Environment & Forests: India
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A REFERENCE ANNUAL
RESEARCH, REFERENCE AND TRAINING DIVISION
MINISTRY OF INFORMATION AND BROADCASTING
GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
Environment & Forests: India
THE primary concerns of the Ministry of Environment & Forests relate to implementation of policies and programmes on conservation of the country’s natural resources including lakes and rivers, its biodiversity, forests and wildlife, ensuring the welfare of animals and prevention and abatement of pollution. While implementing these policies and programmes, the Ministry is guided by the principle of sustainable development and enhancement of human well-being. The Ministry also serves as the nodal agency in the country for the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), South Asia Co-operative Environment Programme (SACEP), International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) and for the follow-up of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED).
The Ministry is also entrusted with the issues relating to multilateral bodies such as the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD), Global Environment Facility (GEF) and of regional bodies like Economic and Social Council for Asia and Pacific (ESCAP) and South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation (SAARC) on matters pertaining to environment.
The broad objectives of the Ministry are:
l Conservation and survey of flora, fauna, forests and wildlife,
l Prevention and control of pollution,
l Afforestation and regeneration of degraded areas,
l Protection of the environment, and
l Ensuring the welfare of animals.
These objectives are well supported by a set of legislative and regulatory measures, aimed at the preservation, conservation and protection of the environment. Besides the legislative measures, a Natural Conservation Strategy and Policy Statement on Environment and Development, 1992; National Forest Policy, 1988; a Policy Statement on Abatement of Pollution, 1992; and a National Environment Policy 2006 have also been evolved.
NATURAL RESOURCES - SURVEY AND EXPLORATION
SURVEY OF FLORA
BOTANICAL SURVEY OF INDIA
The Botanical Survey of India (BSI) is the apex research organization under the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India for carrying out taxonomic and floristic studies on wild plant resources of the country. It was established on 13 February 1890 with the basic objective to explore the plant resources of the country and to identify the plant species with economic virtues. Sir George King, the then Superintendent of the 'Royal Botanic Garden' Calcutta was appointed as First ex-officio Honorary Director of the BSI. After Independence, the department was reorganized in 1954 by Government of India as a part of scientific development of the country.
During the successive plan periods, the functional base of BSI was further expanded to include various new areas such as inventorying of endemic, rare and threatened plant species; evolving conservation strategies; studies on fragile ecosystems and protected areas, like wildlife sanctuaries, natural parks and biosphere reserves; multiplication and maintenance of endemic and threatened plant species, wild ornamentals, etc., in Botanic Gardens and Orchidaria; documentation of traditional knowledge associated with plants and development of National
Database of herbarium and live collections, plant distribution and nomenclature, botanical paintings/illustrations, plant uses, etc. Some of the activities of the BSI during 2010-11 are as under :
l Sixty-three field tours were undertaken for floristic/ethno botanical and other studies of higher and lower groups of plants by different regional centres and units of BSI.
l During the field tours, ca 6,375 specimens have been collected, 4340 of these collected specimens belonging to ca 872 species were identified by scientists of different regional centres and units which resulted in the discovery of one genus, 15 species, 4 varieties as new to science and 19 species as new to India.
SURVEY OF FAUNA
Zoological Survey of India
Zoological Survey of India (ZSI), established in 1916, is a preeminent research institution under Ministry of Environment and Forests. With its headquarter at Kolkata and 16 Regional Stations located in different parts of the country, this institution is tasked with the survey and exploration of faunal resources of the country. The ultimate goal is the taxonomic identification and documentation of the country's biodiversity.
The current mandate of ZSI is survey, collection documentation (including the traditional knowledge associated with animals) and ex-situ conservation of wild animal diversity of the country. High priority areas include :
(i) Digitization of present collections, preparation of fine scale distribution maps based on primary occurrence data and making it available in a searchable format.
(ii) Publication of National and State faunas.
(iii) Taxonomic studies, revisionary/monographic studies on selected animal groups.
(iv) Identification of Red list species and species rich areas needing conservation and focus on data deficient species to collect more information on populations.
(v) Development of a National database of Indian animals including Museum specimens, life specimens, paintings, illustrations etc. and maintenance of already existing collections with modern facilities and as per international standards of collection management.
(vi) Developing and maintaining Museums and using such facilities for conservation education for people especially students.
(vii) Ex-situ conservation of critically threatened taxa.
(vii) Capacity building in taxonomy, nomenclature, specimen collection, preservation and maintenance through training programmes.
(i) To establish a panel of experienced and active taxonomists and obtain their consent to participate in fauna project.
(ii) To prepare annotated checklist of different groups of animals, museum collections, based on published documents giving local names if any with locality and habitat. Make available the electronic version of checklist to the general public; and circulate it among the panel of zoologists who would, in turn, check for omissions, ambiguities, localities and habitat through active consultation with other local zoologists.
(iii) The State faunas are to be published electronically giving correct names, localities, habitats, sketches and photographs of important species on an interactive Fauna of India website. This will act as an outreach programme for all biologists and other interested public.
During 2010-11, some of the activities of ZSI are as under :
(a) A total of 129 surveys were carried out which includes 26 States/UTs, 11 biosphere reserve and 32 conservation area.
(b) Two species of Protozoa, one species of Nematode, six species of Trematodes, one species of Leech, two species of Scleractinian corals, 54 species of Insects, two Arachnids, six species of Fishes, five Species of Amphibians are described as new to science.
(c) Eight species of sponges, 95 species of Scleractinian corals, Five Species of Gorgonids, 43 species of Molluses, 18 species of Insects, Nine species of Arachnids, Six species of Ascidians, 50 species of fishes and One amphibian species are recorded for the first time in India.
(d) Four hundred research papers/books have been published by ZSI scientists.
(e) Fourty four species of Odonata and 48 species of freshwater fishes were accessed by ZSI scientists and were incorporated in the IUCN Red list.
FOREST RESOURCES AND SURVEY
FOREST SURVEY OF INDIA, DEHRADUN
Forests are renewable resources and contribute substantially to economic development. They play a major role in enhancing the quality of environment. Forest Survey of India (FSI), a premier national organization for forest resource assessment is for collection of data on scientific lines through countrywide comprehensive forest resources survey at regular intervals. The FSI with its Headquarters at Dehradun and four Regional Offices at Shimla, Kolkata, Nagpur and Bengaluru, work in close coordination to carry out various activities of FSI. Besides administration as well as technical control, the major activity at the Headquarters is forest cover mapping, data processing and conducting training. The zonal offices are mainly engaged in the inventory of forests and trees outside forests and supporting Headquarters in other activities as and when assigned.
l Forest Survey of India (FSI) assesses forest cover of the country by interpretation of remote sensing satellite data and publishes the results in a biennial report called ‘State of Forest Report (SFR)'. With the release of the 'India State of Forest Report 2009', so far 11 cycles of forest cover assessment have been completed.
l After the creation of the FSI, the field inventory remained the primary activity with a modified design covering the whole country. More than 80 per cent forest area of the country was inventoried comprehensively by 2000.
l India's forest cover in 2007 is 6,90,899 Km2 which is 21.02 per cent of the geographical area. Of this, 83,510 Km2 (2.54%) is very dense forest, 319,012 Km2 (9.71%) is moderately dense forest and the rest 288, 377 Km2 (8.77%) is open forest. The scrub accounts for 41,525 Km2 (1.26%) . A comparison of the forest cover of the country between the present and the preceding assessments (2005) shows that there is a net gain of 728 Km2 = square km during the period.
l The forest cover data was analyzed in GIS format to determine the forest cover in different altitudinal zones for the first time. The zones for analysis were : 0-500 m, 500-1000 m, 1000-2000 m, 2000-3000 m and above 3000 m and above 4000 m (not suitable for increasing forest). As per this scale, the forest and free cover of the country becomes 25.25 per cent of the geographical area.
l The State/UT wise forest cover in the country shows that Madhya Pradesh has the largest area under forest cover, followed by Arunachal Pradesh Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra and Odisha. The seven (now eight) North-East States together account for about one fourth of the total forest cover of the country. Arunachal Pradesh has got the largest area of very dense forest cover and Andhra Pradesh has got the largest area of scrub.
l The latest assessment shows that mangrove cover in India is 4,639 Km2. West Bengal has nearly half of the country's mangroves.
l India's tree cover has been estimated as 92769 Km2 constituting 2.82 per cent of the geographical area of the country. Tree cover constitutes the largest area in Maharashtra (9,466 Km2) followed by Gujarat (8,390 Km2), Rajasthan (8,274 Km2) and Uttar Pradesh (7,381 Km2).
MANGROVES AND CORAL REEFS
l The Ministry is at the forefront in regard to conservation and management of mangroves and coral reefs and accords high priority to the conservation and management of mangroves and coral reefs in the country. The Coastal Regulation Zone Notification (1991) under the Environmental Protection Act (1986) recognizes the mangrove and coral reefs areas as ecologically sensitive and categorizes them as CRZ-I (i) which implies that these areas are accorded protection of the highest order. Under the promotional measures, the Government has identified 28 mangrove areas and four coral reef areas on a country-wide basis for intensive conservation and management. The National Policy, 2006 recognizes that mangroves and coral reefs are important coastal environmental resources which provide habitats for marine species; protection from extreme weather events; and a resource base for sustainable tourism. The Policy also recognizes that mangroves, as indeed the other coastal resources like coral reefs and coastal forests, face threats from various quarters.
l As per the State of Forest Report 2009, the mangrovs cover in the country is 4,639 sq km which is 0.14 per cent of the country's total geographical area. There has been an increase of 58 sq km in mangrove cover mainly because of the plantations and protection measures in the states of Gujarat, Orissa, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal. Decrease in Mangrove cover in Andamans & Nicobar islands is attributed to the after effects of tsunami.
The four major coral reef areas identified for intensive conservation and management are:
l Gulf of Mannar
l Gulf of Kachchh
l Lakshadweep, and
l Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
The Indian reef area is estimated to be 2,375 km2.
Two tier system at national and State levels is in operation for effective coordination to implement the Scheme on Mangroves and Coral Reefs.
Biosphere Reserves are areas of terrestrial and coastal ecosystems which are internationally recognized within the framework of UNESCO’s Man and Biosphere (MAB) programme. These Reserves are required to meet a minimal set of criteria and adhere to a minimal set of conditions before being admitted to the World Network of Biosphere Reserves designated by UNESCO. These Reserves are rich in biological and cultural diversity and encompass unique features of exceptionally pristine nature.
The goal is to facilitate conservation of representative landscapes and their immense biological diversity and cultural heritage, foster economic and human development which is culturally and ecologically sustainable and to provide support for research, monitoring education and information exchange. The scheme is a pioneering effort at pursuing the increasingly difficult yet urgent task of conserving ecological diversity under mounting pressures. India has been divided into ten Bio-geographic zones and these zones together consist of twenty-five biogeographic provinces. The aim is to designate one representative site as Biosphere Reserve in each bio-geographic province for long term conservation.
l The programme was initiated in 1986 and till date, 17 sites have been designated as Biosphere Reserve (BR) in different parts of the country.
l Out of the 17 Biosphere Reserves designated nationally, 7 Biosphere Reserves namely Sunderbans (West Bengal), Gulf of Mannar (Tamil Nadu), Nilgiri (Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka), Nanda Devi, (Uttarakhand) Pachmarhi (Madhya Pradesh), Simlipal (Odisha) and Nokrek (Meghalaya) have been included in the World Network of Biosphere Reserves so far.
l The core areas of the Biosphere Reserves continue to be protected under the WildLife (Protection) Act, 1972, Indian Forest Act, 1927 and Forest Conservation Act, 1980. However, separate regulation within the framework of existing Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 is being firmed up to regulate activities within Buffer Zone of the Biosphere Reserves.
Biodiversity is the variability among living organisms and ecological complexes of which they are part, including diversity within and between species and ecosystems. Biodiversity has direct consumptive value in food, agriculture, medicine and industry. A scheme on biodiversity conservation was initiated earlier to ensure coordination among various agencies dealing with the issues related to conservation of biodiversity and to review, monitor and evolve adequate policy instruments for the same.
l The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), one of the key agreements adopted during the Earth Summit held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, is the first comprehensive global agreement which addresses all aspects relating to biodiversity. The CBD, which has near universal membership with 190 countries as its parties, sets out commitments for maintaining the world's ecological underpinnings, while pursuing economic development. The Convention, while reaffirming sovereign rights of nations over their biological resources, establishes three main goals: the conservation of biological diversity, the sustainable use of its components, and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits from the use of genetic resources. India is a party to the CBD.
l India hosted two meetings for the CBD in 2009, i.e. an Expert Meeting on Traditional Knowledge in Hyderabad from 16-19 June 2009 and an Asia Pacific Regional Workshop on Protected Areas in Dehradun on 12-15 October 2009.
l In pursuance to the CBD, India enacted the Biological Diversity Act in 2002. The Biological Rules were notified in 2004. The Act addresses access to biological resources and associted traditional knowledge to ensure equitable sharing of benefits arising out of their use to the country and its people. India is one of the first few countries to have enacted such a legislation. The Act is to be implemented through a three-tire institutional structure: National Biodiversity Authority; State Biodiversity Authority and Biodiversity Management Committees.
GENETIC ENGINEERING APPROVAL COMMITTEE
The Ministry under the Environment Protection Act (1986), has notified the "Rules for the Manufacture, Use, Import, Export and Storage of Hazardous Micro Organisms/Genetically engineered Organisms or Cells 1989" (known as Rules, 1989) to ensure that research and development and testing of LMOs prior to environmental release are conducted in a safe and scientific manner. The Genetic Engineering Approval Committee, the apex body under the Rules, 1989 has the mandate to approve the large scale trials and commercial release of Living Modified Organisms (LMOs). The rules also cover the application of hazardous micro organisms which may not be genetically modified. Hazardous micro organisms include those which are pathogenic to animals as well as plants.
Bt cotton is the only transgenic crop approved for commercial cultivation in India. As of date, the GEAC has approved several Bt cotton hybrids expressing Cry 1 Ac gene (MON 531 event) and stacked genes Cry1 Ac and Cry 2Ab (MON 15985 event)-BG-II developed by M/s Mahyco, encoding fusion genes (cry 1Ab+Cry Ac) ‘GFM developed by M/s Nath Seeds, cry 1Ac gene (Event-1) developed by M/s J.K. Agri Genetics Ltd., Cry IAC gene (Dharwad event) developed by CICR and Cry IC (event 9124) developed by M/s Metahelix Life Sciences. During kharif 2009, the Standing Committee constituted by the GEAC under the new 'Event Baseds approval Mechanism' has recommended 244 Bt cotton hybrids for commercial cultivation.
CARTAGENA BIOSAFETY PROTOCOL
The Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, the first international regulatory framework for safe transfer, handling and use of Living Modified Organisms (LMOs) was negotiated under the aegis of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). The Protocol was adopted on 29 January, 2000. India has acceded the Biosafety Protocol on 17 January, 2003. The Protocol has come into force on 11 September, 2003. As of date, 157 countries are parties to the Protocol.
The main objective of the protocol is to contribute to ensuring an adequate level of production in the field of the safe transfer, handling of LMOs resulting from modern biotechnology that may have adverse effect on the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity taking into account risk to human health. ==ALL INDIA COORDINATED PROJECT ON CAPACITY BUILDING IN TAXONOMY (AICOPTAX)== Taxonomy is the science which helps in exploration, identification and description of living organisms. However, the scope of taxonomy does not end with this. A sound taxonomic base is a pre-requisite for environmental assessment, ecological research, effective conservation, management and sustainable use of biological resources.
l About 91,000 species of animals and 45,500 species of plants have been identified and described so far. A large number of animals and plants are yet to be explored, identified and described.
l As a signatory to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, India has committed itself to capacity building in taxonomy and taken up exploration and preparation of an inventory of living organisms. The Ministry has set up an All India Coordinated Project on Taxonomy. The Project has organized specialist groups drawn from Universities, Botanical and Zoological Surveys of India to take up taxonomic work on animal viruses, bacteria and archaea, algae, fungi, lichens, bryophytes, pteriodophytes, gymnosperms, palms, grasses, bamboos, orchids, helminthes and nematodes, Microlepidoptera and Mollusca. The scheme has been continued during 2009- 10 and financial assistance has been provided to 13 thematic areas for undertaking taxonomic research work.
BOTANIC GARDEN OF THE INDIAN REPUBLIC (BGIR), NOIDA
The BGIR was inter-alia set up in April 2002 to facilitate ex situ conservation and propagation of rare and threatened indigenous plants of the country, serve as a ‘Centre of Excellence’ for research and training and thereby cater to the need for conservation of endangered species in the region, and build public awareness on the conservation needs through education on conservation of plant diversity. The BGIR is presently carrying out the basic scientific/technical work to facilitate project execution in context of research/field operations.
A brief description of the programme activities carried out during April 2010- January 2011 is as under: Woodland Development Programme, Conservation Research Programme, Herbarium Development Programme, Medicinal Plants Conservation Programme and Education & Training Programme.
UNDP-GOI CCF II Programme on promoting Conservation of Medicinal Plants and Traditional Knowledge for enhancing Health and Livelihood Security The project was initiated in 2006 and has been completed on 30th June, 2010. The Project had an outlay of 12.90 crores. The Project was undertaken in nine States, viz. Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal. The main objective of the project was supporting conservation of medicinal plants and traditional knowledge for enhancing health and livelihood security.
The key thrust of the project is to promote conservation of medicinal plants and related traditional knowledge with local people and mainstreaming these into the existing policies and programmes of the forestry and health sector. During the year 2010, all the activities under 14 components, details of which were given in the Annual Report-2009-10, were consolidated. One meeting of EPSC was held and the final report of the project was drafted. The report is being finalized.
ASSISTANCE TO BOTANIC GARDENS
The scheme on Assistance to Botanic Gardens and Centres for ex-situ conservation was initiated in 1992 to augment ex-situ conservation of rare endemic plants. One time financial assistance is provided to the Botanic Gardens and Centres of ex-situ Conservation, for improvement of their infrastructural facilities to facilitate ex-situ conservation of rare endemic plants. The achievements made in these Botanic Gardens are periodically monitored with the help of Botanical Survey of India. Under the scheme, 254 projects have been supported so far to various organisations maintaining botanic gardens and centres of ex-situ conservation.
The mandate of the Forest Conservation Division is to regulate the diversion of forest land for non-forestry purposes through effective implementation of the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980, which was enacted on 25th October, 1980. The considerations of the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 pertains to the floral and faunal significance of the forest land proposed to be diverted, feasible alternatives, number and nature of beneficiaries and nature and extent of the benefits likely to accrue from the proposed diversion.
Achievements made during the year—During the year 2009-10, total 1507 proposals involving about 86,967 ha. forest land have been accorded clearance under the Act. These include 1043 projects involving about 76,253 ha. forest land for which Stage-I clearance under the Act has been accorded. Similarly, during first nine months of the financial year 2010-11, total 1700 proposals involving about 35,530 ha. forest land have been accorded clearance under the Act. These include 938 proposals involving about 19,204.32 ha. forest land for which Stage-I clearance under the Act has been accorded. The proposals for which clearance has been accorded under the Act included the projects for power generation, irrigation, construction of roads, railway lines, transmission lines, drinking water supply projects, schools, hospitals, etc.
Intensification of Forest Management Scheme (IFMS)
While aiming to expand forest cover in the country, it is equally important to improve the state of existing forests and protect them against various threats. This centrally sponsored 'Intensification of Forest Management Scheme' aims at strengthening forest management interventions. The financial assistance is provided on cost share basis. All the North-Eastern States including Sikkim and special category States, namely, Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand share 10% of the cost, while the rest of the States/UTs share 25% of the cost of the annual plans of operations. The major components of the scheme include :
l Forest fire control and management;
l Strengthening of Infrastructure;
l Survey, Demarcation and Working Plan preparation;
l Protection and Conservation of Sacred Groves;
l Conservation and Restoration of Unique Vegetation & Ecosystems;
l Control and Eradication of Forest Invasive Species;
l Preparedness for Meeting Challenges of Bamboo Flowering and Improving Management of Bamboo Forests.
Forest Policy Division of Ministry of Environment & Forests (MoEF) coordinates the National Forest Policy, 1988 and its implementation issues, Forest International Cooperation besides examining and coordinating the State Forest Policies, State Forest Acts/Amendments etc. In addition, Forest Policy Division has been made Nodal Diversion regarding Climate Change in Forestry Wing of MoEF.
Government of India provides technical and financial support to the State/UT governments for wildlife conservation under the various Centrally Sponsored Schemes-Integrated Development of Wildlife Habitats, Project Tiger, and Project Elephant, and also through Central Sector Scheme-Strengthening of Wildlife Division and Consultencies for Special Tasks, and through Grants in Aid to the Central Zoo Authority and Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun.
The Protected Area network in India includes 100 National Parks and 515 Wildlife Sanctuaries, 43 Conservation Reserves and four Community Reserves. The objective of the Scheme is to provide financial and technical assistance to the States/UTs to conserve wildlife resources. The Scheme supports various activities aimed at the conservation of wildlife that inter-alia includes habitat improvement practices, infrastructure development, ecodevelopment activities, anti poaching activities, research, training, capacity building, census of wildlife, etc.
Under this Scheme, 100% grant is provided for identified items of nonrecurring expenditure. Also, 50% assistance is provided in respect of recurring items of expenditure. For areas located in mountainous, coastal, deserts and with identified endangered species, 100% financial support is provided for both recurring and nonrecurring items of work. An amount of Rs 70.00 crore was allocated during the year 2010-11.
Central Zoo Authority
The Central Zoo Authority is a statutory autonomous body established by the Government of India in the year 1992 through an amendment in the Wild Life (Protection) (1991 Amendment) Act, 1972. The main objective was to enforce minimum standards and norms for upkeep and healthcare of animals in Indian Zoos and to control mushrooming of unplanned and ill-conceived zoos that were cropping up in the country as adjuncts to public parks, industrial complexes and waysides. The Central Zoo Authority is a twelve member body headed by a Chairman. Minister of State for Environment & Forests (Independent Charge) is presently the ex-officio Chairman of the Central Zoo Authority. Member Secretary is the Chief Executive Officer of the Authority. The Authority was reconstituted last (7th time) in October 2010 for a period of three years vide Gazette Notification No. 2177 dated 18th October 2010.
Zoos in India are regulated under the provisions of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972 and are guided by the National Zoo Policy, 1998. The Central Zoo Authority, Government of India formulated Recognition of Zoo Rules, 1992 amended in 2009 and fixed standards and norms for management of zoos in the country. Central Zoo Authority oversees the functioning of zoo in the country and provides them technical and other assistance for their improvement. The functions assigned to the Authority under Section 38(C) of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972.
The Central Zoo Authority has evaluated 18 mini zoos, six medium zoos, 10 small category of zoos and five Rescue Centres till January 2011.
National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA)
The Centrally Sponsored Scheme "Project Tiger" was launched in April, 1973 with the objective "to ensure maintenance of a viable population of Tigers in India for scientific, economic, aesthetic, cultural and ecological values, and to preserve for all times, areas of biological importance as a national heritage for the benefit, education and enjoyment of the people".
l Amendment of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972 for providing enabling provisions for constitution of the National Tiger Conservation Authority and the Tiger and Other Endangered Species Crime Control Bureau.
l Enhancement of punishment in cases of offence relating to a tiger reserve or its core area. Strengthening of antipoaching activities, including special strategy for monsoon patrolling, by providing funding support to Tiger Reserve States, as proposed by them, for deployment of antipoaching squads involving exarmy personnel/home guards, apart from workforce comprising of the local people, in addition to strengthening of communication/wireless facilities.
l Constitution of the National Tiger Conservation Authority with effect from 4th September 2006, for strengthening tiger conservation by, inter alia, ensuring normative standards in tiger reserve management, preparation of reserve specific tiger conservation plan, laying down annual audit report before Parliament, constituting State level Steering Committees under the Chairmanships of Chief Ministers and establishment of Tiger Conservation Foundation.
l Constitution of a multidisciplinary Tiger and Other Endangered Species Crime Control Bureau (Wildlife Crime Control Bureau) with effect from 6th June, 2007 to effectively control illegal trade in wildlife.
The "in-principle" approval has been accorded by the National Tiger Conservation Authority for creation of four new tiger reserves, and the sites are : Biligiri Ranganatha Swamy Temple Sanctuary (Karnataka), Pilibhit (Uttar Pradesh), Ratapani (Madhya Pradesh), Sunabeda (Odisha) and Mukundara Hills (including Darrah, Jawahar Sagar and Chambal Wildlife Sanctuaries) (Rajasthan). Besides, the States have been advised to send proposals for declaring the following areas as Tiger Reserves: (i) Bor (Maharashtra), (ii) Suhelwa (Uttar Pradesh), (iii) Nagzira- Navegaon (Maharashtra) and (iv) Satyamangalam (Tamil Nadu).
The revised Project Tiger guidelines have been issued to States for strengthening tiger conservation, which apart from ongoing activities, inter alia, include funding support to States for enhanced village relocation/rehabilitation package for people living in core or critical tiger habitats (from 1 lakh/family to 10 lakhs/family), rehabilitation/resettlement of communities involved in traditional hunting, mainstreaming livelihood and wildlife concerns in forests outside tiger reserves and fostering corridor conservation through restorative strategy to arrest habitat fragmentation.
A scientific methodology for estimating tiger (including co-predators, prey animals and assessment of habitat status) has been evolved and mainstreamed.
The findings of this estimation/assessment are benchmarks for future tiger conservation strategy. An area of 31407.11 sq.km. has been notified by 16 Tiger States (out of 17) as core or critical tiger habitat under section 38V of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, as amended in 2006 (Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Mizoram, Orissa, Rajsthan, Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand, Urrar Pradesh and West Bengal). The State of Bihar has taken a decision for notifying the core or critical tiger habitat in its newly constituted tiger reserve (Sanjay National Park and Sanjay Dubri Wildlife Sanctuary).
Project Elephant (PE) was launched by the Government of India in the year 1991-92 as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme with following objectives:
l To protect elephants, their habitat & corridors
l To address issues of man-animal conflict
l Welfare of domesticated elephants.
Financial and technical support is being provided to major elephant bearing States in the country. The Project is being mainly implemented in 16 States/UTs, viz. Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Tripura, Uttrakhand, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT (EIA)
The rapid industrial development in the country has increased manifold the chances of adversely affecting the environment unless timely, adequate, corrective and protective mitigative measures are taken to minimize or neutralize those adverse impacts on environment. Environment Impact Assessment Notification, 2006 is a tool to regulate rapid industrial development of the country for minimizing the adverse impact on environment and reversing the trends which may lead to climate change in the long run.
In this Notification, projects were categorized into category 'A' and 'B' depending on their threshold capacity and likely pollution potential and were appraised for prior environmental clearance at the Central and the State level respectively. For appraisal of category 'B' projects and activities, state level environment impact assessment authorities and state expert appraisal committees have been constituted.
To simplify the procedure for obtaining the environmental clearance without compromising or diluting the regulatory framework, the EIA notification has been amended in December 2009. The amendment provides for exemption of biomass based power plants up to 15 mw, power plants based on non hazardous municipal solid wastes and power plants based on waste heat recovery boilers without using auxiliary fuel.
The environmental appraisal of development projects is undertaken based on the EIA/EMP reports prepared by the project consultations. The good quality EIA reports are pre-requisite for improved decision making. Therefore, all the consultants/public sector undertakings were required to get themselves registered under the scheme of accreditation and registration of the National Accreditation Board of Education and Training and the Quality Council of India by 30 June 2011.
ABATEMENT OF POLLUTION
The concern for environmental quality has become the utmost issue in the present scenario of increasing urbanization, industrial and vehicular pollution as well as pollution of water courses due to discharge of affluents without conforming to the environmental norms and standards. Realizing this trend of pollution in various environmental media like air, water, soil etc., the Ministry adopted a policy for abatement of pollution, which provides multi-pronged strategies in the form of regulations, legislations, agreements, fiscal incentives and other measures to prevent and abate pollution.
To give effect to various measures and policies for pollution control, various steps have been initiated which include stringent regulations, development of environmental standards, control of vehicular pollution, spatial environmental planning etc. The Government adopted the National Environment Policy 2006 which seeks to extend the coverage and fill in gaps that still exist.
l The monitored ambient air quality data indicates that the levels of Sulphur Dioxide and Oxides of Nitrogen are within the notified ambient air quality norms. However, on certain occasions, the levels of fine particulate matter (PM 10) exceed the prescribed norms in many cities including Delhi.
l For the 11th Plan period, financial outlay is of Rs 45 crore. Under the scheme, Assistance for Abatement of Pollution. Under this scheme, grants are being provided to various State Pollution Control Boards/UT Pollution Control Committees, Environment Departments, Central/State Research Institutions and other government agencies/organizations with the aim of strengthening their technical capabilities to achieve the objectives of the Policy Statement, salary support to North-Eastern Pollution Control Boards and Committees as well as for undertaking projects for abatement of pollution.
l To evaluate contribution from various sources to air quality, Source Apportionment Study (SAS) has been completed for six cities namely, Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai, Mumbai, Pune and Kanpur involving the Institutions like National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI), Nagpur, Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), New Delhi, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Chennai, Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI), Pune and Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kanpur. For appraisal and guidance during the Survey and study, a National level Steering Committee under the chairmanship of Secretary (E&F) has been constituted. In order to provide technical assistance and guidance during data collection, use of appropriate model etc., a Technical Committee has also been constituted under the chairmanship of Chairman, Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and members drawn from various technical institutions and organizations.
l During the year 2008-09 environmental standards in respect of following categories of industry have been evolved and are being finalized for notification:
q Petrochemical plants;
q Incinerator plants in organic chemicals manufacturing units;
q Dye & Dye intermediate units;
q Rubber products;
q Iron ore Mines and Copper Zinc smelters.
l Noise levels have been a matter of concern due to various activities, religious functions, festivals, marriages, processions and related celebrations. Supreme Court in its judgements of 25 July 2005 and October 2005 has given detailed directions upgrading implementation of laws for controlling noise. In pursuance of these judgements, draft rules to amend the existing Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000 were published in March 2009.
The final amendment to the Noise Rules, 2000 have been published on 11 January 2010. The salient features are to make the night peaceful; public place has been defined and the occupant of a public place would restrict the volume of public address system; noise emitting construction equipment have been specifically brought under the ambit of Noise Rules, 2000.
l A comprehensive Environmental Pollution Index system of environmental assessment of the 80 industrial clusters evolved by the Central Pollution Control Board in collaboration with the IITs has been adopted by the Ministry. It may be used as a tool in synthesizing the available information on environmental status of areas by using quantitative criteria and its ability to reduce complex information into smaller and more easily retained information. The present CEPI system is intended to be used as an early warning tool for categorizing industrial clusters/areas in terms of severity of the overall pollution levels.
l In pursuance of the Supreme Court's Order, projects for environmental protection of World Heritage Site of Taj Mahal were initiated and funded by the Ministry. The Planning Commission approved Rs 600 crore on a 50:50 cost sharing basis with the State Government to implement various schemes in the Taj Trapezium Zone for environmental protection of the Taj Mahal. In phase I, during 11th Plan, 10 projects were approved by the Government to be implemented by the State Government of UP.
l The Eco-cities project focuses on protection of environmental resources like water bodies, forest etc., improving infrastructure and sanitary conditions in the towns and creating aesthetic environs. The programme was initiated to bring in visible environmental improvement in the small and medium towns. Six towns, viz. Vrindavan, Tirupati, Puri, Ujjain, Kottayam and Thanjavoor were taken under first phase of Eco-cities programme.
l The fly ash utilization notification was issued in September 1999 to regulate the disposal of fly ash and ensure its proper utilization. Restriction was imposed to the extent that all brick kilns within the radius of 50 kms from coal/lignite based thermal power plants should use 25 per cent fly ash while making the bricks. A second notification making amendments was issued in August 2003 increasing the radius from the thermal power plants to 100 kms.
l Central Pollution Control Board is responsible for planning and executing comprehensive nationwide programmes for the prevention and control of water and air polution, for advising the Central Government on matters concerning to the prevention and control of water and air pollution and for coordinating activities of State Pollution Control Boards/Pollution Control Committees besides providing technical assistance and guidance to them.
l Common Biomedical Waste Treatment Facilities (CBWTF) have been set up in various cities for treatment of Bio-medical waste generated in various hospitals and nursing homes. In North Zone, 28 CBWTF have been established. Out of these, 8 common facilities were inspected. In Central zZone, 18 CBWTFs have been established. Out of these, 15 common facilities were inspected. In South Zone, 10 CBWTFs facilities were inspected. In West Zone, 31 CBWTF have been established and out of these, nine common facilities were inspected.
l Nationwide water quality is monitored regularly under National Water Quality Monitoring Programme (NWMP) through a network of water quality monitoring comprising 1245 stations in 27 States and six Union Territories being operated by CPCB in collaboration with concerned SPCBs/PCCs. The monitoring network covers 695 monitoring stations on rivers, 86 monitoring stations on lakes, 9 monitoring stations on tanks, 26 monitoring stations on ponds, 12 monitoring stations on creeks and 19 stations on canals. Water quality of 293 rivers in major, medium and minor basins is observed in the country.
l Nationwide air quality is monitored regularly under National Air Quality Monitoring Programme (NAMP) through a network of air quality monitoring comprising 365 operating stations at 141 cities/towns in 26 States and five Union Territories of the country. Under NAMP, four air pollutants, viz., Sulphur Dioxide (SO2). Oxides of Nitrogen as NO2, Suspended Particulate Matter (SPM) and Respirable Suspended Particulate Matter (RSPM or PM10), have been identified for regular monitoring at all the locations. The monitoring of meteorological parameters such as wind speed and direction, relative humidity and temperature has also been integrated with the monitoring of air quality.
l Analysis of National mean concentration with 90th percentile and 10th percentile for SO2, NO2, RSPM and SPM has revealed that National mean SO2 concentration has decreased over the years indicating that there has been a decline in SO2 levels. National mean NO2 and RSPM concentration has remained stable over the years despite increase in emission sources such as vehicles. The reason for this may be various intervention measures that have taken place such as improvement in vehicle technology and other vehicular pollution control measures like alternate fuel etc. National mean SPM concentration has been fluctuating over the years.
MANAGEMENT OF HAZARDOUS SUBSTANCES
The major functions of the Hazardous Substances Management Division (HSMD) include regulatory activities for framing necessary Rules relating to environmentally sound management of hazardous wastes/chemicals, plastics and municipal solid wastes under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 and promotional activities by providing necessary financial support to the concerned agencies for their implementation.
The Division is also responsible for planning, overseeing and implementation of the policies and programmes on the management of chemical emergencies and hazardous substances including hazardous wastes. The mandate of this Division is to promote safety in the management and use of hazardous substances including hazardous chemicals and hazardous wastes with an objective to prevent and mitigate damage to health and environment due to hazardous chemicals and wastes.
To regulate management of hazardous waste generated within the country as well as export/import of such wastes, new rules titled Hazardous Wastes (Management, Handling and Transboundary Movement) Rules, 2008 have been notified superseding the earlier regulation. Recycling of e-waste and the requirement of registration for e-waste recyclers have been included under these rules. A National Hazardous Waste Inventorisation Project has been sponsored for tracking the waste from its generation to its disposal point.
CONSERVATION OF WATER BODIES
NATIONAL RIVER CONSERVATION DIRECTORATE (NRCD)
The National River Conservation Directorate, functioning under the Ministry is engaged in implementing the River and Lake Action Plans under the National Lake Conservation Plan (NLCP) and National River Conservation Plan (NRCP) by providing assistance to the State Governments.
l The objective of NRCP is to improve the water quality of the rivers, which are the major water sources in the country, through the implementation of pollution abatement works, to the level of designated best use. So far, a total of 38 rivers have been covered under the progrramme.
l Major works being taken up under the NRCP include interception and diversion works to capture the raw sewage flowing into the river through open drains and divert them for treatment, setting up sewage treatment plants for treating the diverted sewage, construction of low cost sanitation toilets, construction of electric crematoria and improved wood crematoria to conserve the use of wood, river front development, afforestation on the river banks, public participation and awareness, etc.
l The Central Government has given Ganga the status of a 'National River' and has constituted a National Ganga River Basin Authority on 20 February 2009 as an empowered planning, financing, monitoring and coordinating authority for the conservation of Ganga River with a holistic approach under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986. The Authority will take measures for effective abatement of pollution and conservation of the river Ganga in keeping with sustainable development needs.
l The Ganga Action Plan initiated in 1985 is the first river action plan. Since GAP phase I did not cover the pollution load of Ganga fully, GAP phase II was taken up which included Ganga and its four tributaries, i.e. Damodar, Gomti, Mahananda and Yamuna. Works under Ganga Action Plan phase II covers 60 towns along the mainstream of river Ganga at a sanctioned cost of Rs
l The water quality of river Ganga is being monitored since 1986 from Rishikesh in Uttarakhand to Uluberia in West Bengal. As a result of the projects completed under GAP, the water quality of river Ganga has shown a general improvement despite tremendous population growth along the river banks. Water quality monitoring carried out by reputed institutions such as IIT, Kanpur, Bharat Heavy Electrical Limited, Patna University, etc. indicates that water quality of the river Ganga conforms to the prescribed standards in terms of key indicators namely, Bio-chemical Oxygen Demand and Dissolved Oxygen at most of the locations, except in the stretch between Kannauj and Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh.
l The water quality monitoring has also been undertaken for rivers, namely Yamuna, Western Yamuna Canal, Gomti, Hindon, Satluj, Cauvery, Tungabhadra and waterways of Chennai. At present, the number of monitoring stations are 158 in 10 rivers which include 27 stations set up in the upper reaches of Ganga and 32 stations of Chennai waterways.
l National Lake Conservation Plan is a centrally sponsored scheme for conservation and restoration of polluted and degraded lakes. This was initiated with the approval of conservation and management plans of 3 lakes, namely Powai, Ooty and Kodaikanal in June 2001 at a cost of Rs 14.90 crore. So far under this Scheme, a total of 40 projects for conservation of 58 lakes have been sanctioned in 14 States at a sanctioned cost of Rs 883.94 crore. Conservation of works for 18 lakes have been completed so far whereas in some cases, the project implementation is in last stages of completion.
NATIONAL WETLANDS CONSERVATION PROGRAMME
The scheme on conservation and management of Wetlands was initiated in 1987 to lay down policy guidelines for implementing programmes of conservation and management of wetlands in the country, to undertake priority wetlands for intensive conservation measures to monitor implementation of the programme of conservation, management and research, and to prepare an inventory of Indian wetlands.
l Over the years, based on the recommendations of National Wetlands Committee, 115 wetlands have been identified for conservation under the programme.
REGENERATION AND ECO-DEVELOPMENT
National Afforestation and Eco-Development Board (NAEB)
In order to promote afforestation, tree planting, ecological restoration and eco-development activities in the country, the National Afforestation and Eco-development Board (NAEB) was set up in August 1992. Special attention is also being given by the NAEB to the regeneration of degraded forest areas and lands adjoining forest areas, national parks, sanctuaries and other protected areas as well as the ecologically fragile areas like the Western Himalayas, Aravallis, Western Ghats etc. The detailed objectives of the NAEB are to :
l Evolve mechanisms for ecological restoration of degraded forest areas and adjoining lands through systematic planning and implementation, in a cost effective manner.
l Restore, through natural regeneration or appropriate intervention, the forest cover in the country for ecological security and to meet the fuelwood, fodder and other needs of the rural communities.
l Augment availability of fuelwood, fodder, timber and other forest produce on the degraded forest and adjoining lands in order to meet the demands for these items.
l Sponsor research and extension of research findings to disseminate new and proper technologies for the regeneration and development of degraded forest areas and adjoining lands.
l Create general awareness and help foster a people's movement for promoting afforestation and eco-development with the assistance of voluntary agencies, Non-Governmental Organizations, Panchayati Raj institutions and others and promote participatory and sustainable management of degraded forest areas and adjoining lands.
l Coordinate and monitor and Action Plans for tree planting, ecological restoration and eco-development; and
l Undertake all other measures necessary for promoting afforestation, tree planting, ecological restoration and eco-development activities in the country.
Ministry of Environment & Forests has been funding research in multi-disciplinary aspects of environmental and ecosystems protection, conservation and management at various universities, institutions of higher learning, national research institutes and non-governmental organizations in identified thrust areas under its Research & Development (R&D) programme continued to be funded by the Ministry. It is a Central Plan Scheme for supporting research in environment since 1985.
The Ministry supports research through its established research programmes.
These include Environment Research Programme (ERP), Ecosystem Research Scheme (ERS), Eastern and Western Ghats Research Programme (E & WGRP) and Economic and Social issues. Thematic Expert Groups for these research programmes have been constituted to screen evaluation and recommend new projects and also to monitor/review the ongoing projects. The Ministry also promotes research in Environment through the awards of National Fellowships to the outstanding scientists. These awards are Pitambar Pant National Environment Fellowship Award in environment science and Dr. B.P. Pal National Environment Fellowship Award for Biodiversity.
NATIONAL NATURAL RESOURCE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM (NNRMS)
The Scheme of National Natural Resource Management System (NNRMS) involves utilization of remote sensing technology for accurate inventory of resources such as land, water, forests, minerals, oceans, etc. and to utilize this information for monitoring changes in ecological system. A Standing Committee of Bio-resources and Environment (SC-B) has been constituted by the Planning Commission under the Chairmanship of Secretary (E&F) with the following objectives:
l Optimal utilization of country's natural resources by a proper and systematic inventory of resource availability.
l Reducing Regional imbalances by effective planning and in tune with the environmental efforts.
l Maintaining the ecological balance with a view to evolve and implement the environmental guidelines.
===G.B. Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment and Development, Kosi- Katarmal, Almora=== G.B. Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment and Development (GBPIHED) was established in August 1988 by the Ministry as an autonomous Institute with a mandate of achieving sustainable development and environmental conservation in the Indian Himalayan Region (IHR). The Institute executes the mandate through its Headquarter located at Kosi-Katarmal, Almora (Uttarakhand), and its four regional Units located at Kullu (Himachal Pradesh), Srinagar (Uttarakhand), Pangthang (Sikkim) and Itanagar (Arunachal Pradesh). The Institute designs and implements R&D activities on priority environmental problems; develops and demonstrates best practices and delivers technology packages for improved livelihood of the people of the IHR.
l The identified thematic categories for Institute R & D activities include:
(i) Watershed Processes and Management; (ii) Biodiversity Conservation and Management, (iii) Environmental Assessment and Management, (iv) Socioeconomic Development, (v) Biotechnological Application and (vi) Knowledge Products and Capacity Building.
l All activities are need based, target oriented and time bound.
l Research demonstration and dissemination are underlying elements of all project activities geared towards development of environment friendly technology packages.
Increasing human induced changes are posing new threats to conservation of wilderness resources today. The forests harbouring wild animals are deteriorating in terms of quality and quantity (fragmentation) thereby threatening survival of species particularly mega/endangered species like elephants, tigers, rhinos, etc. As habitats shrink and populations become increasing isolated, factors like poaching, disease, population structure (sex-ratio) and stochastic events like droughts, fire and floods which once were part of natural processes causing manageable oscillations are now becoming limiting and critical factors. The situation is throwing enormous challenges to managers and policy makers alike particularly in managing the wildlife of the country.
l Wildlife Institute of India is a premier training and research institute in the field of wildlife and protected area management in South Asia.
l Wildlife Research at the Institute covers ecological, biological, socio-economic and managerial aspects of wildlife conservation.
l The research project generates valuable academic data, help evolve study techniques relevant to the Indian ground conditions and also create a group of trained and field biologists, socio-economists and wildlife managers.
ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION, AWARENESS AND TRAINING
The 'Environmental Education, Awareness and Training' is a flagship scheme of the Ministry for enhancing the understanding of people at all levels about the relationship between human beings and the environment and to develop capabilities/skills to improve and protect the environment. This scheme was launched in 1983-84 with the following basic objectives :
l To promote environmental awareness among all sections of the society;
l To spread environment education, especially in the non-formal system among different sections of the society;
l To facilitate development of education/training materials and aids in the formal education sector;
l To promote environment education through existing education/scientific/ research institutions;
l To ensure training and manpower development for environment education, awareness and training;
l To encourage non-governmental organizations, mass media and other concerned organizations for promoting awareness about environmental issues among the people at all levels;
l To use different media including films, audio, visual and print, theatre, drama, advertisements, hoarding, posters, seminars, workshops, competitions, meetings etc. for spreading messages concerning environment and awareness; and
l To mobilize people's participation for preservation and conservation of environment.
NATIONAL MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY
The National Museum of Natural History (NMNH), a subordinate organization of the Ministry, was opened to public in 1978 to create public awareness in preservation and conservation of environment and nature. Over the years, the Museum has extended its activities in different regions of the country and set up three Regional Museums—one each at Mysore (Karnataka), Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh) and Bhubaneswar (Orissa). These museums have been established to depict flora, fauna, forests, wildlife and other environmental aspects of the respective regions.
l Rajiv Gandhi Regional Museum of Natural History is being established at Sawai Madhopur, Rajasthan.
l The Ministry has approved the setting up of the 5th Regional Museum of Natural History near Gangtok to extend the Museum's activities to the North- Eastern Region which is a hot spot of biodiversity.
FORESTRY EDUCATION, TRAINING AND EXTENSION
The present system of forestry education and training is tailored to produce skilled forest managers so as to manage, protect and conserve the forests in consonance with National Forest Policy, 1988, National Forestry Action Programme, 1999 etc. The activities related to forestry education, training and extension are performed by the different institutes of the Ministry like Indira Gandhi National Forest Academy (IGNFA), Dehradun; Directorate of Forest Education (DFE), Dehradun; Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education (ICFRE), Dehradun; Forest Survey of India (FSI), Dehradun; Indian Institute of Forest Management (IIFM), Bhopal; Indian Plywood Industries Research and Training Institute (IPIRTI), Bengaluru, etc.
WILDLIFE EDUCATION AND TRAINING
Wildlife education and training is primarily looked after by the Wildlife Institute of India, an autonomous institute of the Ministry for imparting training to government and non-government personnel to carry out research and training activities and advice on matters of conservation and management of wildlife resources.
l The Institute runs three regular courses viz., 2-year M.Sc. degree programme in Wildlife Sciences, 9-month Postgraduate Diploma in Wildlife Management, and 3-month Certificate Course in Wildlife Management.
CENTRES OF EXCELLENCE
The Ministry started the scheme in 1983 to strengthen awareness, research and training in priority areas of Environmental science and management.
Ten Centres of Excellence set up so far by the Ministry with a view to strengthening awareness, research and training in priority areas of environmental science and management are as under:
l Centre for Environment Education (CEE), Ahmedabad
l CPR Environmental Education Centre (CPREEC), Chennai
l Centre for Ecological Sciences (CES), Bengaluru
l Centre of Mining Environment (CME), Dhanbad
l Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History (SACON), Coimbatore
l Centre for Environment Management of Degraded Ecosystem (CEMDE), Delhi
l Centre of Excellence in Environmental Economics at Madras School of Economics, Chennai.
l Foundation for Revitalization of Local Health Traditions (FRLHT), Bengaluru.
l The Tropical Botanic Garden and Research Institute (TBGRI), Thiruvananthapuram.
l Centre for Animals and Environment CARTMAN, Bengaluru.
Centre for Environment Education, Ahmedabad established in 1984 as a centre of excellence, is a national institution engaged in developing programmes and material to increase awareness and concern, leading to action regarding environment and sustainable development. In 2009, the centre launched a campaign 'Pick Right' and 'Kaun Banega Bharat ka Paryavaran Ambassador'. The Pick Right campaign is aimed at spreading awareness about climate change, its causes and effects.
The Paryavaran Ambassador campaign will help choose a person to be a spokeperson on environmental issues, who can encourage people to make right lifestyle choices. CEE has been the Resource Agency (RA) in 15 States and two UTs and covers around 40,000 schools through this countrywide awareness programme initiated and funded by Ministry. National Green Corps (NGC) aims at spreading environmental awareness among school children through eco-club activities, and through children in society at large. Various activities including training of master trainers, developing and distributing educational material, observing environment days, conducting workshops and celebrating events like Eco-Balmela and Mowgli Utsav were undertaken.
The Centre for Ecological Science (CES), Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru carries out research projects under the broad themes of Biodiversity and Conservation, Behaviour and Evolution, Climate Change and its impact, and Ecodevelopment.
In addition, it offered several courses to Ph.D. students, hosted visiting scientists and students from other institutions, and conducted several workshops/ training programmes for stakeholders, particularly for the Forest Department. CES has initiated new programmes in the field of molecular ecology. This includes a study of the molecular phylogeny and a survey of Hanuman langur morphotypes and genetics in Karnataka. One interesting result that has emerged from these studies is that large mammal populations in the Western Ghats show genetic differentiation across the Palghat Gap that has acted as a bio-geographic barrier.
A new shrub-frog taxon related to the anuran family Rhacophoridae was discovered from the Sharavathi River basin of central Western Ghats. The new frog possesses the characteristic features of rhacophorids (dilated digit tips with differentiated pads circumscribed by a complete groove, intercalary cartilages on digits, T-shaped terminal phalanges and granular belly, the adaptive characters for arboreal life forms), but also a suite of unique features that distinguish it from all known congeners in the Central Western Ghats region.
Established in 1990 in Coimbatore, Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History undertook 10 research projects in 2009 dealing with a variety of specialized topics related with species-specific studies, studies relating to ecosystems, environmental contamination etc.
FELLOWSHIPS AND AWARDS
Indira Gandhi Paryavaran Puraskar (IGPP)
Introduction and Objectives : In reverential memory of late Prime Minister Smt. Indira Gandhi, the Ministry of Environment and Forests, in the year 1987, instituted an award called "Indira Gandhi Paryavaran Puraskar" to give recognition to those having made or have the potential to make the measurable and major impact in the protection of environment.
Indira Priyadarshini Vriksha Mitra (IPVM) Awards
The Indira Priyadarshini Vriksha Mitra (IPVM) Awards were instituted in 1986 to recognize the pioneering and innovative contribution made by individuals and institutions in the field of afforestation/wasteland development every year.
Pitamber Pant National Environment Fellowship
Pitamber Pant National Environment Fellowship instituted in 1978 is awarded every year to encourage and recognize excellence in any branch of research related to the environmental sciences.
B.P. Pal National Environment Fellowship for Bio-diversity
B.P. Pal National Environment Fellowship Award for Bio-diversity was instituted during 1993 and is awarded annually with a view to further develop, deepen and strengthen the expertise on Bio-diversity available in the country.
Amrita Devi Bishnoi Wildlife Protection Award
The "Amrita Devi Bishnoi Wildlife Protection Award" is a national award instituted by the Ministry for protecting wildlife, which carries a cash award of Rs one lakh, apart from citation and medallion.
Rajiv Gandhi Wildlife Conservation Award
The Rajiv Gandhi Wildlife Conservation Award is given for significant contribution in the field of wildlife which is recognized as having made or having the potential to make measurable and major impact on the protection and conservation of wildlife in the country.
This Award is given to encourage writing of original of books in Hindi on the subject related to the environment.
ENVIRONMENTAL INFORMATION SYSTEM (ENVIS)
Environmental information plays a paramount role not only in formulating environmental management policies, but also in the decision-making process aiming at environmental protection and sustaining good quality of life for the living beings. Realizing the need of appropriate environmental information, the Ministry has set up an Environmental Information System (ENVIS) as a plan programme and as a comprehensive network in environmental information collection, collation, storage, retrieval and dissemination to varying users, which include decision-makers, researchers, academicians, policy planners, research scientists, etc. ENVIS network at present consists of a chain of 76 network partners out of which 46 are on subjectspecific and 30 are on State related issues.
These network partners are called ENVIS Centres and are located in the notable organizations/institutions/State/UT Government Department/Universities throughout the country. The Focal Point of ENVIS is located in the Ministry and coordinates the activities of all the ENVIS partners to make ENVIS a web-enabled comprehensive information system. l The ENVIS network continued its information-related activities, database development, publication of requisite information packages through newsletters, abstracting services, etc. and the Query-Response-Services during the year.
l ENVIS Focal Point in the Ministry is responsible for maintenance and upgradation of the website of the Ministry (URL. http://envfor.nic.in) and disseminating information through the website to all concerned.
l Query - Answer Service is one of the major responsibilities of ENVIS Network. This responded a large number of queries during the year or provided substantive information as far as possible.
l The activities of all the ENVIS Network Partners were monitored and evaluated by various ‘Expert Evaluation Committees’ through Regional Evaluation Workshops held during the year at Lucknow, Mumbai, Kolkata, Dehradun and Hyderabad.
l The Virtual Public Network is being strengthend to assist the ENVIS Network partners to upload the updated information of source.
l Focal point publishes a newsletter 'ENVIRONEWS' with the objectives of disseminating information on important policies, programmes, legislations and other important decisions taken by the Ministry.
LEGISLATION AND INSTITUTIONAL SUPPORT
l The National Environment Policy has been widely circulated and is available on Ministry's website www.enfor.nic.in. The Ministry has written to Central Ministries/Department and State Governments/UT Administrations to ensure that the environment concerns expressed in NET 2006 are appropriately integrated and mainstreamed in the sectoral/State development plans during the 11th Plan period.
l The Ministry has decided to implement the recommendation of the Law Commission given in its 186th report and the draft proposal has been sent to Legislative Department, Ministry of Law & Justice for formulation of Bill.
l The Eco-Mark Scheme is presently under review in order to expand the coverage of products and its adoption and for popularizing the same among the consumers and manufacturers.
INTERNATIONAL CO-OPERATION AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
The Ministry of Environment and Forest is the nodal Ministry in the Government of India for all Multilateral Environmental Agreements. These include Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer; Montreal Protocol on substances that deplete the Ozone Layer; UN Conventions on Biological Diversity; UN Framework convention on Climate Change; UN Convention to Combat Desertification; Kyoto Protocol; the Basel Convention on Trans-boundary Movement of Hazardous Substances; Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants; Rotterdam Conventions; Ramsar Convention etc. International Co-operation & Sustainable Development Division is the nodal point within the Ministry to coordinate all international environmental cooperation and sustainable development issues.
It is the nodal Division for United National Environment Programme (UNEP); UNCP; World Bank; UNIDO; UN Commission for Sustainable Development (CSD); Global Environment Facility (GEF) and regional bodies like Economic & Social Commission for Asia & Pacific ((ESCAP); South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC); South Asia Cooperative Environment Programme (SACEP); ADB; and European Union (EU). The Division also handles bilateral country to country co-operation in the areas of environment protection and sustainable development.
Climate Change as a global environmental phenomenon, has received heightened political attention in recent years. Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) of the Inter- Governmental Panel on Climate Change (2007) has stressed the unequivocal nature of human-induced climate change. AR4 projects that climate change, if not addressed, may result in rising temperatures, changed rainfall patterns, and increased severity and frequency of floods, droughts and cyclones, which can severely impact livelihoods, especially of the poor in developing countries.
Expert Level studies conducted in India indicate that climate change may exacerbate the problem of existing climate variability in India. It is projected that, by the end of 21st Century, rainfall in India may increase by 15-40% with high regional variability. Warming may be more pronounced over land areas with northern India experiencing maximum increase. The warming could be relatively greater in winter and post-monsoon seasons. The annual mean temperature could increase by 3oC to 6oC over the century.
Ozone Layer Protection
Ozone, a triatomic molecule is formed naturally in the upper level of the Earth atmosphere by high energy Ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun. The radiation breaks down oxygen molecules, releasing free atoms, some of which bond with other oxygen molecules to form ozone. About 90 per cent of ozone formed in this way lies between fifteen and fifty-five kilometres above the Earth's surface, called the Stratosphere.