News: Photo: For the pot Villagers fishing in a wetland at Budha Mayong village in Morigaon district of Assam
A wetland is a distinct ecosystem that is flooded by water, either permanently (for years or decades) or seasonally (for weeks or months). Flooding results in oxygen-free (anoxic) processes prevailing, especially in the soils.
The primary factor that distinguishes wetlands from terrestrial land forms or water bodies is the characteristic vegetation of aquatic plants, adapted to the unique anoxic hydric soils.
Wetlands are considered among the most biologically diverse of all ecosystems, serving as home to a wide range of unique plant and animal species. Methods for assessing wetland functions, wetland ecological health, and general wetland condition have been developed for many regions of the world.
These methods have contributed to wetland conservation partly by raising public awareness of the functions some wetlands provide.
Wetlands occur naturally on every continent, except for Antarctica.
The water in wetlands is either freshwater, brackish or saltwater.
Wetlands contribute a number of functions that benefit people.
These are called ecosystem services and include water purification, groundwater replenishment, stabilization of shorelines and storm protection, water storage and flood control, processing of carbon (carbon fixation, decomposition and sequestration), other nutrients and pollutants, and support of plants and animals.
2. SABARMATI RIVER
News: Gujarat’s Sabarmati river remains highly polluted despite the spending of nearly ₹200 crore that the Centre had allocated to curb pollution in the river from 2014-15 to 2017-18.
About Sabarmati River:
The Sabarmati river is one of the major west-flowing rivers in India.
It originates in the Aravalli Range of the Udaipur District of Rajasthan and meets the Gulf of Khambhat of Arabian Sea after travelling 371 km (231 mi) in a south-westerly direction across Rajasthan and Gujarat. 48 km (30 mi) of the river length is in Rajasthan, while 323 km (201 mi) is in Gujarat.
The basin is located in a semi-arid zone with rainfall ranging from 450 to 800 mm (18 to 31 in) in different parts of the basin.
The major tributaries are the Watrak, Wakal, Hathmati, Harnav, and Sei rivers.
3. INFORMATION FUSION CENTRE FOR INDIAN OCEAN REGION
News: The Netherlands is interested in posting a Liaison Officer (LO) at the Navy’s Information Fusion Centre for Indian Ocean Region (IFC-IOR) for Maritime Domain Awareness and information sharing.
About Information Fusion Centre for Indian Ocean Region:
The IFC-IOR was set up in 2018 to coordinate with regional countries on maritime issues and act as a regional repository of maritime data.
It presently has linkages with 21 partner countries and 22 multi-national agencies across the globe.
It is located in Gurugram, India.
Roles and functions of a liaison officer:
The liaison officer will be based full-time at the centre, working directly with the Indian armed forces and fellow liaison officers from partner nations to enhance maritime domain awareness in the region.
International Liaison Officers (ILO) from 13 countries have been invited, and ILOs from countries had joined earlier- Australia, France, Japan and the U.S.. The U.K. is the 5th country to post an ILO.
News: Ethiopia’s military on Sunday launched two air strikes on what a government official said were rebel-held facilities in Tigray, the seventh and eighth bombardments in its war-torn northern region in a week.
5. CHINA – PAKISTAN ECONOMIC CORRIDOR
News: The chief of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Authority has accused the U.S. of sabotaging the multi-billion dollar project, the economic lifeline of Pakistan.
About China – Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC):
China–Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is a collection of infrastructure projects that are under construction throughout Pakistan beginning in 2013.
Originally valued at $47 billion, the value of CPEC projects is worth $62 billion as of 2020 with no current completion date.
CPEC is intended to rapidly upgrade Pakistan’s required infrastructure and strengthen its economy by the construction of modern transportation networks, numerous energy projects, and special economic zones.
A vast network of highways and railways are to be built under the aegis of CPEC that will span the length and breadth of Pakistan. Inefficiencies stemming from Pakistan’s mostly dilapidated transportation network are estimated by the government to cause a loss of 3.55% of the country’s annual GDP.
Modern transportation networks built under CPEC will link seaports in Gwadar and Karachi with northern Pakistan, as well as points further north in western China and Central Asia.
A 1,100-kilometre-long motorway will be built between the cities of Karachi and Lahore as part of CPEC, while the Karakoram Highway from Hasan Abdal to the Chinese border will be completely reconstructed and overhauled.