapatnam, Srikakulam and Vizianagaram in Andhra Pradesh are also seeing an increase in the number of nests Divisonal Forest Officer.

    This year in Visakhapatnam over 80,000 eggs where collected of which 10,000 hatchlings have been released so far. The turtles that predominately come to Visakhapatnam from the Mexican coast, mate at sea and then come ashore to lay clusters of eggs on the beaches. Females dig holes in the sand to lay the eggs, cover them and return to the sea. The eggs hatch in a span of 45 to 60 days depending upon the temperature. Tiny turtle hatchlings make their way from the nest to the sea, using the light from the horizon as their guide.

    However, due to rapid urbanization of coastal areas, lights from hotels and buildings near the coast confuse the hatchlings and they go astray. That is why releasing the hatchlings has become an important part of the conservation process. In an attempt to conserve the eggs, and prevent the death of hatchlings due to human interference and stray dog menace, the Forest Department built hatcheries.

    National Thermal Power Corporation Limited Simhadri as a part its CSR activity is funding the Forest Department for the turtle conservation project that was launched in the fiscal year 2015/2016. Rs.4.6 crore was granted for this. NTPC has so far released Rs.4 crore in four installments and the remaining Rs.60 lakh will be released shortly.

    What can you do to help in conservation?
    • Keep the beaches clean
    • Keep away from the nesting zones
    • Volunteer for the conservation for collecting eggs and releasing the hatchlings.
    • The eggs that are laid along the coast are brought and buried in these hatcheries. At present, there are five hatcheries across the city at RK Beach, Appu Ghar, Jodugulla Palem, Pedda Nagamayya Palem and Tantadi.
    • Among the five hatcheries, the survival rate of hatchlings at the RK Beach is one of the lowest thanks to pollution, littering and human interference.



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