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Green clearance must for rail projects on forest land: MoEF&CC

Railway projects passing through forest lands, national parks and eco-sensitive zones will not be exempted from the forest clearance process, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) told the Railways Ministry and state forest departments. The Environment Ministry’s clarification on the matter comes after the Railways had argued that Railways Act, 1989, gives it the power to acquire land, including forests, falling in its right of way. MoEF&CC clarified its position on the issue after referring the matter to the Ministry of Law and Justice, who seconded the Environment Ministry’s opinion.DNA has reviewed the MoEF&CC letter to Railways Ministry and state forest departments.The MoEF&CC told Railways, that as per the Law Ministry, despite provisions of the Railways Act, 1989, allowing Railways to acquire any land for its projects, forest land falling in the right of way attract provisions of the Forest Conservation Act, 1980. MoEF&CC added that even if the forest land is under the possession of the Railways, it will need to seek forest clearance for non-forestry work. Further, projects passing through protected areas would need the approval of the National Board for Wildlife.“Railway projects passing through wildlife sanctuaries, national parks, and tiger reserves amount to destruction of habitat within the meaning of various sections of Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. The need of seeking approval for railway projects passing through a wildlife sanctuary is in pursuance of Supreme Court order of 2002,” the MoEF&CC said.The Railways had raised the issue of applicability of Forest Conservation Act, 1980, and Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, for its projects citing the upcoming conversion of Akola-Khandwa railway line from metre gauge to broad gauge. The railway line passes through a reserve forest, Wan sanctuary and the Melghat Tiger Reserve in Maharashtra. Of the 176-km track, 40 km passes through forested areas and of that 18 km lies inside the tiger reserve. According to government documents, the project would require diversion of 160.94 hectares of forest from the critical tiger habitat of Wan Sanctuary, a part of Melghat Tiger Reserve.OVERRULEDThe Railways had argued that Railways Act, 1989, gives it the power to acquire land, including forests, falling in its right of way. MoEF&CC clarified that Railway projects passing through forest land, national parks, eco-sensitive zones will not be exempted from forest clearance process.

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Cabinet approves proposal to harvest bamboo on private lands

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change’s (MoEF&CC) proposed amendments in the Indian Forest Act (IFA), 1927, that will allow bamboo grown on non-forest areas to be felled and transported without permits, sources said. MoEF&CC has received various representations to free bamboo on private lands from the permit process, but experts said that this move may be open to misuse as it does not involve Gram Sabhas in the permit process.The amendment of the Act’s Section 2(7) effectively means that bamboo will be no longer considered a tree in non-forest areas, as it is currently defined, thus exempting its harvest without permissions. Sources said that the decision was taken to push for bamboo plantation on private lands and ease regulatory restrictions on inter-state movement of bamboo.Bamboo grown on forest areas though, will continue to be covered under the ambit of Forest Conservation Act, 1980, thus requiring felling and transit permissions.The proposed amendment to ease bamboo harvesting on private land has been pushed ahead even as the the entire Indian Forest Act itself is being overhauled. Last year, MoEF&CC had set up an expert panel to rework the Act and sources privy to developments said that the process is in the drafting stage.The amendments also comes in the backdrop of letters that MoEF&CC wrote to states, urging them to free bamboo grown on private lands from the regulatory regime. In May this year, Director General of Forest Siddhanta Das, wrote one such letter, pointing out that states can exempt bamboo on non-forest areas using Section 41 of the IFA.”Many states have raised the issue that since bamboo is defined as a tree, it attracts the provisions of the felling and transit regulations of respective states and hence bamboo needs to be excluded from the definition of tree…I would like to reiterate once again to exempt all bamboo growing on non-forest area from transit regime using powers granted to states,” Das said. DNA has reviewed a copy of this letter.Das had also mentioned in this letter that the ministry had received suggestions from many quarters seeking exemption of felling and transit permits for bamboo grown on private lands. Das and Environment Secretary CK Mishra were not available for comment.Delhi-based environmental lawyer Sanjay Upadhyay said that this amendment leaves open scope for misuse. “Do we have the mechanism to identify whether the bamboo is from forest or non-forest areas. It is regressive step in the sense that is liable to be misused if Gram Sabhas are not made the nodal body for providing adequate safeguards to protect the resource.”

NGT refuses to set aside green clearance for Amaravati capital

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a relief for the Andhra Pradesh (AP) government, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Friday declined to set aside the environmental clearance (EC) for building of the new capital city Amaravati and allowed the project to go ahead, subject to set of stringent conditions for environment protection. The verdict was passed by a three-member bench headed by Justice Swatanter Kumar after hearing a batch of pleas that challenged the project on environmental grounds and the project’s EC. The pleas had said the Capital city would harm the fertile agricultural lands in Krishna and Guntur districts and put at peril the floodplain and wetland ecology.The green court refused to set aside the EC after it was convinced that the new Capital would not harm the floodplains and wetlands. The bench also noted that the project had reached a stage of ‘fait accompli’ and thus demolishing the project would come at a huge financial, environmental and human cost. In the conditions it stipulated, the Tribunal directed the AP government to not alter the course of the Krishna river, its flow pattern or natural storm water morphology and also restrained them from altering the pre-existing embankments. The NGT constituted two-committees, one supervisory and one for implementation to enforce these conditions.The Amaravati capital city area was planned following bifurcation of the erstwhile unified Andhra Pradesh. Under the Andhra Pradesh Reorganization Act, 2014, Hyderabad will be the joint Capital of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh for a period of ten years. The Capital city area is located on the border of Guntur and Krishna districts and will be spread over 217.33 square kilometers of area. It will consist of 24 revenue villages and part of Tadepalli Municipality falling in Guntur district, covering Thulluru, Manglagiri and Tadepalli mandals.The state government has notified an area of about 7068 sq. km for capital region and 122 sq. km as Andhra Pradesh capital city.In other conditions, the Tribunal said that the project proponent shall conduct a comprehensive study on hydro-geomorphology for effective management of water retention ponds, reservoirs, storm water drains and overall water conservation.It also directed the state government and concerned authorities to include rain water harvesting, use of solar energy and treated grey water for non-potable purposes as part of its building bye-laws. It has also specifically asked the state government to prepare a climate change mitigation plan to achieve carbon neutrality, as stated in the EC, within six months.The capital city’s forest cover of about 251 acres has to be preserved as its green lungs and it cannot be used for making a park or for recreational activities, the Tribunal added.The Tribunal appointed supervisory committee will comprise of officials from Union Ministry for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, officials from AP state government, scientists from National Institute of Hydrology and Indian Institute of Science among others. This committee has been directed to meet once every three months while the implementation committee will every month and submit a report to the Tribunal every six months.

Ban on plastic cups, plates likely by ’18

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>By 2018, not just plastic bags, but other plastic products for consumer use like cups and plates may also be banned. State environment department sources told DNA that they were planning to ban not only plastic bags, but also plastic cups and plates considering their impact on public health and the environment. However, the move will be implemented in stages.Earlier, Environment Minister Ramdas Kadam had announced a ban on plastic bags by Gudhi Padwa (Maharashtrian New Year) in March next year. After the July 26, 2005 deluge in Mumbai, the state had banned plastic bags below 50 microns. However, officials admit that bags below permitted standards are clandestinely brought in from neighbouring states and used by roadside hawkers and vendors.Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) officials said estimates suggested that around 3 to 5 per cent of municipal waste comprised of plastic. Mumbai generates around 10,000 ton solid waste daily. “We are planning to ban plastic in stages beginning with plastic bags. This may cover other uses like plastic cups, plates, some sachets and even thermocol plates. Such plastics pollute the environment and soil, causing flooding during rains and affect public health. Modalities are under consideration,” the official said. He added that the ban may be enforced beginning with beaches, forts and tourist spots.”However, we may have to make exceptions for some consumer uses of plastic like in cargo, logistics, milk, medicinal packing, packaged water and imported goods,” the official stated. The official explained they were examining how alternatives to plastic could be evolved. This could involve subsidies to women self-help groups to manufacture cloth bags and involving them in recycling of plastic waste, change in taxation and stiffer penalties to bring down plastic use.”We plan to brainstorm with experts and stakeholders before a proposal is moved to the cabinet,” he added. The real solution, the official pointed out, lay in public participation to enforce the ban, recycling and scientific disposal.”We will examine models adopted by other states… There can be no blanket ban on plastic. However, plastic can be banned for uses where it cannot be recycled or reused. This means that while plastic chairs and spectacle frames can be manufactured and used, plastic bags, plates and cups can be done away with,” explained a MPCB official.The Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change’s Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016, state that producers, brand owners and importers of plastic carry bags, multi-layered plastic sachet, pouches, or packaging should establish a system for collecting plastic waste generated due to their products.An environment department official pointed to how rampant dumping of plastic bags in drains and storm water channels led to flooding and use of such thin bags and cups for serving tea and coffee also had health implications as they consisted of chemical compounds.Already bannedThe manufacture, distribution, stocking or sale of carry bags made of virgin or recycled plastic less than 8X12 inches (20X30 cms) in size and below minimum thickness of 50 microns is banned under the Maharashtra Plastic Carry Bags (Manufacture and Usage) Rules, 2006.

Most of city wilts under heavy noise pollution

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>High-pitch protests by groups of Mumbai’s citizens and activists have clearly landed in deaf ears. A shocking data, recorded by Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) for 2016-17, reveals that most areas in the city wilt under heavy noise ranging from 70 – 80 decibels, clearly breaching the norms set by the Ministry Of Environment Forest and Climate Change (MOEFCC).According to the report, more than 50% area of the city witness noise levels ranging between 80 and 90 dB. BMC does the noise level mapping at1,200 locations across 24 civic wards, which include categories like courts, hospitals, schools, traffic junctions, industrial areas, religious places, railway stations, malls and tourists spots.BMC, which recently completed its Environment Status Report of 2016-17, states only 0.15% and 0.10% locations come in the normal range of noise during working and non-working days.Also, only 2.19 percent and 1.73 percent of locations witness normal noise levels during working and non-working nights.As per norms during the daytime, the noise levels in a residential area should not exceed 55 dB and 65 dB in a commercial area. During the night, 45 dB is the maximum noise level in a residential area, 55 dB is the noise level at a commercial area.Sumaira Abdulali, Conveyer of Awaaz Foundation, said, “According to World Health Organisation if a person is exposed to noise level beyond 80 dB for over eight hours, they can suffer hearing loss, heart and other disorders. The noise levels recorded by BMC clearly states at how high-risk people are living in Mumbai.”The data will be presented in the next general body meeting of the BMC.

Govt resumes clearance of Saranda cases

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Under a moratorium of sorts for the past four years, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has resumed appraisal and clearance of iron ore mining projects in the Saranda forest division, Jharkhand, home to rich Sal forests, vast reserves of iron ore and over 200 elephants.In light of the findings of Justice MB Shah inquiry commission on illegal mining in Saranda, MoEFCC had frozen the clearance process for mines in the region and even clearances granted prior to the commission’s findings. The findings also prompted the Central Bureau of Investigation to initiate a probe into the forest clearances granted for private mining companies.Based on Shah commission’s findings, MoEFCC commissioned two major studies, one to assess the carrying capacity of the forest for annual ore production and one on wildlife management.The ministry recently accepted recommendations from these studies and finalised a mining plan for the Saranda region, official documents confirmed. This plan does not include ‘go, no-go zones’ and appraisal of projects would be done on a case-to-case basis, Ajay Narayan Jha, secretary, MoEFCC told DNA.Following this plan’s approval, the ministry’s statutory expert body, Forest Advisory Committee (FAC), has already given an in-principal approval for Steel Authority of India’s (SAIL) Jhillingburu – I mine that will require 210.56 hectares of forest. The FAC has granted approval with general, standard and specific conditions including a condition to place the project before the National Board for Wildlife for a wildlife clearance as it is located in the core of Singhbum elephant reserve.”The state government shall ensure that various mines are worked in such a way that the required elephant corridors and vegetation zones are maintained without any disturbances,” one of the specific conditions said.

Yamuna cleaning: NGT slaps Rs 50,000 fine on Centre and Delhi govt for not submitting status report

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The National Green Tribunal has slapped a fine of Rs 50,000 each on the Environment Ministry (MoEF) and the Delhi government for not submitting a status report on rejuvenation and restoration of the Yamuna river.A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar passed the order after counsels of the MoEF and the Delhi government failed to appear before it and no report was placed on record. “Nobody is present on behalf of NCT Delhi and Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change and no status report has been filed by them. Our order dated August 8, 2017 was peremptory. Let both these pay Rs 50,000 as cost. List this matter for compliance within one week,” the bench said.The matter will be heard next on August 29. The tribunal had earlier asked Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and the Central Pollution Control Board to submit a detailed report on rejuvenation and restoration of the Yamuna in three weeks, saying pollution in the river was of serious concern as it was highly contaminated by industrial effluents and sewage. It had also directed the pollution control boards of Haryana and Himachal Pradesh to jointly conduct a study on water quality and flow of the Yamuna at the point where it enters Haryana, and submit a list of industries located in the catchment area of the river.The tribunal had earlier banned open defecation and dumping of waste on the floodplains of the Yamuna and announced an environment compensation or penalty of Rs 5,000 for those who violated the order. It had also constituted a committee headed by the Delhi Jal Board CEO to oversee the execution of work pertaining to the cleaning of the river and asked it to submit reports at regular intervals. The green panel had said almost 67 per cent of the pollution reaching the Yamuna would be treated by two sewage treatment plants (STP) located at Delhi Gate and Najafgarh in the first phase of the ‘Maili se Nirmal Yamuna Revitalisation Project 2017’. The NGT was hearing a plea on the monitoring of implementation of the project.

Activists protest delay in re-notifying silence zones

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Reacting with shock at the state government’s move to re-notify silence zones in Mumbai and rest of the state, anti-noise pollution activists have slammed the decision and said that they will not allow the government to jeopardise the health of citizens.As of August 10, there are no areas notified as silence zones in Mumbai and the rest of Maharashtra, as the state government will re-notify these areas. Until then, even the 100-metre zone around hospitals, courts, religious places and educational institutions have ceased to be mandatory silence zones. Unless and until any area or zone is notified by the state, they will not be considered as silent zones.Reacting to the development, Sumaira Abdulali, Convenor of Awaaz Foundation, said, “We heard about the state government writing to the Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change to relax noise norms for festivals but the government’s failure to notify silence zones is shocking. It is sad that politicians are putting the health of citizens at risk for their own gain.”The Bombay High Court is hearing a petition filed by Awaaz Foundation, which highlights the issue of high decibel levels in and around the city during religious and cultural functions.Abdulali said that it was important for the citizens to start using social media or write to the Chief Minister to demand that noise pollution laws be implemented in totality, and avoid tampering with the sanctity of silence zones. “I urge everyone to tweet to the CM and the PM asking them not to allow the killing of silence zones in Mumbai or the state,” said Abdulali.

Maintain environ flow of 15-20 pc in rivers: NGT to states

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The National Green Tribunal has directed all states to maintain a minimum environmental flow of 15 to 20 per cent of the average lean season course in their rivers. E-flow defines the quantity, timing and quality of water flow required to sustain freshwater and estuarine ecosystems, besides human livelihood. A bench headed by NGT chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar, however, said that if any state is unable to adhere to this average percentage then it may approach the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF). “We direct that all the rivers in the country shall maintain minimum 15 per cent to 20 per cent of the average lean season flow of that river. “However, whichever state is unable to adhere to this average percentage, in that event we grant liberty to that state government to move to the MoEF secretary who shall in consultation with the Ministry of Water Resources examine such a representation…,” the bench said. It also said that if it is desirable to fix any lower percentage than the percentage aforestated, then it will pass appropriate order. The order came after the counsel for the environment ministry told the tribunal that it has completed study of six river basins — Siang, Tawang, Bichom, Subansiri, Dibang and Lohit. It said the Ministry has recommended the minimum flow of the river to be 18 per cent of the average of lean season flow of the river. However, in some of the cases, it has stated to be even 20 per cent. The tribunal also granted liberty to the petitioner in the case to approach the environment ministry if it has material with respect to any of the rivers where this direction is not being followed. “If such representation is moved the same shall be disposed of by the committee headed by Secretary in the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change in accordance with law,” the bench said. The tribunal was hearing a plea filed by environment activist Pushp Saini seeking directions to the Centre and the states to maintain minimum environment flow in the rivers across the country to ensure their uninterrupted flow.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

India ratifies 2nd commitment period of Kyoto Protocol

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>India has ratified the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol that commits countries to contain the emission of greenhouse gases, reaffirming its stand on climate action. In a brief statement, India’s Permanent Mission to the UN said that India deposited its Instrument of Acceptance of the Doha Amendment to the Kyoto Protocol under the UN Convention on Climate Change here yesterday. With this, India became the 80th country to accept the amendment relating to the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol, the international emissions reduction treaty. “India’s acceptance reaffirms our continued commitment to climate action,” the Indian mission said in a statement. India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Syed Akbaruddin, who handed over India’s Instrument, tweeted “maintaining momentum on Climate Change. India submits instrument of acceptance of Doha Amendment to Kyoto Protocol”. The Kyoto Protocol is an international agreement linked to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which commits its Parties by setting internationally binding emission reduction targets. The Kyoto Protocol was adopted in Kyoto, Japan, in December 1997 and entered into force in February 2005. The first commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol was from 2008-2012. The Doha Amendment to the Kyoto Protocol was adopted in Qatar in December 2012. The amendment includes new commitments for parties to the Kyoto Protocol who agreed to take on commitments in a second commitment period from January 2013 to December 2020 and a revised list of greenhouse gases to be reported on by Parties in the second commitment period, according to the UNFCCC website. The Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi had in January given its approval to ratify the second commitment period of the international treaty.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

SC seeks clarification on Centre’s notification on cattle sale

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court on Friday sought clarification on the Centre’s notification on sale of cattle in market asking if notification was placed before the Parliament.A bench of the Apex Court, headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Jagdish Singh Khehar and also comprising Justice D. Y. Chandrachud, asked if the said Union of India’s notification was placed before the Parliament or not.The plea was filed by Hyderabad-based NGO, All India Jamiatul Quresh Action Committee, challenging the Central Government notification banning cattle trade.Earlier, the top court vacation bench, headed by Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and comprising Justice R.K. Agarwal, had issued a notice to the Centre on hearing the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by the Hyderabad-based NGO on the same issue.The petitioner NGO had moved the apex court challenging the Centre’s notification that bans sale and purchase of cattle from animal markets for slaughter, a move that received flak since its announcement.The petition was filed by a Hyderabad-based lawyer, Fahim Qureshi, stating that the order was discriminatory and unconstitutional, as it prevented cattle traders from earning their livelihood.On May 25, the Centre, through an order imposed a ban on the sale of cattle, including cows, for slaughter and restricted cattle trade solely to farm owners.Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Harsh Vardhan had ordered that the ministry has notified the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Markets) Rules, 2017 to ensure that the sale of cattle is not meant for slaughter purposes.Regulating animal trade is a state business, but animal welfare is a central subject, thereby providing the window for the ministry to notify the rule.In lieu of this, there was widespread opposition of the order, with many states openly denying accepting the notification.

Benefits of fossil fuel-led development enjoyed mostly by

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Fossil fuel-led development is the cause behind climate change and the benefits of it are mostly enjoyed by the developed countries while the developing nations are the sufferers, Union Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan today said. “All this problem of climate change and global warming has started because of fossil fuel-led development, the benefits and luxuries of which have mostly been enjoyed by the developed world. “The developing world has always been the sufferer. But despite that, India under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is leading from the front and is providing the most able, sincere and dedicated leadership to this movement (of fighting climate change),” the Minister said. He was delivering the keynote address on the occasion of signing of Accreditation Master Agreement (AMA) between Green Climate Fund (GCF) and National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD). He noted that due to the persuasiveness of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, words like climate justice and sustainable lifestyle were incorporated into the Paris agreement. “This is in our inherent dna. Words like climate change and global warming might have appeared now, but our ancestors have given to us the real lifestyle and ways to live which are environment friendly,” he said. He said the ancestors gave lifestyle which will ensure that “we do not have to create a fund or a mechanism to fight these issues.” He however rued, “Unfortunately over the years, we have also not been able to keep up those teachings of our ancestors.” Noting that his ministry was trying to develop a data bank of the good environmental and positive deeds, Vardhan said that very soon, his ministry will try to take it to the Parliament, chief ministers and ministers of all the states. “When we develop a model in India, we would like the world to follow this and not be running after money to handle climate change but to be running after good positive environmental deeds which have to be done by everyone and which will solve most of our problems,” he said. He pointed out that India already has a national climate action plan which has eight missions under it. The minister said that new missions are also being added for ocean, energy, waste management and all the other related sectors which are relevant. The Green Climate Fund (GCF) is one of the operating entities under financial mechanism set up under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). It aims to provide support to developing countries in combating climate change, with resources to be generated from funding by developed countries and various other public and private sources. It supports both climate change adaptation and mitigation projects in developing countries. So far, one project from India on ‘Installation of Ground Water Recharge System’ in Odisha has recently been approved by the GCF for USD 34 million. Another proposal on coastal areas has already been submitted to the GCF Secretariat and several more projects are in the pipeline. India has nominated a total of five direct access entities for accreditation by the GCF. So far, NABARD and SIDBI have been accredited by the GCF. NABARD is the first entity from India to be accredited as Direct Access Entity (DAE), an official statement said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Will ask Centre not to allow expansion of coal handling

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar today said his government will ask the Union environment ministry not to allow expansion of coal handling capacity in the coastal state. The companies which import coal through the Mormugao harbour in Goa have been asked to reduce their capacity by 25 per cent for failing to control pollution caused by coal dust, Parrikar said in Legislative Assembly. Congress legislator Aleixo Reginaldo Lourenco raised the issue. He feared that the government was trying to convert the port city of Vasco into a coal hub, the MLA said. Parrikar said as the air pollution in parts of Vasco had increased beyond permissible levels, the government had already asked the Mormugao Port Trust to “stop importing all powder material”. “We have reduced the current (coal handling) capacity by 25 per cent and we are prosecuting those who are exceeding the capacity,” he said. The Goa State Pollution Control Board (GSPCB) had written to the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change about problems arising from coal import activity, he said. “The state government will also write, before July 31, to the Union ministry, informing them about objections to the expansion of coal handling capacity,” Parrikar said. After curtailing the coal handling capacity by 25 per cent, another study to check pollution levels will be carried out in October, he said. “We will ensure that the company (importing coal) will control the amount so that they don’t pollute…if they don’t do that, they will face closure,” he said. The companies importing coal did not invest in controlling air pollution, which they could have done by constructing a dome (over the coal handling facility), the chief minister said. “Our directions are very clear that we don’t want pollution. I am going to monitor it,” he said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

NGT directs MoEF to consider mining plans of UP, Haryana

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The National Green Tribunal has directed the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) to “expeditiously” consider the mining plans submitted by Uttar Pradesh and Haryana governments. A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar said that extraction of minerals like sand and gravel should be strictly carried out as per MoEF guidelines. “Both the state governments have submitted their mining plans…. We direct Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change to consider the approval of the plans while informing the officers from the Ministry of Mines. This must be done very expeditiously as this matter is very urgent in nature,” the bench said. During the hearing, the MoEF told the green panel that they have filed an additional affidavit suggesting that UP government should be permitted to carry on the mining activity along with Haryana, subject to the guidelines. The matter is listed for hearing on August 17. The directions came during hearing of a plea by environment activists Gurpreet Singh Bagga and others who had moved NGT against alleged rampant illegal mining of minor minerals in Saharanpur and the riverbed of Yamuna. According to the applicants, “a handful of mining lease holders were treating the entire district as mining area irrespective of what is mentioned in their mining permit and the environmental clearance”. The NGT had earlier cracked the whip on illegal sand mining and extraction of minor minerals in Saharanpur district of UP while slapping a fine of Rs 50 crore on five lease holders for carrying out excessive unauthorised mining resulting in damage and degradation of environment. The green panel had also prohibited stone crushers and mining of minor minerals like bajri (gravel) and boulders in Yamunanagar and Saharanpur districts and other villages situated on the floodplains of Yamuna.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Australia condemns Amarnath attack; discusses cooperation in

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Australian Foreign Minister Julia Bishop today condemned the Amarnath attack and conveyed her country’s common resolve to fight all terrorism as she discussed ways to deepen cooperation in key areas of security with her Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj. In a series of tweets on the meeting, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Gopal Baglay said Swaraj welcomed Bishop for framework dialogue of foreign ministers. He said Bishop also strongly condemned the Amarnath terror attack and conveyed to Swaraj common resolve to fight all terrorism. During the meeting, the visiting dignitary also signed the Framework Agreement to join International Solar Alliance (ISA), a common platform for cooperation among sun-rich countries. The initiative was launched at the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris at the end of 2015 by the President of France and the Prime Minister of India. In a statement in Canberra ahead of her visit here, Bishop had said ways to boost defence, security and trade ties will be explored during the visit. “We will discuss our shared interests in a stable Indo- Pacific, our deepening defence and security relationship, and how we can boost trade and economic ties,” she had said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Setback for Centre, Madras HC’s stay on cattle sale ban to cover entire country: Supreme Court

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a setback to Centre, the Supreme court on Tuesday said that the Madras High Court’s stay on Centre’s notification on sale of cattle including cows for slaughter will continue and would cover entire country.The Madras High Court had stayed the enforcement of the Centre’s contentious notification banning sale and purchase of cattle at animal markets for slaughter, following protests in some states including Tamil Nadu and Kerala against the measure.”We are seized of the matter and considering various suggestions in the notification” Centre told the court.Centre also said that the amendments to the notification on cattle sale would be re-notified after considering suggestions.A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was filed by a Hyderabad based Non-Government Organisation (NGO).The NGO had moved the Supreme Court, challenging the Centre’s notification that bans sale and purchase of cattle from animal markets for slaughter, a move that received flak since its announcement.The petition was filed by a Hyderabad-based lawyer Fahim Qureshi, stating that the order was discriminatory and unconstitutional, as it prevented cattle traders from earning their livelihood.On May 25, the Centre through an order imposed a ban on the sale of cattle, including cows, for slaughter and restricted cattle trade solely to farm owners.Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Harsh Vardhan had ordered that the ministry has notified the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Markets) Rules, 2017 to ensure that the sale of cattle is not meant for slaughter purposes.Regulating animal trade is a state business, but animal welfare is a central subject, thereby providing the window for the ministry to notify the rule.

TN cow trade body moves SC against Centre’s cattle sale order

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> A Tamil Nadu-based cow trade organization going by the name of Maattu Vyapaarigal Matrum Tholilalargal Sangam moved the Supreme Court on Monday against the Centre?s new cattle trade rules. The organization has filed a petition in the apex court challenging the new cattle trade rules. On May 25, the Centre, through an order, imposed a ban on the sale of cattle, including cows for slaughter and restricted cattle trade solely to farm owners. Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Harsh Vardhan had ordered that the ministry has notified the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Markets) Rules, 2017 to ensure that the sale of cattle is not meant for slaughter purposes. Regulating animal trade is a state business, but animal welfare is a central subject, thereby providing the window for the ministry to notify the rule. In lieu of this, there was widespread opposition of the order, with many states openly denying accepting the notification.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Donald Trump isolated at G20 as India and others throw their weight behind Paris deal

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The US was isolated at the G20 Summit after India and 18 other members of the grouping termed the Paris climate deal as “irreversible” and threw their weight behind the landmark agreement from which Washington has decided to pull out.The two-day G20 Summit saw the Indian side making “significant contributions” on the resolve to counter terrorism and boost global trade and investment.The Summit, attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with top world leaders including host German Chancellor Angela Merkel and US President Donald Trump, however, came under the shadow of unprecedented violent protests in this German port city where thousands of anti-capitalism protesters clashed with police.Unfortunately, the US stand remains against the Paris pact but all other members have shown strong support on climate change, Merkel said.She said the communique clearly mentioned the US dissent and the position of all other members.”Obviously it could not be a fully common position,” Merkel told reporters.”All G20 members except the US agree that the Paris agreement is irreversible,” she said.While taking “note” of the US’ decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, the G20 communique said, “The Leaders of the other G20 members agree that the Paris Agreement is irreversible.”In the G20 communique, the leaders also said they remain committed to fighting corruption, including through international cooperation and technical assistance.”As an important tool in our fight against corruption, tax evasion, terrorist financing and money laundering, we will advance the effective implementation of the international standards on transparency and beneficial ownership of legal persons and legal arrangements, including the availability of information in the domestic and cross-border context,” the communique said.The leaders also called for completion of the IMF quota reforms and a new quota formula by 2019.They acknowledged that the malicious use of information and communications technologies can endanger financial stability. The leaders said that the digitalisation offered an opportunity for creating new jobs but there was a need to impart necessary skills for the future of work.They also called for the removal of market distorting subsidies and sought global cooperation to tackle excess capacity in industrial sectors.The leaders recognised the role of legitimate trade defence instruments and vowed to promote favourable environment for trade and investment.They also committed to keep markets open and focus on reciprocity, non-discrimination, fight protectionism and unfair trade practices. The focus of the Summit, however, remained the issue of climate change as the US was isolated with the other 19 member states strongly backing the Paris accord.The G20 group asserted the importance of fulfilling the UNFCCC commitment by developed countries in providing means of implementation of the accord, including financial resources, to assist developing countries with respect to both mitigation and adaptation actions in line with the Paris outcomes.”We reaffirm our strong commitment to the Paris Agreement, moving swiftly towards its full implementation in accordance with the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities.”In the light of differentnational circumstances and, to this end, we agree to the G20 Hamburg Climate and Energy Action Plan for Growth,” the communique said.Trump in June announced that the US will withdraw from the Paris climate accord, saying the deal agreed by more than 190 nations unfairly benefited countries like India and China.Trump’s decision had drawn sharp criticism from international leaders, business groups and green activists.The objective of the Paris Agreement is to prevent an increase in global average temperature and keep it well below 2 C.The Agreement was adopted on December 12, 2015, by 195 parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), replacing its predecessor Kyoto Protocol. It was finally ratified on November 4, 2016. The grouping agreed to meet next in Argentina in 2018, followed by Japan in 2019 and in Saudi Arabia in 2020.

Local bodies in Pune, Konkan to give environ clearances

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Municipal corporations and special planning authorities in Maharashtra’s Pune and Konkan area have now been empowered to give environment clearances to construction projects of built up area of 1.50 lakh square metres. The Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change has made this arrangement, which is already in place in Delhi, with an aim to enhance ease of doing business, decentralisation and delegation of powers. “The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change…orders that no separate environment clearance is required for building and construction projects up to 1,50,000 sq mtr built up area in respect of all municipal corporations, municipal councils and all special planning authorities in Pune and Konkan divisions,” an order issued by the ministry said. States have to apply to the Union Environment Ministry by incorporating necessary provisions in their building bye-laws to avail the facility to issue environment clearances by the local bodies, an official said. Union Urban Development minister M Venkaiah Naidu had held a series of meetings with the environment minister and other senior officials to provide such arrangement, he added. The move will also improve India’s ranking in ease of doing business, he added.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

India will implement Paris Accord in ‘letter and spirit’: PM Modi at G20

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Prime Minister Narendra Modi said today that it was “mandatory” to implement the consensus of the Paris agreement on climate change, weeks after the US decided to pull out of the landmark deal.He also asserted that India will implement the accord in “letter and spirit”.Modi, while speaking at the meeting of BRICS leaders here on the sidelines of the G20 Summit, said that on issues of climate change and terror, the role of BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) is “important”.”It is mandatory to implement the consensus reached at the Paris agreement. India will implement the agreement in letter and spirit,” Modi said.The comments come after President Donald Trump recently announced that the US will withdraw from the Paris climate accord, saying the deal agreed by more than 190 nations unfairly benefited countries like India and China.
ALSO READ Amid Sikkim standoff, PM Modi ‘appreciates’ momentum in BRICS bloc under Chinese chairmanship Trump’s decision had drawn sharp criticism from international leaders, business groups and green activists.Trump is also in Hamburg to take part in the G20 Summit.”We have to ensure that international financial organisations fully reflect the world’s current economic balances,” Modi said.Later, on twitter, the Prime Minister said, “On issues like climate change and terror, the role of BRICS is important”.The objective of the Paris Agreement is to prevent an increase in global average temperature and keep it well below 2 C.The Agreement was adopted on December 12, 2015, by 195 parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), replacing its predecessor Kyoto Protocol.It was finally ratified on November 4, 2016.Modi also said, “It will be our common endeavour to establish the BRICS rating agency at the earliest.”

Hills people need to adopt to changing climatic conditions:Guv

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Meghalaya Governor BL Purohit today said hills people will have to adapt to the fast changing climatic condition as the impact of climate change will be felt immediately. “The impact of climate change is going to be felt immediately and more acutely in the hilly areas than in the plains. So people of the hills have to struggle a lot to adapt to the fast changing climatic conditions,” the governor said while addressing at the valedictory function of a three day workshop on climate change here. He said climate-dependent sectors like agriculture, animal husbandry and water resources are going to be impacted due to climate change, and the people will be stressed even more. Stating that hilly states like Meghalaya with more than 70 per cent people dependent on agriculture and allied sectors, the Governor said the impact of climate change is going to be felt immediately and more acutely in the hilly areas than in the plains. Purohit also warned that climate sensitive floriculture, horticulture and tea cultivation will be impacted if the impact of climate change is not controlled which could result in affecting the economy and livelihoods of the state itself. Pointing out that there has been a considerable deterioration in the quality of the environment during the past one decades, the governor said these were due to population pressure, conversion of forest land into agricultural fields, deforestation, urbanization, mining and industrialization. Acknowledging the contribution made by the rural communities towards preserving and protecting forests, Purohit said most preservation has been taken up by the rural communities and not necessarily by the state. “The sacred forests are a living example of such community consciousness. The traditional ethos and the ethics of the environment, of the society should not be undermined under any circumstances,” he said. The governor also envisaged the role to be played by these communities in its Climate Change Action Plan (CCAP).(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Das inaugurates country’s biggest fresh water aquarium

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das today inaugurated the country s biggest fresh water aquarium here. Das said that hundreds of varieties of fish and several rare species have been kept at the aquarium which had been named “Ranchi Machchli Ghar” for the people to see, which would surely encourage tourism in the state. An official release here said the Ranchi Machchli Ghar is the country’s biggest fresh water aquarium. “Protection of ecology is the government s top priority, and development of the state must always be eco-friendly,” Das said while speaking on the occasion. He said that Indian culture teaches us to love the ecology and even today India is showing the path of the protection of the environment to the entire world. Das also laid foundation stone for an eco-park which will include rose garden, children zone, bhul-bhullaya, waterfall and fountain. Besides these, a butterfly park is also being established, where different varieties of butterflies would be kept. Indu Shekhar Chaturvedi, principal secretary (Forest, Environment & Climate Change) said that the aquarium is spread over in 36,000 sq feet area and it has 58 fish tank, where 120 species of 1500 fishes have been displayed. Several species of fish have also been brought from Bangkok and Singapore, he added. Chaturvedi said that the eco-park will be developed in an area of 4.99 acres at a cost of Rs 5.67 crore. On the occasion, Ranchi MP Ramtahal Choudhary, Khijri MLA Ram Kumar Pahan and other top officials were present.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Climate change should’ve figured more prominently in Indo-US

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Green bodies today said the issue of climate change should have figured more prominently in the joint statement after the meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump in Washington. While the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) noted that India and the US have divergent views on the issue, Greenpeace India advocated that the government should not waste time trying to convince “climate deniers”. Greenpeace India also pointed out that after pulling out of the Paris Climate Accord, Trump had consciously isolated himself from the rest of the world and Modi not “broaching” the subject indicates that the world will move on without the US. The joint statement, issued after Modi-Trump talks yesterday, said the leaders called for a “rational” approach that balances environment and climate policy, global economic development, and energy security needs. Ahead of Modi’s visit, Trump had announced his country’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accord and singled out India and China as two major polluters that would gain a financial advantage over the US under the agreement. Rejecting strongly Trump’s contention, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had said “India did not sign the Paris climate deal under pressure or greed for money” but out of its commitment towards environment. The Paris climate deal within the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change was signed in 2015 by 194 countries and ratified by 143 and aims to hold the increase in average global temperature to below 2 degrees above pre-industrial level by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Ravi Chellam, Executive Director, Greenpeace India termed the Paris accord as a “unique” as it is a collective agreement of almost all nations and the Trump administration has made it very clear where they stand on it when they pulled out of it. “We appreciate India showing leadership by agreeing to go above and beyond our commitments. We should focus on moving ahead on our commitment and not waste time trying to convince climate deniers…With or without the US Federal Government the world will go ahead and do its best to keep global warming below 1.5 C,” said Chellam. The Greenpeace also maintained that by not broaching the subject of climate change, the Prime Minister clearly indicated that the world will move on without the US.” Vijeta Rattani, climate analyst at the CSE said both US and India have divergent approaches to climate change and while India is making significant achievements in climate change issue, US has proved that it is not going to address climate change in a “positive manner”. “The two leaders have kept silence on climate change issue. Till the point, Trump came to power, both US and Indian leaders always had (the issue of) climate change on the table. This development of omitting climate change is a stark contrast to that,” Rattani told(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

SC to hear petition challenging Centre’s cattle ban today

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The Supreme Court on Thursday will hear a petition challenging the Centre?s notification banning the sale and purchase of cattle from animal markets for slaughter, a move that received flak since its announcement. The petition was filed by a Hyderabad-based lawyer, Fahim Qureshi, stating that the order was discriminatory and unconstitutional, as it prevented cattle traders from earning their livelihood. On May 25, the Centre through an order imposed a ban on the sale of cattle, including cows, for slaughter and restricted cattle trade solely to farm owners. Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Harsh Vardhan had ordered that the ministry has notified the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Markets) Rules, 2017 to ensure that the sale of cattle is not meant for slaughter purposes. Regulating animal trade is a state business but animal welfare is a central subject, thereby providing the window for the ministry to notify the rule. In lieu of this, there was widespread opposition of the order, with many states openly denying accepting the notification. Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan last month said he would call for a meeting of all the Chief Ministers, asserting that the Union Government does not have the right to issue such an order on cattle slaughter ban. Vijayan further said that the Centre’s new rule is an impermissible encroachment into the domain of the State Legislatures which is a clear ‘violation of the spirit of federalism.’ On June 1, the students of the Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT- Madras) staged protest against the same. With the police deployed in front of the IIT campus, the students protested at the main gate and raised slogans against the Centre’s controversial notification.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

‘Connecting People To Nature’ is this year’s World Environment Day theme

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> World Environment Day on June 5 is a collective call for preserving and conserving nature and environment. The day reminds us of our responsibility towards sustainable use of resources. It is celebrated every year to raise global awareness for taking positive environmental action. It was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1972 on the day the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment. The first World Environment Day was celebrated in 1973 at Stockholm. Since then it is hosted every year by a different city with a unique theme. This year, it is being hosted by Canada and the theme for the year is ?Connecting People to Nature?. Giving a clarion call to the people of the country and the youth, in particular, Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Dr Harsh Vardhan has said that the real sentiment behind World Environment Day should not be restricted to a single day, but must pervade every moment of the day, till the World Environment Day next year. Addressing a function on the eve of World Environment Day here today, the Minister emphasised the need to create positive energy and awakening among the people of the country. Harsh Vardhan urged the people to use public transport more, use cycle, reduce the use of air-conditioners and work towards realising the Prime Minister?s vision of Swacchh Bharat and cleanliness. He also appealed to the people to use water judiciously and in appropriate amount. He directed that the Ministry officials must start water conservation in the right earnest in the Environment Ministry itself. The Minister added that the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change should not work only as a regulator, but more like a facilitator in a true sense. Harsh Vardhan highlighted that youth programmes such as ?Jigyasa?, which is to be launched soon, in which Kendriya Vidyalaya students are taken to CSIR laboratories, should be replicated in the field of environment also. The Minister also said that Department of Science and Technology and Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change must work together in the field of waste management ? be it solid waste, plastic waste, or E-waste and in creating waste to wealth and waste to energy. He added that similarly, Ministry of Human Resource Development and MoEFCC can work together to rope in students and harness their strength in spreading messages of positive health and messages for environment protection in the society. The Environment Minister appealed to NGOs, professionals, teachers and students to make environmental protection, nature and biodiversity conservation a strong social movement. Harsh Vardhan pointed out that children and environmental volunteers must be awarded in a much bigger way next year. The Minister said that our ancestors gave us clean rivers, clean air, rich forests, teachings and wisdom on nature and environment. Harsh Vardhan pointed out that the worship of nature and its protection is in our DNA. Speaking on the occasion, Secretary, MoEFCC, Ajay Narayan Jha said that there is a need to spread environmental awareness among all sections of the society. Jha added that protection of environment is an article of faith. The Secretary referred to some key initiatives of the Environment Ministry including Science Express train, which has provided a good opportunity to introduce discussion and dialogue throughout the country. In this context, he also mentioned National Green Corps, one of the largest conservation network and National Nature Camping movement to foster a spirit of adventure and love for nature among the youth. In her welcome address, Additional Secretary, MoEFCC, Dr Amita Prasad said that World Environment Day is celebrated in more than a 100 countries, as the task of saving environment cannot be handled individually, or by one country. Dr. Prasad also pointed out that the need to connect with Nature is reflected in the Ministry?s logo ? ?Nature protects, if she is protected?. Joint Secretary, MoEFCC Gyanesh Bharati delivered the Vote of Thanks. Books detailing the new discoveries of Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) and Botanical Survey of India (BSI) were released by Dr. Harsh Vardhan on the occasion. A Mobile App and Web GIS of Faunal information of Wildlife Sanctuaries for ZSI were also launched by the Minister on the occasion. A brochure on ?Training Modules for the Pilot: Green Skill Development Programme? was also released. The Young Environmentalist Award was given away on the occasion. May Barani Aung, a Class X student from Mamta Modern Senior Secondary School, Vikaspuri, New Delhi, was awarded the first prize for performance in National Poster Making Competition. She received a citation, a trophy and a cash prize from Dr. Harsh Vardhan. National Museum for Natural History (NMNH) organised summer vacation programme for children and brought them close to nature. The students also performed a Skit on the subject ?Connecting People to Nature?. They also took the Green Pledge to protect Earth and its natural resources and to adopt practices that will help in environment protection and minimise wastage of natural resources. The children from Bal Bhawan sang a ?Prakriti Vandana?. The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change is also celebrating World Environment Day at Dehradun tomorrow. Over the years, World Environment Day has grown to be a broad, global platform for public outreach that is widely celebrated by stakeholders all over the world. It also serves as the ?People?s Day? for taking positive action for the environment. The onus is on each and everybody to take actions in their daily lives that will help them minimize those activities that contribute to harming nature and enhance those that make the planet a better place. India is deeply committed to ?protecting? as well as ?greening? the environment. The goal is for this growth to be ?inclusive? and as ?green? as possible.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

India’s green lobby slams Trump for exiting Paris deal

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris deal was a “death knell” for the climate agreement, Indian environmentalists said today with some asserting that the US’ move was an opportunity for India to provide global leadership on the issue. This was not the first time that the US was opting out of an international climate agreement, the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) said. It had pulled out of the Kyoto Protocol saying emerging economies do not have quantified emission targets. Noting that US is only the largest historical emitter of greenhouse gases, but also one the major current emitters, CSE said any action to combat climate change will be “insufficient” by a huge margin without the US’ active contribution. Calling Trump’s decision “irresponsible and short- sighted”, Greenpeace India said it was a loss for the US in many ways and an opportunity for India to provide global leadership on the climate issue. It added that the US decision was leading to a shift in global geopolitics with China and the EU already positioning themselves to take the lead in climate action. The US president has announced that the second-largest emitter of greenhouse gasses will withdraw from the Paris climate accord, saying the deal agreed by more than 190 nations unfairly benefited countries like India and China. The objective of the Paris Agreement is to prevent an increase in global average temperature and keep it well below 2 C. The Agreement was adopted on December 12, 2015 by 195 parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), replacing its predecessor Kyoto Protocol. It was finally ratified on November 4, 2016. “With the US president’s latest assault on the global fight against climate change, meeting the objectives of the Paris Agreement will become an uphill task. Trump has sounded the death knell for the Agreement,” CSE DG Sunita Narain said. “Even if other countries, including the developing countries, raise their ambition, they would not be able to fill in the void left by the US. It is, therefore, not sufficient to shift the burden of addressing climate change to other countries — including China and India,” added her colleague Chandra Bhushan, deputy director general, CSE. “Pulling out of the Paris Agreement would mean that with 5 per cent of the world population, the US will continue to jeopardise the remaining 95 per cent. Countries need to hold the US accountable for decisions that have a global impact, Narain said. Under its climate action plan, the US had pledged merely 26-28 per cent emission reduction below 2005 levels by 2025. According to Ravi Chellam, executive director, Greenpeace India, Trump was out of touch with reality. Apart from governments, an entire spectrum of actors, including religious leaders, bankers, youth, ordinary citizens from across the world, scientists, investment groups and CEOs of some of the world’s largest corporations have committed to strong and quick climate action, he asserted. “The vast majority of the world has already resolved and started to act on climate with the renewable energy industry growing exponentially. India and China, amongst the leading greenhouse gas emitters, have resolved and started to develop clean energy and a low carbon economy in a big way. “This transition will continue with or without US, which now has Syria and Nicaragua for company as the only three countries, who are currently not part of the Paris Agreement,” said Chellam. He added that climate action has tremendous “win-win” potential for all nations, including India. “The planet needs the US to do its fair share, but while we wait for sanity to be restored in the US, other countries must accelerate their path to decarbonisation. At the very least, we owe it to our future generations, said Chellam. Ajay Mathur, director general, The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) and one of the key negotiators for India during the Paris climate summit, termed the decision “unfortunate”. “It is unfortunate that the US is pulling out of the Paris Agreement. The absence of its leadership and financial support in implementing the Agreement could delay actions to both reduce global emissions as well as to adapt to the adverse impacts of the climate change that has already occurred. “However, we believe that the positive trends in the decline of prices of renewable energy and energy efficiency will continue to drive global action to ensure that global temperature rise remains well below 2 C,” he said. Arunabha Ghosh, CEO, Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW), said the US, by becoming an outlier on climate action, will soon realise the “folly” of its secision – that it will lose out on investment, jobs and market opportunities in a lower carbon economy. R K Pachauri, former chairman, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), said the US decision was “truly unfortunate” as it completely ignores the scientific reality of climate change and the moral responsibility of the US for taking action. “In cumulative terms, the US has been the largest emitter of greenhouse gases which are resulting in human induced climate change,” he said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Amit Shah visiting Kerala to polarize votes for 2019 elections- Congress

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> As Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah landed in Kerala for a three-day tour to prepare for upcoming 2019 polls, the Congress party asserted that Shah?s intentions are only to disturb the existing government and to polarize the votes. ?Amit Shah is making politics out of everything including beef, national integration, violations and whatever is going in Jammu and Kashmir. For everything he wants to exploit the situation and polarize the votes. When the situation is good in Kerala, he is going to disturb the existing government and polarize the votes,? Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge told ANI. The saffron party has not been able to make a strong electoral footprint in Kerala yet. In the last year?s assembly elections, the BJP doubled its votes by 16% and achieved one seat for the first time ever. Reportedly, Shah?s visit to the state is the part of his 110-day tour across Indian states to prepare the ground for 2019 polls. Shah?s visit comes at a time when the Centre is facing crisis over its new cattle trade norm. Banning of beef in the state has sparked outrage against the Centre?s order. Earlier, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that he will call for a meeting of all the Chief Ministers, asserting that the Union Government does not have the right to issue such an order. Vijayan further said that the Centre’s new rule is an impermissible encroachment into the domain of the State Legislatures which is a clear ‘violation of the spirit of federalism.’ Drawing a huge backlash from various fractions, Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Harsh Vardhan ordered that the ministry has notified the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Markets) Rules, 2017 to ensure that the sale of cattle is not meant for slaughter purposes. He said the seller and buyer both have to ensure that the cattle is not being bought or sold across the country’s livestock markets market for slaughter purposes. The rules also state that the purchaser shall not sacrifice the animal for any religious purpose or sell it to a person outside the state without permission and must keep in with the state’s cattle protection laws.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Energy cooperation in focus,India and Russia vow to widen scope of bilateral ties

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> India and Russia on Thursday reiterated their commitment to take their strategic partnership forward and to continue to widen the scope of bilateral cooperation by launching large-scale initiatives in different spheres. Sharing their vision for the 21st century through a joint declaration signed here this evening, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin both said that the two countries would look for ways to ?enhance and enrich our bilateral agenda so as to make it more result-oriented.? Focusing on enhancing cooperation in the energy sector, the St. Petersburg Declaration said, ?The economies of India and Russia complement each other in the energy sector. We will strive to build an ?Energy Bridge? between our states and expand bilateral relations in all areas of energy cooperation, including nuclear, hydrocarbon, hydel and renewable energy sources and in improving energy efficiency.? The declaration added,?India and Russia note that wider use of natural gas, an economically efficient and environmentally friendly fuel, which has become an integral part of the global energy market, is highly significant for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and will assist in fulfilling the provisions of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, as well as achieving sustainable economic growth.? ?Cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy has emerged as one of the hallmarks of the strategic partnership between the two countries, contributing to India?s energy security and energizing broader scientific and technological cooperation. With concerted efforts on both sides, there has been a series of steady and demonstrable achievements in our civil nuclear partnership, including advancing nuclear power projects at the Kudankulam site and transforming it into one of India?s largest energy hubs.? ?We welcome the conclusion of the General Framework Agreement and Credit Protocol for Units 5 and 6 of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant. We will work towards the implementation of the strategic vision for strengthening cooperation in peaceful uses of atomic energy signed between the two countries on December 11, 2014. The future of Indian-Russian cooperation holds great promise across a wide spectrum covering nuclear power, nuclear fuel cycle and nuclear science and technology.? ?The growing partnership in the nuclear power sector between India and Russia has opened opportunities for developing advanced nuclear manufacturing capabilities in India in line with Government of India?s ?Make in India? initiative. India and Russia commit themselves to earnestly implement the ?Programme of Action for Localization in India? signed on 24 December 2015, and to encourage their nuclear industries to engage closely and foster concrete collaborations.? The declaration further stated, ?We are interested in launching joint projects on exploration and exploitation of hydrocarbons in the Arctic shelf of the Russian Federation. We will develop joint strategies to harness the potential for mutually beneficial cooperation in the field of deep sea exploration and development of hydrocarbon resources, poly-metallic nodules, and other marine resources utilizing strengths in the field of maritime research and training to develop mutually beneficial cooperation.? It added, ?We welcome cooperation among energy companies of both states in modernizing the existing power stations and building new ones in the territory of India. We will endeavour to develop joint projects in each other?s countries through sharing of technologies, experience of working in different terrains and climatic conditions, and use of energy efficient technologies for creation and propagation of cleaner, climate friendly and affordable energy resources.?(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Cattle slaughter ban outrage: IIT Madras beef fest organiser brutally attacked

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Tension prevails in IIT Madras on Tuesday following a brutal attack on R Sooraj, a PhD Scholar, associated with Ambedkar Periyar Study Circle by a group of students for taking part in the beef fest conducted on May 28 in the campus.The PhD scholar has been seriously injured in his right eye in the assault and he is being taken to a private eye hospital for treatment.A group of students at the IIT Madras conducted a beef festival, showing their agitation against the recent order by Centre against selling cattle thus imposing an indirect beef ban. More than 50 students supported the cause by participating in this fest late on Sunday night.Earlier on May 27, Students’ Federation of India (SFI) staged similar protest in Kerala by eating beef outside University College, Trivandrum. Similar fest was also organised at different locations across Kerala.Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Harsh Vardhan on Friday ordered that the ministry has notified the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Markets) Rules, 2017 to ensure that the sale of cattle is not meant for slaughter purposes.
ALSO READ Cattle ban outrage: After Kerala, ‘beef fest’ organised in IIT Madras”Aim of the rules is very specific. It is only to regulate the animal market and the sale of cattle in these markets, and ensuring welfare of cattle dealt in market. And the rule provides for a strict animal monitoring committee and an animal market committee at the local level,” Vardhan told ANI.He said the seller and buyer both have to ensure that the cattle is not being bought or sold in the market for slaughter purposes. “An undertaking to this effect has to be given to the member secretary of the animal market committee from the seller as well as the buyer,” Vardhan added.As per the notification, cattle is defined as “bulls, bullocks, cows, buffalos, steers, heifers and calves and camels”. The rules also state that the purchaser shall not sacrifice the animal for any religious purpose or sell it to a person outside the state without permission and must keep in with the state’s cattle protection laws. (With inputs from G Jagannath​ and ANI)

‘Cattle ban’ akin to fascism- Organisers of IIT-Madras beef fest

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras students, who organised a beef-festival to oppose the Centre?s indirect ban on beef, say they wanted to protest as the Narendra Modi government?s move is akin to fascism. Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Harsh Vardhan on Friday ordered that the ministry has notified the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Markets) Rules, 2017 to ensure that the sale of cattle is not meant for slaughter purposes. He said the seller and buyer both have to ensure that the cattle is not being bought or sold in the market for slaughter purposes. Talking to ANI, Azhar, an IIT-Madras student, said lots of people from different political affiliations organised beef festival to discuss the Centre?s directive to prevent the sale of cattle for slaughter as ?it is a move towards fascism?. ?Apart from having good beef, around 70 to 80 people discussed the right to consume the food of choice. We also discussed the ruling?s effect on the livelihood of distraught farmers, especially Tamil farmers protesting in Delhi, as it is a de facto ban on their right to sell their cattle,? said Azhar. He further added that ?lower caste Dalits and Muslims will be affected by the Centre?s ruling?. While replying a question, he said that it might an intentional step of the Modi government to issue the ruling in the month of Ramadan. When asked about the IIT- Management?s reaction, he said till now the management has not objected to the fest. Another student said that not only IIM- Madras but many other institutes were opposing the Centre?s Cattle ruling, but the media was not highlighting it. The beef festival was organised on the IIT-Madras campus on Sunday night. Earlier on May 27, Students’ Federation of India (SFI) staged a similar protest in Kerala by eating beef outside University College, Trivandrum. However things got out of hand when members from the youth Congress slaughtered a calf in public, inviting the wrath of the party?s top brass and resulting in the suspension of three members. As per the Centre?s notification, ?cattle? is defined as “bulls, bullocks, cows, buffalos, steers, heifers and calves and camels”. The rules also state that the purchaser shall not sacrifice the animal for any religious purpose or sell it to a person outside the state without permission and must keep in with the state’s cattle protection laws.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Harsh Vardhan gets additional charge of Environment Ministry

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Science and Technology Minister Harsh Vardhan was today given additional charge of Environment Ministry, due to sudden demise of Anil Madhav Dave. President Pranab Mukherjee, as advised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has directed that Harsh Vardhan, Cabinet Minister shall be assigned the charge of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, in addition to his exiting portfolios, a press release issued by Rashtrapati Bhavan said. Harsh Vardhan is also the Minister of Earth Sciences. Environment Minister Dave, 60, died here today.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

EAC grants environmental clearance for Bhogapuram intl airport

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>An Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) under the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has given environmental clearance for the construction of Bhogapuram International Airport in Andhra Pradesh. The proposed greenfield airport site lies on the border of Visakhapatnam and Vizianagaram districts and is about 45 kms from Visakhapatnam city. As per minutes of the EAC meeting held earlier this month, the airport, is proposed to be developed as a PPP project under a Design, Build, Finance, Operate and Transfer (DBFOT) concession framework. It will have a total an investment outlay of Rs 2260.73 crore. “The committee noted that issues raised in the public hearing have satisfactorily been responded by the project authority and suggested to incorporate it in the final EIA-EMP report,” the EAC said. “After detailed deliberations, the committee recommended the project for environmental clearance (EC),” it said. The AP government has created a special purpose vehicle Bhogapuram International Airport Corporation Ltd for the project. The current proposal is for phase-I of the airport where the airstrip will be developed to cater to the operation of Airbus-A380 type of aircraft, the EAC said. It will also involve construction of a new runway with all allied facilities like terminal building, apron, apron shoulder, taxi track, runway shoulder, boundary wall, perimeter roads and parking facilities. The airport will decrease the air traffic load at the existing Visakhapatnam airport as its capacity will be exhausted in next few years, it further said. Outlining the benefits of the facility, the EAC said there will be improvement in all-weather air connectivity of the region with rest of the state and country from strategic and commercial point of view.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

India an important partner in tackling climate change: UN

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A top UN climate official today expressed interest in “engaging” with Indian institutions working in the field of climate change while acknowledging India as an “important” partner in tackling the global issue. United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa met Environment Minister Anil Madhav Dave, who stressed the importance of adopting sustainable lifestyles to address the issue of climate change. Espinosa is on a two-day visit to India and this is her first visit to the country as the UNFCCC Executive Secretary. During the meeting, Dave highlighted India’s Science Express Climate Action Special (SECAS) train being run as an ongoing climate change awareness programme for various sections of society, especially students. “The Environment Minister also emphasised the importance of sustainable lifestyles in addressing climate change issues,” it said. Earlier, in a meeting with Environment secretary Ajay Narayan Jha, Espinosa acknowledged India as an important partner in pursuing the agenda of climate change. “She expressed interest in engaging with Indian institutions playing a major role in climate action in India. She dwelt upon the synergy between the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and climate actions,” the official statement said. She praised India’s actions as an example for many other countries and emphasised the need to showcase these efforts on international platforms. Meanwhile, Jha highlighted India’s actions to address climate change, including the goals to reduce the emission intensity of its GDP by 33-35 per cent from 2005 levels by 2030, increasing the share of non-fossil fuel sources in the electricity mix, afforestation efforts and the world’s largest renewable energy programme being pursued in India. He also underlined the climate change governance structure to monitor climate change actions in India, which includes the Prime Minister’s Council on Climate Change chaired by the Prime Minister and Executive Committee on Climate Change, chaired by the Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister. The issues of adequate means of implementation including climate finance, capacity building and technological support to developing countries were also flagged during the meeting. “It was also highlighted that the core principles of equity and CBDR-RC (Common but Differentiated Responsibilities and Respective Capabilities) need to be operationalised in the Paris Rule Book,” the statement said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Climate change is priority area for T’gana government: DG

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Adapting to climate change is a priority for the Telangana government and all development projects are being examined from the view point of their climate friendliness, a senior official said here today. Climate change is a priority area for the government, B Kalyan Chakravarthy, Director General of Environment Protection and Training Institute (EPTRI) said while speaking at the inauguration of a two-day state level media workshop on climate change. “Media can play a critical role in communicating the challenge of climate change to communities and also influence planners and policy makers,” he said. He urged mediapersons to keep environment and climate at the back of their mind while drafting policies, programmes and initiatives. The programme was organised by the Centre for Media Studies (CMS), in partnership with the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) and German Agency for International Cooperation.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Trade deficit with China at $46.7 bn in Apr-Feb: Govt

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>India’s trade deficit with China was recorded at USD 46.7 billion during the April-February period of the last fiscal, Parliament was informed today. Overall trade with China during the 11-month period decreased marginally by 0.87 per cent to USD 64.57 billion, Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman informed the Rajya Sabha. During this period, India’s exports to China grew by 8.69 per cent to USD 8.94 billion while imports from the neighbouring nation declined by 2.26 per cent to USD 55.63 billion, resulting in a shrinkage of 4.1 per cent in India’s trade deficit with China, she said in a written reply to a question. She said both sides have signed a Five-Year Development Programme for Economic and Trade Cooperation in order to lay down a medium-term roadmap for promoting balanced and sustainable development of economic and trade relations. Replying to a separate question, she said after the launch of the ‘Startup India Action Plan’ in January 2016, 742 startups have been recognised by the ministry. On another question on soap, she said technically uniform sphericity and particle size of microbeads create a ball- bearing effect in soaps, skin cream and lotions, enhancing a silky texture, spreadability, smoothness and roundness in the feel. “Regarding harmful effects, the issue is before the National Green Tribunal for adjudication which is being perused by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change,” she added.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Clear pending projects, Project Monitoring Group tells MoEF

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Project Monitoring Group (PMG) under Prime Minister’s Office, in a recently held meeting with the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC), sought expeditious processing of pending projects, especially those that are stuck for want of forest clearances at the state level.Following this meeting, the ministry’s forestry wing has written to principal secretaries and forest secretaries of all states, requesting them to issue “directions to all officials dealing with diversion of forest land cases to strictly process them all within the time limit prescribed by MoEFCC.”DNA has reviewed minutes of the meeting between PMG and MoEFCC and the directions sent to states.According to the minutes of the meeting, it was observed that there were 118 cases pending for prior environmental clearance (EC) under the section, “under examination for terms of references”. The ministry issues sector specific Terms of References (ToR), whose purpose is to enable the project proponents to prepare impact assessment studies and gather all the information required for the ministry to appraise the projects. Ministry officials told the PMG that these cases generally remain pending as there is no clarity on forthcoming meetings.The PMG stressed there was a significantly large pendency in some districts and states, for cases related to diversion of forests. “It was therefore considered essential that an institutional mechanism be set up within the ministry to constantly monitor and review the pendency and remind all concerned officers to dispose the pending applications,” the two government agencies decided.Speaking on the meeting, a senior official from the PMG said, “The meeting was to identify the reasons for delays and find remedies for them. Since the online portals of ministries are getting integrated with PMG, there is a need to identify the bottlenecks. We found that several projects are stuck at the state level.”

Will step in to save environment: CJI

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Responding to Attorney General of India Mukul Rohatgi’s lament that coastal regulations are limiting development and diverting tourism to other countries, Chief Justice of India (CJI) Justice JS Khehar said on Saturday that “environment is not a matter of competition” and that “development can happen, but with due care for environment.”He said that courts will step in only when environmental safeguards are not in place.Rohatgi and Khehar were speaking in the presence of President Pranab Mukherjee, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and National Green Tribunal (NGT) Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar at the inauguration of NGT’s two-day international conference on environment.Rohatgi said: “The CRZ (Coastal Regulation Zone) notification says 500 metres from the sea…there can be no hotels, no development, no other infrastructure. Over the past 25 years, domestic and foreign tourism have been diverted to our neighbours in the South-East.”He added, “If they can do it, surely, it is time for us — the government and the courts and the stakeholders – to take a call. Why should we not look (at) and maybe debunk the ideas which were floated for over 25 years by CRZ. One must see what good CRZ has got.”The AG also said that several projects get stuck for years and there is a need for an advance consultative process for mega projects to prevent lengthy litigation. Responding to the AG’s comments, the CJI Khehar said, “The comparison with tourist spots in India and other countries…it seems as if we were competing with somebody else. Environment is not a matter of competition. You may construct hotels, you may construct whatever you wish, but have in place regulations for environmental protection and no court can ever interfere with that.” He further said that courts will interfere when environmental safeguards are not in place while building developmental projects. “The possibility of interference will arise, when seaports are raised and constructed and the existing environment is altered or when townships are raised without appropriately dealing with sewage, water disposal, that’s when the problem emerges. The policy of the government, in India and elsewhere, has to be to allow development and industry but by taking due care of the environment. That’s the way forward.”The AG’s comments come at a time when the Union Ministry for Environment, Forest and Climate Change is preparing a fresh draft of the CRZ notification easing regulations by reportedly allowing reclamation of land for commercial and entertainment purposes, which is currently prohibited. This move has been opposed for years by environmental activists.Later in the conference, President Pranab Mukherjee stressed that while development is necessary to pull people out of poverty, contradictions between environment and development will end if we can check our lust for appropriation beyond requirements.

2nd report on India’s green house gas emissions out soon

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The second biennial report on India’s green house gas emissions will be released soon, a top Environment Ministry official said today. India had submitted its first Biennial Update Report (BUR) in January last year to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). “The Ministry (Environment) would soon release the second Biennial Update Report (BUR) in 2017,” a FICCI statement quoting Rajani Ranjan Rashmi, special secretary of Environment Ministry said. He was speaking at the 10th edition of the India Climate Policy and Business Conclave organised by FICCI in partnership with the Environment Ministry, World Bank Group and the German Federal Ministry for Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB). He said according to the government’s internal assessment, India is well on track to achieve its ambitious climate and green house gas mitigation goals and actions by 2020. Rashmi emphasised that “motivation which guide industry for environmental actions should not only include efficiency and cost but should also factor in matter of survival and long term competitiveness. He added that efficiency should be accompanied with sufficiency and should involve action from the private sector. India’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emission in 2010 was more than 2,000 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent with the energy sector being the prime contributor, according to its first BUR. The first BUR contained national GHG inventory of India for the year 2010, prepared in accordance with the guidelines of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). According to the BUR report, “a reduction of emission intensity of GDP by about 12 per cent between 2005 and 2010 has been achieved against our voluntary pledge to reduce the emission intensity of its GDP by 20 25 per cent by 2020, compared with the 2005 level.” As per the UNFCCC rules, BURs are subjected to an international process known as International Consultation and Analysis (ICA), a process that includes international scrutiny of BUR in a manner that is “non-intrusive, non-punitive and respectful of national sovereignty”. India had submitted the first report to fulfill its reporting obligation under the UNFCCC, which says, countries need to periodically provide information in the form of their national communication. Wolfgang Lahr from the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany said that the 22nd Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC in Marrakesh built on the momentum of the Paris climate change agreement by preparing states towards the implementation phase. “In this light, countries now have to operationalize their communicated strategies through ground level actions,” he said. The 2017 UN climate change conference will take place from November 6-17 at Bonn in Germany. Prodipto Ghosh, Chairman, FICCI Climate Change Task Force and former secretary, Environment Ministry said that private sector needs to scale up efforts and investments in research and development particularly in respect of mass transportation, power generation, energy storage, electric vehicles and sustainable habitat.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Action plan on climate change awaiting final review: Delhi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi government has told the National Green Tribunal that the draft State Action Plan on Climate Change on the lines of NAPCC has been sent to various departments and was awaiting a final review. National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) is a comprehensive action plan which outlines measures on climate change relatiing adaptation and mitigation while simultaneously advancing development. “The draft report has been sent to all stakeholder departments for comments. Thereafter, final meeting was held on September 23, 2016 under the chairmanship of the Environment Secretary. Further comments as received from various departments have been incorporated. “It is most respectfully submitted that the draft report with incorporated comments/inputs from all concerned departments was put up in the month of December last year for approval. As per the decision taken, the draft SAPCC report has been sent to all stakeholder departments for final review,” the Delhi government told the NGT in an affidavit. It also said that the draft Delhi State Action Plan on Climate Change has been prepared on the lines of NAPCC in further extension to the Climate Change Agenda, as per the framework of Ministry of Environment and Forests. The Environment Ministry had earlier told NGT that it has repeatedly asked the Delhi Government to expedite and submit the State Action Plan on Climate Change (SAPCC), but nothing has been done. The Ministry had informed the tribunal that since January 2010, it has asked the Delhi government thrice to submit SAPCC but nothing has been done and sought direction to the AAP government to submit the plan. The submissions were made in response to a plea filed by scientist Mahendra Pandey seeking direction to draft, finalise and implement the State Action Plan on Climate Change on the lines and the spirit of the NAPCC. Pandey, in his plea filed through advocate Gaurav Bansal, contended that the national capital was facing a number of environmental issues due to ill-effects of climate change. The scientist contended that Delhi generated around 800 million tonnes of garbage daily which was dumped as it is on three main landfill sites of national capital which have completed their life.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

For a third time, Enviroment ministry issues fresh draft notification on Western Ghats

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With no resolution yet in sight on demarcating the final extent of Western Ghats eco-sensitive areas (ESA), the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) pushed ahead the deadline for a third time and issued a fresh draft notification. On March 10, 2014, the environment ministry had issued a draft notification identifying 60,000 sq km of area in Ghats as ecologically sensitive and the ministry had to finalise the draft in 545 days, which was due on September 9, 2015. To supersede that the ministry came out with a notification on September 4 and the latest one will replace the 2015 one.The fresh draft notification, based on the report of the K Kasturirangan-led high-level working group, once again proposed to notify 56,825 sq km areas as ESA and ban mining, quarrying, sand mining, new thermal plants, new hydropower plants, red category industries and big townships.In 2014, following demands from the six Western Ghats states — Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala, Goa and Tamil Nadu — the MoEFCC allowed them to physically verify the ESAs as demarcated by the Kasturirangan report. All states, with the exception of Tamil Nadu, submitted their ground truthing reports in 2015, but the Centre is yet to take a call on them. In December 2015, DNA had reported that Maharashtra, Kerala, Karnataka and Goa had rejected most findings and recommendations of the Kasturirangan report, pushing for opening the Ghats to development and commercial activities. In their ground truthing reports, they drastically cut down the ESA area, recommending the retention of only 19,702 sq km as ESA and releasing the remaining 36,285 sq km for development.Besides the recommendations of the states in the ground truthing reports, recently, the Kerala government requested the Centre to reduce the state’s ESA area further. While it has already been reduced to 9,993.7 sq km as compared to 13,108 sq km, as suggested in the Kasturirangan report, the state has now requested to reduce 887 sq km of non-forest land. A UNESCO heritage site, the Western Ghats is a 1,600 km-long mountain range running all along the west coast of India. It covers the states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Goa, Maharashtra and Gujarat, approximately 1,40,000 sq km. These mountains are home to number of endemic plants and animal species.

Palanisamy requested Modi to instruct the Ministry of

Water Resources not to accord techno-economic clearance for Mekedatu or any other project in the Cauvery Basin of Karnataka till the concurrence of all co-basin states were obtained by it, and after the Cauvery Management Board (CMB) and Cauvery Water Regulation Committee came into force “and the judicial references are finally settled. ” <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Water Resources not to accord techno-economic clearance for Mekedatu or any other project in the Cauvery Basin of Karnataka till the concurrence of all co-basin states were obtained by it, and after the Cauvery Management Board (CMB) and Cauvery Water Regulation Committee came into force “and the judicial references are finally settled.” “Further, instructions may also kindly be issued to the Ministries of Power, Environment, Forest and Climate Change and Drinking Water and Sanitation not to accord the clearances for the Mekedatu or any other project of Karnataka, till the whole issue is settled,” he added.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

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