geography

Arctic Region and Arctic Council

The Arctic is a polar region located at the northernmost part of Earth.

8 Jul, 2020

BRAHMAPUTRA AND ITS TRIBUTARIES

About Brahmaputra River: The Brahmaputra called Yarlung

3 Jul, 2020
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    Current Affairs – 11th November 2021

    1.     CLIMATE CHANGE FUND

    • News: A draft document of the agreement that countries, including India, are negotiating in Glasgow, Scotland underlines that the promised climate finance by the developed countries is “insufficient to respond to the worsening climate change impacts in developing countries” and urges the developed countries to “urgently scale up.”
    • Details:
      • The provision of finance for mitigation and adaptation of the impact of global warming is one of the key sticking points.
      • The United States, Canada, several countries of the European Union, the United Kingdom and others have dragged their feet on a commitment to provide $100 billion annually by 2020.
      • India, along with several other developing countries, has for years pointed out that not providing this money implies that the developed countries’ demand to coerce major developing countries into a net-zero commitment by mid-century is unjustified.
      • It also violates the core principle of equity and climate justice, they aver.
      • India reaching net zero by 2070, two decades after 2050.
      • Updated reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change say that the earth’s best shot at keeping temperatures from rising beyond 1.5°C by the end of the century is most nations achieving net zero by mid-century.
      • Net zero is when a country’s greenhouse gas emissions are balanced by removing an equivalent amount from the atmosphere.
      • The countries debating the agreement at the ongoing 26th Conference of Parties (COP) must have a final document in place.
    • About Green Climate Fund:
      • The Green Climate Fund (GCF) is a fund established within the framework of the UNFCCC as an operating entity of the Financial Mechanism to assist developing countries in adaptation and mitigation practices to counter climate change.
      • The GCF is based in Incheon, South Korea.
      • It is governed by a Board of 24 members and supported by a Secretariat.
      • The objective of the Green Climate Fund is to “support projects, programmes, policies and other activities in developing country Parties using thematic funding windows”.
      • It is intended that the Green Climate Fund be the centrepiece of efforts to raise Climate Finance under the UNFCCC.
      • The Fund has set itself a goal of raising $100 billion a year by 2020, which is not an official figure for the size of the Fund itself.
      • Uncertainty over where this money would come from led to the creation of a High Level Advisory Group on Climate Financing (AGF) by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon in February 2010.
    • About Global Environment Facility:
      • The Global Environment Facility (GEF) was established on the eve of the 1992 Rio Earth Summit to help tackle our planet’s most pressing environmental problems.
      • The GEF unites 184 countries in partnership with international institutions, civil society organizations (CSOs), and the private sector to address global environmental issues while supporting national sustainable development initiatives.
      • Since 1992, the GEF has provided close to $20.5 billion in grants and mobilized an additional $112 billion in co-financing for more than 4,800 projects in 170 countries.
      • Through its Small Grants Programme (SGP), the GEF has provided support to nearly 24,000 civil society and community initiatives in 133 countries.
      • An independently operating financial organization, the GEF provides grants for projects related to biodiversity, climate change, international waters, land degradation, the ozone layer, persistent organic pollutants (POPs), mercury, sustainable forest management, food security, sustainable cities.
      • The GEF also serves as financial mechanism for the following conventions:
        • Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)
        • United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
        • United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD)
        • Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants
        • Minamata Convention on Mercury
      • About the Adaptation Fund:
        • The Adaptation Fund is an international fund that finances projects and programs aimed at helping developing countries to adapt to the harmful effects of climate change.
        • It is set up under the Kyoto Protocol of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
        • The Adaptation Fund was officially launched in 2007, although it was established in 2001 at the 7th Conference of the Parties (COP7) to the UNFCCC in Marrakech, Morocco to finance concrete adaptation projects and programmes that reduce the adverse effects of climate change facing communities, countries, and sectors.
        • It is intended to finance climate adaptation projects and programmes in developing countries that are parties to the Kyoto Protocol.
        • The Adaptation Fund was initiated to be primarily financed by a share of proceeds from clean development mechanism (CDM) project activities and also with funds from other sources.

    2.     SABARIMALA TEMPLE

    • News: With less than a week left for the annual pilgrimage season at Sabarimala to kick off, the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) counts on a turnaround in its fortunes with a marked improvement in footfall at the holy hillock.
    • About Sabarimala Temple:
      • The Sabarimala Temple (Malayalam: ശബരിമല) is a temple complex located at Sabarimala hill inside the Periyar Tiger Reserve in the Perinad Village, Pathanamthitta district, Kerala, India.
      • It is one of the largest annual pilgrimage sites in the world with an estimate of over 40 to 50 million devotees visiting every year.
      • The temple is dedicated to a Hindu Brahmachari (Celibate) deity Ayyappan also known as Dharma Shasta, who according to belief is the son of Shiva and Mohini, the feminine incarnation of Vishnu.
      • The traditions of Sabarimala are a confluence of Shaivism, Vaishnavism, and other Śramaṇa traditions.
      • The temple is situated on a hilltop amidst eighteen hills at an altitude of 1260 m (4,134 ft) above sea level, and is surrounded by mountains and dense forests.
      • The dense forest, part of the Periyar Tiger Reserve, around the temple is known as Poongavanam. Temples exist in each of the hills surrounding Sabarimala.
      • While functional and intact temples exist at many places in the surrounding areas like Nilakkal, Kalaketty, and Karimalai, remnants of old temples survive to this day on remaining hills.

    3.     FISHING CAT

    • News: Conservation biologists of the Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Dehradun, will begin collaring 10 fishing cats (Prionailurusviverrinus) in the Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary (CWS) in Andhra Pradesh next week.
    • Details:
      • The country’s first such project will be led by principal investigator Bilal Habib.
      • In Asia, a similar project had been done in Bangladesh. The project, planned in 2020, had to be postponed due to COVID-19.
      • The State Forest Department had already released ₹45 lakh of the ₹75 lakh total project cost being entirely funded by the Vedanta group.
      • The 2018 census had recorded the existence of 115 fishing cats.
      • A significant portion of the Coringa mangrove ecosystem had recently been disturbed because of the clandestine manufacturing of ID liquor in the Godavari estuary.
      • The sanctuary is yet to be declared as a Ramsar site despite facing various threats to its ecology.
    • About Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary:
      • Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary is a wildlife sanctuary and estuary situated near Kakinada in Andhra Pradesh, India.
      • It is the second largest stretch of mangrove forests in India with 24 mangrove tree species and more than 120 bird species. It is home to the critically endangered white-backed vulture and the long billed vulture.
      • In a mangrove ecosystem the water bodies of the ocean/sea and the river meet together at a certain point.
      • Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary is 8 km from the port city of Kakinada, on the Kakinada-Yanam National Highway 216 in Chollangi Village, nestling on the deltaic branches of Gouthami and Godavari Rivers at Kakinada Bay.
      • The sanctuary is a part of the Godavari estuary and has extensive mangrove and dry deciduous tropical forest.
      • About half of the area is the backwater, which includes a sand pit of 18 km length.
      • The rivers Coringa and Gaderu and their deltaic branches intersect the region, along with other water channels. This forms about 335.7 square km of marsh vegetation.
      • The Sanctuary in the estuary of river godavari has rich mangrove vegetation.
      • Some critically endangered species like the white-backed vulture and the long billed vulture are present in the sanctuary. The painted stork, Oriental white ibis, ferruginous pochard found in the sanctuary are near threatened species, and spot-billed pelican is a vulnerable species.
    • About Fishing Cat:
      • The fishing cat (Prionailurus viverrinus) is a medium-sized wild cat of South and Southeast Asia. Since 2016, it is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List.
      • Fishing cat populations are threatened by destruction of wetlands and have declined severely over the last decade.
      • The fishing cat lives foremost in the vicinity of wetlands, along rivers, streams, oxbow lakes, in swamps, and mangroves.
      • The fishing cat is the state animal of West Bengal.
      • The fishing cat is broadly but discontinuously distributed in South and Southeast Asia.
      • It is strongly associated with wetlands, inhabiting swamps and marshy areas around oxbow lakes, reed beds, tidal creeks and mangrove forests; it seems less abundant around smaller, fast-moving watercourses. Most records are from lowland areas.

    4.     KALARIPAYATTU

    • News: Kalari units that impart Kalaripayattu, an ancient martial art form, are getting back on track in Kerala after an interval of two-and-a-half years.
    • About Kalaripayattu:
      • Kalaripayattu, also known simply as Kalari, is an Indian martial art that originated in modern-day Kerala, a state on the southwestern coast of India.
      • Kalaripayattu is known for its long-standing history within Indian martial arts.
      • It is believed to be the oldest surviving martial art in India, with a history spanning over 3,000 years.
      • Kalaripayattu is mentioned in the Vadakkan Pattukal, a collection of ballads written about the Chekavar of the Malabar region of Kerala.
      • In the Vadakkan Pattukal, it is stated that the cardinal principle of Kalaripayattu was that knowledge of the art be used to further worthy causes, and not for the advancement of one’s own selfish interests.
      • Kalaripayattu is a martial art designed for the ancient battlefield (the word “Kalari” meaning “battlefield”), with weapons and combative techniques that are unique to India.
      • Like most Indian martial arts, Kalaripayattu contains rituals and philosophies inspired by Hinduism.
      • The art also bases medical treatments upon concepts found in the ancient Indian medical text, the Ayurveda.
      • Practitioners of Kalaripayattu possess intricate knowledge of pressure points on the human body and healing techniques that incorporate the knowledge of Ayurveda and Yoga.
      • Kalaripayattu is taught in accordance with the Indian guru-shishya system.

    5.     DEEP-SUBMERGENCE RESCUE VEHICLE

    • News: It helps understand each other’s system,” said Cdr V.K. Singh, pilot of the DSRV (deep-submergence rescue vehicle) on the west coast.
    • About Deep-Submergence Rescue Vehicle:
      • A deep-submergence rescue vehicle (DSRV) is a type of deep-submergence vehicle used for rescue of downed submarines and clandestine missions.
      • While DSRV is the term most often used by the United States Navy, other nations have different designations for their vehicles.