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12 November, 2019

4 Min Read

Paper Topics Subject
GS-III National water policy(NWP)
Dal Lake area to be Eco-sensitive Zone
Brown to Green Report 2019 
GS-III :
National water policy(NWP)

Syllabus subtopic: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment

 

News: The government has finalised a committee to draft a new National Water Policy (NWP). The committee is expected to produce a report within six months

 

Prelims focus: Overview of NWP 2012.

Mains focus: The need for and significance of the new policy.

 

 

National Water Policy 2012:

  • The NWP currently in force was drafted in 2012 and is the third such policy since 1987.
  • Among the major policy innovations in the 2012 policy was the concept of an Integrated Water Resources Management approach that took the “river basin/ sub-basin” as a unit for planning, development and management of water resources.
  • Minimum levels: It also proposed that a portion of river flows ought to be kept aside to meet ecological needs. Such an approach led to the government, in 2018, requiring minimum water levels to be maintained in the Ganga all through the year and hydropower projects, therefore, to refrain from hoarding water beyond a point.
  • The policy also stressed for a minimum quantity of potable water for essential health and hygiene to all its citizens to be made available within easy reach of households.
  • The policy also noted that inter-basin transfers of water should be considered on the basis of merits of each case after evaluating the environmental, economic and social impacts of such transfers.

 

Need for revision:

There have been a lot of changes which need to be addressed and the prioritization of the water usage needs to be defined.

  1. Spring sets in Himalayas have been decreasingwithout any active step by the government.
  2. Revitalisation of rivers needs to be brought in focus because many of our rivers and rivulets are drying and the policy parameters need to be set up accordingly.
  3. Technological innovations like censors, geographic information systems (GIS) and satellite imagery need to be introduced to modulate the water and track the flow.
  4. Budgeting needs to be done in a way that it covers all levels from the basin to sub basin.

Source: The Hindu

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GS-III :
Dal Lake area to be Eco-sensitive Zone

Syllabus subtopic: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.

News: The Jammu and Kashmir UT will set up a 10-member committee that will declare Dal Lake, an Eco-sensitive Zone.

 

Prelims focus: Eco Sensitive zones- how are they declared and key provisions in this regard, about Dal Lake.

Mains focus: Significance and the need for these zones, and issues related to management of these zones.

 

Mission: According to a report, the area of the Dal Lake has shrunk to 24 sq km from 31 sq km and the lake has witnessed significant changes in land use and cover, apart from increasing human population.

 

About Eco-sensitive zones

The Environment Protection Act, 1986 does not mention the word “Eco-sensitive Zones”.

  1. The section 3(2)(v) of the Act, says that Central Government can restrict areas in which any industries, operations or processes shall not be carried out or shall be carried out subject to certain safeguards
  2. Besides the section 5 (1)of this act says that central government can prohibit or restrict the location of industries and carrying on certain operations or processes on the basis of considerations like the biological diversity of an area, maximum allowable limits of concentration of pollutants for an area, environmentally compatible land use, and proximity to protected areas.

The above two clauses have been effectively used by the government to declare Eco-Sensitive Zones or Ecologically Fragile Areas (EFA). The same criteria have been used by the government to declare No Development Zones.

 

Criteria:

The MoEF (Ministry of Environment & Forests) has approved a comprehensive set of guidelines laying down parameters and criteria for declaring ESAs.

These include Species Based (Endemism, Rarity etc), Ecosystem Based (sacred groves, frontier forests etc) and Geomorphologic feature based (uninhabited islands, origins of rivers etc).

 

About Dal Lake:

  • Also known as the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, dal lake, which is the second largest in the state, is integral to tourism and recreation in Kashmir and is named the “Jewel in the crown of Kashmir” or “Srinagar’s Jewel”. The lake is also an important source for commercial operations in fishing and water plant harvesting.
  • The lake is located in the Zabarwan mountain valley, in the foothills of the Shankracharya hills, which surrounds it on three sides.
  • The lake has four main interconnected basins namely, Hazratbal, Bod dal, Gagribal and Nagin.

Source: The Hindu

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GS-III :
Brown to Green Report 2019 

Syllabus subtopic: Development, Bio diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management.

 

News: The 2019 Brown to Green Report has been published by the Climate Transparency partnership, an international research collaboration.

  • The report is the most comprehensive review of G20 countries’ climate performance, mapping achievements and drawbacks in their efforts to reduce emissions, adapt to climate impacts and green the financial system.

For Prelims focus: Key findings of the report.

For Mains focus: Concerns and challenges and ways to address them.

  

Key highlights of the report:

  1. Carbon emissions from the world’s 20 biggest economies, including India, are rising.
  2. None of the G20 countries have plans that will help them achieve the target. Many of the current 2030 climate targets under the Paris Agreement (Nationally Determined Contributions or NDCs) are too weak, with about half of the G20 countries projected to meet or overachieve their inadequate NDCs.
  3. Energy-related carbon dioxide emissions in G20 countries shot up by 1.8 per cent in 2018 due to rising energy demand.
  4. Energy supply is not getting cleaner: despite a more than five per cent rise in G20 total renewable energy supply in 2018, the share of fossil fuels in the G20 energy mix remains at 82 per cent.
  5. While renewables now account for 25.5 per cent of power generation, this is not sufficient to outweigh the growth of emissions from fossil fuel sources.
  6. Low-carbon fuels need to increase roughly 10 times by 2050 to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius.
  7. G20 emissions in the building sector grew more than in any other sector in 2018 (4.1 per cent). Retrofitting existing buildings challenges all G20 and especially OECD countries. New buildings have to be near zero-energy by 2020-25 to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees.

 

India specific observations:

  • Among the G20 countries, India has the most ambitious NDC. However, it still needs real action now to prepare the different sectors for stringent emission reductions.
  • In the power, India is currently investing most in renewable energy, while Brazil and Germany are the only G20 countries with long-term renewable energy strategies.
  • India and China are among the G20 countries with the most progressive energy efficiency policies.

 

 

Need of the hour:

  1. To keep the Paris Agreement’s 1.5 degrees goal within reach, G20 countries will have to increase their 2030 emission targets by 2020 and significantly scale up mitigation, adaptation and finance over the next decade.
  2. Coal needs to be phased out by 2030 in Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries and by 2040 globally.
  3. G20 countries need to scale up their policies to ban new fossil fuel cars by 2035 at the latest, reduce emissions from freight transport to net-zero by 2050 and shift towards non-motorised and sustainable public transport.
  4. Cutting government subsidies to the aviation sector, taxing jet fuel and using revenues to invest massively in new carbon free fuels would leverage huge emissions reductions and health benefits.
  5. A coal phase-out plan is needed in Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, Turkey and the US.

 

Source: Indian Express

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