1)GoI launches 5 initiatives towards Conservation of Biodiversity:-On May 22, 2020, to celebrate the International Day for Biological Diversity, 2020, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change launched five initiatives on conservation of biodiversity.
The five initiatives include the following The “Biodiversity Samrakshan Internship Programme” was launched. It aims at engaging 20 students in post graduate programme for a period of 1 year. The programme will engage creative students that are willing to learn about biodiversity conservation and natural resource management.
The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) campaign called Illegal Trafficking of Endangered Species was launched. The campaign is called “Not All Animals Migrate by Choice”.
The Wildlife Crime Control Bureau campaign called Not All Animals Migrate by Choice was lalaunched.
A Webinar series was launched. The series was on “Biodiversity Conservation and Biological Diversity Act, 2002”.
The World Wildlife Fund Model Conference of Parties was launched. It includes younger generation. This will engage them towards imprint of humanity towards biodiversity.
2)MISSION SAGAR – INS KESARI AT PORT LOUIS, MAURITIUS:- The assistance to Mauritius is a part of the Government of India outreach amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. ‘Mission Sagar’, is in consonance with the Prime Ministers vision of Security and Growth for All in the Region ‘SAGAR’.
3)On World Turtle Day, Jal Shakti Minister gives clarion call to save aquatic animals:- The National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG), along with the Wildlife Institute of India (WII), its project partner in the ‘Biodiversity Conservation Initiative Phase II’, celebrated World Turtle Day (23rd May 2020). “Turtles have been cleaning our water resources and they don’t charge us for doing that job.
4)Kangra Tea could lower coronavirus activity better than HIV drugs:- The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) is likely to replace hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) with anti-HIV drugs to improve immunity and possibly reduce viral replication, in the revised protocol. However, the chemicals in Kangra tea could also be effective in boosting immunity as they can block coronavirus activity better than anti-HIV drugs, said Dr Sanjay Kumar, Director, Institute of Himalayan Bioresource Technology (IHBT), based in Palampur, Himachal Pradesh. Dr Kumar has revealed this fact during a webinar organized at IHBT on the occasion of the International Tea Day.
IHBT, a constituent of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), has also produced and supplied the alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing tea extract and natural aromatic oils through its technology partners.
The Institute has developed herbal soap with tea extract, natural saponins and without SLES (sodium laureth sulphate), SDS (sodium dodecyl sulphate) and mineral oil. This soap provides anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, cleansing and moisturizing benefits. The soap is being produced and marketed by two companies based in Himachal Pradesh.
5) Sariska Tiger Reserve
- It is located in the Aravalli Hills, 35 km from Alwar, 250 km SW of Delhi and 110 km NE of Jaipur.
- The former hunting reserve of the Maharaja of Alwar, the Sariska valley is home to a variety of flora and fauna.
- The park has populations of tigers, leopards, Nilgai, Sambar, chital etc.
- The place is a paradise for bird lovers as it shelters a large population of Indian peafowl, crested serpent eagles, sand grouse, golden backed woodpeckers, great Indian horned owls, tree pies, vultures and many others.
- The sanctuary is strewn with ruins of ancient temples dating back to the 10th and 11th centuries.
- Some of the highlights are the ruins of the Kankwari Fort and the 10th century Neelkanth temples.
- Recently, the Government of Pakistan has issued special permits to the Emir of Qatar and nine other members of the royal family to hunt the Houbara Bustard.
- Bustards are large, terrestrial birds that belong to several species, including some of the largest flying birds.
- The Houbara Bustard, which lives in arid climates, comes in two distinct species as recognised by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, one residing in North Africa (Chlamydotisundulata) and the other in Asia (Chlamydotismacqueenii).
- The population of the Asian houbara bustards extends from northeast Asia, across central Asia, the Middle East, and the Arabian Peninsula to reach the Sinai desert.
- According to IFHC, the main reasons for the houbara’s decline are poaching, unregulated hunting, along with degradation of its natural habitat.
- It is classified as Vulnerable in the IUCN red list.