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Environment Current Affairs
Environment Current Affairs March 1st Week 2019
Author : Admin
Category : Environment Current Affairs
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Environment Current Affairs March 1st Week 2019

 1. Over six billion people regularly inhaling air so polluted that it puts their life at risk: UN expert

UN expert on environment and human rights David Boyd has said, over six billion people, one-third of them children, are regularly inhaling air so polluted that it puts their life, health and well-being at risk. 
Air pollution is a silent killer responsible for the premature death of seven million people each year, including 600,000 children.
The UN expert told the Human Rights Council in Geneva ,that despite its gravity this pandemic receives inadequate attention as these deaths are not as dramatic as those caused by other disasters or epidemics. 
Every hour, 800 people are dying, many after years of suffering, from cancer, respiratory illnesses or heart disease directly caused by breathing polluted air.
Failing to ensure clean air constituted a violation of their fundamental right to a healthy environment, a right that is legally recognised by 155 countries and should be globally recognised. 
Air pollutants are everywhere, largely caused by burning fossil fuels for electricity, transportation, and heating, as well as from industrial activities, poor waste management and agricultural practices.
Seven key steps that countries must take to ensure clean air and fulfil the right to a healthy environment.
These include monitoring air quality and impacts on human health, assessing sources of air pollution; and making information publicly available, including public health advisories.
2. China has decided to extend anti-smog measures for a third successive winter
China has decided to extend anti-smog measures for a third successive winter in a bid to reduce pollution levels. The Ministry of Ecology and Environment, in a pollution battle plan for 2019 published , vowed to speed up the elimination of small coal-fired heating boilers in major regions. 
The 2019 action plan outlined further steps this year to control coal consumption. 
The ministry will help draw up new measures aimed at encouraging the use of cleaner-burning replacement fuels and speed up efforts to eliminate small and inefficient coal-fired heating boilers in smog-prone regions. 
It will also promote the implementation of ultra-low emission coal-fired power in western regions, and also encourage steel mills to install ultra-low emission technology.
The ministry also vowed to crack down harder on the production, import and use of substandard diesel vehicles. China is in the sixth year of a `war on pollution` aimed at reversing the damage done by more than three decades of breakneck economic growth. 
3. Burning of agricultural residue a contributor to north India’s winter pollution 
According to a study by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) –
The burning of agricultural residue a contributor to north India’s winter pollution increases the risk of respiratory illnesses three fold for those who experience it.
It may also be responsible for an annual $30?billion (approximately ?2 trillion) loss in terms of days of work lost in States affected by crop burning.
Living in an area where crop burning is practiced is a leading risk factor for respiratory disease in northern India.
North India is impacted more compared to South.
The researchers used health records and satellite data for crop-burning fires detected by the Moderate-Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Terra satellite, managed by the National Aeronautics Space Administration (NASA).
In 2013, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) issued a directive to Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, asking them to ban stubble burning.
The Environment Ministers of these States as well as top officials at the Centre declared a “zero tolerance” policy on the burning of stubble, which has been estimated to contribute anywhere from 7% to 78% of the particulate matter-emission load in Delhi during winter.
4. Asian rhinos
India will collaborate with Bhutan, Nepal, Indonesia and Malaysia to increase the population of three species of Asian rhinos, including the Greater one-horned rhinoceros found in the Indian sub-continent.
The five rhino range nations signed a declaration ‘The Declaration on Asian Rhinos 2019’ for the conservation and protection of the species at the recently held Second Asian Rhino Range Countries meeting held in Delhi.
The declaration includes undertaking studies on health issues of the rhinos, their potential diseases and taking necessary steps; collaborating and strengthening wildlife forensics and strengthening of transboundary collaboration among India, Nepal and Bhutan for conservation of the Greater one-horned rhino.
Three species of Asian rhinos –
1. Greater one-horned rhinoceros (found in the Indian sub-continent)
2. Javan rhinos
3. Sumatran rhinos
Javan and Sumatran Rhino are critically endangered but the greater one-horned (or Indian) rhino vulnerable.



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