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PIB Summary for UPSC

6-February -2024

1. Schemes for Restoration of Mangrove Forests

Topic: GS3 – Environment and Ecology – Conservation
MISHTI’s focus on mangrove restoration aligns with environmental conservation, biodiversity, and carbon sequestration, crucial topics for UPSC exams.
Context
  • The Indian government, through the ‘Mangrove Initiative for Shoreline Habitats & Tangible Incomes (MISHTI),’ aims to restore 540 km2 of mangroves across 9 states and 3 Union Territories, promoting biodiversity and carbon sequestration.
  • The initiative was launched on World Environment Day 2023.
 Additional information on this news:
  • Mangrove forests play a crucial role in carbon storage, provide breeding grounds for marine biodiversity, and support global fish populations.
  • The government has implemented measures to protect and enhance mangrove forests in coastal States/Union Territories.
  • Promotional measures are executed through the ‘Conservation and Management of Mangroves and Coral Reefs’ scheme under the National Coastal Mission Programme.
  • Regulatory measures are enforced through various acts, including the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) Notification (2019) and others related to environmental and wildlife protection.
  • The Union Budget 2023-24 introduced the ‘Mangrove Initiative for Shoreline Habitats & Tangible Incomes (MISHTI)’ to promote and conserve mangroves.
  • MISHTI was launched on World Environment Day, 5th June 2023, and aims to restore/reforest approximately 540 km2 of mangroves across 9 States and 3 Union Territories over five years starting from 2023-24.
  • The overall mangroves cover in the country increased by 252 km2 from 2015 to 2021.
Importance Of Mangroves
Ecosystem Significance:
  • Nurseries & Habitat: Provide critical habitat for fish, crustaceans, birds, and mammals.
  • Water Filters: Complex root systems trap sediment, filter pollutants, and purify coastal waters.
  • Coastal Protectors: Buffer against storms, tsunamis, and erosion, safeguarding communities and land.
  • Climate Warriors: Store massive amounts of carbon, mitigating climate change impact.
Threats:
  • Habitat Loss: Deforestation for development, aquaculture, and agriculture.
  • Pollution: Industrial waste, agricultural runoff, and plastic contamination.
  • Climate Change: Rising sea levels and extreme weather events.
  • Deforestation: Clearing for agriculture, aquaculture, and urban development poses a significant threat to mangrove ecosystems.
Conservation Needs:
  • Protection & restoration: Stricter regulations, sustainable practices, and mangrove replanting.
  • Community engagement: Empowering local communities to manage and protect mangroves.
  • Education & awareness: Raising public awareness about the value of these vital ecosystems.
  • Protected Areas: Establishing and maintaining protected mangrove areas is essential for preserving these ecosystems.
  • Policy and Regulation: Implementing and enforcing policies that restrict harmful activities and promote sustainable land use are crucial for mangrove conservation.
PYQ: Discuss the causes of depletion of mangroves and explain their importance in maintaining coastal ecology. (150 words/10m) (UPSC CSE (M) GS-1 2019)

2. Black-necked Crane

Topic: GS3 – Environment and Ecology – Conservations – Important Species Crucial for UPSC as it highlights biodiversity conservation strategies, legal frameworks, and national initiatives, testing environmental awareness.
Context
  • Wildlife Institute of India plan to assess Black-necked Crane population.
  • Conservation efforts include legal protection, Ramsar Site designation, and public awareness initiatives.
 Additional information on this news:
  • Black-necked Crane (Grus nigricollis) population assessed by Wildlife Institute of India in Ladakh: 66-69 individuals; Arunachal Pradesh: around 11 during winter.
  • Conservation Measures:
    • Schedule I listing in the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972, providing highest protection.
    • Appendix I listing in CITES and Convention on conservation of Migratory Species.
    • Important habitats designated as Protected Areas, e.g., Changthang Sanctuary, Ladakh.
    • Tso Kar Wetlands Complex, a crucial crane habitat, designated as a Ramsar Site in December 2020.
Additional measures taken for conservation
  • National Wildlife Action Plan (2017-2031) includes specific chapters for wildlife conservation.
  • Financial assistance to States/UTs under ‘Development of Wildlife Habitats’ scheme.
  • Guidelines issued for Protected Areas management planning under Section 33 of Wild Life (Protection) Act.
  • Mission LiFE program initiated for public awareness on environment and conservation.
  • Celebration of important days like World Wildlife Day, Wetlands Day, Migratory Bird Day, Wildlife Week for increased awareness on wildlife and biodiversity.
Black-necked Crane
Black-Necked Crane:
  • Habitat: High-altitude wetlands of Tibetan Plateau, breeds in Ladakh & Bhutan. Migrates to Arunachal Pradesh in winter.
  • Description: Medium-sized, black head & neck, white body, red crown patch.
  • Significance:

a.     Cultural: State bird of Ladakh, symbol of peace & auspicious in Buddhism.

b.     Ecological: Seed dispersal, wetland health indicator, tourism potential.

  • Threats: Habitat loss, climate change, poaching.

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