Insights Current Affairs - 2019

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Fact Box: Global Peace Index 2017

India has been ranked 137th in the Global Peace Index 2017, which ranks 163 independent states and territories according to their level of peacefulness. In Last year’s index, India was ranked 141st. This is the eleventh edition of the Global Peace Index (GPI). The index is compiled every year by the Sydney-based think tank Institute for Economics and Peace.

GPI is considered as one of the most comprehensive analysis that captures trends in peace, its economic value, and how to develop peaceful societies.

It has used 23 qualitative and quantitative indicators to measure the state of peace using three thematic domains: the level of Societal Safety and Security; the extent of Ongoing Domestic and International Conflict; and the degree of Militarisation. Various parameters like the homicide rate, the ease of access to weapons, the impact of terrorism and the number of armed services personnel in the population were analyzed in preparing the multifaceted index of peace indicators.

Salient highlights

Top 10 Peaceful Countries 

Iceland (1), New Zealand (2), Portugal (3), Austria (4), Denmark (5), Czech Republic (6), Slovenia (7), Canada (8), Switzerland (9), Ireland (10).

Top 10 Least Peaceful Countries  

Syria (163), Afghanistan (162), Iraq (161), South Sudan (160), Yemen (159), Somalia (158), Libya (157), Sudan and Central African Rep., both countries placed at 155th position and Ukraine (154).

The index has covered 99.7% of the world’s population. The GPI 2017 has found that the global level of peace has improved by 0.28 per cent, with 93 countries improving, while 68 countries deteriorated.

Six of the nine regions of the world has registered improvement. South America has registered the largest improvement as the fourth most peaceful region. The largest regional deterioration in score occurred in North America. The score for North America deteriorated entirely as a result of the US. Europe remains the most peaceful region in the world. The combined Middle East and North Africa was the least peaceful region in the world.

As per the GPI, the economic impact of violence on the global economy in 2016 was $14.3 trillion in purchasing power parity (PPP) terms, which is roughly equivalent to 12.6% of the gross world product.

Fact Box: See Through Frog

Scientists have discovered a new glass frog species with transparent skin through which its beating heart is visible in the Amazonian lowlands of Ecuador. The frog with the scientific name Hyalinobatrachium yaku is known to possess unique physical and behavioural traits.

The frog has dark green spots on its back. The frog has been discovered by employing a combination of fieldwork in the Amazonian lowlands of Ecuador and DNA sequencing in the lab. However, the scientists have observed that not all frogs have the heart that is white.

Under Threat

Scientists have identified that the newly identified species is already under the threat of extinction. The male of this new species are found to protect the eggs which are attached below the leaves of the tree until they hatch and fall on the water stream below.  So, this glass frogs require pristine streams to breed in. Hence, if the stream gets polluted or dried up then these frogs cannot survive. These new species is already in danger as its habitat is threatened by oil exploitation. The habitat of the species is at present marked by rampant road building and oil exploitation.

Generally, the Amphibians are considered the most threatened vertebrate class on the planet. Of the known 6,260 species of amphibians assessed by using IUCN’s categories and criterias, nearly one-third of the species (32.4%) have been identified as globally threatened or extinct.  

International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) 

The IUCN is the world’s oldest and largest global environmental organisation working in the field of nature conservation and sustainable use of natural resources. It was founded in 1948. It is headquartered in Gland, Switzerland. It is a leading non-governmental authority on the environment and sustainable development. It is also involved in data gathering and analysis, research, field projects, advocacy, lobbying and education. IUCN is best known to the wider public for compiling and publishing the IUCN Red List, which assesses the conservation status of species worldwide.